Education is known as a dynamic sector that evolves to satisfy student and social requirements. 2023 had its unique trends in the education sector. Now, several other education trends will impact teaching and learning as 2024 approaches. In this article, let’s examine these trends that may shape education in the coming days.
Online Learning and AI
- With technological progress, the demand for online education is skyrocketing. The education system becomes more creative, engaging, and effective daily. Online education is expected to grow in 2024 due to its flexibility and accessibility.
- The teaching process is now being upgraded and simpler, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI). AI can customize learning patterns according to students’ learning styles, pace, and progress. AI can handle administrative activities, which will free up teachers for more student interactions.
- Researchers are using AI to aid their studies and make the research work easier. Administrators are also using AI to manage recruiting staff, admissions, student support, retention, and IT.
- The nonprofit Complete College America is forming a Council on Equitable AI. They represent a diverse group of higher education stakeholders and consult with large technology companies. They aim to boost the chances of “using AI to equalize and scale access to a college degree and the accompanying individual, economic, and societal benefits.”
- AI is also being used in the healthcare, medicine, cybersecurity, agriculture, climate change, law enforcement, mental health, material sciences, energy, finance, and banking sectors. More universities are providing advanced courses and undergraduate and graduate degrees in machine learning, big data, and AI.
- Universities will hire more AI-savvy academics to get government AI funding. Supporting AI research is expensive, so well-funded universities will have an advantage.
Nontraditional Education Models
There are several unique, nontraditional educational models trending in 2024.
- Microschools or small-scale educational institutions are offering personalized learning. These institutions use innovative teaching techniques. They also provide a community-oriented, personalized learning atmosphere. Microschools are getting popular in 2024 due to the old, non-effective, traditional schooling models.
- The “College in 3 Exchange” approach, started in 2021, trying to speed up the education process. It involves modifying the undergraduate curriculum to cut credit hours to 90 or less. The exchange involves 17 colleges, designing three-year undergraduate degree programs. Some options, including Brigham Young University-Idaho and the American Public University System, are already accredited.
- Colleges are trying to enrich traditional undergraduate majors with skills-based courses and training. The courses and training includes industry-approved certificates, internships, and capstone projects.
- Multi-classroom arrangements are currently used to solve teacher shortage issues. Through this model, the senior/experienced teachers coordinate with multiple classrooms at a time. This method optimizes resources and improves student learning experience.
Budget Issues on Campus
- Due to the pandemic, hundreds of colleges have had substantial budget deficits in the last 4 years. It is expected that the problem may continue in 2024 also.
- Like 2023, enrollment losses, rising costs, and decreased revenue will affect small private colleges, regional public universities, and two-year colleges. Large, well-known institutions will also feel the pinch.
- In 2024, more universities will encounter financial emergencies, leading to consolidations, closures, and declarations of monetary exigency. This is the worst financial crisis higher education has faced in decades.
Education Equity Campaign
- College admissions procedures and practices will be more active in 2024. Race-conscious financial assistance and admissions practices will face More legal challenges. More schools will aim to maintain student diversity with new enrollment procedures.
- Expect more universities to eliminate their legacy admissions procedure for the children of alumni.
- Direct or guaranteed admission programs will have a boost this year. This is because institutions are seeking strategies to improve enrollment and attract underrepresented students. To attract more students, schools will expand college preparation and bridge programs.
- The long-awaited FAFSA simplification might help more low-income students earn federal Pell Grants. But, it will add to the workload of overworked college admission/enrollment management personnel.
- Support workers, including full-time nurses, counselors, and special education co-teachers, can improve learning equity. These specialists can address additional student difficulties, especially in low-income districts, encouraging education equity.
- U.S. schools have an increasing number of teacher replacements. Title 1 schools are mostly affected, with an annual turnover rate of 8%. This issue could have major social effects. Compensation influences teachers to stay or quit their jobs. For some, the apparent pay gap forces them to leave. Others are continuing because they like their pay. This suggests that compensation issues may reduce teacher attrition, but a one-size-fits-all strategy may not work.
Community in Education
- A supportive community can boost teacher’s job satisfaction and retention. School districts must encourage teacher collaboration and support. A community can provide emotional support, exchange resources, and solve problems, improving job satisfaction and lowering burnout.
- Community cooperation can also benefit education. Local companies, non-profits, and community members can help schools improve learning, give resources, and address local issues. Partnerships can improve education and encourage community education responsibility.
Biden Administration Policy Litigation
- Several of the president’s policy plans face legal challenges. For example – a program under threat is the Biden administration’s “Borrower defense to repayment” rule. This rule helps students to get debt relief from educational loans. The Education Department’s program lowers all the difficulties students face to discharge their loans automatically. But, in a lawsuit launched by Career Colleges and Schools of Texas, representing for-profit institutions in Texas, the appeals court blocked the regulation last year.
- The American Association of Cosmetology Schools recently sued the Biden administration for its gainful employment regulation. The law requires for-profit schools to prove their graduates earn enough to pay off their student loan debts. The regulation would cut federal financing to institutions that fail the debt-to-earnings benchmark.
- The Education Department plans to unveil two highly anticipated Title IX regulations in March, outlawing sex-based discrimination in federally financed schools.
- One administration proposal would require institutions to investigate and prosecute sexual violence.
- The other would forbid them from banning transgender individuals from gender-appropriate sports. For fairness or safety, institutions could ban transgender athletes from teams. Republicans particularly disliked the sports-focused one. Conservative attorneys general stated they would fight to protect women’s sports before the Education Department released a draft rule.
The year 2024 will be crucial for education. We’ve examined teacher retention, online learning, non-traditional education methods, equity, and other trends that will impact teaching and learning in the future. We must continue to watch these changes and adapt our education methods to meet the changing requirements of students and society.
Author Bio: Attorney Loretta Kilday has more than 36 years of litigation and transactional experience, specializing in business, collection, and family law. She frequently writes on various financial and legal matters. She is a graduate of DePaul University with a Juris Doctor degree and a spokesperson for Debt Consolidation Care (DebtCC) online debt relief forum.