Academic journal article Journal of Education for Library and Information Science

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere

Academic journal article Journal of Education for Library and Information Science

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere

Article excerpt

In The End of College, Carey (2015) presents the notion that new modes and cultures of learning couched in social justice will allow many people to, for the first time in their lives, attain higher learning. The author's insights are informed by over twenty-five years of artificial intelligence data. In what Carey refers to as the 'university of everywhere', the future of higher education will be unbridled from formal degree programs. Hints of what the edX movement at Harvard and MIT are doing to revolutionize higher education include public portfolios that present an individual's learning credentials in the new higher education economy. A professor of Education at John's Hopkins University, Carey has served as an education policy analyst at both the state and federal levels. Carey's views on the future of higher education will engage the LIS educator in thought about the future, if not ignite the impetus of radical change.

Keywords: Higher Education, Social Justice, MOOCS, LIS education, Online learning

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere, Carey, K. New York, Riverhead Books, 2015, 269 pages, Nook book $14.99, ISBN 978-101-63459-2.


In The End of College, Carey offers readers an engaging account of a proposed paradigm-shift in higher education. To set the stage for his thesis, he provides a brief history of the beginnings of higher education in Europe, and the subsequent establishment of the American university. The author then quickly enters into what we understand about higher education as it has been for the past half century. Carey chronicles what has evolved in the application of artificial intelligence to learning that unwittingly sets the stage for a new type of university; the university of everywhere. The content presents as if it were a biography of higher education woven with predictive views of the future informed by current trends in online education. Written in a style as equally provocative to higher education consumers as it is to higher education professionals, Carey voices what many may fear; driving change fueled by disruptive technologies. Those technologies are the toys and tools engaged by today's youth who are the post-secondary students of the near future.

Library and information science (LIS) scholars and educators, although not the first to offer courses online, were among the first in their respective institutions to offer graduate degree programs entirely online (Haigh, 2007). These pioneering actions offered new economic models to institutions of higher education impacted by the decline in the economy in the late twentieth century (Bush & Hunt, 2011; The Economist, 2012). Since then, only an elite few LIS scholars have delved into the world of Massive Open Online Classes (MOOCS) (Stephens & Jones, 2014). Meanwhile, the discipline has been caught up in an identity revolution, better known as the iSchool movement, battling for modernization (Bonnici et al., 2009). Typical of revolutions, entrenched library advocates have planted their heels pushing possible bifurcation of the profession. Meanwhile, the threat imposed by further economic pressures, declining enrollments, and new skills and knowledge have demanded our attention, perhaps stalling our interests in the future of higher education on a long-term scale. Carey's book, The End of College, will reintroduce, if not reinforce the importance of the mode and mechanism for educating the next generation of library and information professionals.

As the son of two academics, one a Ph.D. computer scientist at a large public university, and the other holding a doctorate in education, Carey was immersed in traditional academic life throughout his formal years of learning. With an undergraduate degree in political science and a master's degree in public administration, Carey has become one of the most renowned higher education experts in the country (Blue Engine, 2015). …

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