Staton’s Unbundling Higher Education Framework

… a concept in Education and Atlas219 Higher Education Policy

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Concept description

Education entrepreneur Michael Staton has developed a framework to describe the “components of a college degree” in order to determine which components could be disaggregated, or “unbundled” and provided in alternative ways.

Stanton’s ideas were first set out in 2012 in an American Enterprise Institute paper (click image on right) and later refined on his blog (references below). The most recent iteration of the framework is illustrated below.

The application of the framework to contemporary Canadian higher education has been examined by Alex Usher in his 25 May 2016 blog (reference below).

StatonFramework

Staton drew on this framework for his “The Degree is Doomed” article in the Harvard Business Review in January 2014 (reference below).

This framework helps answer the question raised in Atlas U on the comparison of what a learner could expect from a free online source of knowledge compared with enroling in an MPP or MPA program. A platform like the Atlas can provide the three components in the Staton’s Knowledge Acquisition quadrant (expert innovation, delivery formats and mandates, pathways and sequencing). However, it cannot provide the three components in the Access to Opportunities quadrant (signals of aptitude, a credential of accepted value, an affiliate network), or those in the Cognitive and Employable Skills quadrant (modes of thinking and doing, facilitated practice, coaching and mentorship), let alone those in the Personal Transformation quadrant (a culture of personal exploration, a secured life transition, a rite of passage).

Sources

Michael Staton (2012), Disaggregating the Components of a College Degree, American Enterprise Institute, at http://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/-disaggregating-the-components-of-a-college-degree_184521175818.pdf, accessed 26 May 2016.

Michael Staton (2013), Unbundling Higher Education, A Doubly Updated Framework, at http://edumorphology.com/, accessed 26 May 2016.

Michael Staton (2014), The Degree is Doomed, Harvard Business Review, 8 January 2014, at https://hbr.org/2014/01/the-degree-is-doomed,  accessed 26 May 2016.

Alex Usher (2016), Unbundling, Higher Education Strategy Associates, at http://higheredstrategy.com/unbundling/, accessed 26 May 2016.

Topic and course with which the concept is primarily associated

This concept is primarily associated with the normed topic The Structure of Higher Education as Public Policy in Atlas219 Higher Education Policy.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 26 May 2016.

Image: Michael Staton (2012), Disaggregating the Components of a College Degree, American Enterprise Institute, at http://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/-disaggregating-the-components-of-a-college-degree_184521175818.pdf, accessed 26 May 2016.