Goodbye, College as We Know It

Dr. Michelle R. Weise discusses why a college degree is not the only path to upward mobility. She’ll elaborate on the disruptive potential of online competency-based education (CBE) and why it’s not a passing fad. The context around higher education has shifted so dramatically and the cost of that college diploma is so high that there now have emerged compelling, new and alternative learning pathways and micro-credentials for a growing set of nontraditional students who desire on-demand access to critical education for our ever-evolving knowledge economy. She’ll explain why online competency-based providers in particular are best suited to create some of those powerful levers for social mobility. 


About Michelle Weise

Michelle Weise, Ph.D., helps institutions and their leaders navigate the dynamics of disruption across a rapidly changing academic terrain.

Weise, the newly appointed Executive Director of Sandbox Collaborative, the research and development arm of strategy and innovation at Southern New Hampshire University, specializes in disruptive innovation in higher education.  Her work informs policymakers, community leaders, academic administrators and innovators about how the theories of disruption clarify our understanding of the industry’s transformation. Weise’s seminal book – “Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution,” co-authored with Clayton Christensen – unveils the tectonic shifts to come, and discusses how online competency-based education will revolutionize the workforce and disrupt higher education.

Beyond competency-based learning, Weise’s research delves into student-learning outcomes, assessments, and public-private partnerships. Her voice has been featured in all major education publications, including the New England Journal of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, as well as top-tier business outlets, such as Harvard Business Review,The Economist, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and USA Today.

Previously, Weise was a Senior Research Fellow focusing on higher education at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, a non profit, non partisan think tank dedicated to improving the world through disruptive innovation, specifically through education and health care.  Prior to joining the Institute, Weise was vice president of Academic Affairs for Fidelis Education. She has also held instructional positions, serving as a professor at Skidmore College and an instructor at Stanford University. A former Fulbright Scholar, Weise is a graduate of Harvard University; she earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Stanford University.

Through a merging of the traditional “talk summary” and spoken word poetry, Dr. Jamila Lyiscott will present a concluding talk/performance that draws from African American oral art and hip-hop culture. The presentation/performance will address key themes, trends, and questions from Dr. Michelle Weise’s talk in ways that provoke and challenge while bringing underlying themes that are at the core of the discussion to the fore. This approach to academic work uses the voice as a tool not just for concretizing key themes, but also for presenting them in ways that highlight under-focused dimensions of the speaker’s talk.


About Jamila Lyiscott

Jamila Lyiscott is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) of Teachers College, Columbia University. She also serves as an educator, community organizer, consultant and motivational speaker locally and internationally. Jamila’s wok focuses on contexts where the cultures, literacies and literatures of young people of color are critically engaged and humanized for social change. Her scholarship is situated in Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, Literacy Studies, and Black Literature. Jamila is the founder and co director of the Cyphers For Justice (CFJ) youth, research, and advocacy program, apprenticing inner-city youth as critical researchers through hip-hop, spoken word, and digital literacy. She was recently featured on where her video was viewed over 3 million times, Along with several publications, she has lectured and directed educational justice projects widely. Through her community, scholastic, and artistic efforts, Jamila hopes to play a key role in forging better connections between the world of academia and communities of color outside.