The 4-part Framework for Postsecondary Change is described in more detail below:
- Institutional Models – This component of the theory encompasses the different types of institutions that deliver higher education (e.g. community colleges, 4-year schools, non-profits, for-profits) and their education and business models. Namely, the way institutions organize and execute resources and processes to create value for their students given their distinct mission.
- Technology – In all sectors of society, new technologies transform the processes used to achieve existing goals while making new goals feasible. This occurs, in particular, when technology transforms a process that once required deep training, expertise, iteration and intuition into a rules-based process that can be fully or partially performed by software. Often, but not always, technology makes it possible to “unbundle” a product or service that was once considered viable only if delivered in a vertically integrated fashion. In the higher education context, technology tools currently transforming practice include: technology enabled learning, social media for learning and counseling, and learning management systems.
- Education Partner Networks – These networks support institutions of higher education in achieving their missions and purposes given their business models. Examples include K12, community based organizations, other higher education institutions, content and assessment providers, research partners, credentialing services, and student support services. Technology, of course, is opening new methods of collaboration from open education resources to web-based student support services.
- Public Policy, Standards & Values Environment – The dynamic mix of technology, institutional models, and educational delivery systems create entirely new ways of providing education and organizing resources. This often requires the rethinking of an industry’s standards for quality consumer information and interoperability, public sector regulation and finance, and the related set of values that undergird the mission of higher education institutions.