In 2006 Regent University launched a Master of Arts in Strategic Foresight, and in 2007 added a foresight major to its Doctor of Strategic Leadership. In doing so, Regent joined a small group of academic programs worldwide that offer graduate professional degrees based on futures studies. In 2014 I wrapped up a decade of service in these programs.
To encourage further improvement and adoption of future focused degrees and majors at the graduate level, this paper discusses this program from three facets: (a) what Regent received from the futures community, (b) what Regent added to the paradigm of strategic foresight, and (c) how Regent presently assesses student learning and program outcomes.
In 1676 Isaac Newton wrote a colleague and claimed, “if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Every time I hear from my colleagues in futures studies through WFSF, APF, WFS or the Millennium Project, I am reminded that the Regent foresight program stands on the shoulder of giants, those first and second-generation futurists who have paved the way.
The lesson from Regent to new futures educators is that there are mentors in the futures community that can guide you as you launch your own career as an academic futurist and then launch a first-rate program. Another lesson is that while there is a focused knowledge base of futures studies (Slaughter, 1996), there is room for new disciplines to integrate foresight into their practices, as Regent has done from leadership studies. A third lesson for others from my Regent experience relates to outcome assessments. In the global competitive market of graduate and professional education, the future of foresight education will increasingly depend on how well we serve our students and how well we can show results.
2. What Regent Received from the Futures Community
The master of strategic foresight
Applied versus critical futures?
3. What Regent Brought to the Strategic Foresight Paradigm
Why leadership studies?
The doctor of strategic leadership
4. Evaluating the Regent Program
The need for outcome assessment
The need for external alignment
5. Lessons for Futures Educators
Gary, J. E. (2010, September). Leading from the future: A review of the Regent foresight program. Journal of Futures Studies, 15(1), 119-133. http://www.jfs.tku.edu.tw/15-1/S03.pdf