Creating a Lifelong Learning Marketplace

Mitchell Stevens is Associate Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Organizational Behavior and Sociology at Stanford. He studies the organization of US higher education, the quantification of academic performance, and alternative school forms. The author of prize-winning studies of home education and selective college admissions, he currently is writing a book about how US research universities organize research and teaching about the rest of the world. He serves as the third Director of the Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research, a cooperative institution that has brought more than 500 scholars to Stanford over a quarter century and catalyzes organizational scholarship worldwide. In this talk, Mitchell discusses…

1. Going forward, essentially all people need to plan on obtaining educational credentials over a long span of the life course.
2. Many of these credentials have yet to be invented.
3. The market for credentials that are not conventional college degrees is highly anarchic, creating high risk for credential providers, employers and — especially — consumers.
4. We need to develop a lifelong learning marketplace the better distributes risk and information about credential substance, value, and interoperability.
5. California is an ideal laboratory for building this marketplace.