Global December 2023 PREMIUM

As the year draws to a close, we can take a step back and look at the topics presented to readers in each issue. 

Taken as a whole, they form a complete picture of the interconnected themes that have been particularly salient for higher education, and of their impact on the Latino community. We can clearly see the dynamism of this community, like waves that rise and fall but continue gaining momentum each year. Latinos value education and have been using it to propel their advancement, despite setbacks and persisting challenges presented in the first part of this review.

The second part discusses how higher education has been a transformative force for Latinos, thanks to a variety of specific institutions, programs and initiatives highlighted over the year that support their success. These initiatives provide assistance at each stage of the higher education pipeline – from high school to graduate studies and employment – with proven results in terms of increased access, retention, and ultimately, social mobility.  Effective higher education leaders have also defined comprehensive plans and goals for their institutions that highlight diversity, equity and inclusion, and that put innovative measures in place to support student advancement.

In the third part of this review, we discuss the debates presented in a variety of this year’s articles over how the broader social, economic and technological context is redefining the deeper purposes and functions of higher education. 

A Dynamic Community: Advances And Persisting Challenges For Latinos

This year’s articles provide many examples of how the Latino community has advanced in terms of education and social mobility, although there are still notable gaps and challenges that need to be addressed. 

In 2021, there were 62.1 million Hispanics in the U.S., representing 18.7% of the population. The current Latino population is young: the majority of adults are between 25 and 34, and the proportion of Latino children is growing at a rapid rate. Mellander presents encouraging statistics on improvements in Latino educational attainment over the past 15 years: while in 2005, only one-third of Hispanics aged 25-34 had some college education, by 2021, more than half of them did. Likewise, the number of Hispanics obtaining a Bachelor’s degree rose 145% over this period. There are differences between groups, with South Americans and Cubans having higher levels of Bachelor’s degree attainment than all others; nonetheless, all groups have seen progress, with Mexicans experiencing the largest jump in college enrollment over the past 15 years.1

These advances in educational levels have resulted in greater social mobility and rapidly changing income levels. Indeed, reports cited by Mellander indicate that Latino income has grown 2.5 times faster than that of non-Latinos over the past decade. Surprisingly, even during the pandemic and despite being one of the hardest-hit populations in terms of health, Latino real wages increased, perhaps because of their hard work in essential services. On the other end of the spectrum, Latino affluence has also increased, with one in five affluent members of Generation Z being Hispanic. According to the 2023 US Latino GDP Report, “if Latinos living in the United States were an independent country, the U.S. Latino GDP would be the fifth largest GDP in the world”; they are producers and consumers who are essential to the U.S. economy and an increasingly dynamic economic force.2 

Despite these advances, the pandemic has had an impact on Latino college enrollment; retention and completion are also challenging, given that Latinos often abandon their studies due to family responsibilities or the need to work and are less likely to return to college again. In addition, Calderon cites a Pew Research Center survey that found “Hispanic adults (52%) were more likely than those who are White (39%) or Black (41%) to say a major reason they didn’t graduate from a four-year college is that they couldn’t afford it.” The survey also found that Hispanics are less likely to take on debt to pay for college.3

Latinos are under-represented in several key areas and higher studies: they only hold 8% of science and math jobs, for example. Regarding graduate studies, H.O.’s Spotlight on Doctoral Degrees shows that the percentage of U.S. doctoral degrees awarded to Hispanics/Latinos has nearly doubled over the past 20 years; however, this proportion still remains small, indicating persisting under-representation. This gap is then reflected among professors: according to 2020 figures, only 3% of all postsecondary faculty positions are filled by Hispanic men, and 3% by Hispanic women.4 

In addition to these educational gaps, several social issues are touched upon in this year’s articles. Mellander discusses one key challenge that affects the Latino community but which is hardly mentioned: the existence of child labor – the exploitation of recent immigrant minors, particularly those who arrive unaccompanied or live with distant relatives – which involves children in dangerous jobs for low wages and robs them of education opportunities.5

Another salient issue is that of Latina women in the workforce: although Latinas outperform Latinos at every level of education and also earn more college degrees, they are still under-represented in key fields and earn only 55% of a man’s salary, as reported by Mellander.6 This pay gap translates to around $28,900 less earnings per year for Latina women than for White men, according to DiMaria, who also expresses concern over the impact of the pandemic on women, who were the most likely to lose or leave their jobs. Today, Latinas tend to work in non-unionized, low-paying service sector jobs without benefits.7 

Higher Education as a Transformative Force for Latinos

To address the persistent challenges and educational gaps faced by the Latino community, a plethora of programs are available that provide support to Hispanic/Latino students throughout their higher education journey, from entry to completion and beyond – connecting them with employment opportunities and boosting their representation in academic positions.

