Showing posts from July, 2008

More to do while at ACHE in Nashville

Take a trip to Lynchburg, home of the Jack Daniel Distillery. But first read Whiskey Business: The Many Myths of Jack Daniel in Mental Floss and then visit the Jack Daniels Website at Oddly enough, Lynchburg is a dry town.

More to visit while at ACHE

Here's a picture from inside the Opryland Hotel, site of the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting It's a wonderful facility complete with river and riverboat ride. For more information see

Continuing my lighthouse theme

Here's the one at the entrance to Sea World. And here's the Sea Lions and Otters Theater, where Evan is completing his internship.

More sites to visit while at ACHE

Union Station Hotel and a picture of downtown Nashville at night.

ACHE Conference

More sites to visit while at ACHE

The Minnie Pearl and Roy Acuff Bronze Statues at the Ryman Auditorium and a scene from the Grand Ole Opry (The Opry is next to ACHE Conference hotel.)

Still on the way to Orlando

Stopped off in St. Augustine and visited another lighthouse. Here's a picture of the lighthouse and another of me ducking a wasp at the top. It seems it was mating season or some such thing at the lighthouse summit.

On the way to Orlando

We stopped off and spent my birthday at Saint Simons Island. Here's a picture of the lighthouse. It's kind of a special birthday--my age equals the last two digits of the year I was born. I'll let those readers who aren't math challenged figure it out.

On to Orlando

I'm off to Sea World in Orlando to visit my son, Evan, who doing an internship down there this summer. Evan is a junior accounting major at the University of Tennessee. While I'm gone, I'll run some pictures of Nashville to promote the 2008 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting, November 8-11 For example, here is a picture of the world famous Tootsies Orchid Lounge and my Mother-in-Law, Kay Raymond. And you don't have to an orchid to lounge there. For more about Tootsies, see

The rest of ACHE South hates those skinny folks in Florida and Kentucky

Top 10 Obese States

These are the 10 states with the highest levels of adult obesity, according to a 2007 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
* 1. Mississippi, 32.0 percent 2. Alabama, 30.3 3. Tennessee, 30.1 4. Louisiana, 29.8 5. West Virginia, 29.5 6. Arkansas, 28.7 7. South Carolina, 28.4 8. Georgia, 28.2 9. Oklahoma, 28.1 10. Texas, 28.1
Source: Associated Press From at To see all the states in ACHE South, go to

Congratulations, Paula

Paula Hogard, Dean of Continuing Education at the University of Tulsa, has been named Chair of the LERN Board of Directors for 2008 – 2009. She succeeds Thom Lowther of the American Institute of Architects in Washington, DC. Lowther was a key proponent and founder of the International Learning Unit (ILU) Commission.

Paula is currently Chair the ACHE Great Plains region. Here she is on the left, pictured with ACHE Board member Charles Hickox. You can read more about her and see another picture in an early posting at

For John Yates and other iPhoners

Image has a list of 20 Features the Next iPhone Should Totally Have. Here's number 15:

Warning: some offensive language.

Bottle of wine, fruit of the vine

I hear a few community colleges in Tennessee have offered continuing education wine tasting or wine appreciation courses. And I know more than a few continuing educators who appreciate fine wines. Unfortunately, I am not among them--or is it fortunately, based on research in the Journal of the American Association of Wine Economists. Here's the abstract from Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better? Evidence from a Large Sample of Blind Tastings:
Abstract. Individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less. For individuals with wine training, however, we find indications of a positive relationship between price and enjoyment. Our results are robust to the inclusion of individual fixed effects, and are not driven by outliers: when omi…

USA Today on community colleges

USA Today is running a series of articles on our nation's community colleges. I love community colleges and their mission is much the same as ours in continuing education. I was once offered a teaching position at one community college and came close to working as a dean in another, and I remember hearing then that community colleges were disrespected and underfunded. It hasn't gotten better in the last 20 years. Here's an excerpt that touches on continuing education and workforce development:

Yet for the last decade, enrollments have been increasing faster at two-year schools than four-year schools. Today, community colleges enroll 6.5 million degree-seeking students, or nearly half (47%) of all college undergraduates. And no one documents the expanding demand nationwide for non-credit courses such as English as a Second Language and workforce training. An estimated 5 million students are enrolled in those kinds of programs, says the American Association of Community Colle…

Tech support


The Doctor Wright Approach

Brenda White-Wright, seen on the left speaking to the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting in Los Angeles, has successfully defended her dissertation at ETSU and can now be addressed as Dr. White-Wright. I have known Brenda since I was hired by ETSU to run the Bachelor of General Studies program. She was one of the first students in that program--hoping to get prior learning credit for public speaking while completing her undergraduate degree. Congratulations on finishing the Ed.D., Brenda!
You can learn more about Brenda and her consulting service at

Alcohol + energy?

