President Flores Speaks at National Conference on Education and the Economy
On Friday, Oct. 3, UHD President Bill Flores participated in a plenary session, "An Evolving Model: Creating Better Models of Postsecondary Education." The session was part of the Education Policy Institute Forum on Education and the Economy, held in San Antonio. The session was moderated by Scott Wail, CEO and President of EPI, and included, along with Dr. Flores, Wade Dyke, president of Kaplan University; Jane Oats, vice president of the Apollo Group (owner of University of Phoenix); and Dennis Ahlburg, president of Trinity University.
The panel addressed the future of higher education, including massive open online courses (MOOCs), online and hybrid formats, competency-based education and efforts to serve working adults with prior learning experience, accelerated degrees, and certificates. Dr. Flores shared the University's experiences in working with industry stakeholders to develop degrees, including the Masters in Nonprofit Management, the Masters in Rhetoric and Composition to help prepare high school teachers for dual-credit courses, and the new graduate certificates in the MBA program which are taught by both UHD faculty and industry executives.
Dr. Flores noted, "By working with industry professionals, we are ensuring that our degrees remain relevant to the changing needs of the Houston economy. Industry leaders not only teach in the program, they also help with internships, employment opportunities, and recruitment." Dr. Flores also noted that UHD is responding to the needs of adult learners in other ways, with credit for military experience, delivery of courses in multiple formats, and three-week and eight-week courses in addition to the traditional fifteen-week format.
"But, however we deliver the courses, we believe in engaging students so they understand the complex issues affecting society, apply what they learn in real world settings and graduate with critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, excellent communication skills, and the ability to succeed in whatever career they ultimately choose."