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EU – US ATLANTIS PROGRAMME Short-Cycle Higher Education in Europe and the United States: Addressing Social and Economic Needs ATLANTIS PROJECT PRESENTATION. June 15-16, 2009 1 st International Conference: Recognition and Quality Assurance of Short-Cycle Higher Education
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Short-Cycle Higher Education
in Europe and the United States:
Addressing Social and Economic Needs
ATLANTIS PROJECT PRESENTATION
June 15-16, 2009
1st International Conference: Recognition and Quality Assurance of Short-Cycle Higher Education
Golden Sands, Bulgaria
The Project – an Opportunity to Collaborate in a Transatlantic Consortium of 4 Institutions:
University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA
Owens Community College, Toledo, Ohio, USA
International University College, Dobrich, Bulgaria
LEIDO, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Two critical factors made our partnership possible:
EU-US Cooperation in Higher Education and Vocational Training
Result of an agreement on higher education and vocational training between the European Union and the United States of America signed in June 2006 for the period 2006-2013. The program is designed and funded jointly by the European Commission and by the US Department of Education.
It aims at promoting understanding between the peoples of the European Union and the United States of America and improving the quality of their human resource development.
OECD’s definition of SCHE: - “…a level or stage of studies beyond secondary education which can lead to a qualification recognized on the labor market” (Kirsch et al., 2003)
To respond to increasing demand for higher education;
To contribute toward greater equality of educational opportunity;
To respond to the growing need for a diversified range of qualified manpower;
To generate and facilitate innovational practices not often accepted by universities;
To decentralize and regionalize higher education.
The European Qualifications Framework, adopted by the European Parliament and Council on April 23, 2008, placed SCHE at Level 5 (as programs that can be offered WITHIN the first level of higher education (bachelor’s).
Each of the project partners identified a critical issue related to SCHE to focus on:
To stimulate discussions and exchange of best practices and experience in these three critical policy areas concerning SCHE
To provide a forum for international exchange of ideas and best practices through the organization of three international conferences in those critical policy areas:
Recognition and Accreditation of Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs in Europe and the US
2nd International Conference: October 15-16, 2009 – Toledo, USA
Educational Partnerships for Economic and Community Development: Emerging Trends from the US and Europe
3rd International Conference: June, 2010–Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The Contribution of SCHE to Life-Long and Life-Wide Learning Systems
To lay the grounds of a feasibility study on transatlantic collaboration in the development of dual/joint SCHE degrees in business and tourism and hospitality management amongst participating institutions.
2-year Associate’s degree – the first post-secondary degree
Most common abbreviations:
AA – Associate of Arts
AS – Associate of Sciences
AAS – Associate of Applied Sciences
Short-cycle certificates and licenses
Community Colleges - a Major Player in Short-Cycle Higher Education in the United States
Factors underlining the growing importance of community colleges in powering state and national knowledge-based economy and society:
Rising tuition and constrained financial support threaten college affordability for majority of the population
Tuition and Fees (The College Board, 2008)
Well-developed network: 1,202 public community colleges
President Obama’s administration embraced the ambition to renew America\'s status as the world leader in college attainment.
His request to every American:
“to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship… But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma” (President’s speech to the February 25th Joint Session of Congress)
The New Associate’s Degree
Replacing the “Specialist in…” (ISCED 5B) Degree with a Professional Bachelor (ISCED 5B)
ISCED Level 5A: Tertiary programs “that are largely theoretically based” and provide “sufficient qualifications” for moving on to “advanced research programs” and professions “with high skills requirements.” These programs are a minimum of three years of “full-time equivalent duration,” and assume the completion of secondary education. Master’s degree programs are included here along with Bachelor’s.
ISCED Level 5B: Shorter Tertiary programs than those covered in 5A, and that “focus on occupationally specific skills geared for entry into the labor market, although some theoretical foundations may be covered.” Level 5B programs are of two to three years duration, and do not provide access to advanced research.
ISCED-1997: Learning Pathways
Post secondary, non tertiary education
Practical/technical/occupationally specific programmes, 2 to 3 years long, focus on the labor market
Vocational Colleges, 2 years, Class IV Professional Qualification
Colleges, 3 years, Professional Bachelor
A study (Slantcheva et al.) commissioned by the Ministry of Education in 2005 studied the college sector and documented a number of challenges:
Survey of 454 college graduates (2005)
Currently, the following degrees and colleges have accreditation (Ministry of Education and Science):