"We provide ultra-affordable, online, general education courses directly ..."

Barry Lenson

“We provide ultra-affordable, online, general education courses directly . . .” excerpts from a new interview with StraighterLine CEO Burck Smith

ultra-affordable, online, general education coursesWe’re happy to report that EdTechDigest.com just published a feature interview with our CEO, Burck Smith. We’re happy for two reasons, actually. First, the interview does a great job of explaining what StraighterLine is all about. Second, it offers a thought-provoking glimpse of where American higher education is headed in the months and years ahead.

Here are a few excerpts from what Burck Smith has to say . . .

Why technology hasn’t cut the cost of traditional college . . .

“In every other industry, technology is a productivity tool. That hasn’t happened in education. In other industries, to generate productivity improvements, a new technology must be accompanied by a new business model. In education, it’s the new business model that’s lacking. It’s lacking because of a regulatory structure that was not constructed to accommodate new models.”

Why StraighterLine costs less . . .

“We price close to the cost of delivery rather than try to price online courses as if they were face-to-face courses.”

Why traditional colleges are so slow to change . . .

“We have very entrenched bureaucracies – institutional and political – at every level that have strong stakes in keeping the regulatory structure the way it has always been. The issues confronting education are political, not technological. They revolve around assessment, articulation and standardization, accreditation and financial aid.”

Why traditional colleges will soon have to find a new way to price the products they deliver . . .

“By pricing closer to marginal cost for a vast chunk of higher education, the rest of higher education must examine the value that it provides. If colleges stop getting $1K – $2K for an Intro. Psych course that costs $100 to deliver, then all of the overhead supported by this profit margin can no longer be supported.”

Those are only a few of the big ideas you will find in this little interview. CLICK HERE to read it all.

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