"Visionary Change in Challenging Times:
The Marketplace of Education".
The sociopolitical climate in which education is unfolding presents many challenges for
institutions of higher learning and their student populations because they are embedded in a system,
which is market-driven and technologically-oriented; and constantly being reevaluated to determine
its effectiveness in meeting the demands of the market, the consumer, and society at large. As a result,
education has become the focus of great national debate and discussion, especially with regard to its value.
The present discourse places educators in the midst of challenging times that raises many questions including
but not limited to, the following: are we changing the educational paradigm in the country? Should we rethink higher
education, and if so, how? What are we offering and to whom? To what extent does our offering inform our delivery?
Should families and their children begin to think of education in the context of ‘where you can get the most bang
for your buck’? Within this framework, is the commodity model minimizing the intrinsic value of education in creating
critical thinkers, responsible citizens, and lifelong learners?
Preparing students for this new paradigm requires that post-secondary institutions, particularly
community colleges, develop new approaches to learning that create curricula that find common ground or the
intersection among, critical thinking, applied knowledge, science, technology, and humanism/ethics, and lead to
student success and college completion. This year’s Opening Sessions will present an opportunity for faculty and
staff to share and develop strategies that synthesize these components into a dynamic educational model that allows
community colleges, and their partners, to have a strong and effective voice to shape the present discourse on
Please join us as we launch the academic year with an engaging, stimulating and insightful dialogue.