Showing posts from May, 2008

Save the date

The Louisiana Association for Continuing Higher Education (LACHE) is an organization dedicated to providing continuing higher education opportunities for the citizens of Louisiana. Lifelong learning, professional excellence, and service guide the mission of the Louisiana Association for Continuing Higher Education.

ACHE South Regional and LACHE Meeting
Baton Rouge, LA
Save the Date: April 27-29, 2009.

The Planning Committee for this joint conference meets in two weeks.

From the GOA report

The U.S. Government Accountability Office's new report, Workforce Development: Community Colleges and One-Stop Centers Collaborate to Meet 21st Century Workforce Needs is now available at
This is from the Results in Brief (executive summary) section:
The community colleges that GAO visited developed various approaches and programs for career and technical training to meet the needs of industry sectors, individual employers, and certain types of students and workers. Through a variety of outreach, relationship building, and data collection efforts, community colleges have come to understand the specific training needs of key industries in their regions and use this information to keep programs current or develop new programs to address these needs. Community college activities include providing contract or customized training to the employees of specific employers; working with small businesses; and targeting training and education programs to specifi…

From Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium

If the new G.I. Bill becomes law, we may see an influx of military students. Although these rights mostly refer to active duty military, it's good to keep them in mind. In a former life, I ran a college center at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri...

Military Student Bill of RightsAll military student populations have basic rights to satisfactory college marketing, admissions, and student services practices including the right to: Accurate information about a school’s programs, requirements, accreditation, and its potential impact on course transferability. Access basic college/university information and fees without disclosure of student personal information. Educational planning and career guidance without high-pressure registration and enrollment efforts from institutions. A clear and complete explanation of course/program enrollment procedures and all resulting financial obligations. Explore, without coercion, all financial aid options before signing up for student loans or other finan…

More news on cutting trips to campus

Community Colleges Cut Classes to Curb Gas Costs
And at Eastern Kentucky University, Less Work Days For More Fuel Savings at

Florida university saves by moving to four day work week

Florida International University, in response to large budget cuts, has decided to run a four-day work week through June and July.
''We project that our electricity costs will be reduced by at least
$250,000 as a result of many of our buildings being unoccupied for three consecutive days each week,'' FIU President Mitch Maidique said in a memo to staff Thursday.
FIU plans to cut 200 jobs and sell off much of its transportation fleet. While we're looking at significant budget reductions here, it hasn't gotten to the point of layoffs yet. Tennessee, like Florida, doesn't have a state income tax, so I hope we're not looking into the future here...

Ten best cities for recent college graduates

For recent grads, those with kids graduating, or underachievers hoping to marry up--Time lists the top ten cities for recent college graduates. No cities in Tennessee listed; the closest is number 10: Atlanta. See number one and the whole list at

Continuing your education

But it tastes so good...

Men's Health has identified the Worst Food in America.
Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing 2,900 calories
182 g fat
240 g carbs

And it's only an appetizer. See the rest at

The dumbest generation?

Not so fast...
But there is no empirical evidence that being immersed in instant messaging, texting, iPods, videogames and all things online impairs thinking ability. "The jury is still out on whether these technologies are positive or negative" for cognition, says Ken Kosik of the University of California, Santa Barbara, codirector of the Neuroscience Research Institute there. "But they're definitely changing how people's brains process information."
The Dumbest Generation? Don’t Be

From the e-learning queen

I've mentioned Second Life before. The E-Learning Queen has a nice discussion on education in this virtual world. Here's a slice:

One of the fastest-growing uses within the virtual world, Second Life, is in the area of one-on-one and small group education. This makes sense, given the opportunities for role-play as providing on-demand streaming video, media, and simulations. . . .The future is changing, though, as virtual worlds and multiplayer role playing move from entertainment, training, and information to an actual live avatar-assisted learning encounter. . . . new services in Second Life are springing up to help students who need tutoring services and feel comfortable in a virtual world.
While you're visiting the Queen, you can also complete a survey: What's Your Favorite Use of Second Life?

