Generational Shockwaves and the Implications for Higher Education

Generational Shockwaves and the Implications for Higher Education

Edited by Donald E. Heller and Madeleine B. d’ Ambrosio

This volume, part of the TIAA-CREF Institute Series on Higher Education, is based on a national conference convened by the Institute in November 2007. The generational issues that were the focus of the conference raise both risks and opportunities with the potential to profoundly affect our cultural environment, both inside and outside academe.

Chapter 11: Generational Impacts – The Views of Symposium Participants

Mark Heckler, Virginia Michelich and Teresa A. Sullivan

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, education, education policy, politics and public policy, education policy, social policy and sociology, ageing, education policy


11. Generational impacts—the views of symposium participants Mark Heckler, Virginia Michelich, and Teresa A. Sullivan The TIAA-CREF Institute 2007 National Higher Education Leadership Conference included a breakout session where the participants were provided with the opportunity to discuss what the speakers had said about the impact of the different generations on higher education. The breakout sessions were facilitated by Mark Heckler of the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center; Virginia Michelich of Georgia Perimeter College; and Teresa Sullivan of the University of Michigan. Each facilitator summarized the discussions in their session. MARK HECKLER Howe and Strauss (2007) describe the Millennial Generation as those born between 1982 and sometime in the early years of the 21st century. The authors characterize members of this generation using seven “core traits,” which they believe will define people born during this period. These traits include their sense that, as children, Millennials were treated as though they were special, and that they have been extraordinarily protected and sheltered from harm. Millennials exhibit a high degree of confidence and optimism about their future, while being fairly conformist and conventional in their behavior and value-systems. This generation is team-oriented in learning, disposed to service, and able to build strong peer networks. They have felt pressured to be successful in everything they do, and they have been involved in a dizzying array of activities both within and outside of school. Finally, Millennials have had to focus on achieving results, leading to a...

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