Maryville President Shares Learning Revolution with the Chronicle

Maryville University President Mark Lombardi, PhD, recently met with Chronicle of Higher Education staff to discuss the institution’s innovative technology and active learning ecosystem and how these efforts have driven Maryville’s enrollment growth. The videotaped interview, “One Campus’s iPad Revolution Results in Education Evolution,” is featured online.

Lombardi emphasized the central role that Maryville’s innovative faculty members have played in this revolution. He also discussed the impact of an active learning ecosystem in the classroom.

“What happens in the classroom is we’ve got our students and our faculty engaged in this vibrant learning process, where the students own it,” Lombardi said. “They’re involved, they’re engaged, they actually are a part of creating that content.”

The focus on revolutionizing higher education has drawn national attention to Maryville—and a record number of students, Lombardi told the Chronicle.

“Our enrollment this past year for first-year students was a 45 percent increase over the previous year for freshmen,” he said. “And in surveying incoming freshmen and parents, they identified personalized learning, the Digital World initiative, and our life-coaching initiative where our learning diagnostics happen, as the key factors in why they chose to come in Maryville.”

The interview also covered Maryville’s shift from traditional advising to a life coach model, investment in faculty professional development — especially in technology training — and student success related to academics and retention.

“So as we’ve gone forward and assessed — and again, we’re not done yet by any measure — but as we’ve assessed, we’re seeing improved learning outcomes … in terms of not just grades but faculty evaluation of student ability,” Lombardi said.