Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tall people should have to pay more

for college. It's just all so unfair.

Why Tall People Are Happier Than Short People

Why are tall people happier? According to Deaton's analysis, the result is linked to education and income. The study found that taller people tend to have more education, and thus higher income levels, than shorter people. It follows that the smarter, richer tall people would be sunnier than their vertically challenged compatriots. "Money buys enjoyment and higher life evaluation," says Deaton. "It buys off stress, anger, worry and pain. Income is the thing!"

Enrollments are growing even though the economy

Isn't. Enrollments in our adult degree programs, which include three online degrees, are up 25% over what they were this time last year. We're at 86% or our final fall 2008 enrollment with a month to go. While I don't expect that rate of increase to hold through our final census, I expect us to be up. And our summer school trend is continuing: undergraduates up, graduates down.

Jittery Economy, Relatively Low Cost Cited for Boom in Online Higher Education

While the troubled economy may be bad news for GM dealers or people selling their houses, it's creating a greater demand for online college courses. Enrollment is growing steadily, especially among older, working students.

The courses offer them a way to gain additional skills that could provide insurance if they get laid off or give them better credentials in the job market."

Students are fearful of losing their jobs and want stronger skills," said Shirley Adams, provost of Charter Oak State College in New Britain, where enrollment in online courses has soared in the past few years. "They may have been working in a field for many years, but a lot of times, employers are looking for that degree."

Charter Oak offers 200 online courses, and about 70 percent of its students take at least one online course, up from 40 percent five years ago, Adams said.

Whether inspired by the economic slowdown or the high cost of a traditional college education, online learning is growing at a much faster rate than traditional classroom learning, according to a survey of 2,500 colleges and universities conducted by the Sloan Consortium, an organization dedicated to online education.

More Tennessee students

are turning to for-profit schools. It's a shame these folks can't be served by state institutions, but we don't even have the resources to help them all.

Tough economic times have more students attending private for-profit institutions teaching everything from auto repair to business administration, and now more of those students are borrowing money for that education.

A recent report from the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Schools Association shows an increase in students getting loans last year, with almost 90 percent of those at for-profit schools borrowing. . . .

Last year, 73,000 students were enrolled nationwide at the institutions that range from mechanic shops to billion-dollar schools like University of Phoenix. Pressnell says he expects that number to be higher going into the fall semester.

"I think in a recession economy, typically families and students turn to higher education as a place to go while they're waiting for the job market to turn around," said Pressnell.

"They invest in a higher education to get additional credentials so when the market turns around, they're better equipped to get higher-paying jobs."

The private for-profit institutions have been under heavy scrutiny lately as THEC wrestles with ways to better monitor and track the schools' job placement for students.

What's up

with The University of the South? And the University of North Dakota? Princeton Review has released its list of the top 20 party schools. While not in the top ten, the University of Tennessee and Sewanee: The University of the South made the list. My alma mater is number 12--"Party on, Hawkeyes! Aspire to the top 10!" Party schools are an Osborn tradition, evidently. I have one son at UT and another at the University of Georgia, number 4.

1. Penn State University, State College, Pa.
2. University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
3. University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss.
4. University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
5. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
6. West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va.
7. University of Texas, Austin, Texas
8. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.
9. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.
10. University of California-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.
11. University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
12. University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
13. Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.
14. Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.
15. DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.
16. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.
17. Sewanee: The University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn.
18. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.
19. Tulane University, New Orleans, La.
20. Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.

Monday, July 27, 2009

On the road

Again. Heading to the Roan State Community College campus in Oak Ridge for a TACHE Planning Committee. Notice I didn't write Conference Planning Committee because this year's conference has been canceled. In its place, we will have a one-day drive in meeting in Nashville. And that's what we will be planning.

Then, I travel on to Nashville for a lunch meeting at Volunteer State Community College and then meet with the consultants the Regents Online Campus Collaborative (formerly RODP) is bringing in to review the online programs. My posting may be erratic. What I need is a blogger iPhone application, like the Facebook app.

Anyone read

this book? The title sound tailor-made for a conference presentation. I've seen in mentioned in one other blog.

Coming to Tennessee?

