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Summer 2022 - Volume 25, Issue 2

From the Editor

Greetings OJDLA readers,

Just last week, someone asked me how gas prices and inflation might affect the economic proposition of online learning. Certainly, economic trends are cyclical (what goes up, must come down), but are also a product of external factors far beyond simple fixes (Ukraine invasion, global pandemic). At the same time, institutions of higher education are facing new enrollment challenges.

Simply adding more online courses and programs isn't going to be the quick fix that it was even a decade ago as online education is mainstream and highly competitive. But there's certainly value to be gained for the student (adult learner or not) who is looking to trim costs by driving less and eating at home more.

The more successful institutions will be those that provide real choices for almost every pathway and integrate hybrid learning into nearly every course offering. There are, of course, other pressures to get students (and workers) onto campuses. Otherwise, the dorms, dining halls, and local businesses take a hit. Yet, the biggest mistake is to force students back into a 2005 world.

Ultimately, the answer is that we may be asking the wrong questions. We must fully acknowledge both economic and societal realities of both our past and present - and then design thoughtful, affordable, and meaningful pathways with an emphasis on both growing an educated citizenry and meeting our local and regional workforce needs.

Best wishes for a safe summer, Melanie

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.
OJDLA Editor-in-Chief

June 15, 2022