Radical Collaboration: A Framework for Student Success at Open College

Session Description
Today’s learners need flexible, cost-efficient ways to increase knowledge, enhance skills, or complete a college degree. The rising cost of college tuition coupled with the demands of work/life balance challenge many individuals seeking advanced education. As such, higher education administrators need to identify new approaches to learning and higher education that address these barriers. Using the concept of radical collaboration discussed by Tamm and Luyet, educators can increase the ability to work together with all members of the organization to promote trusting, collaborative environments, and transform groups into motivated and empowered teams.

This presentation addresses the following questions: “How do institutions of higher education address the needs of flexible, cost-efficient education for today’s adult learners? How can implementing radical collaboration create trusting, collaboration environments and promote student success?”

Open College at Kaplan University (OC@KU) offers free online services and personalized mentoring to help learners identify and organize prior work and life experience and skills that could count toward a degree or career growth. OC@KU is an excellent option for adult learners looking to enhance existing skills and/or complete a degree. OC@KU addresses a growing trend in competency-based education and the need to create affordable, flexible learning options for adult learners. OC@KU has reduced the economic barriers allowing individuals to pursue learning to enhance their academic and professional interests. The implications for institutions of higher education lie in establishing ways to improve access and reduce cost for individuals pursuing higher education with a design to meet academic and professional needs.

Carolyn Stevenson
Carolyn Stevenson, OPen College@Kaplan University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA
Dr. Stevenson is a full-time faculty member in the Open College division of the School of General Education at Purdue University Global where she also works as a Faculty Advisor for students in the Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies degree program. She has been working for the University since 2004 in both faculty and administrative roles. Her research interests are in adult education, communication, competency-based education, and qualitative research. Her principal career goals and research interests are geared towards describing and explaining adult learners’ perspectives on higher education and artistic data collection techniques in qualitative research. She most recently co-edited a textbook with Lynn Wilson entitled, “Promoting Climate Change Awareness through Environmental Education” published by IGI Global (2015).

Other publications include a textbook chapter entitled, “Analyzing Qualitative Data: Visualizing Lived Experiences through Poems and Photography,” published in “Mixed Methods Research for Improved Scientific Study.” Editors: Baran, M.L. and Jones, J. E. published by IGI Global (2016) and a textbook chapter entitled “Communicating Across the Generations: Implications for Higher Education Leadership” published in “Handbook of Research on Effective Communication, Leadership, and Conflict Resolution.” Editors: Normore, A., Javidi, M. and Long, L., published by IGI Global (2016).

Kerrie Houchens
Kerrie Houchens, OPen College@Kaplan University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Kerrie Houchens holds a masters in Higher Education (Kaplan University), and a bachelors in Anthropology (University of Florida), graduating with honors – her research focusing on how social media influences communication within society. She began her career at Kaplan University in 2009, and has worked in a range of student support roles including: academic advisor, academic relations manager, and assessment specialist – mentoring students on their individual learning portfolios, as well as troubleshooting early e-portfolio technology. In 2013, these experiences culminated in her advancement to chairing the Experiential Learning department; and – with the development of open courses and open degree program – what would become Open College: https://opencollege.kaplan.edu/.

Open College at Purdue Global offers free online services and personalized mentoring to help learners identify and organize prior work and life experiences and skills that could count toward a degree or career growth. Open College addresses a growing trend in competency-based education and the need to create affordable, flexible learning options for adult learners. As Department Chair of Open College, Kerrie manages the Professional Studies program, open courses, EL206: Academic Prior Learning Portfolio course, and oversees the institutional PLA portfolio needs, including faculty/evaluator management and student support.

Kerrie’s research interests lie in experiential learning and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), adult and community education, and flipped learning. She is involved in several organizations including National Association of Developmental Education (NADE) and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).

Elizabeth (Betsy) Daniels
Elizabeth (Betsy) Daniels, Open College@Kaplan University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Elizabeth (Betsy) Daniels is an adjunct professor and course lead for the Experiential Learning – Academic Prior Learning Portfolio Course at Purdue University Global. In 2017, Betsy was recognized with the Kaplan Way Leadership Award for Outstanding Faculty. Betsy served on the Kaplan Assessment Advisory Committee and is a Course Evaluator. Betsy has collaborated on multiple internal and external presentations on andragogy and experiential learning. She earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University with a double major in political science and communication. Betsy is certified in Secondary Education and has facilitated courses at multiple Universities. Before moving to education, Betsy was the senior manager of marketing, programming, and community relations for the Midwest region of AT&T Broadband.
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