The U.S. system of higher education is under fire for lacking innovation. A key driver of this need to innovate is changing student demographics. Although a universal profile does not exist for tomorrow’s college students, these individuals are likely to be different in race/ethnicity, age, wealth, and use of technology. The future viability of U.S. higher education is contingent upon college and university leaders understanding these changing circumstances and acting in ways that will best serve the needs of these future students. Student affairs has an important and active role in educating these incoming students and driving innovation. Innovative student affairs professionals will proactively position themselves to respond to the emerging student population. What might student affairs professionals learn from innovators in the field to prepare for the emerging future?
This qualitative, multisite case study focuses on adaptive and breakthrough innovations in student affairs at small, private universities that have experienced demographic shifts in the students they serve in order to provide insights on how student affairs leaders might proactively position themselves for the coming changes in student demographics. Innovation is defined as an idea that results in either an adaptation or a radical redesign of student affairs practice. Insights gathered from this research invite student affairs educators to reflect on how the world is changing and how those changes bring about new approaches to student affairs practice.
|Commitee:||Forsythe, George B., Zemsky, Robert|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Higher Education Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Demographic change, Design thinking, Higher education, Innovation, Leadership, Student affairs|
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