After Michigan? Allowing community colleges to offer four year degrees seems to be trending right now, and coupled with our Governor's recent comments about emphasizing those institutions, I wonder if we'll see movement here. I would imagine it would start in those areas that have a community college but no four year institution. I'm all for using resources efficiently but I worry that this is a knee-jerk reaction driven by current finances. The following article discusses the trend and, interesting enough, reveals that there is a Community College Baccalaureate Association...

Michigan Community Colleges Lobby to Offer 4-Year Degrees

So far, community colleges have won the right to offer four-year degrees in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia, the Community College Baccalaureate Association says. Legislative efforts to extend the practice could come soon in Arizona and California . . .

Tucson's Pima Community College would like to offer bachelor's degrees in business, construction and education, said Chancellor Roy Flores.

"This issue should be looked at dispassionately and objectively, with the needs of the community in mind," Flores said. "It shouldn't be based on institutional interests."

Michigan State Rep. John Walsh, a former community college administrator, says community colleges do a better job training tomorrow's workers if they're allowed to offer bachelor's degrees in some technical and vocational fields.

He has introduced a bill permitting the two-year schools to offer bachelor's degrees in nursing, culinary arts and cement technology.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Escaping password

hell. Slate has simple advice on creating better, easy-to-remember passwords.

Start with an original but memorable phrase. For this exercise, let's use these two sentences: I like to eat bagels at the airport and My first Cadillac was a real lemon so I bought a Toyota. The phrase can have something to do with your life or it can be a random collection of words—just make sure it's something you can remember. That's the key: Because a mnemonic is easy to remember, you don't have to write it down anywhere. (If you can't remember it without writing it down, it's not a good mnemonic.) This reduces the chance that someone will guess it if he gets into your computer or your e-mail. What's more, a relatively simple mnemonic can be turned into a fanatically difficult password.

Which brings us to Step 2: Turn your phrase into an acronym. Be sure to use some numbers and symbols and capital letters, too. I like to eat bagels at the airport becomes Ilteb@ta, and My first Cadillac was a real lemon so I bought a Toyota is M1stCwarlsIbaT. That's it—you're done. These mnemonic passwords are hard to forget, but they contain no guessable English words. You can even create pass phrases for specific sites that are coded with a hint about their purpose. A sentence like It's 20 degrees in February, so I use Gmail lets you set a new Gmail password every month and still never forget it: i90diSsIuG for September, i30diMsIuG for March, etc. (These aren't realistic temperatures; they're the month-number multiplied by 10.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Check out Ben Franklin

Landmarks in Philadelphia. While you're at the ACHE Annual Meeting and Conference this fall In your free time, of course.

Independence Hall - A signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the framers of the Constitution, Franklin spent many, many days here. Chestnut Street between 5th & 6th Streets, (215) 965-2305,

Franklin Court - Franklin Court, the site of Franklin's home and the printing office of his grandson, also includes an underground museum focused on Franklin's many accomplishments. Because he was postmaster general of the new nation, there is a U.S. Post Office as well. 314-322 Market Street, (215) 965-2305,

Christ Church - Franklin worshipped here on occasion and even had his children baptized in this historic church. He also supervised the lottery that financed the Church's tower and steeple. 2nd & Market Streets, (215) 922-1695,

Christ Church Burial Ground - Here lie Ben and his wife, Deborah, along with a number of other historic figures. Visitors often toss pennies on Franklin's grave for good luck. Arch Street between 4th & 5th Streets, (215) 922-1695,

Bartram's Garden - On one of John and William Bartram's many explorations to gather plant specimens, several of which were supported by Franklin, the father-and-son botanist team discovered seeds of a tree that they later propagated and named the Franklinia alatamaha tree in honor of their friend. 54th Street & Lindbergh Boulevard, (215) 729-5281,

Stenton - Franklin often visited the 1730 Georgian home of James Logan, his friend and secretary to Pennsylvania founder, William Penn. 460 1 N. 18th Street, (215) 329-7312,

Free Quaker Meeting House - Franklin supported an individual's right to worship as he or she wished. The Free Quaker Meeting House was one of several places of worship that were made possible through Franklin's financial support. 5th & Arch Streets, (215) 965-2305

Masonic Temple - Like a number of the nation's founding fathers, Franklin was an active member of the Freemasons. 1 N. Broad Street, (215) 988-1900,

Carpenters' Hall - The site of the First Continental Congress was once the home of Franklin's Library Company and the American Philosophical Society, two organizations founded by Franklin. 320 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-0167,

The logical follow-up

to Topless Meetings. Teaching Naked.