Tough year for higher and continuing education in Tennessee

Tennessee is funded on sales taxes, so when the economy tanks, state budgets are reduced. Next year looks like a grim one for higher education in the state. In a recent summary of the state's budget appearing in the Tennessean, higher education was listed as one of the big losers:

The budget cut some $56 million from the state's higher education budget and included no money for pay increases for college and university officials. Moreover, the governor and the legislature warned schools not to pass the cuts along in the form of higher-than-normal tuition increases. So state officials were pleased when the University of Tennessee announced hursday that it plans just a 6 percent tuition increase in the fall — no more than the increases in recent years. Between the modest tuition increase and the budget cuts, the UT system was left with a $50 million deficit.
Other losers were state workers, the environment, and win…

Master of arts in liberal studies

The Johnson City Press had a nice article on ETSU's Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program on Sunday. The MALS program is one of six degrees housed in the School of Continuing Studies. We had a successful program evaluation last year, and we're preparing to submit application for full membership in the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs

Read the MALS article at

Niche continuing ed organizations

ACHE has been seeking to partner with other continuing education organizations--those that have similar missions and interests. The highly capable Tish Szymurski, an ACHE Board member from Philadelphia, has been leading the effort. As I've helped, I've discovered some small, localized continuing education organizations. Here are a few:

Southern Wisconsin Association of Continuing Higher Education (SWACHE) Their mission: An educational resource for the Southern Wisconsin corporate community that
increases awareness of higher, continued education opportunities for working adults.
East Tennessee College Alliance (ETCA) Their mission:
The mission of East Tennessee College Alliance (ETCA), comprised of non-profit post-secondary institutions, is to identify work force development needs of the business community and to provide the appropriate educational opportunities to the non-traditional working student.The ETCA will conti…

But when you're in the basement, there's no place to go but up...

An adjunct English instructor ruminates on those students unprepared for higher education and their impact on institutions at In the Basement of the Ivory Tower

Professor X notes:
Adult education, nontraditional education, education for returning students—whatever you want to call it—is a substantial profit center for many colleges. Like factory owners, school administrators are delighted with this idea of mounting a second shift of learning in their classrooms, in the evenings, when the full-time students are busy with such regular extracurricular pursuits of higher education as reading Facebook and playing beer pong. If colleges could find a way to mount a third, graveyard shift, as Henry Ford’s Willow Run did at the height of the Second World War, I believe that they would. We used to refer to this as the cash cow syndrome...

NACADA advising award winning programs

ACHE member Louisiana State University-Eunice received a National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) 2008 Outstanding Advising Program Award for its Pathways to Success program.

ACHE member institutions receiving 2008 Certificates of Merit are Sacred Heart University for its Freshman Academic Advising Program, University of Georgia for its Orientation Academic Advising Programs, and Stony Brook University for its Undergraduate Colleges program.
* The whole list of current and past recipients can be found at

Continuing education festivals of learning

I posted earlier about Johnson City’s Blue Plum Festival taking place on June 6-7 Our unit helps sponsor the festival, and we will be staffing a booth and display. This made me wonder about other festivals where we might be missing an important marketing opportunity.
Coming up two weeks after Blue Plum is the 14th Annual RC and Moon Pie Festival at Bell Buckle, Tennessee. Featuring the RC-Moon Pie 10 Mile Run ™, a wide array of clogging, synchronized wading, and the world’s largest Moon Pie, it looks like a bonanza for continuing ed. According to their website, the festival is a day of fun for young and old celebrating THREE southern traditions: RC Colas, Moon Pies and Historic Bell Buckle, Tennessee- where we are 100 years behind the times and proud of it! * Now if only they had included Goo Goo Clusters,, and, say, Jack Daniel's whiskey, we would have the makings of an historic T…

