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Chapter Nine: What Is Next? Futuristic Thinking For Community Colleges

Thomas R. Ramage
Published 2011 · Engineering, Sociology

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Today's society is marked by massive political, social, and scientific transformations on a daily basis. However, these transformations are rarely discussed in the context of what it means to be an educated person. Our efforts to forecast, even for periods as little as five or ten years out, have been predicated on the assumption that the current rate of progress will continue into the future. A brief analysis of data—at all scales and scopes, in different time scales, and for a wide variety of technologies ranging from the electronic to the biological—illustrates that our notion of static rates of change is incorrect: Change, progress, and advancement are all happening at an accelerating rate. This chapter provides a presidential perspective on these trends to suggest that students of tomorrow must be educated in very different ways our institutions must adapt to be ready.
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