'Teach Naked' Effort Strips Computers From Classrooms

College leaders usually brag about their tech-filled "smart" classrooms, but a dean at Southern Methodist University is proudly removing computers from lecture halls. José A. Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts, has challenged his colleagues to "teach naked"—by which he means, sans machines.

More than any thing else, Mr. Bowen wants to discourage professors from using PowerPoint, because they often lean on the slide-display program as a crutch rather using it as a creative tool. Class time should be reserved for discussion, he contends, especially now that students can download lectures online and find libraries of information on the Web. When students reflect on their college years later in life, they're going to remember challenging debates and talks with their professors. Lively interactions are what teaching is all about, he says, but those give-and-takes are discouraged by preset collections of slides.

He's not the only one raising questions about PowerPoint, which on many campuses is the state of the art in classroom teaching. A study published in the April issue of British Educational Research Journal found that 59 percent of students in a new survey reported that at least half of their lectures were boring, and that PowerPoint was one of the dullest methods they saw. The survey consisted of 211 students at a university in England and was conducted by researchers at the University of Central Lancashire.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pell Grants still serve

adult students. 36% of recipients are older than 25.

Who Are Pell Grant Recipients?

A report released Tuesday by the National Center for Education Statistics details what is known about Pell Grant recipients by taking a close look at data from 1999-2000 bachelor's degree recipients, a group in which about 36 percent of people received at least one Pell Grant while in college. Generally, the report found that Pell Grant recipients are more likely than others to have "risk" characteristics (such as delaying postsecondary enrollment after high school graduation) that suggest statistically greater chances of dropping out of college.

At the same time, the report found that when controlling for these and other factors (such as parents' educational levels), Pell Grant recipients graduate in shorter time frames than others.
[The] . . . demographics of Pell Grant recipients . . . [show] them to be older on average, more likely to be female and first-generation college students and less likely to be white than those who don't receive the grants.

California cuts even deeper

into the muscle of its colleges and universities. The cuts to higher education in California over the past two years exceed the entire higher education budgets of some states. Or so I've been told. True or not, the cuts are devastating. Continuing Education at California universities is often self-supporting, so they might be spared some initial carving. But if they make any money, you can be sure the university will take whatever it can, leaving less for innovation, planning, benchmarking, new initiatives.

Editorial: Short-term cuts, long-term worry for California colleges

But all Californians should be worried about the long-term implications of budget cuts. The state will bear a heavy price for rationing and retreating from a commitment to higher education.

The Public Policy Institute of California has projected a shortage of a million college graduates by 2025 to fill jobs in California requiring at least a bachelor's degree. Not only is the dropout rate too high, but California ranks near the bottom, among large states, in the percentage of high school graduates who go on to college — 56 percent, compared with 74 percent in New York.

Meeting that need would require that California immediately award 60,000 more undergraduate degrees a year. Instead, over the next two years, the California State University system alone will reduce enrollment by 40,000 students, largely by denying admission in the spring semester, when community college graduates normally would enroll. . . .

The budget that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders have wrangled over will cut $2 billion for community colleges and four-year universities on top of cuts last year. If this were a two-year problem, the institutions could still emerge relatively unscathed. But the long-term outlook is equally bleak. And the economy alone isn't to blame; it's a matter of priorities. In 1980, 17 percent of the state budget went to higher education. By 2007, that had fallen to 10 percent — the same as prisons and parole.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Now that's what I call

an ivory tower. Ba-doom Pshh. Porn protest at the University of Maryland.

Pirates XXX: One University's Battle over Porn

But before undergraduates could settle the debate, state senator Andrew Harris threatened on April 2 to get the legislature to strip all $400 million in state funding from the campus if Pirates were screened in a nonacademic setting. Administrators canceled the showing that day.