One of my early posts was about my discovery of the perfect mint--sugar-free IceBreakers Energy. Even I, however, think the line has been crossed with mixing alcohol and energy drinks. John Cloud writes in you've never heard of such things, your kid probably has. Sold in tall, narrow cans, they carry teen-friendly names such as Sparks, four maXed and Joose. As with other "flavored malt beverages" (the conspicuously boring industry name for fizzy drinks like Mike's Hard Lemonade), alcoholic energy drinks taste like cheap soda--cloyingly sweet and bubbly, with only the mildest hint of booze, all the better for callow teen palates. But alcoholic energy drinks are much more dangerous than regular alcopops like Mike's. First of all, they contain an assortment of stimulants--mainly caffeine but also ingredients like guarana and taurine that can speed the central nervous system and mask alcohol's effects. And they have more booz…

Just in case you're wondering

How can you tell the difference between a diploma mill and a legitimate college?
From the Tennessee Higher Education Commission:

Spotting diploma mills can be difficult. Below are 10 warning signs. If you see two or more of these warning signs, you may be dealing with a diploma mill.

1. You can earn degrees in significantly less time than at a traditional college or university.
2. The college places a heavy emphasis on offering college credits for life experience.
3. The college sends you a diploma if you pay a fee.
4. The college lets you "buy" a grade point average and academic honors.
5. The college charges tuition by the degree, or offers discounts if you enroll in multiple degree programs. (Traditional colleges generally charge by the credit hour, course, or semester, although some vocational schools charge tuition per program.)
6. The college's address is a post office box or suite number.
7. The college's Web site does not include information that a traditional college…

Diploma mills and continuing education

I just got another spam email from a diploma mill. Its subject line is Cheap Price Degree/Bacheelor/masteerMBA/PhDD Certificate utx n4. It reads: *
* * It cost you nothing (Yes! $0) to give Us a call, We will contact You back
Absolutely No exams/Tests/classes/books/Interviews
No Pre-School qualification Needed!
Inside USA:
0utside USA: +1-718-989-5740
Degree, Bacheelor, masteerMBA, PhDD available in the field of your choice that's Right, You can even become a doctor & receive all the benefits That omes With it!
Please Leave Below 3 INFO in voicemail:
1) your Name
2) your Country
3) your Phone No. (with Countrycode)
Call Now! 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week to recieve Your call
Inside USA:
0utside USA: +1-718-989-5740
Our staff will get back to You in 1-3 working days

At least they respond quickly... _____ * And in a related story, News Channel Five in Nash…

The difficulty in predicting tomorrow's jobs or

Where can I find a job in typewriter repair? From Jacob Leinbenluft'sHelp Wanted: If the Federal Government Can't Accurately Forecast Which Jobs Will Grow, Can Anyone Do it?

The problem is that education—like any investment—is risky. It costs both time and money to enroll in college or start a job-training program. And if you get stuck in a job that unexpectedly takes a nosedive, you may not receive the payoff you expected. You can hedge your bets in case your chosen field doesn't work out—by, say, getting a more general education rather than a highly specialized course of training. But there are trade-offs to doing that, too; if you have good reason to believe that forensic science technicians are going to be in hot demand, it makes sense to spend all your time training to be a forensic science technician. Schools and colleges—who are measured much more by the students they bring in than what happens to them after they graduate—don't always provide much help navigating…

Visiting Paul

Prior to the TACHE Past Presidents meeting, several of us visited Paul Goldberg at his lakeside home. Paul, who spent over 30 years as the head continuing education honcho at Roane State Community College, is recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor. Back row, from left to right: Teresa Duncan, me, Susan Elkins, Chris Lefler. From row, from left to right: Hilary Marabeti, Paul Goldberg, Debbie Adams.

Keys in the song of life

Here are my car keys, locked in my trunk in the parking lot of McDonald's at Kingston, Tennessee. I tossed them to DR. Chris Lefler so he could retrieve something from my trunk while I help carry something for Debbie Adams. It took AAA about 20 minutes to get there and another 15 to get it open. That's actually a small pocket knife that I keep attached to my key chain. Could I get any more rednecked than that?

The end of the dollar store

The sign at Frankfort's Dollar Central reads: Most Everything Everyday $1.10.

