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The American Dream – “Offering Affordable Education For All”

Today Americans face a tough and increasingly complicated economy while business changes at a more rapid pace than ever before. Unemployment continues to rise, while the job market gets more and more competitive. Individuals are expected to possess a wide variety of skills and add to their knowledge base on a minute by minute basis. Corporate leaders and working professionals are expected to be jack of all trades and masters of many disciplines within their respective area. Needless to say, it is not easy to do business in the 21st century.

With that said, most of the information needed to succeed in this competitive environment is easily available anywhere, anytime thanks to the internet. The proliferation of the internet and mobile technologies has revolutionized the modern world of business, science, education and related fields as we know it, and internet and technology-based education is becoming a de facto standard in both public and private education systems.

Unfortunately, with a hyperactive economy and business structure comes the skyrocketing costs associated with obtaining an education in America. On average, the cost of obtaining a higher education degree has almost doubled during the last 10-15 years. Student debts have surpassed credit card debts, and are currently estimated to amount to approximately $830 billion.
Analysts predict that in the next 15 years the world will educate over 250,000,000 students. America and Europe are expected to grow 65-75% on average where as China and India are expected to grow approximately 450-550%. This need for education in the coming years shows the need for rapid growth in quality and affordable education, that will be in high demand worldwide even more so than it already is today.

Understanding the current market conditions and predicting the future of education, the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), a Washington-based education accrediting agency, took initiatives to create and publish a public service announcement called ‟Think About It" during their fall workshop. Meant to guide the student community, the video PSA was well received during the conference and quickly spread across the internet. Highly successful in explaining the need for affordable higher education, and ways of achieving that goal in the coming years, this video was published and featured in esteemed online media outlets ranging from Forbes to Yahoo, CNBC and more. So far over 10,000 individuals have come in contact with this information, thus proving the impact and need for a plan and direction to provide affordable education worldwide.
Spreading information about the possibilities of education attainment, the DETC continues to pioneer affordable online education. DETC institutions have enrolled and helped an estimated 140 million students worldwide since the founding of the first DETC school in 1890, and today DETC schools teach over 2.5 million students annually. Their mission is to continue to fulfill the American dream by providing opportunities for aspiring students everywhere. Setting a global standard for online education it is the hopes of myself, and many other educators and members of the industry, that ‟Think About It" is just the first of many successful attempts at making higher education a possibility for all.

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