Undeterred, a group of students and rogue professors held a "Pirates Screening Teach-In" on Monday night, drawing some 200 attendees. Before a 30-min. excerpt — which included two threesomes and copious shots of corset-clad blondes — students, professors, lawyers and ACLU representatives stood up to defend porn on principle. English professor Martha Nell Smith, who noted that literature from Shakespeare to Dickinson includes pornographic elements, said it's a student's choice whether to study erotica and "our job together to contextualize it." (Read about porn and the iPhone.)

Tennessee's governor focusing on higher education

his last year. There seems to be some opportunities to increase efficiencies and save money, and the Governor should be commended for trying to do something. But I hope regional universities don't get left out of his priorities. And his point about making community colleges "more residential" seems odd. Building dorms on community college campuses seems like an expensive solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Maybe the state could upgrade an urban community college to one of the "no frills colleges" being discussed nationally--with a focus on teaching, no extracurriculars, and only offering a few, targeted bachelor's degrees. But that takes money and hurts existing universities.

The best thing the state of Tennessee could do for higher education is fully fund the formula. We have a reasonable funding formula that is never completely funded. As far as restructuring, my own thoughts are that we might be able to combine our Tennessee Technology Centers with community colleges and save some costs. And maybe have separate governing boards for the community colleges and universities. With the president of UT vacant, and the Chancellor of TBR ready to retire, the timing is great for something.

Bredesen said he has begun talking with experts in higher education and business inside and outside the state about what works best in public higher education.

He is focused on three areas:

"Securing the future of one or possibly two universities as real
research-oriented universities, and certainly (the University of Tennessee) Knoxville and the University of Memphis are on that list," he said.

Getting graduation rates up. "We've got way too many people coming in as freshmen and not coming out later," he said.

Making better use of community colleges. He would like to see the two-year schools better integrated into the overall higher education system because they are more financially efficient. Bredesen said he is exploring how to increase their role, including "making them more residential" for students who want more of a traditional college experience.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Half off tuition

on weekends? Maybe we'll have Happy Hour with classes two for one from 5:00 to 7:00.

We had a recent conference call with Pellissippi State where they reported a projected 40% enrollment increase for fall. Which is amazing. Then I saw this notice where they are expanding their weekend program, and I was a little surprised that they were discounting their tuition on the weekends. I didn't know we could do that. This would be a great help for adults needing to return to school...
Pellissippi State Community College students will now be able to take weekend classes this fall at half the normal tuition cost.

The Weekend Scholars program is an alternative for students who are unable to attend classes during the week or take classes online, according Anthony Wise, vice president of the Learning Division for Pellissippi State.

The program include classes from the English, mathematics and history disciplines as well as classes in video production technology and music appreciation. Science labs, video-based courses and public speaking classes are already offered on Friday evenings and Saturdays.

Weekend classes are held at the Pellissippi Campus on Hardin Valley Road.

For more information, call 865-694-6400.

Clearing the road for adult students

Who earn the GED. These students face multiple obstacles as they pursue higher education. Like other adults, they often have job and family responsibilities that must be overcome. Then there's the expense. The technology demands alone of college study anymore (nearly every course requires Internet access) are a significant barrier. From ACE's CenterPoint:

More than 60 percent of General Educational Development (GED) test-takers say they intend to further their education beyond the GED program. Yet only 27 percent of nationwide GED credential earners have postsecondary experience compared with 63 percent of adults with high school diplomas. "Bridge" programs aim to ease these adult learners' transition to postsecondary education. In Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, The Joyce Foundation Shifting Gears initiative links adult education, workforce training, and higher education systems to create postsecondary pathways for low-income working adults. Illinois, for example, has set up 10 pilot bridge programs in community colleges across the state to identify policy barriers and test new ideas. Meanwhile, the GED Bridge Programs at LaGuardia Community College (LGCC) provide participants with GED test preparation through specialized curricula in business or health careers. Since April 2007, 70 percent of LGCC Bridge Program students have earned their GED credential; half of those students have enrolled in certificate or associate programs, or advanced in their careers. For more articles on GED transitions to higher education, visit the CenterPoint Archives.

