The Student Customer Phenomenon
Life on demand is the new normal in American culture. Accommodating non-traditional lifestyles is a trend that extends into the realms of higher education in the forms of learning on demand (Allen & Seaman, 2009), training on demand (Maliszewski, Nespoli, & Rosa, 2013), and grades on demand (Baer & Cheryomukhin, 2011). Traditional college students continue to transform into non-traditional student workers insisting on advanced college degrees without significant student loan debt or long-term commitments. The discussion begins with a description of the “first wave” including a review of historical foundations of teaching starting with the guided nature of pedagogy. The “second wave” shifts towards the practice of andragogy. The “third wave” represents advances in adult learning theory introducing dominating perspectives in transformative and transformational learning. However, degrees on demand are becoming the fourth wave in the evolution of higher education. The new millennium represents a new era of student customers, and measurement of student customer satisfaction. The higher education industry is no longer student learner centered but customer service driven. The student customer phenomenon is here!
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