Ending the Blame Game of Higher Ed: Cheryl Oldham of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Shares How Communities Can Come Together to Make Higher Ed More Valuable

Over the past 10–20 years, higher education has seen quite the transformation.

Now, as digital takes over and the need for 4-year-degrees is being called into question, many are starting to ask: What does the future of higher education look like?

Cheryl Oldham, Senior Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, counters those questions with a popular conversation that is rising across the country: what is the value of higher education?

“Why did we go get a higher education?” asks Oldham. “Are we prepared for success beyond that degree?”

Formerly, Oldham acted as Assistant Secretary of Higher Education in the George W. Bush Administration. She notes that even since that time, much has changed when looking at higher education, particularly when it comes to affordability.

“There’s just that issue of affordability, certainly, is still one that I think that we struggle with and will continue to struggle with,” she says. “Just talking about debt without talking about the quality, or the value of things that you’ve bought, that has put you in debt, is not as useful.”

Oldham hopes that the “blame game” around higher education will come to a close, once communities start working together.

“We need to have the business community there, and the business community and K through 12, actually, represented on that commission. And we need to all come together and acknowledge there’s no value in just pointing the finger at each other in this sort of circular blame game,” says Oldham.

Listen in to our interview with Cheryl Oldham to learn more about the conflicts around higher education today, how the sector is constantly changing, and what you could possibly expect to see in the future.

This podcast episode is brought to you by work+EDU, an action-based event hosted by EdTech Times.

Join us in Boston June 20, 2018 to hear how educators and employers from the fastest growing industries are successfully bridging the gap between education and work. Together with speakers and attendees, you’ll brainstorm solutions for your own community.

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Mariel Cariker

Mariel Cariker

Mariel is a Boston-based freelance writer and audio producer who has covered news, technology and innovation for public media groups including WBUR and WGBH. Outside of work, she performs and writes spoken word poetry and voraciously reads true crime novels.