Broadening access: community outreach, pre-college programs and financial aid

Broadening access to college is the first essential step that can allow the transformative journey of higher education to begin, and many of the institutions profiled in H.O.’s pages make increased Latino enrollment a top priority – particularly those that are seeking HSI status or are emerging HSIs that see a need for greater inclusion, given the growth of Latinos in their communities. 

A key example of success in this regard is Utah Valley University, which recognized a shift in local demographics and instituted a Latino Initiative in 2007 to boost access, resulting in a 398% growth in Latino enrollment. This initiative has included a Latino Scientists of Tomorrow Summer Bridge Program, providing high school students access to college-level courses in STEM fields. It is being replicated at six universities nationwide, with sponsorship by HACU and the Dominion Energy Foundation.8

Another encouraging initiative to increase college access is UPchieve, which provides free online tutoring and college counseling to low-income high school students. Founded by Aly Murray, daughter of a Cuban-origin single mother who faced hurdles herself as a student, UPchieve is backed by major funders such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and has helped over 30,000 public high school students.9 A similar initiative, the non-profit IOScholarships, helps under-represented students obtain scholarships and grants in STEM areas by connecting private foundations and corporations that offer aid directly to minority students. IOScholarships operates primarily online and has helped around 11,000 students obtain STEM scholarships.10

Since 1995, Arizona State University’s Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute has offered a free residential summer program to diverse high school juniors and seniors, who receive assistance from advisors on the college application process and other aspects of personal and academic development. The institute has empowered more than 1,400 participants. 11

Boosting retention and completion: holistic support services, mentoring, inclusion and belonging

The University of North Texas, an HSI, has taken a series of steps to create an inclusive campus community that consciously focuses on boosting support for Latinos by forming a staff-led Latino Advisory Committee and a Latino Alumni Network.12 DeVry University also focuses on retention measures, particularly boosting a sense of belonging and providing holistic support. Its NextGen Hispanic Scholars Program has provided financial aid, community resources and mentorship to over 1,000 scholars since 2022.13 Monterey Peninsula College highlights its holistic health services, which include medical and psychological care in both English and Spanish, and which support undocumented students.14

Other institutions that have made notable efforts to support equity and inclusion through comprehensive retention measures include Nashua Community College,15 which has focused on ELL courses and community outreach to improve Latino success rates; Moraine Valley Community College,16 which is providing wraparound services and a Latino Mentoring Program; Farleigh Dickinson’s Latino Promise and HACER programs;17 and Cal Poly Humboldt, an HSI with eight initiatives to increase Latinos’ sense of belonging.18

Facilitating career pathways: links to internships, study abroad, employment and innovative fields

Many of the institutions highlighted in our pages have made substantial efforts to provide their students with courses of study that lead directly to workforce credentials that are in demand, ensuring a seamless pathway to employment, a key concern for under-represented and low-income students. 

Del Mar College, a Texas HSI, is a leading example of conscious alignment with local and state employment needs, partnering with local businesses and organizations to provide “stackable” credentials that can be earned by continuing education students, a Workforce Development Center for the entire county, and state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure. 19 

 El Paso Community College, which serves a large proportion of first-generation college learners, also prides itself on “amplifying education for a strong workforce and bolstering our region’s economy,” in the words of its president.20 Another example of successful articulation with local economic development and job creation is Central New Mexico Community College’s Ingenuity Program, which includes training in key fields, using state of the art equipment and boot camps to support innovation and entrepreneurship.21

Several of the institutions highlighted in our pages have focused on supporting innovative fields of study that will lead to careers in key sectors. Concerning boosting STEM preparedness among Latino students, the Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions (CAHSI) – which encompasses 80 institutions - has dedicated itself to increasing the number of Latinos in computing fields and building their knowledge and skills in critical areas, such as AI and cybersecurity, through peer mentoring, scholars programs and other initiatives.22

The University of Arizona’s Environmental Science Program also makes use of HSI grants and offers community-based research on the Mexican border, which empowers both students and local Latino communities.23 Another program that empowers Latino students and their communities is the Latinx Leadership Initiative at Boston College’s School of Social Work, which trains graduate-level social workers to work with Latinx communities to develop solutions for complex social issues.24