Marketing continuing education

Image addresses some key marketing issues in Robert A. Sevier's Marketing: the Big Questions Answered Sevier's tips include the following:
1. Reorient all your messages so they are more audience-centric and less sender-centric. 2. Don't automatically look at traditional advertising. Instead, use the broadest possible definition of media and try to achieve as much integration and synergy among and between channels as possible. 3. Differentiate your school and your messages from your most consistent competitors in ways that matter to your target audiences. Remember, relevance drives response. 4. Develop a marketing/communications plan that combines your brand strategy as well as your recruiting and advancement communication strategies. This will increase efficiencies and squeeze out waste. 5. Your website is or will soon become your marketing center of gravity. The purpose of print, e-mail…

Check out the Associapedia

Everything I'm reading recently points out the increasing importance of websites for businesses, colleges and universities, and professional organizations. In the May edition of Association News, Douglas McWhirter lists some "near-essential bells and whistles" to improve an association's website. These include social media tools ("online locations where people connect with other people in a variety of ways"), podcasting, and event management software. Wouldn't the ACHE website look great with various social networks for folks interested in technology, leadership, or adult learning? And with podcasts available for workshops and concurrent sessions from the last conference? And maybe even a wiki? The American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership has a wiki called the Associapedia at The drawback is that we are all so busy that keeping something like that current might be a challenge.

It may be old...

But I've never heard this one.

An old adage is that a university is a happy place if the administration provides football for the alumni, parking for the faculty, and sex for the students.

Daniel Hamermesh, Football, Sex, and Parking

Take me to my happy place. We've got no football at ETSU, and our parking fees just went up....

Did you know?

This is an update of a popular video shown at many continuing education conferences. If you've seen it, please bear with me--I'm learning how to add video content to this blog.

Aren't we lucky?

Our jobs are among the best. It's a few months old, but Higher Education Administrator was highlighted among U.S. World and News ReportsBest Careers of 2008. And you thought not getting a raise this year had its downside...

Here's Marty Nemko's summary:
If you liked attending college, chances are you'll like working there, too. Compared with most office environments, the surroundings are beautiful, the atmosphere intellectually stimulating, and the work hours more forgiving. And things really lighten up in the summer! For better or worse, there are lots of management jobs on campus, because university bureaucracies tend to be large, from student affairs to academic affairs, physical plant to student health service. One downside: Office politics can be brutal. Political correctness also bothers some academics, who feel that holding liberal views is a litmus test for getting hired or promoted. Many campus jobs require a master's or Ph.D. Universities sell degrees, afte…

Outreach to Boomers

Baby Boomers represent a fast growing market for continuing education.
Ten community colleges will serve as demonstration colleges to launch programs for students over the age of fifty--as a part of the Plus 50 Initiative.
The American Association of Community Colleges Plus 50 Initiative is a 3.5 year effort to identify a pilot group of two-year institutions that will create or expand campus programs to engage the over fifty population in learning; training/re-training programs; and/or volunteer, civic, service activities.

Saving commuter students gas

Class on Friday canceled? Some community colleges are dropping Friday classes to save their students a trip to campus.

I've heard from a few Tennessee continuing educators that their community colleges are considering steps to save students gas. Moving all classes to a two-day schedule--no more Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes--is one option. More online, hybrid, and off-campus courses are other, perhaps more likely, solutions. * And let's not forget employees. I've also heard of institutions flextiming this summer so their staff work only four days a week (although the college is open all five days).

Continuing your medical education

Got your shots?

The shingles vaccine came up in a recent discussion with a couple of other chronologically-challenged continuing educators (We have officially turned into our parents, talking about our health at least once at every get-together.). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend that older adults get vaccinated for shingles
There are several other vaccines for adults as well

Continuing education programs for kids

Summer Enrichment Programs

ETSU Renaissance Child Camps are available for four weeks in June and four weeks in July.