This is even bigger

than my last bar tab. From the Freakonomics blog.

Do You Owe $23 Quadrillion?

An unidentified computer glitch has led Visa to overcharge several of its cardholders for routine purchases at drug stores, gas stations, and restaurants, to the tune of $23,148,855,308,184,500.00 each. These charges, as far as we can tell, exceed the sum total of wealth accumulated in human history. Affected cardholders were assessed a $15 overdraft fee. Count this as a cautionary tale for advocates of all-digital currency. The charges have reportedly been reversed, but we’d love to hear from anyone who, through this snafu, accumulated a black hole of debt.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I don't see my colleagues

at Tennessee community colleges too excited.

Poor community colleges. President Barack Obama made a historic announcement on July 14 — that he's seeking $12 billion over the next decade to beef up funding for these two-year institutions, which educate nearly half of U.S. undergrads — but you'd never know it from the crickets in medialand. CNN and Fox devoted no live airtime to the speech, which Obama delivered at Michigan's Macomb Community College, while MSNBC cut back to the Sotomayor confirmation hearings partway through. The fear of eyeballs glazing over isn't surprising: glamorous these trade schools are not. But there's a good reason why Obama calls community colleges "one of America's underappreciated assets." They set up their alumni for about a 30% earnings premium compared to high school grads, give a 16% return on every dollar state and local governments invest in them and are one of the best tools we have to pull ourselves out of the recession. In short, as Obama noted at Macomb, community colleges are an essential part of our recovery in the present and our prosperity in the future."

Maybe those additional resouces will show up in NBC's Community this fall:

Community colleges have been the butt of disparaging jokes for almost as long as they've been around. The line about them being nothing more than “high schools with ashtrays” has worn thin through the years, and some educators still do not find such wisecracks funny.

This fall, a community college will not just be the punch line to a series of quirky witticisms; it will be the setting of a prime time situation comedy. . . . NBC announced its fall lineup, including “Community,” a comedy about a lovable group of "losers" at Greendale Community College, a fictional two-year institution.

The show comes from the creative minds of Joe and Anthony Russo, who won Emmy Awards for directing several episodes of the now-defunct Fox sitcom “Arrested Development.”

Make your reservations today

for the 2009 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting

The Sheraton Society Hill in Philadelphia is the site of this year's conference and meeting. Located on America's most historic mile, the Sheraton Society Hill is just steps away from Independence National Historical Park, home to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the National Constitution Center and dozens of other historic buildings and museums.

The conference rate for this year's conference and meeting is $179 per night through October 20, 2009.

Visit the Sheraton Society Hill's reservation site to reserve your room.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Scopes Trial Annual Festival

Starts on Saturday in Dayton, Tennessee.

Scopes Trial
21st Annual Festival
July 18-20, 2008

Friday, July 18th
5:00PM till dark-Craft Vendors
5:00PM-7:00PM-Showing of the Award Winning film "Inherit the Truth"
8:00PM-9:30PM-Live Performance including the dramatic courtroom scene between Bryan and Darrow

Saturday, July 19th
11:00AM till dark-Craft Vendors
11:00AM till dark-Antique/Classic Car Show
12:00PM-2:00PM-Showing of the Award Winning film "Inherit the Truth"
2:00PM & 4:30PM-Music on the square by Norman & Nancy Blake featured artists on the soundtrack of "O Brother, Where Art Thou."
3:00PM-4:30PM-Live Performance including the dramatic courtroom scene between Bryan and Darrow
5:00PM-7:00PM-Showing of the Award Winning film "Inherit the Truth"
8:00PM-9:30PM-Live Performance including the dramatic courtroom scene between Bryan and Darrow

Sunday, July 20th
3:00PM-4:30PM-Live Performance including the dramatic courtroom scene between Bryan and Darrow
4:45PM-6:45PM-Showing of the Award Winning film "Inherit the Truth"

Please call the Dayton Chamber of Commerce at (423) 775-0361 to order tickets.
Music, crafts, exhibits on the courthouse yard.
Musical Performances free to the public.
Click Here For Historical Information About the Trial.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Why continuing education

exists. The following is an email from a colleague.