Study abroad opportunities are another key area that boosts students’ skills, employability, and overall personal development, and where Latinos are still under-represented. Emmet Campos, Director of Project MALES at UT Austin, which focuses on mentoring Latino men, describes how his institution has made efforts to include Latinos in study abroad programs, particularly through the extension of Project MALES to a course in Mexico named Latinx Identities Across the Americas.25 Likewise, Keiser University in Florida, with a large number of Latino students, offers them the opportunity to study in its San Marcos campus in Nicaragua, which also serves the local population and has courses in English to promote bilingualism. 26

Supporting higher studies and leadership: programs for graduate students, faculty and administrators

Given the under-representation of Latino students in graduate programs, several initiatives have been highlighted to remedy this. CUNY´s Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies has made concerted efforts to make doctoral programs more accessible to Latino students by providing scholarships and research grants for pre-dissertation scholars. The Center’s ultimate aim is to increase Latino representation among university professors.27

A major initiative to increase support for Latino doctoral students and faculty has been formed in recent years, involving a consortium of 20 high-level research HSIs across the country. The Crossing Latinidades Humanities Research Institute, housed at the University of Illinois-Chicago, has been given a Mellon Foundation grant to strengthen networks of support across these 20 institutions, to encourage the hiring of Latino faculty, and to support national cohorts of Latino doctoral students in humanities programs, through summer institutes and research groups, among other measures.28

Another key effort to increase Latino representation in higher education leadership positions is the SUNY system’s Hispanic Leadership Institute, which provides faculty with opportunities to work with mentors and expand their professional networks.29 In STEM, the University of California Santa Barbara has joined the National Science Foundation’s IChange Network to improve recruitment and retention of under-represented faculty.30 

An innovative effort that reaches beyond academia to actively empower Latino entrepreneurs is the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN) and the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI). Both collaborate to conduct research, provide mentorship, and strengthen networking opportunities to unlock the potential of entrepreneurs.31

Preparing scholars of Latin American language and culture

This year, H.O. has profiled several institutions dedicated to producing experts in Latino and Latin American Studies, and serving as centers for disseminating knowledge about Hispanic/Latino culture and language to the broader community. One of the oldest of these is Cornell’s Latina/o Studies Program, which originated as a result of minority student activism in the 1960s and is the first of its kind at an Ivy League institution. The program now offers interdisciplinary studies and a graduate minor in Latine studies.32 

The NYU Department of Spanish and Portuguese has a trajectory spanning nearly 200 years, and is known for its robust language programs. It also adopts a broad Inter-American and trans-Atlantic approach to encompass a variety of historical, linguistic and literary traditions, and has several study abroad sites.33 Likewise, the Instituto Cervantes, the most longstanding and prestigious reference institution for the Spanish-speaking world, has a New York branch that contributes to the city’s diverse landscape through comprehensive Spanish courses and a variety of cultural events that celebrate the rich diversity of Hispanic cultures.34 

Finally, the Dominican Studies Institute has filled a gap by conducting in-depth research on the Dominican community and offering fellowships and grants to preserve Dominican heritage and support students.35

Higher education leaders: putting underserved students and innovative programs on the agenda 

Effective leadership has also contributed to students’ success. This year, Hispanic Outlook highlighted the trajectory, vision and work of 22 college and university leaders, both Latino and from other backgrounds, whose lives have been transformed by higher education and who are now paying this forward to the community. These leaders have dedicated themselves to broadening access to underserved communities and emphasizing diversity and inclusion. The institutions they lead emphasize equity measures such as full tuition coverage for low-income students, support services specifically for first-generation and immigrant students, bilingual services, and smoother transfers between high school, college and further studies. 

They are also formulating innovative strategic plans for their institutions, steering them towards greater alignment with concrete economic and social needs. These plans include partnerships with key industries; a focus on finding solutions to environmental and health issues; and a commitment to expanding infrastructure and technology to support cutting-edge fields of study.

