College for the New Majority: Non-­‐Traditional Students and the Reshaping of Higher Education

Event Details

College for the New Majority: Non-­‐Traditional Students and the Reshaping of Higher Education

Time: October 29, 2015 from 1:15pm to 2:45pm
Location: DePaul University, School for New Learning
Street: 14 E Jackson, 15th Floor Room 1502
City/Town: Chicago
Phone: 3123628001
Event Type: presentation, and, discussion
Organized By: Shannon Stone-Winding
Latest Activity: Oct 29, 2015

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Event Description

David Scobey will speak about his latest project, a book about adult undergraduates--the emerging majority of US college students--and their importance to the future of higher education. He’s been doing field visits to programs that seem to… offer models--among them, Evergreen State and College Unbound--and our very own School for New Learning and DePaul. Here’s is an excerpt from David’s book prospectus.  


This book concerns the emergence of adult, non--‐traditional students as the new majority of American college--‐goers. Unlike most traditional undergraduates, they pursue their education within a complex ecology of family, community, work, and economic pressures; and they do so in an academy designed for traditional learners. On most campuses, they remain misunderstood and often ignored. Until recently, they have not counted, or even been counted, in national policy--‐making.


Precisely because of this marginality, non--‐traditional students lie at the heart of the current educational crisis. Digital technologies, financial--‐aid reform, hybrid models of liberal and practical education: none of these issues will further effective change if they do not also deal with the needs and aspirations of this new majority. And that means listening to non--‐traditional students themselves. My aim is to write a book that lifts up their experience; that explains their growth and persistent marginality in higher education; that scans current efforts to answer their needs; and that sketches key elements of practice and policy required to design great, engaged educational opportunities for them.


Please bring a brown bag lunch if you like.  

Coffee, tea and light snacks will be served.




Dr. David Scobey is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan. Prior to his affiliation with the University of Michigan, David served  as executive dean of what is now The New School for Public Engagement in 2010. He is a national leader in developing innovative methods to engage institutions of higher education with communities outside the academy. He was previously director of the Harward Center at Bates College in Maine, established to bring together community-based learning and research, co-curricular work, and environmental stewardship. He is the founder and former director of the University of Michigan’s Arts of Citizenship program, an initiative to integrate civic engagement and the liberal arts. He serves on the boards of Project Pericles, an organization that encourages universities to include civic engagement as an element of undergraduate education, and Bringing Theory to Practice, a project that links education as a public good with civic engagement and concern for the well-being of individual students. David’s scholarship explores politics, culture, and space in 19th-century America and New York City in particular. He taught for 16 years at the University of Michigan, where he earned tenure. He holds a PhD in American studies from Yale, where he also received his BA degree, and a diploma in social anthropology from Oxford, where he studied as Rhodes Scholar.


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