Valuable Lessons Higher Ed Can Learn From Summer Camps [VIDEO]By Chris Brandt, UniversityHerald Reporter
Summer camps are fun because they provide a great alternative to learning something new during vacation. Despite the element of fun and the informal setting they provide, summer camps have a lot to teach higher education when it comes to dynamism, innovation, and the whole package.
Evolution is necessary to maintain relevance.
No matter how well-established an institution is, it needs to continually evolve in order to stay relevant. Summer camps constantly make changes in their programs to meet the changing demands of the market. In the same way, higher education needs to do so in order to adapt to the changing needs of the students as well as the demographics. For example, summer camps do not exclusively cater to little kids anymore but to adults as well.
Even the method of teaching should change because students are not content spending all their time sitting in lecture halls or in classrooms. Instead, there should be variations where the latest technology is optimized to keep students engaged.
Enhancing value propositions can attract more students.
Colleges and universities need to justify why their price is going up. However, justifying them alone for the sake of justification is not enough. Rather, they have to show why students should choose them over another. For example, summer camps used to provide fun for kids now, however, they are also avenues in developing skills that prepare kids for the future.
In the same way, universities should think of more unconventional ways to enhance their value. They could add boot camps or pop-up courses along with the usual offering.
The essence remains despite the changes in form.
Summer camps have significantly changed from what they were many decades ago. However, their essence remains the same throughout the years - help campers discover a new facet of their identity through various activities.
Conversely, higher education institutions might have different programs and activities in engaging students but their essence should remain the same - provide knowledge that will prepare students when they navigate the future.