From “Fee-Paying Individuals” to “Students”

We deliberately distinguish between “fee-paying individuals” and “students.” The former refers to the market-model of education that has captured not only academic institutions (financially, structurally, etc.), but the expectations and identities of administrators, faculty, and students alike. In contrast, our High Demand x High Support courses explicitly foster the development of “student” identities and behaviors. “Students” are defined according to the following characteristics:

  • “Students” conceive of education as a dynamic process that requires active engagement among teachers and students;
  • “Students” have a high degree of tolerance for ambiguity, frustration, novelty, complexity and uncertainty;
  • “Students” exhibit a high-level of utilization of institutional resources;
  • “Students” engage in their education with the goal of intellectual and developmental transformation.

Building Collegiate Competencies

In the process of fostering “student” identities, our courses are designed to promote the development of collegiate competencies. In light of contemporary challenges in higher education, the following assumptions and provisions are made in all of our courses:

  • Individuals are not assumed to have “college-level competencies” upon entrance to higher education, but are expected to build those competencies throughout the duration of the course(s). This assumption is reflected in the grading criteria (see below);
  • Individuals are assumed to have different ‘learning styles’ upon entrance into college but are expected to acquire and develop additional learning competencies (‘resistance styles’ are not accommodated);
  • High levels of support are provided in the service of “student” transformation.