The January issue highlights the leadership of José Luis Cruz Rivera, president of Northern Arizona University;36 the February issue profiles Dr. Hubert Benitez, president of American International College,37 Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz, president of St. Francis College,38 and Dr. Luis Dorado, president of Harbor College.39 Dr. Larry D. Johnson Jr., president of Guttman Community College-CUNY, also provides an inspiring view on the essential elements of good leadership.40

The March issue includes the inspiring trajectories of two powerful Latina university presidents – Irma Becerra of Marymount University and Vanya Quiñones of CSUMB.41 April presents profiles of President Ricardo Solis at South Texas College42 and President Pedro Avila at Gavilan College.43 May highlights the efforts of President Ángel Cabrera to keep Georgia Tech at the cutting edge of innovation.44

June presents San Diego State President Adela de la Torre,45 and Mt San Antonio College’s Dr. William T. Scroggins.46 July presents the pioneering trajectory of Dr. Antonia Novello, who became the first woman and first Latina U.S. Surgeon General,47 as well as CSUB’s Lynette Zelezny48 and Tarrant County College Chancellor Elva LeBlanc.49

In August, there are profiles of AASCU President Mildred Garcia,50 just appointed Chancellor of the CSU system, and Dr. Susana Rivera-Mills, President of Aurora University;51 these are followed by the inspirational advice of Abel Chavez, president of Our Lady of the Lake University,52  and Tina M. King, president of San Diego College of Continuing Education, in September.53 

Finally, October brings readers the voices of Dr. Brenda Thames, president of El Camino Community College54 and Madeline Pumariaga, president of Miami Dade College,55 and the November presents a profile of Cerritos College President Jose Fierro.56

Facing New Challenges: Redefining the Purposes and Functions of Higher Education 

Over the past few years, the higher education sector has had to adjust to a new economic and social context, marked by recovery from the pandemic, economic downturns, increasing demographic diversity and revolutionary new technologies, among other factors. This year, our articles have addressed many of the debates generated by these new challenges, which will redefine the functions and priorities of higher education as it attempts to contribute to the progress of Latinos and our shared future as Americans. 

Colleges and universities are facing fundamental shifts, from how they are chosen and accessed to the degrees they offer; from their attempts to broaden diversity and inclusion to their ability to foster critical thinking within their classrooms, and the uses they make of new technologies.

Reframing the parameters for choosing college: debates over higher education rankings

One of the key ways students have traditionally begun their search for a ‘good’ college is by consulting national rankings, the most well-known of which are the U.S. News College Rankings. Critics argue that the structure of these rankings rewards wealth and privilege rather than actual quality or diversity; thus, prestigious, top-ranked institutions like Harvard and Yale are withdrawing from the list to dissociate themselves from this image and have the freedom to market themselves differently, according to reporting by Margaret Orchowski.57 

There is a deeper problem with college rankings, according to Angel Perez, CEO of the National Association for College Admission Counselling (NACAC)– they don’t help students answer the questions they should be asking about which college is a good fit for them, meeting their personal career priorities. Students’ and families’ priorities are shifting – they don’t care as much about the prestige of the institution as they do about whether they will be getting good value and employability in return for their investment, and whether they will feel included in an environment that embraces diversity and has flexible options. Perez offers solid advice for students on alternative ways to choose a college, which can be found on our pages in both English and Spanish.58 

Rethinking equitable access to higher education: admissions policies and affirmative action

This year, a decision by the Supreme Court struck down ‘affirmative action’ – the capacity of higher education institutions to include race or ethnicity as part of their admissions policies – as unconstitutional. Proponents of affirmative action argue that it has fostered more equitable access to college among under-represented groups and resulted in greater ethnic diversity. Critics, however, believe that increasing diversity is a vague goal and that affirmative action measures did little to include students from lower socio-economic groups or improve the social mobility of minority groups, as discussed by Orchowski.59

One of the consequences of the end of affirmative action has been mobilization across the political spectrum to also end “legacy admissions” – preferential treatment for the children of an institution’s alumni, as well as for children of powerful donors, professors, and even athletes. Orchowski reports that Senate Committees are currently reviewing a couple of bills that propose prohibiting legacy admissions at any institution that participates in federal student aid programs.60

Indeed, a book review on Ivy League schools delves into the issue of legacy admissions as well as the broader, entrenched classism which hinders the advancement of under-represented students. Evan Mandary, author of Poison Ivy, How Elite Colleges Divide Us, argues that “elite colleges are very minor players in terms of the amount of upward mobility they produce […] their core business is keeping rich kids rich.” They spend exorbitant amounts on the students they admit – who are already privileged enough to have come from elite schools, paid for exclusive SAT preparation, or belong to legacy categories – rather than spending some of that money to admit and support bright, low-income students.61

Expanding the function of colleges: new degree structures and career pathways 

These changing priorities regarding the value and accessibility of higher education are spurring structural changes in colleges across the nation, one of the most notable of which is the rapid expansion of community college baccalaureate programs (CCBPs). Community colleges have always been vital pathways to social mobility for students who need low-cost, accessible, flexible programs of study – particularly underserved groups. In recent years, there has been a growing demand for these kinds of programs among all demographic sectors, especially after the pandemic; local companies also need employees with technical skills in very specific areas. In response, community colleges have adapted by offering bachelor’s degrees in a variety of fields; these changes have been regulated by a growing number of state education authorities. 

