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This week’s episode of The Key, Inside Higher Ed’s news and analysis podcast, explores whether the emergence of shorter-term and alternative credentials pose a threat—or offer salvation—to traditional colleges and universities.

The episode draws from a panel discussion at last week’s annual ASU+GSV Summit involving a number of thoughtful higher ed leaders. It featured Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, President Marlene Tromp of Boise State University in Idaho, Ann Kirschner, interim president of Hunter College of the City University of New York, and Maria Anguiano, executive vice president for learning enterprise at Arizona State University.

The conversation explored whether or not colleges and universities will adapt their curriculums and their delivery models to supplement degrees with certificates and credentials, sustaining their historical advantage as the primary path for learners seeking career advancement and better futures.

The participants were overall bullish about higher education’s ability to adapt to the changing expectations of learners, but also clear-eyed about the fate of colleges that don’t: declining relevance and, in some cases, extinction.

Listen to the episode here, and click here to find out more about The Key.