Increasing Access, Reducing Costs, and Meeting Future Workforce Needs

GT2040 participant spring 2017The Georgia Institute of Technology has long been known as a leader in education and innovative solutions to a multitude of challenges. Through the focused efforts of more than 50 faculty, staff, and students over the past two years, the Commission on Creating the Next in Education (CNE) has identified a series of recommendations and actions that will place Georgia Tech at the forefront of innovative educational institutions.

The Commission, launched by Provost Rafael Bras, has conducted extensive research and explored innovative approaches to higher education that address the changing needs of learners and educators alike, including ways to improve effectiveness, increase access, reduce costs, and meet the needs of workforce development today and well into the future.

The results of this effort are now available in the report entitled Deliberate Innovation, Lifetime Education. The report is centered on a commitment to a lifetime education – a promise to an increasingly diverse group of learners to provide an educational experience that is highly individualized and sustainable for their entire lifetime.

Our students, advisory boards, alumni, and industry partners have all confirmed the need for continual education, and because technology changes so quickly, graduates can no longer earn a bachelor’s – or even master’s or a Ph.D. – and expect to be educated for a lifetime. Their lifetime educational needs may well require that they obtain additional educational credentials beyond their original educational accomplishments and achievements – things like, mini-mesters or individualized educational solutions as part of the concept of episodic educational experiences. The possibilities are endless and will only be limited by their individualized educational needs and career demands.

I want to express my appreciation and gratitude to the commission members who used the same type of forward-looking thinking we engaged in when we launched Georgia Tech’s strategic plan, Designing the Future, almost nine years ago.  Just as we have had many exciting initiatives that built on the concepts introduced in our strategic planning process, this report presents a series of bold and potentially transformative initiatives, grounded in the innovative and creative thinking of the Commission report. 

Using this report as a basis for how we think about the future of education in the 21st century, together we can continue our culture of innovation as we define the research university of the 21st century and provide a well-defined pathway to a lifelong education for our students and alumni.

- G.P. "Bud" Peterson