Science and Forensics Ages 12 and up June 2-6, 2008

Renaissance Child Camp for Ages 6-12 June 9-13, 2008

Computer Camp for Teens Ages 12 and up June 16-20, 2008

Renaissance Child Camp for Ages 6-12 June 23-27, 2008

Renaissance Child Camp for Ages 6-12 July 7-11, 2008

Art, Music and Drama Camp (Two weeks) July 7-18, 2008

Digital Media Camp for Highschool Age (Commuter) July 14-18, 2008

Science and Forensics Ages 11 and up July 21-25, 2008

Renaissance Child Camp for Ages 6-12 July 28-August 1, 2008
The camps combine academic, creative and fun activities throughout each day.
Of the summer offerings, all except the overnight camp operate from 8-5 daily, and discounts are offered for those who register for more than one camp or families with more than one child in attendance.For further information, visit the Web site at or call the ETSU Office of P…

Does noncredit hurt credit?

I got a call yesterday from a colleague at a Tennessee community college, panicked because she had attended a disturbing meeting with the academic side of the college. They had asked her workforce development division to quit offering computer, business and industry training, health training, and even courses from third-party online continuing education providers because those courses conflicted with credit offerings. Since those limitations would put her out of business, she asked me if I knew of any statewide trends or initiatives that this could have come from.

I did not. On the surface, it seems absurd. Credit and noncredit courses have difference audiences. Workforce development noncredit courses are focused, fast, immediate, and have direct application—designed to meet an industry need or fill a gap in a worker’s skills. Credit courses tend to be the opposite. The academic folks at this community college cited SACS (our regional accrediting agency) concerns over these noncredit o…

BYOB in Philly


The ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting will be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from November 15 - 18, at the Sheraton Society Hill. I just found out that Philadelphia, due to expensive liquor licenses and a state monopoly on wine sales, encourages brown bagging.

According to Justin Wolfers
Philly’s diners are invited to Bring Your Own. While B.Y.O. is common elsewhere
(such as in my native Australia), the unique thing about Philly is that unlicensed restaurants aren’t allowed to make any money from liquor-related sales — and as such, they do not charge a corkage fee. Moreover, this isn’t offset by a decline in quality: Philly has an outstanding set of B.Y.O. restaurants.
Don't get those bags out right away. It's a year and a half off...

Continuing your education

Six Reasons to Have Sex Every Week
According to Newsweek, research shows that regular sex (with all due precautions taken) provides a host of surprising health benefits.
The--wait for it--money quote:
Sex is good for adults. Indulging on a regular basis—at least once a week—is even better. Research links sex (with all safer-sex precautions taken) to an astonishing array of physiological benefits, from longevity to pain relief. Many studies don't address whether the health bonus comes from the act itself or from the corresponding emotional intimacy, but the bottom line is that getting physical has some great side effects—especially for women.
I've got nothing to add...

Appying for that continuing education job (part 2)

In part one, I mentioned some of the mistakes candidates make with cover letters and applications. Here are some things I've seen in the interview process that are often the kiss of death...

1. Griping to the staff. We recently had interviews for a position that is located 100 miles from campus. The top candidate complained to a secretary about having to travel 3 hours round-trip for a one hour interview. Bye-bye. She’ll never have to make that trip again.
2. Dressing like a slut. Until search committees are exclusively male, this is a mistake. It has cost a couple of highly qualified people a job with me because it shows such poor judgment. Plus over 60% of people in continuing education are women; they are seldom impressed by cleavage.
3. Interviewing for this job because the job you really want is unavailable. I don’t know how many times search committees have said—“she really wants to be a teacher.” Sometimes the candidates say this. They stay candidates. # 4. Showing entitlemen…

EduComm in Las Vegas next month

EduComm 08: Sessions and Speakers Have Been Announced
From Strategies for Success to Classroom Technology, Facilities and System Support to the Internet and Web 2.0, there are more than 40 dynamic, interactive sessions scheduled for EduComm. When: June 18-20, 2008 Where: Las Vegas Hilton Convention Center Register online now at

Continuing defecation education...

