Public colleges and universities are increasingly being called upon by state and federal government to make significant improvements in retention and graduation rates. Simultaneously they are being asked to make significant cuts in spending, to find ever greater efficiencies in operations, and to comply with increasingly complex accountability and reporting requirements. At the same time, college and universities are finding that their undergraduate students are becoming both fewer in number and more diverse—the 21st century college student is more likely than ever to come from racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups who have been traditionally poorly served in mainstream higher education. In sum, colleges must find a way to be more effective at lower cost for students who require greater academic and social support.
The context in which colleges and universities operate today requires a highly professionalized and skilled administrative workforce. Administrators need to be innovative in using technology to generate efficiency in the planning, delivery, and assessment of education; skilled at using data to understand and address barriers to student success; able to think systemically and manage culture change; and disciplined about developing inclusive, equitable, and culturally responsive campus policies and practices.
Temple’s Higher Education program is the only one in the region with a core focus on issues of access and equity diffused throughout the curriculum.