Cindy Stuart, owner of Dollar Central in Frankfort, stands in front of the hand-painted sign at her store. In January, she said economic times forced her to start charging an extra dime per item. It's literally a sign of the economic times.

When owner Cindy Stuart hand-painted the ".10" during the first week of January, she said it nearly killed her. Adding the "Most" a few weeks ago was just as distressing. "It was very difficult," she said. "I really tried to keep it at a dollar. That was always the plan. Unfortunately, the economy changed that plan."

DUAA ELDEIB SouthtownStar at

Continuing your education

At the risk of sounding a bit more diverse than I actually am, here is a list of'sTop 25 Best Movie Musicals Ever. My favorite, Chicago, is ranked too low at seventeen:
17. Chicago (2002) There's not much left of Bob Fosse's original Broadway
choreography, and not all the John Kander-Fred Ebb songs made it, either. But that's OK, since director Rob Marshall and screenwriter Bill Condon find ingenious ways to make the overtly stagy source material work as a mind's-eye musical fantasy on film. Dandy performances by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger and John C. Reilly help elevate okay work by Richard Gere, and the
cross-cutting only occasionally gets too busy. By and large, razzle-dazzling.

Johnson City ink

I don't know why, but I'm really tempted to get these. I expect, though, I'd have to shave my arms...

SLIP ON TATTOO SLEEVES Slip on Body Art Amaze your friends, shock your spouse, or co-workers with our new tattoo sleeves. Now you can get "inked" by night and still keep your day job with our amazingly cool "tattoo sleeves" the tattoo is printed directly on the stretchable fabric sleeves fabric which is a machine washable nylon. They come in pairs; wear one or both.

The perfect face for radio

It took me a while to find a good photo for this blog, and I even started with another one on the first couple of posts. I didn't think there was much significance to it--all I wanted was a picture that didn't make me look too old or too fat or posed in an incriminating fashion. But there's a science to it, according to Slate's Michael Agger in I Look Stupid: How to Take a Web Head Shot. He writes:

The more you think about Web head shots, the more loaded a social artifact they become. Scholars have begun to examine "impression management" online. One study posits that people with attractive friends on their Facebook "wall" benefit from a halo effect and are themselves perceived to be more attractive. Researchers have also done interesting things with yearbook photos (the original Web head shot). This study found that whether a woman smiles in her photo (PDF) can predict "favorable outcomes in marriage and personal well-being up to 30 years later…

Round up the usual suspects

An picture of former presidents of the Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education, taken about five years ago. Several past presidents are meeting today in Knoxville including Susan Elkins (far left back row), Hilary Marabeti (far right front row), Chris Lefler (not pictured), and me (far right back row).

Improving Nashville

Writing in the Tennessean, Gail Kerr's 25 Things to Make Nashville Better:

City leaders were cheering themselves silly last week when new census figures put Nashville in the top 25 list of the nation’s largest cities.We beat Atlanta! We beat Denver! We’re 25! There’s a reason I’ve stayed in the town I grew up in: Nashville is a terrific place to live. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. But what would it take for us to be the best city in America? Not the biggest, but the best. Here are 25 things we need, in no particular order.

#25 Public schools that are all so good, there’s nothing much to fight about except how high to raise teacher pay
See the whole list at

Welcome the new ACHE home office manager

The July ACHE Executive Committee Conference Call tomorrow will be the first managed by our new home office at Oklahoma University. Along with Jim Pappas, new ACHE Executive Vice President, we will also be joined by Ynez Walske, the brand new ACHE Home Office Manager. Ynez Walske was formerly a site director for Oklahoma University's military program office on Tinker Air Force Base. Prior to joining OU, Ynez held positions as a professional writing instructor, reporter/copy editor, and customer service representative in the banking industry. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and Journalism from Texas Women’s University and has completed courses toward OU’s MA in International Relations.

If you get a chance, email Ynez and welcome her to ACHE!
Ynez Walske Phone: 405-329-0249
Toll-free: 800-807-2243
And if you haven't already congratulated Jim, he can be reached at

Conference archives

From UB Buzz

EduComm 2008 Archives Now Online
The EduComm 2008 archives are now online at the EduComm website, thanks to Echo360 and Mediasite.David Pogue's opening day keynote is available here. Gary Kayye's day two keynote address is available here. Individual education sessions and workshops can be found here.

I'd love to be able to duplicate these kinds of archives for ACHE and TACHE. We may try to do some of this in the fall.

ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting update

The registration fees and registration materials for the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting are available at
The Next Generation: Access and Opportunity in Continuing Higher Education 2008 - Nashville, TN November 8 - 11 Opryland Hotel
Participant Registration Fees
Early Member Registration Fee: $405 (Received on or before September 12)
Early Non-Member Registration Fee: $485 (Received on or before September 12)
Late Member Registration Fee: $455
Late Non-Member Registration Fee: $535
Additional registration after two from the same institution: $360

I had a staff member go to last year's conference and

She really liked it.

The Amazing Pace: Meeting Global Size Challenges in
University Conference Centers and Event Management

August 3-5, 2008
Bryant Conference Center Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Click Here to visit the conference website.
You can access the conference brochure by clicking Here
Early Bird registration ends July 15. You can register by clicking Here The conference is co-sponsored by The University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies and The University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center & Hotel.

Seemed like a good idea at the time...

From the'sIdeas Whose Time Has Come

■ Medicinal leeches
■ John McCain
■ The gold standard
■ Stagflation
■ Multilateralism
■ Van Halen
■ Hillarycare
■ Mortgage-backed securities
■ High-definition pornography
■ The Hadron supercollider
■ Dubai
■ Non-Communist Russia
■ The Wendy’s Baconator sandwich

Two weeks to a better job?

Just got this email from a new--at least to me--diploma mill. If a poor economy does indeed drive folks into higher education, I hope they don't arrive at places like this.

Dear Local Resident,

Our University has located a number of high demand career opportunities in your local area paying above average salaries with benefits. Below are just 3 examples within your community that require NO prior experience within their fields of work.

1)Health Care Managers - Rotating 8-hr shifts, over-sight of minimum wage labor staff, $62,000+

2)Logistics Control Managers - Monday-Friday, 8-10hr shifts, coordination of shipping & receiving timelines, $68,000+ Bonuses

3)Creative Marketing Manager - Monday-Friday, 8-hr shifts, Gather groups to test products for review, $72,000+ Bonuses

There are many more opportunities in your area that currently exist. All work fields require a Degree from our University to fulfill the employer's requirement. Through this partnership program We have made thi…

18 things a grown man should never have

Number Two:
A witty e-mail signature. Quotes and song lyrics should be heard during toasts and karaoke performances, respectively. Don't let your electronic correspondence become the digital version of a motivational poster.
See #1 and Steve Calechman,s whole list at

From Faculty Focus

Judith Boettcher’s Countdown Guide for Planning Distance Degree Programs This timetable describes six major phases of the planning and development of the degree, and assumes a launch of the program in 24 months. Each of the phases describes tasks in five major areas of planning a distance-learning program:

Overall Program Design and Business Plan
Target Audience — Learners for the program
Curriculum/Program Plan (i.e., content and performance goals and attitudes)
Instructional team for the program, faculty, mentors, etc.
Environment and infrastructure for teaching and learning

Find the complete Program Planning Countdown at:
I don't believe I've ever had 24 months to plan a program, and I've helped initiate bachelor's and master's degrees--including our online Master of Professional Studies program. I wonder if this timeline is relevant anymore?

Where was this when I was in high school?

Chess-Boxing Hits it Big

The matches work like this: competitors alternate between three-minute rounds of boxing and four-minute rounds of speed chess with one-minute breaks in between to get the gloves off and hunker down at the chess table. The winner is determined by knockout, checkmate, or referee decision. Ada Calhoun at,8599,1821639,00.html

Dual enrollment as an admission strategy

While most high school students around here (and their parents) view dual enrollment more as a headstart on college, some students have another strategy:
What Gandhi did—earning high school and college credits (usually from a community college) at the same time—is called dual enrollment and has long been an option for students who want more rigorous work than their high school offers. It can also help students cut down on the cost of college by transferring credits. But increasingly, more students are enrolling in dual-credit courses because they think it will help them get into a selective college. Admissions officers and guidance counselors are growing concerned about the trend.

From U.S. News and World Report's Eddy Ramírez: More High School Kids Take College Classes at

No offense to my community college colleagues, but this might provide an opportunity for universities to crash this market--one that community colleges dominate because of their lower co…

Guest posting

Today I'm pleased to be featuring a guest writer. For all of you tired of reading my prose...

Learning to Succeed – Tips for Adult Learners
Sarah Scrafford

We study while at school, but spend our entire lives learning lessons that are not relevant to any particular subject but apply to life as a whole. Man is remarkably adept in adjusting to changing situations and going along with the flow. But when it’s time to go back to school, especially if there’s a long time gap from the time you graduated high school to the time you felt you needed to reopen your books, most adults find that the process of slipping back into the skin of a student is not as easy as it seems.