Although poop is a rather unusual topic for discussion, The Scoop on Poop: The Science of What Animals Leave Behind will be hosted by the East Tennessee State University and General Shale Brick Natural History Museum and Visitor Center at the Gray Fossil Site.

Scheduled May 17-Sept. 7, the interactive travelling exhibit, based on the popular book by Dr. Wayne Lynch, is produced by Peeling Productions, the exhibit arm of Reptiland, a specialized zoological park in Allenwood, Pa. And, although fish do it, frogs do it, and pythons, eagles and elephants do it, poop is just one of those subjects most people find difficult to talk about with a straight face. So, this peek at poop uses colorful graphics, artifacts, models and interaction to treat the subject with a tactful blend of good science and fun.
Visitors are invited to listen to an animal’s digestive system, learn the language of poop in countries around the world, examine fecal samples in a veterinarian’s lab, compete in dung beetle r…

Second life and continuing education

I've been wondering if we could use Second Life to hold ACHE Executive Committee meetings--or other meetings that we normally travel to or hold by telephone conference call. I especially think the format might be more interactive and lively than conference calling. Does anyone do anything like that currently?

I know there are colleges on Second Life so this may be our next continuing education market. I can't wait to create my avatar...

There's an interesting piece on how Second Life influences real life at,8599,1739601,00.html

Applying for that continuing education job (part 1)

I’m currently serving or have recently served on several search committees this spring. It’s caused me to reflect upon some of the common mistakes applicants make for these positions—most of which have been continuing education jobs. Here are a few missteps I've seen in the application process:

1. Misspelling my name. It’s not like my last name is Mxyzptlk or anything (obscure Superman reference), but people want to put an “e” on the end of my last name. When you’re making the first cut of the pool, a mistake like that makes it easy.
2. Sending in an application but no letter of application. I want both— and I penalize those who just fill out an application. And a hand-written application tells me that the person doesn’t care enough to take the time to properly complete it.
3. Using an all-purpose template for a letter. I want to know that you are at least interested enough and possess sufficient word processing skills to personalize a letter of application to the job I’m advertising…

A WBOOC conference in Memphis

From Debbie Reed...

Join us for a tremendous program of business and networking opportunities being offered at the Third Annual Women Business Owners Opportunities Conference (WBOOC), June 19-20, 2008, at Southwest Tennessee Community College, 5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, Tennessee. Please plan to attend! You don’t want to miss it!

Thursday, June 19, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Business Boot Camp for aspiring and new business owners. Learn how to develop and present a business plan. Participants will present their plan before a panel of judges who will determine its loan worthiness. The team with the best plan will be awarded $600. Participation is limited to the first 30 registrants. Complete the section on the registration form to reserve your space for this valuable session.

Thursday, June 19, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
WBOOC Opportunities Room. The place for existing business owners to meet with corporate and government representatives to discuss contracting and procurement opportunities. Information on bidding…

Continuing your education

More advantages to continuing your education. There's a growing death gap between the college-educated and those who do not finish high school. This is from Sharon Begley's Two Americas: The Death Gap at

The numbers are shocking. Among white men who did not graduate from high school, there were 837 deaths per 100,000 of them in 1993; that same year, only 285 white men with college degrees died per 100,000 in this age group. But it gets worse. In 2001, those respective rates were 931 and 213—the death rate for less-educated white men had risen, while that for college grads had fallen. Do the math: white men who did not graduate from high school were dying at a rate 2.9 times that of college grads in 1993—and at a rate 4.4 times higher in 2001. For black men, the comparable mortality rates were 2.1 times higher in 1993 and 3.4 times higher in 2001. "The less educated," Begley conclud…

More on the Ghost Whisperer controversy

CBS's Ghost Whisperer is my wife's favorite show, but even she wonders about Melinda's low-cut dresses. I believe in showing off your guns, so I wasn't surprised to see Jennifer Love Hewitt's character coming in at #3 on Cracked.Com's The 6 Most Gratuitously Cleavaged Women on TV.
Find the whole list at

After all, tomorrow is another day

I'm on the road again (cue music) to Pellissippi State Technical Community College where we have a couple of active 2+2 programs. I'll have to post later...
* * * More on procrastination can be found in Slate's special report:

Summer continuing education

The ETSU Division of Theatre and Dance will be sponsoring a week-long aerial dance workshop,
July 6-12, to be taught by nationally recognized aerial dance choreographer Jayne Bernasconi.
This workshop is open to anyone ages 12 and up. This is the type of aerial dance that is often seen in Cirque du Soleil productions, and recently on the television show Dancing with the Stars.

