Towards a New Continuing Higher Education: Listening to the Subtle Signals of Change

  • Irene Karpiak The University of Oklahoma
  • Bill Kops The University of Manitoba


Change has been a prominent theme in adult and continuing education in recent years. Among the recommended responses for continuing higher education are rapid adjustment, adaption, and accountability to ensure our continuing survival as an institution. This paper suggests that there are other changes of a more subtle nature that need to be considered. By paying attention to these more subtle signals of change in our society and by considering their relationship to continuing education, we may reshape our thinking, recreate our organizations, and redefine the way we work, both inside and outside the university. Paying attention to the subtle signals does not mean giving up what we are doing or ignoring our present difficulties. Rather, it means that we find ways to respond to and incorporate these varied influences and messages into a broader "vision-logic" or wider integrated rationality. While the response may differ among CE units, what is important is that we begin to attend to the subtle signals that may be ushering in a personal and social transformation.
Forum / Tribune