Thus, the traditional definition of community colleges has changed from being synonymous with 2-year, associate degree-granting institutions to encompassing institutions that offer both 2- and 4-year programs, but with the flexibility and technical orientation that distinguishes them from 4-year schools. Hispanic Outlook has kept abreast of these changes by modifying the annual presentation of Top 50 Community Colleges for Hispanics to include separate lists for 2-year and 4-year colleges, based on the highest degrees granted (Associate or Bachelors).62

In addition, we have taken a deeper look at the growth of CCBPs in specific areas of study, beginning with the medical field63  and continuing with programs in education;64 both these articles include specific data on CCBPs offered by Hispanic Serving Institutions. 

Making careers in the medical field more accessible is increasingly important, given the need for more practitioners in the post-pandemic scenario and the poorer health conditions of minority communities. Norma Poll-Hunter emphasizes the need to increase the representation of Latina/o physicians in health care to address disparities, improve access to care, and enhance health outcomes for the Latina/o community and other underrepresented populations.65 

Regarding the field of education, an article by Chabarria, Audrain and Ferin underscores the importance of community college teacher education programs, which support the goal of increasing Latino representation among educators. This, in turn, results in more culturally responsive teaching for an increasing number of Latino and bilingual students.66

Redefining diversity, equity and inclusion to encompass systemic factors, a sense of belonging and cultural pride

Most of the programs and initiatives mentioned in previous sections of this review stem from fundamental concerns regarding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), including concrete measures to support DEI goals. Several of this year’s articles, however, discuss the deeper changes that need to be made to redefine DEI in terms of more complex, interconnected factors. Then there can be broader commitments to systemic change rather than piecemeal solutions. 

For example, Monique Posadas explains Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) Ecological Model, whereby students’ success depends on several systemic layers ranging from their personal life to their educational institution, and finally to their sociocultural context. She argues that if we understand the situation of underserved students within “a web of care and collaborations, then we can create a healthy and robust educational ecosystem that helps students to feel like they belong.” A sense of belonging – defined as feeling understood and appreciated as an integral part of a community or institution - has been shown to improve student retention and other measures of success in college.67

Likewise, Santiago Rivera and Arredondo recommend that emerging HSIs should not only focus on the traditional DEI measures of readiness for HSI status – increasing Latino student enrollment and retention – but also on more profound assessments of inclusion and belonging through school climate surveys. This will prepare them to be truly “Hispanic-serving” and not only “Hispanic-receiving” institutions.68 

To promote a strong sense of belonging, several authors emphasize that higher education institutions need to shift from a mindset that continues to minimize the cultural backgrounds of minority ethnic groups to one that actively values it. This requires fostering cultural pride as a basis for acquiring and strengthening social capital (defined as the knowledge and networks required to succeed in a higher education setting) rather than as a parallel – or worse, irrelevant or detrimental – aspect of students’ development.

Del Risco provides a clear example on how cultural heritage can be brushed aside at a broad systemic level when he discusses how Spanish has been considered a “minority” language in the U.S., a kind of remnant of immigrants’ identity, rather than giving it its rightful place as an integral part of American history and as a key resource that makes the U.S., in fact, a bilingual nation.69 

Rosalinda Godinez emphasizes how essential it is for colleges and universities to nurture students’ cultural pride to create inclusive environments where they can face challenges confidently, thrive academically and ultimately become mentors and leaders for others. In her words, “empowerment goes hand-in-hand with embracing cultural heritage and using it as a catalyst for change.”70 

Examining the role of higher education in fostering critical thinking, democratic dialogue and civic consciousness

Supporting students’ sense of belonging by fostering cultural pride should, ideally, not be antithetical to helping them attain a vision of their place within a broader community; on the contrary, the point of feeling confident about their roots is to help them spread their wings in the world. Thus, together with fostering respect for diversity and different perspectives, universities have historically been charged with the responsibility of forming citizens who can see themselves as part of a broader whole, a “universal” human condition, and are able to engage in critical dialogue on issues that affect us all. 

