Gregory Washington on the pace of developing curricula

Thought leaders share ideas with WorkingNation Overheard at SXSW EDU 2023

Undergraduate college enrollment was down 8% from 2019 to 2022, partially because young people are questioning the value of college, according to Gregory Washington, president, George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

“People are now questioning whether it’s worth it to even get a college degree. There are issues of cost at some institutions. And there are a host of issues relative to relevancy – are people being educated for the jobs of today, let alone the jobs of the future?”

WorkingNation sat down with Washington at SXSW EDU 2023 in Austin.

“The speed of change in our society is much faster than academic programming and academic curricula can keep up,” says Washington. “When we develop academic curricula at a university, we’re developing those curricula over a few years. And that curricula are usually set to last five, 10, maybe even 15 years or longer.”

“There is a mismatch between the speed of need and the ability of universities to develop curriculum fast enough.”

Washington says there are not necessarily silver bullet solutions but notes there are ‘buckshot’ solutions – including creating significantly more internships.

Learn more about George Mason University.