... is meeting with a friend of mine who called me last week and told me that she wanted to come back to school, after 20 years. My friend told me that she came to ETSU five years ago, and just gave up. She had lots of questions, and no one at admissions could/would answer them. When she called me, she just said, “Please help me and tell me who to talk to. I have to talk to a real person who understands that I have been to five different schools and I am not stupid. I can’t spend a week taking off work and trying to get the admissions office to talk to me.”
Of course we helped her!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Community colleges

and the economic recovery. Time looks at the important role community colleges can play in today's economy. On one hand, the article cites their nimbleness:

The 1,200 community colleges in the U.S. are especially suited to helping students adapt to a changing labor market. While four-year universities have the financial resources to lure top professors and students, they are by nature slow-moving. Community colleges, on the other hand, are smaller and able to tack quickly in changing winds. They often partner with local businesses and can gin up continuing-education courses midsemester in response to industry needs, getting students in and out and ready to work — fast.
And on the other hand....
Only 31% of community-college students who set out to get a degree complete it within six years, whereas 58% of students at four-year schools graduate within that time frame. Students from middle-class or wealthy families are nearly five times more likely to earn a college degree as their poorer peers are. In 2007, 66% of white Americans ages 25 to 29 had completed at least some college, compared with 50% of African Americans and 34% of Hispanics.

Worse than everyone

except Arkansas and Louisiana. THEC plans to tweak the state's funding formula to increase graduation rates.

If 100 college freshmen enter four-year Tennessee colleges this fall but only 45 graduate within six years, what is the X factor that kept so many students from donning a cap and gown?

That's a real-life word problem the state's education leaders are trying to solve. Tennessee's overall college completion rate is so dismal that only two states, Arkansas and Louisiana, fare worse.

Citing the state's graduation rates compared with the nation's, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission will begin revamping its funding formula this fall to reward schools not only for enrolling more freshmen, but also for ultimately graduating them.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Register now!

Registration for the 2009 ACHE Annual Meeting and Conference is now open!
Join ACHE colleagues in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania November 15-18, 2009 for our 2009 Annual Meeting and Conference. With four full days of speakers and events held at the Sheraton Society Hill in one of our nation's most historic cities, Philadelphia, it's a gathering you won't want to miss.
To register, visit conference registration page. For more information on the 2009 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting, visit the conference web site.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A call for

interdisciplinarity in the Chronicle for Higher Education. Our whole division is built around interdisciplinary programs, ranging from our B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies to our M.A. in Liberal Studies. This following paragraph from Needed: a New Generation of Problem Solvers could have been lifted directly from one of our program brochures:
The problems are complex and interconnected, spilling across academic disciplines and often across national borders. Solutions will require theoretical knowledge and practical problem-solving skills, including the capacity to build and lead teams drawn from a variety of disciplines. They will require leaders who can cross boundaries of science, policy, geography, theory, and practice. In other words, they will require a new generation of sustainable-development practitioners.

I resemble

that remark. Today I'm going to sit around the house. And when I say sit around the house...

Why Are Southerners So Fat?

So there you have it. Southerners have little access to healthy food and limited means with which to purchase it. It's hard for them to exercise outdoors, and even when they do have the opportunity, it's so hot they don't want to. To combat this affliction, some Southern states have adopted programs to combat rising obesity. In 2003, Arkansas passed a school Body Mass Index-screening program that assesses weight and sends the results home to parents. Tennessee encourages its schools to buy fresh ingredients from local growers. And in 2007, Mississippi adopted nutritional standards for school lunches. Most of these programs are relatively new, so it will be a few years before experts can determine their efficacy. "I think there's reason for optimism," says Barrett. "But it's likely that the Southeast will lag behind the rest of the country for some time to come."

Job interview?

Here's some good advice from Stepcase Lifehack:

If you are going for an interview as a prospective employee then you should do some research. Read the job description and requirements carefully. Browse the web site to see how the organization presents itself. Search for news items and comments about the company on news sites and blogs.