Recently, however, there has been a worrying erosion of these fundamental purposes of higher education due to the rise of “identity politics” and “culture wars” that needlessly pit these two aims – respect for diversity and a sense of universality – against each other, resulting in retreat into narrow ethnic and ideological camps, negative cycles of victimization and blame, censorship, and a general breakdown of democratic dialogue, from all sides of the ideological spectrum. Several of this year’s articles give us food for thought on these issues.

Del Risco explains the history of universities as a process of secularization and universalism that left behind the particularism of local religious education; in this context, he interprets the current fragmentation into particular, righteous identities as a return to Medieval Christian beliefs.71 

He also points out the difficulties this fragmentation poses for teaching and learning: when can identity-based positions go too far, resulting in subjective revisionism of history based on one narrative of victimization rather than in a balanced discussion of multiple points of view?72 Does the use of certain “politically correct” terms really apply to minorities, or does it merely replicate previous colonial attempts to categorize them from the outside, obscuring sensitive topics more than it enlightens them?73 

At the same time, Del Risco laments that the basic idea of freedom of expression appears to be under attack, with negative social and individual consequences. At the societal level, the rejection of classic texts or of any viewpoint that might not be palatable to a particular group represents a dangerous trend, a closing of the mind that is reminiscent of previous moments in human history when ignorance and fanaticism took hold.74 At the individual level, if students cannot engage in critical dialogues and debates that question their beliefs, they will not be able to experience genuine learning or personal growth.75 

Orchowski has reported on concrete examples of the ideological rifts that are occurring, separating students into silos: according to new surveys, students are increasingly choosing their colleges based on whether they share the cultural identity and political views of the majority there. She also cites incidents where students have resorted to censorship, cancelling speakers that voice opposing views.76 

Assessing the impact of new technologies on the aims and content of learning: artificial intelligence and online learning

One of the most revolutionary developments over the past year was the appearance and rapid adoption of free, publicly available research tools driven by artificial intelligence (AI), such as ChatGPT. Its use has raised many essential questions for educational institutions and, indeed, for the entire teaching and learning process.  Several H.O. articles have delved into this debate, offering fascinating insights. 

All the articles on this topic share the overall view that AI is neither a panacea nor an enemy: it is a new tool for learning that we can and should use and control. It is a supplement to human thought, not a substitute for it, and requires proper guidance to use it effectively and creatively while avoiding its pitfalls.

For students and educators, the main challenges posed by ChatGPT and similar AI text-generators are the production of unreliable, inaccurate and biased content, and the vast potential for plagiarism, calling into question the very definition of academic integrity in research and writing.

Regarding the first of these challenges, Mark Booker, who discusses the use of AI at the University of Phoenix, cautions against assuming error-free outputs since these text-generators are limited to processing the data fed to them.77 Di Maria points out that the rise of AI makes it imperative for educators to raise awareness about biases in the outputs. In a sense, the drawbacks of these new tools have a silver lining: they are spurring more classroom discussions on the production and critical consumption of information.78

Regarding the second challenge, educators must discuss issues of plagiarism and privacy with their students but also seize the opportunity to design assignments that require more creativity, are more hands-on and are not easily susceptible to Chat-GPT generated content. Some professors are asking students to use AI tools to generate drafts that can be critically deconstructed and analysed in class, or pro and con points for debates.79 

Marc Booker gives examples from marketing courses, where AI is used to generate marketing messages or corporate training materials for different audiences; these AI skills are taught as a tool for students’ future workplace. Booker considers that AI can also be used to support curriculum designers by creating personalized learning materials.  

Both DiMaria and Gac Artigas emphasize that the rise of AI content-generators is spurring discussions on learner-driven education, where educators encourage students to generate exciting questions, discuss the answers they receive, and assess them critically rather than imposing pre-defined frameworks and trying to control the types of content that can be generated.80

Del Risco frames the issues raised by AI as a deeper philosophical dilemma: we must ask ourselves whether we want these tools to give us easy, prefabricated truths, which essentially provide us with an easy escape from thinking (as faith in divine, religious explanations did in the past), or whether we are willing to be comfortable with uncertainty - with the messy, contradictory answers that are part of real human existence - and renew our commitment to the challenges of thinking and learning.81


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57 January issue, see 

58 September issue, see; and November issue, see

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65 July issue, see 

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71 January issue, see

72 See June issue, at

73 See March issue, at 

74 September issue, at

75 August issue, at

76 May issue, see; and November issue, see

77 May issue, see

78 June issue, see

79 April issue, see

80 April issue, see and June issue, see

81 July issue, see

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