I feel like I've been given a unique gift.
I've worked in the higher ed technology space (what I'll refer to as simply "edtech") for a while now and it has given me an insight that was completely foreign to me before. While my experience may be different and m company unlike others in the space, I feel there are some important considerations that I've garnered. This goes both ways; traditional higher ed folks need to be open to our insights and we in edtech should be welcoming the insights from campus based professionals. There is at worst this stigma against non campus based professionals and at best just a shroud of mystery. I hope I can shine a light on what the work looks like and how we can all best work together.
We Are Your Partners
Something we talk about a lot at my company is how the relationships we have with the universities we work with are true partnerships. We're each putting an investment on the table, and we share in the successes (and failures). It's more than just a transaction. We want to help campuses reach their full potential. When our partners and their students win, we win. There is no point in trying to leverage something where we are the only ones benefitting from the relationship. This is what a edtech partnership should be, if it isn't, you might want to reevaluate things.
We Have the Same Goals
Furthering my first point, we want to help institutions reach their full potential. We do that by equipping them with the best tools to augment the work they do best. We don't want to replace institutions. We don't think we're better than them. It is a true partnership in that sense. I feel as though there can be this adversarial point of view some people have in higher ed, but again, I think this is tarnished by bad partnerships in the past. We're at a point now that we know how important fostering shared goals are between edtech companies and campuses.
We Can Learn From Each Other
This is one of my biggest recent takeaways from this latest journey of mine. Not enough of us are aware of or seriously consider higher ed adjacent roles off campus. We can all greatly benefit like I have from this sort of experience but these organizations can benefit as well. We bring something valuable to the table that these companies at times don't know they're missing. They often see themselves as a business first and a higher ed organization second. We can bring in a student focus and developmental theories that can help improve the student experience. I've also learned a lot more about the academic side of the house as well as the business of higher ed (which is a component even if it isn't talked about a lot).
These were just some random thoughts I've been having the past several months that I thought I'd share. We're all on the same team and part of the same ecosystem of higher ed. We should try to work better together to help achieve great student outcomes. You never know, your next career opportunity might be something you didn't even know existed before.