Harper College

Education in the 21st Century

How should the College respond to changes in education and the learners we serve?

How is education evolving in the 21st century? How do we teach a community of learners who are tech savvy, and have the world at their fingertips, while others are English language learners or are facing challenges? What does it mean to be a well-educated person in the 21st century? A panel of experts will offer their views on these and other questions.

Education in the 21st Century was held on September 30, 2019.

Access the video and review the white paper.



Dr. Fifield served as President at two community colleges spanning 20 years. During her tenure at each institution, each college was selected as the national recipient for achievement of equity and opportunity for persons of color and women by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). Her community college service includes experience as Academic Vice-President, Dean of Instruction, Department Chair and faculty member. Currently, Dr. Fifield, President Emerita of BHCC, works with other colleges aspiring to increase student success and completion as an Achieving the Dream Leadership Coach. She has been Harper’s leadership coach for several years.


Dr. Verschelden is author of Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and Social Marginalization and currently serves as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Malcolm X College. Dr. Verschelden has worked in higher education for more than 30 years serving in both faculty and administrative positions at community colleges and four-year colleges and universities. A consistent presence in all her work has been a focus on advocacy for social justice and equity.

Mr. Kelly is currently in his seventh year as Principal of Elk Grove High School in Township High School District 214. He was the 2018 Illinois High School Principal of the Year and one of three finalists for the 2019 National Principal of the Year.

Mr. Moore is a Harper College student studying engineering. During his time at Harper, Mr. Moore has taken on leadership roles in various organizations allowing him to experience student life from many perspectives. He started a new organization, the Foundation for Allies of Undocumented, Noncitizen, and DACA Students (FAUNDS) in order to create an environment where students can feel safe regardless of status or immigration situation.

Dr. Edwards has taught Sociology at Harper College since 2010. Dr. Edwards’ areas of sociological interest include: food systems, climate change, gender, sexuality, intersectionality theory, and social inequalities.

Dr. Calkins is the Director of the Searle Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning at Northwestern University where she leads many of the faculty development initiatives at the Searle Center. Before joining the Searle Center in 2003, Dr. Calkins was an assistant professor of history at the University of Louisville. Her research interests include learning and teaching in higher education, the history and philosophy of higher education as well as early modern history and world history.



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Last Updated: 12/14/23