“We’re Not Phoenix” Prestige, MOOCs, Etc.

I’ll pass on superfluous commentary ~ this post speaks for itself. Indeed, the whole blog does. I’ll echo another commenter: hey there higher ed fretters and ed tech/reform wonks, start paying attention.


In a recent talk at UC-Irvine I mentioned that MOOC purveyors had learned lessons from the trajectory of for-profit higher education. I made a passing mention to 2tor CEO saying they would not have to build prestige; they’d borrow it instead. I thought this quote also sums up that point nicely:

“We’re not Phoenix,” insists 2tor CEO Chip Paucek, dissing the massive for-profit online education player. “Online education has been dominated by the for-profits, but nothing is even close to this in terms of quality. We’re doing this at the highest possible level.”

“We’re not Phoenix” is a not so subtle move to distinguish itself not from the mode of delivery or even the organizational motive (profit) but from the lack of prestige of for-profits. I’ve talked here about the prestige hierarchy that orders higher education from high to low. I’ve also talked about how much resentment exists among…

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