New Models of Higher Education: Unbundled, Rebundled, Customized, and DIY

New Models of Higher Education: Unbundled, Rebundled, Customized, and DIY

This publication is the 2023 recipient of UPCEA's prestigious Frandson Award for Literature.

Release Date: June, 2022|Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 545
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3809-1
ISBN13: 9781668438091|ISBN10: 1668438097|EISBN13: 9781668438114
Funding Information: This book is being published under Platinum Open Access, through sponsorship and funding from Lumina Foundation and Walmart.
Effective immediately, IGI Global has discontinued softcover book production. The softcover option is no longer available for direct purchase.
Description & Coverage

Students already “DIY” and build an unbundled education and training path for themselves, demonstrating a clever and productive approach to lifelong learning. Despite this, institutions of higher education and businesses typically ignore or even problematize this behavior, viewing mixing-and-matching as a lack of degree commitment or with skepticism and reimbursement ambivalence.

New Models of Higher Education: Unbundled, Rebundled, Customized, and DIY instead views this as the future of higher education: students mixing and matching education and training throughout their careers to reach personal and professional goals. The book considers the practical ways in which institutions of higher education, education technology companies, and workplaces can better respond to, and enable, this new way in which education and training are engaged and consumed. Covering a wide range of topics such as assessment, personal success, and education paradigms, this reference work provides examples and recommendations for policymakers, administrators, university presidents, academicians, practitioners, scholars, researchers, instructors, and students.


The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Alternative Credentials
  • Assessment
  • Curriculum development
  • Education Paradigms
  • Higher Education
  • Informal Learning
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Microcredentials
  • Personal Success
  • Skills-Based Education
  • Unbundling
Reviews & Statements

Brower and Specht-Boardman have curated a valuable collection that explores key discussion topics for the future of higher education. The collection’s contributors are a mix of academics and professionals who address a comprehensive range of subjects including how higher education is struggling to adapt to the needs of modern society, what policy barriers are preventing alternative credentials from becoming mainstream, Accreditation of Learning Outcomes (ALO), student support services, and more. This is a forward-thinking collection that examines the current state of higher education with honest and realistic interpretations of the past while providing a foundation for future opportunities. The tone of this collection encourages readers to be open-minded as they envision the future. This is a must-read book due to the collection’s honest, clear, and broad approach to conversations relevant to the future of higher-ed without proselytizing a "follow this model or fail" mentality.

– Evan Kropp, University of Florida

I’ve recommended that our academic leadership team read the book. We have a COP model, and a book like this has an abundance of content that applies across a PCO unit that serves an incredible varied audiences. It will encourage agile thinking at a time when we are reinventing our learning models, serving more diverse learners than we have in our history as an organization.

– Jen Schwedler, UC Davis
Table of Contents
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Editor/Author Biographies

Aaron Brower is the founding Executive Director for the University of Wisconsin Extended Campus, and the Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the UW System. UWEX has built a national reputation for award-winning innovative online programs for adults and professionals. Among UWEX’s innovations is the UW Flexible Option, the first-in-the-country (and still only) competency-based educational program run throughout an entire statewide system. From 2012-2018, Brower served as Provost of UW-Extension (and Interim Chancellor of UW Colleges and UW-Extension during 2014). From 2007-2021, he was UW-Madison’s Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning. Brower remains a tenured professor at UW-Madison’s School of Social Work. Brower earned a dual Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Work in 1985 from the University of Michigan. Brower has written 5 books, more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and received over $18M in grants to support his work. His scholarship demonstrates the academic and social outcomes produced when colleges blend in- and out-of-class learning – engaging the whole university to support the entire student. His current work, and the subject of this book, develops a new educational approach that encourages people to customize the unbundling and rebundling of their education and training throughout their lives.

Ryan J. Specht-Boardman works for the University of Wisconsin (UW) Extended Campus. He is responsible for leading the UW Flexible Option, which is the UW System’s innovative multi-campus portfolio of competency-based degrees and certificates that serves over 1,200 students annually. He also has experience standing up and managing the UW Boot Camps, a collaboration between the UW System and 2U, Inc. Ryan’s career began in student services and has since moved into academic program management. His primary mission is to build, grow, and sustain non-traditional, alternative, and innovative programs for adult learners. He believes that improving educational outcomes for adult learners requires rethinking higher education's existing paradigms in program design. Ryan posits that improving educational outcomes for adult learners is an essential part of building a more equitable and resilient economy in his community. He holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the University of Iowa.

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