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The Agile College

How Institutions Successfully Navigate Demographic Changes

Nathan D. Grawe, author of Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education

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Following Grawe's seminal first book, this volume answers the question: How can a college or university prepare for forecasted demographic disruptions?

Demographic changes promise to reshape the market for higher education in the next 15 years. Colleges are already grappling with the consequences of declining family size due to low birth rates brought on by the Great Recession, as well as the continuing shift toward minority student populations. Each institution faces a distinct market context with unique organizational strengths; no one-size-fits-all answer could suffice.

In this essential…

Following Grawe's seminal first book, this volume answers the question: How can a college or university prepare for forecasted demographic disruptions?

Demographic changes promise to reshape the market for higher education in the next 15 years. Colleges are already grappling with the consequences of declining family size due to low birth rates brought on by the Great Recession, as well as the continuing shift toward minority student populations. Each institution faces a distinct market context with unique organizational strengths; no one-size-fits-all answer could suffice.

In this essential follow-up to Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education, Nathan D. Grawe explores how proactive institutions are preparing for the resulting challenges that lie ahead. While it isn't possible to reverse the demographic tide, most institutions, he argues persuasively, can mitigate the effects. Drawing on interviews with higher education leaders, Grawe explores successful avenues of response, including

• recruitment initiatives
• retention programs
• revisions to the academic and cocurricular program
• institutional growth plans
• retrenchment efforts
• collaborative action

Throughout, Grawe presents readers with examples taken from a range of institutions—small and large, public and private, two-year and four-year, selective and open-access. While an effective response to demographic change must reflect the individual campus context, the cases Grawe analyzes will prompt conversations about the best paths forward.

The Agile College also extends projections for higher education demand. Using data from the High School Longitudinal Study, the book updates prior work by incorporating new information on college-going after the Great Recession and pushes forecasts into the mid-2030s. What's more, the analysis expands to examine additional aspects of the higher education market, such as dual enrollment, transfer students, and the role of immigration in college demand.

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The Agile College

Nathan D. Grawe, author of Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education

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Reviews

Reviews

Grawe's book is unapologetically empirical, focusing on specific programmes, policies and approaches already piloted with success...  The Agile College convincingly shows that succumbing to despondency is a premature response to the impending demographic disruption.

The Agile College debunks the idea that colleges and universities are helpless in the face of demographic trends.

Adopting an interview and case study method in order to directly connect the changing demographic landscape with institutional innovation, The Agile College is equal parts prescriptive and strategic. Empowering institutions in regions that will be hardest hit by population changes, this logical, clear, and effective book is applicable to a broad range of universities. It will generate broad interest in both higher education and policy circles.

Nathan D. Grawe's new book updates data about future college-goers and proposes many promising strategies and novel tactics for colleges as they navigate today's demographic, economic, and public health minefields. Grawe's shrewd insights and map of the terrain will give college leaders the essential knowledge for their institutions to succeed in the turbulent days ahead.

Nathan Grawe again looks beyond national averages to provide important insights to college leaders for the next decade and beyond. He draws on a wide variety of stories from across higher education to make a clear-eyed, clearly presented case for thoughtful but assertive leadership and planning. Neither apocalyptic nor Pollyannaish, The Agile College is an important read.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
264
ISBN
9781421440231
Illustration Description
14 graphs
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I. Demographic Pressures
Chapter 1. Evolving Demographic Trends
Chapter 2. Updated Projections of Higher Education Demand
Chapter 3. New Lenses for Higher Education Demand

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I. Demographic Pressures
Chapter 1. Evolving Demographic Trends
Chapter 2. Updated Projections of Higher Education Demand
Chapter 3. New Lenses for Higher Education Demand
Chapter 4. A Detailed Examination by Race
Part II. The Response of Higher Education
Chapter 5. Strategies and Tactics for Tackling Disruptive Change
Chapter 6. Recruitment and Financial Aid Policies
Chapter 7. Retention Initiatives
Chapter 8. Program Reforms
Chapter 9. Reorganization, Rightsizing, and Other Names for Retrenchment
Chapter 10. Growth Plans
Chapter 11. Collaborative Action
Chapter 12. Something between Chicken Little and Pollyanna
Appendix 1. Methods
Appendix 2. Comparison to WICHE Forecasts
Notes
References
Index

Author Bio
Nathan D. Grawe
Featured Contributor

Nathan D. Grawe

Nathan D. Grawe is the Ada M. Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of the Social Sciences and a professor of economics at Carleton College, where he served as associate dean from 2009 to 2012. He is the author of Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education.