For the interview itself you should dress smartly and appropriately. It is important to have some questions prepared and here are a few that could really help:

1. What exactly would my day-to-day responsibilities be? It is essential that you clearly understand your role and the tasks that you would be expected to undertake. It is easy to make assumptions and get the wrong impression of what the work would be so it is vital for both sides that there is clarity in what is expected of you. If the interviewer cannot give a clear answer then this is a worrying sign, so politely follow up with more questions. Some people even ask to see exactly where they will sit.

2. What are the opportunities for training and career advancement? This question serves two purposes. It helps you to understand where the job might lead and what skills you might acquire. It also signals that you are ambitious and thinking ahead.

3. What is the biggest challenge facing the organization today? This sort of question takes the interview away from the detail and towards strategic issues. It allows to you see and discuss the bigger picture. It proves that you are interested in more than just the 9 to 5 aspects of the job. It can lead to interesting discussions that can show you in a good light - especially if you have done some intelligent preparation. If appropriate you can follow up this question with some questions about the objectives of the department and the manager who is interviewing you.

4. When did you join? After the interviewer has asked a number of questions about you it can make a good change to ask a gentle question about them. People often like talking about themselves and if you can get them talking about their progress in the company you can learn useful and interesting things.

5. What are the criteria that you are looking for in the successful candidate for this position? The job advertisement may have listed what was wanted in a candidate but it is very useful to hear the criteria directly from the interviewer. The more that you can discover about what they want and how they will make the decision the better placed you are to influence that decision.

6. How do you feel that I measure up to your requirements for this position? This follows on naturally from the previous questions. It may seem a little pushy but it is a perfectly fair thing to ask. In sales parlance this is a ‘trial close’. If they say that you are a good fit then you can ask whether there is any reason you might not be offered the job. If they say that you are lacking in some key skill or attribute then you can move into objection handling mode and point out some relevant experience or a countervailing strength.

7. Would you like to hear what I could do to really help your department? If you want the job then this is a great question to ask at the end of the interview. Most interviewers will reply, ‘Yes.’ Drawing on what you have learnt in the conversation, you can give a short sales pitch on why you fit the criteria and why your strengths and ideas will significantly assist the boss to meet their objectives. Make it short, direct and clear with the emphasis on the benefits for them of having you in the team. At the end ask something like, ‘how does that sound?’

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We had a reception last night

for our Digital Photography Computer Camp for Teens. We served refreshments, passed out certificates, and gave proud parents a chance to see their camper's photos displayed at ETSU's Slocumb Gallery. The photos were wonderful, and Angela and Darla did a great job with this camp. Hopefully, the students will return and take other non-credit courses from us in the future.

The Chronicle of Higher Education lists


Green chemistry * Energy * Gerontology

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of postsecondary educational administrators will increase by 14 percent from 2006 to 2016.

"The leadership turnover in education is going to be tremendous in the coming years," said Mark David Milliron, president and chief executive of Catalyze Learning International, an education-consulting group in Newland, N.C. "Folks are scrambling to fill the C-level pipeline; as a result, Ph.D.'s and Ed.D.'s are in high demand, and will be for some time."

Nanotechnology * Health policy * Information technology * Engineering

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The new

New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education is out.

Social Capital and Women's Support Systems: Networking, Learning, and Surviving. Carmela R. Nanton and Mary V. Alfred, editors. Number 122. Summer 2009.

Sample authors and chapters include:

Carema R. Nanton. Ties that Bind: Cultural Referent Groups and Coping Strategies of Adult Women as Learners.
Vemarie L. Albertini. Social Networks and Community Support: Sustaining Women in Need of Community-Based Adult Education Programs.
Jia Wang. Networking in the Workplace: Implication for Women's Career Development.

And Tennessee Tech's own Elizabeth D. Ojo. Support Systems and Women of the Diaspora.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Gee, I liked this better when it was called

Continuing Education!

I once argued that deans of continuing education would go the way of deans of women because in order to survive, colleges and universities would need to become more nimble and continuing education-esque. But I figured my generation was safe because higher education moved so slowly. The recession may speed things up.

“If you don’t make higher ed accessible to that group in a different form, you’re eliminating their opportunity not only to learn, but to get ahead in their career,” said Ed Hugetz, associate vice chancellor and vice president for planning and outreach at the University of Houston.

