Thursday, December 26, 2019

State By State Changes in College Enrollment (National Student Clearinghouse, 2011 and 2019)

Florida, Indiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Vermont, and Wyoming have dramatic college enrollment losses in 2019. Alaska, New Mexico, Michigan, Illinois, Hawaii, Oregon, Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia, Montana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania hardest hit over the long haul.

State F2011 F2019 %Loss/Gain

AK 35,473 22,268 -37.2

NM 144,202 110,427 -33.4

MI 633,576 482,058 -24.0

IL 758,074 583,960 -23.0

HI 65,638 50,697 -22.7

OR 253,403 198,518 -21.6

MO 411,508 323,361 -21.4

AR 178,628 143,895 -19.4

WV 169,510 137,665 -18.7

MT 55,945 45,492 -18.7

MN 420,655 347,114 - 17.5

WI 350,803 295,341 -15.8

OK 211,151 178,411 -15.5

PA 755,158 639,366 -15.4

WY 32,729 27,664 -15.4

IN 402,850 342,615 -15.0

IA 221,732 190,209 -14.2

OH 689,862 593,527 -14.0

MD 387,487 334,422 -13.7

LA 261,494 225,868 -13.6

FL 1,077,332 933,180 -13.3

ND 56,359 48,966 -13.1

KY 277,688 243,299 -12.4

NY 1,191,463 1,044,338 -12.3

KS 203,748 178,623 -12.3

VT 43,201 38,207 -11.5

NE 141,944 127,113 -11.4

CO 320,626 287,781 -11.2

NJ 421,196 374,348 -11.1

MA 477,423 427,958 -10.4

ME 70,051 63,259 -9.7

MS 180,310 163,966 -9.1

DC 77,652 70,717 -9.0

VA 529,007 483,686 -8.6

WA 343,300 314,380 -8.4

SC 246,121 230,256 -6.4

NC 555,392 524,679 -5.5

RI 72,722 68,739 -5.4

TN 320,979 304,279 -5.2

CT 193,381 183,981 -4.9

CA 2,559,423 2,466,867 -3.6

AL 294,853 286,421 -2.9

NV 112,736 110,338 -2.1

GA 525,734 518,826 -1.3

DE 56,103 56,388 +0.0

SD 45,398 46,019 +1.4

ID 96,649 100,270 +3.7

TX 1,431,062 1,490,953 +4.2

AZ* 427,789 456,453 +6.7

UT* 254,731 361,652 +42.0

NH* 78,112 157,248 +101.3

*Arizona, Utah and New Hampshire enroll many students online.

Related link: Enrollment declines, campus closings, economic losses and the hollowing out of America 

Related link: National Student Clearinghouse, College Enrollment, Fall 2019.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Higher Education Assembly Line

[Image of the boss in Diego Rivera's Mural of Detroit Industry]

I'm conducting a study of Taylorism (aka The "Scientific Management of Work") in online higher education. If you are in the education business, I would appreciate your input, both positive and critical.

According to Maduakolam Ireh, "scientific management (in the 19th century and beyond) eliminated the need for skilled labor by delegating each employee one simple task to repeat over and over. Although this method increased the productivity of factories, it stripped employees their freedom to choose their work, as well as how it should be done."  While it may be an exaggeration that academic work is like factory work, trends in US higher education point to reduced autonomy, job deskilling, and greater demands to produce more work in less time.

In online higher education, a small number of full-time instructors act as managers, with part-timers (euphemistically called associate professors) facilitating classes--with little input regarding content. Academic work is deskilled: educational content is created on an assembly line that includes instructional designers, copy editors, finishers, and quality assurance specialists who may all be precarious 1099 workers.

Associate faculty are kept in the dark about what's happening. According to one person on, "...when you're let go don't expect any sort of phone call. One day you'll go to login to the portal and it will say your credentials are invalid. You'd do what any normal person will do and call technical support. Support will awkwardly tell you'll to contact your supervisor to regain access. So you'll call them and if you're lucky enough that your supervisor wasn't also let go in the most recent round of cuts then they'll give you a call in a few days to let you know the bad news."
Is anything lost in the deskilling and marginalization of academic labor?
Unlike an assembly line, however, academic laborers in online higher education may never see each other or talk to each other, creating an atmosphere of alienation, especially among adjunct instructors. Feedback is created by student surveys and by crucial numbers such as retention rate, but not necessarily skill attainment or gainful employment.

Management signals workers an organization's true values and priorities. What values and priorities are online managers signalizing to their faculty? And how does this play out in the classroom and in decisions by faculty and staff?
"They had us deactivate an associate faculty because she was doing what was right: reporting a student for plagiarizing. One of the associate deans didn’t like that she held a standard so she told them to deactivate her." -- Online college program chair
"I was increasingly asked to pass students who did not earn the grade. As a result I was put into a "professional development" program which resulted in my leaving the university. I could no longer work for a school that has become a diploma mill." --Online instructor
It amazes me how online higher education has been able to reduce the number of full-time instructors to almost nothing, and with few complaints from consumers, educators, or teachers unions.
Have professors becoming obsolete, especially with colleges that serve working adults?
The small number of full-time instructors at regionally accredited online colleges is astounding:
  • Colorado State University Global has 34 full-time instructors for 12,000 students. 
  • Ashford University has 194 full-time instructors for about 35,000 students.
  • University of Maryland Global has 193 full-time instructors for 60,000 students.
  • Colorado Technical University has 59 full-time instructors for 26,000 students. 
  • Devry University online has 53 full-time instructors for about 17,000 students. 
  • South University has 0 full-time instructors for more than 6000 students 
  • American Intercontinental University has 51 full-timers for about 8,700 students.
  • Southern New Hampshire University has 164 full-time instructors for 104,000 students.
  • Walden University has 206 full-time instructors for more than 50,000 students. 
  • Capella University has 216 full-time instructors for about 38,000 students.
  • Liberty University has 1072 full-timers for more than 85,000 students. 
  • University of Phoenix has 70 full-time instructors for 96,000 students.
  • Purdue University Global has 346 full-time instructors for 38,000 students.
Glass Door, Grad Reports, and other internet sites, however, provide a small peek into the world of academic worker and student dissatisfaction.  But it's not sufficient in understanding the magnitude of Taylorism in online higher education. 
What's your take on the online higher education assembly line? And what numbers do you find important?

Related article: ‘The Gig Academy’ Colleen Flaherty (Inside Higher Education)