March 18, 2019
Partners President Speaks at SXSW EDU Conference

Last week, Partners president Dr. James Toscano spoke at SXSW EDU on a panel on the topic of "Students as Consumers of Higher Education." Toscano was joined on the panel by Ben Wildavsky, senior vice president of national engagement at the Strada Education Network, and Marni Baker Stein, provost and chief academic officer at Western Governor's University which was facilitated by Elissa Nadworny of NPR.

Toscano called for a national agenda of transparency and public participation as a foundation to restore consumer trust in higher education.

The national publication Education Dive covered the event (Click to read article)

Breaking down cost is another way institutions can take a more customer-centric approach to their offerings, said fellow panelist James Toscano, president of Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust, a nonprofit that advocates for college affordability.
"On the administrative side of the house, we don't know how to serve consumers because we don't know how to marshal our own resources internally to maximize the investment of those consumers," he said, citing a need for better program- and unit-level cost information.

Doing so can expand options for students and institutions. He points to a future where colleges can unbundle costs that are applied across the board and give students the option to pay only for the services and amenities they need.

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