More information on this workshop can be found at

Contact Dr. Delbert Hall for ( for more information on this workshop.

That which we call a rose...

What's in a name? Obadiah Stane--a character from the new Iron Man movie--is truly a great name. Roger Ebert praises both the name and the movie at
We hope to take the kids to Iron Man on Sunday as a part of our Mother's Day celebration.

Continuing education meeting

East Tennessee Regional Conference
Walters State Community College – Sevierville Campus
1720 Old Newport Hwy, Sevierville, TN 37876
June 10, 2008

Spring escape

A couple of times a year, Kathy and I get together with three other Tennessee continuing education couples--Chris and Linda Lefler, Paul and Joy Goldberg, and David and Debbie Adams. We're meeting tonight at Arrowhead Resort ( for two days on the lake before getting home for Mother's Day on Sunday. Here are some pics from other getaways....

Our president announces retirement plans

ETSU's President, Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr., has announced his retirement effective March 1, 2009. Dr. Stanton has been fully supportive of outreach and continuing education, and our division will miss him. More information is available at

Fire on the mountain

Here's a picture I took last night of the wildfire on Buffalo Mountain. Around 100 acres have been burned but so far no damage to houses. There's a lot of smoke in the air in Johnson City.

Continuing education for men

Robin Plumb sent me this...

Summer Classes for Men
Class 1 How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays--Step by Step, with Slide Presentation. Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.
Class 2 The Toilet Paper Roll--Does It Change Itself? Round Table Discussion. Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.
Class 3 Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub?--Group Practice. Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.
Class 4 Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor--Pictures and Explanatory Graphics. Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.
Class 5 Dinner Dishes--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink? Examples on Video. Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 …

Meeting in Charleston

I'm in Charleston, South Carolina, to meet as we transition the Home Office from Trident Technical College to the University of Oklahoma. There's a lot to cover in a short time.

Cross-Disciplinary Studies picnic

Every year, we invite graduating seniors from our Bachelor of General Studies, Bachelor of Applied Science, B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, B.S. in Professional Studies, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, and Master of Professional Studies to a picnic following graduation rehearsal. Since they are adults with busy lives, attendance is spotty. We give each person who attends an ETSU Alumni tee shirt. Here are some shots from Friday's picnic.

Russian Rocky Top

Our final show at the Festival of Nations was performed by the Russian National Theatre. It was a wonderful display of Russian Folk Dancing, but the crowd came alive to their rendition of Rocky Top. Imagine Natasha Fatale (from Rocky and Bullwinkle for Gen-Xers) singing at a UT football game. Can you say moose and squirrel? * They sang the lyrics in Russian, which had to be an improvement. Have you ever really listened to Rocky Top? That half-bear, half-cat girlfriend (bearcat?) is kind of scary. And they kill strangers...

Rocky Top
by Boudleax and Felice Bryant
Wish that I was on ol' ROCKY TOP, Down in the Tennessee hills; Ain't no smoggy smoke on ROCKY TOP, Ain't no telephone bills.
Once I had a girl on ROCKY TOP, Half bear, other half cat; Wild as a mink, but sweet as soda pop, I still dream about that.

(Chorus) ROCKY TOP, you'll always be Home sweet home to me; Good ol' ROCKY TOP--ROCKY TOP Tennessee, ROCKY TOP Tennessee.
Once two strangers climbed ol' ROCKY TOP Lookin'…