Book details

College Disrupted

The Great Unbundling of Higher Education

Author: Ryan Craig

College Disrupted

College Disrupted


About This Book

There is a revolution happening in higher education—and this is how it's unfolding

Page Count
On Sale

Book Details

For nearly two decades, pundits have been predicting the demise of higher education in the United States. Our colleges and universities will soon find themselves competing for students with universities from around the world. With the advent of massive open online courses ("MOOCS") over the past two years, predictions that higher education will be the next industry to undergo "disruption" have become more frequent and fervent. Currently a university's reputation relies heavily on the "four Rs" in which the most elite schools thrive—rankings, research, real estate, and rah! (i.e. sports). But for the majority of students who are not attending these elite institutions, the "four Rs" offer poor value for the expense of a college education.

Craig sees the future of higher education in online degrees that unbundle course offerings to offer a true bottom line return for the majority of students in terms of graduation, employment, and wages. College Disrupted details the changes that American higher education will undergo, including the transformation from packaged courses and degrees to truly unbundled course offerings, along with those that it will not. Written by a professional at the only investment firm focused on the higher education market, College Disrupted takes a creative view of the forces roiling higher education and the likely outcome, including light-hearted, real-life anecdotes that illustrate the author's points.

Imprint Publisher

St. Martin's Press



In The News

“The rising cost of college tuition, increasing popularity of online courses, and disappointingly low graduation rates from some colleges are among the converging trends challenging the status quo for college education in the U.S...Craig...offers a more encouraging outlook, even in the face of upheaval.” —Booklist

“Savvy, sharp, and ultimately optimistic, Craig's book offers an ambitious blueprint that administrators would be wise to heed.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“…A lively analysis of the strengths and serious challenges facing higher education… Craig presents exciting ideas about how new pedagogy and individually paced adaptive learning will satisfy students” —Library Journal

College Disrupted provides a novel set of suggestions, a blueprint almost, on how college education for the 99%, the non-elites, can and must be transformed to provide a better education at a fraction of the cost. This book will surprise and inform. Its proposals are workable, leveraging technology in meaningful ways for the student, for the college and for employers. This book is an original and will challenge many of our beliefs. I highly recommend it.” —John Seely Brown, advisor to the provost at the University of Southern California and co-author of A New Culture of Learning – Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change

“With great clarity and a deft touch, College Disrupted tells the story of how college has become out of reach and out of touch with the needs of students. More important, it points the way to a reconfigured system of higher education which is both affordable and valuable as preparation for career and life.” —Mitch Kapor, co-chair of Kapor Center for Social Impact and founder of Lotus Development Corporation

“In College Disrupted, Ryan Craig offers the best and most clear-sighted analysis of the dramatic changes underway in higher education, a persuasive argument for how we might re-invent our industry, and does so with a balance of serious mindedness and entertaining readability rare in books of this kind. While many will find his roadmap forward daunting, my colleagues should all read this book and think hard about its implications for their institutions. This is the must-read book for 2015.” —Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University

“There's a revolution underway in what we now know as "higher education," and it's dramatically changing what people learn, where they learn it, and how they will use it in work and in life. The revolution is being televised, blogged, tweeted, and MOOC'ed in ways that we could never even have dreamed just a few years ago. In College Disrupted, Ryan Craig chronicles that revolution in a thoughtful and astonishingly clear way, bringing to focus a diverse set of ideas, strategies and concepts that are completely transforming college as we know it. Craig's insightful analysis comes together in a hopeful and practical set of ideas about how to fix what's broken and continue to ensure that Americans gain even greater value from college than ever before--for their benefit individually, and for the collective well-being of all Americans.” —Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO, Lumina Foundation

“American educational progress will continue to lag as long as the education reform conversation remains polarized. For American higher education to continue to lead the world, we must find ways to get traction for the sorely needed innovations that will improve accessibility, affordability and student outcomes for all Americans. In College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Education, Ryan Craig lays out a blueprint for action. His clarity of observation – which is simply stated – creates a compelling burning platform. You can't ignore his assessment; the case is too clear. The recognition of a need for change frequently spurs a bias for action. Efforts sputter when plans to galvanize that bias into measurable change are lacking. What distinguishes College Disrupted is Ryan's ability to skillfully lay out options and a way forward for higher education leaders and policy makers as they take the necessary actions to advance higher education in the United States.” —Sara Martinez Tucker, chief executive officer of the National Math and Science Initiative

“Colleges impact everyone and every part of American society, but their future is likely to look quite different from their past. In College Disrupted, Ryan Craig illuminates that future and why it matters in an entertaining read.” —Michael Horn, co-founder and executive director of Clayton Christensen Institute

About the Creators

College Disrupted

College Disrupted