This Fall 2018 semester, the Designing the Future(s) Initiative, in collaboration with the Baker Center, is teaching a course on the relationship between higher education and the communities it serves: the Higher Ed Studio. A combination seminar and studio course, the primary purpose of the course is to create a community of practice among students, faculty and academic staff around a common problem, inquiry and multi-faceted project. Our core question is this:
What should higher education do in the next ten years to rebuild the social compact that once existed between higher education and society?
The seminar portion will ground students in the history and current discourse surrounding higher education’s relationship to US society, with particular emphasis on the role that higher education itself can play in shifting the downward trend in trust and support. The studio portion will focus on using design methodologies to develop and mount both internal and external dialogues on “Higher Education and the New Social Compact.”
Students enrolled in the course for credit (either 1 or 3 credits) will be engaged as both learners and collaborators in developing a public-facing dialogue and set of concrete intellectual projects on the ways that higher education can transform itself over the next ten years or more in order to be more relevant, equitable, affordable and responsive to society’s needs.
The nature of the work students and faculty will conduct will shift throughout the semester as students and others explore the problem, shape the topic, and develop plans for engaging a widening set of experts and perspectives. In this context, students will be able to pursue the topics and themes of interest and customize the skillset and knowledge that he/she would like to acquire as part of the experience.
The course will be led by Randy Bass, Vice Provost for Education and Professor of English. He is the Founding Executive Director of Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), where he continues as a Senior Scholar for Pedagogical Research.
The Designing the Future(s) initiative serves to accelerate educational innovation that allows higher education to more effectively and equitably benefit society.
Designing the Future(s) aggregates, designs, and pilots new models of teaching and learning across the university to advance a culture of educational innovation and proactively shape the Georgetown education of the future. Future(s) sits in The Red House, Georgetown’s incubator for educational innovation and site for convening stakeholders in this work.