It takes a great deal of discipline and determination for someone far removed from the academic world to enjoy success on re-entering the portals of an online or distance education program. Life has changed significantly during the transition from student to adult, from son/daughter to husband/wife and father/mother, and t…

We're number three

Only Alaska and New Hampshire are ahead of us with lower state taxes. We often say in Tennessee that we don't have a state income tax but we do on some items. Tax reform is badly needed to adequately fund our state--especially when it comes to higher education and public health.
Rank: No. 3
Tax Burden: 8.5% of incomeTennessee residents pay some of the lowest state taxes because they only owe income tax on dividends and interest.

Cutting costs

From LERN's Lifelong Learning E-Newsletter:
What Expenses to Cut, What not to Cut, in a Recession
LERN Magazine
* There is a key strategy shift for programs in a recession. It is to move from trying to boost income to trying to reduce expenses. Only after six months to a year of “tough times” do you make that shift. If your organization has experienced the recession and has to do some budget cuts, here’s what to cut, and what not to cut. *
Cut space.
* If you have classroom or meeting room space you are renting, cut it. Look for free space. If you have office space you are renting, cut it. Put your files in a basement and move the desks closer together.
* Cut high-priced teachers.
If you have high-priced teachers AND their classes are producing less-than-average surplus for you,[more]
For more about LERN, see

In the new New Directions

Linking Adults with Community: Promoting Civic Engagement through Community Based Learning--the Summer New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education--is now available.
Some highlights include:

*"Community Based Learning with Adults: Bridging Efforts in Multiple Sectors" by Barbara Holland and Gail Robinson.
"Community Colleges and Adult Service Learners: Evaluating a First Year Program to Improve Implementation" by Liz Largent and Jon B. Horinek.

*"Community Based Learning and Civic Engagement: Informal Learning among Adult Volunteers in Community Organizations" by Karsten Mundel and Daniel Schugurensky.
"Strengthening Democracy and Person Development through Community Engagement" by Arthur W. Chickering.*

You can view the entire contents (including abstracts) at

In the new JCHE

Just got the Spring issue of The Journal of Continuing Higher Education. It features the following articles:

"Overcoming Barriers of Tradition Through an Effective New Graduate Admission Policy" by Laurie Dodge and Ellen Baker Derwin.

"Student Satisfaction and Performance in an Online Teacher Certification Program" by Heidi Schweizer, Carrianne Hayslett, and Sharon Chaplock.

"Educational and Employment Outcomes of a Degree Completion Program" by Jeff E. Hoyt and Ellen Allred.

"Use of Problem-Based Learning and Case Study in Continuing Professional Education" by Rosemary B. Closson.

The Journal needs your articles. Review the Submission Guidelines at

How to say no to your boss

Avoid it. According toLife Coach (what a great job) Susan Lawley:

"This probably sounds like heresy," she says, "but if there is something so precious to you that you don't want to be disturbed, like your kid's birthday party or your 30th anniversary, shut off the phone and turn off the BlackBerry. We should safeguard those moments."

Read the whole thing at at

Off to discuss an online doctorate

I'm on the road again to work with other TBR folks from across the state to determine if an online RODP doctorate is feasible. The RODP collaborative model makes the doctorate problematic--with issues ranging from finding faculty to designing advisory committees to the most appropriate curriculum. But it's fun to work on challenging new endeavors every once in a while. It's why I got into continuing education, after all. (Not to complete endless assessment and accreditation paperwork...)

Mentoring and TACHE

TACHE instituted a Leadership Academy last year, and each participant was required to identify a couple of mentors from the membership. After all of the good ones were taken, a couple of talented young continuing educators--Dianna Rust and Recey Williamson--selected me. It was a pleasure to work with them throughout the year, and I asked them how their experience had gone. Here's what they had to say. First, Dianna:
My experience with the TACHE Leadership Academy was great! One of the best parts was getting to know my fellow academy members and sharing common problems/solutions. I have new contacts at several institutions across the state that I know I can call on when needed. The mentoring experience was very valuable. There is no way to measure what that was worth. Each session we attended helped me grow professionally from learning more about state government to learning about situational leadership to learning more about TACHE.
Then Recey:
TACHE’s Leadership Academy was a great e…

Back in the office

I'm back at work today after spending several days in Illinois and in transit. I was back home in Macomb for Heritage Days. We happened to catch the parade which featured one marching band, lots of tractors, cars, and folks giving out candy. Here are some pictures taken during the parade. In the background, you can see the Macomb Courthouse.