Publication date:

13 October 2011

Length of book:

432 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781442206748

For those ready to participate in making transformative changes, Transforming Undergraduate Education provides evidence and case studies that suggest how steps can be taken and progress made. For those who are currently leading their campuses through a change in culture, this book offers support and encouragement. And for those who are pausing—looking positively but cautiously at what needs to change—at the prospects and challenges that may be encountered, Harward and the collection of authors offer an invaluable and innovative resource.

Given the intensity of interest regarding the “problems in higher education,” Harward notes how the systemic sources of those problems are infrequently addressed and even rarer is the offering of solutions or suggestions for positive actions. Harward and his colleagues see the achievement of this book as doing both—understanding the problems and offering solutions.

The book assembles the voices of leaders, scholars, practitioners, critics and others committed to higher education; collectively they combine theoretical considerations with analyses of fundamental issues related to learning and liberal education. The resulting arguments, theories, and evidence are sufficient to encourage significant—transformative—changes in higher education. Contributors offer examples of campus initiatives that document such changes, from directional nudges to major shifts of emphases and resources—from theoretical arguments to case studies and practices that suggest and guide constructive steps in efforts at change.
Harward’s book offers useful tools and ideas for anyone working in higher education. From student organizations to the president of the college, the ideas and themes described offer ways to begin transforming higher education. When thinking of transforming higher education, the concept appears beyond one’s control, that the task is too great for a single person. The suggestions and ideas provided in this book explain how the changes do not need to come top down, but instead how individual members can begin to implement change that could occur in the curriculum, the campus culture, or in an individual advising appointment. I have noticed that my interaction with the students has changed as a result of reading this book. As I begin to work on various projects, I find that I am beginning to integrate the themes into practice. I believe that Harward’s book is an excellent tool to begin the conversation of how to initiate and create transformative change in higher education.