Community colleges pioneered the idea of taking education to the people, but Lone Star College is going beyond that, providing space for four-year schools to offer upper division and graduate courses in northwest Houston.

“Our students have jobs. They’ve got families,” said Lone Star Chancellor Richard Carpenter. “The idea that, at the end of their community college experience, they can quit all that and move on to a university, that doesn’t work for them.”

I'm not sure sure that community colleges pioneered the "idea of taking education to the people" since that was going on in one form or another (see Chautauqua and land grant colleges for example) before the community college movement.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I read the news today, oh boy

Honoring South Carolina

Time lists the Top Ten Mistresses. And these are just the ones we know about.

When María Belén Chapur admitted to being the object of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's affections, she instantly became one of history's famous mistresses.
The list includes Marilyn Monroe, Anne Boleyn, and Amy Fisher. And of course, Ms. Chapur.

The new Northeast State president

has a compelling life story for continuing educators. Janice Gilliam has an associate degree in cosmetology and earned all of her subsequent degrees (including her doctorate) while working full-time. She might be a good speaker at some TACHE conference.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Punk Rock Human Resources

Considers the future of large conventions. While at one. In New Orleans. (Of course, she may be a little impaired...)

Networking is changing. You can’t tell me that trade shows, expos, and industry conventions [in any field] will last another 50 years. The expense of sending your employees to these conferences—along with the lack of sleep, decreased productivity, and general distractions that come from being drunk for more than 16 hours out of the day—isn’t worth it. Sure, it’s important to network. Sure, it’s important to meet people and learn from your peers. You can do the same thing in flash mobs and cheaper ‘unconference’ formats.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to see my friends (old & young) at SHRM and learn about new products and services from vendors. I also like to go have a drink at 2AM in my pajamas at a bar in New Orleans. (What? Did I really do that?)

I’m just not sure if these behaviors or ours are sustainable.

Another no frills college education

This time online.

A California Dream: Saving State Universities With an Online Campus

Now, as the system grapples with a staggering budget crisis that might close institutions and forever alter what’s considered one of the crown jewels of public education, a proposal comes suggesting that salvation lies in going online.

A new cyber-campus “would have selective admissions; tuition somewhere between community college and the on-campus UC price, part-time and ‘anytime’ options and lectures by the best faculty from the entire UC system,” wrote Christopher Edley Jr., dean of the law school at the system’s Berkeley campus, in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. “Our online students might miss the keg parties, but they would have the same world-class faculty, UC graduate student instructors, and adjunct faculty.”

He was probably tired of paying

That $15 checked baggage fee.

What sells during a recession?

Here's a hint: smartphones and condoms. So you can multi-task, I guess.

With few exceptions, people are spending less nowadays. Spending is down on everything from home improvement to organic milk to Mother's Day gifts. So, obviously, the recession affects the way all sorts of people—such as an unemployed couple, a sports CEO, an ER doctor, and others profiled in a Time package—make decisions about how, what, and when to buy. But there are exceptions to the spend-less rule. What sorts of things are we actually spending more on of late?

Think escapism. Think mini-splurge. Think stress relievers. People are going out less for splashy nights on the town. They're staying in for romantic nights at home instead. Hence, condom sales are up. So are donuts, which might be considered escapist, splurge-y stress relievers all in one. Where else is business booming during the recession?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In Tennessee, nearly one in three adults is obese

I've got to find two fat friends to hang with! And thank God for Mississippi, Alabama, and West Virginia (which constitutes the obesity trinity, I guess) or we'd be at the top of the list. As it is, we're one biscuit away from number one.

Obesity rates among adults rose in 23 states over the past year and didn't decline anywhere, says a new report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Mississippi had the highest rate of adult obesity, 32.5 percent, for the fifth year in a row.

Three additional states now have adult obesity rates above 30 percent, including Alabama, 31.2 percent; West Virginia, 31.1 percent; and Tennessee, 30.2 percent.

Colorado had the lowest rate of obese adults, at 18.9 percent, followed by Massachusetts, 21.2 percent; and Connecticut, 21.3 percent.

Mississippi also had the highest rate of overweight and obese children, at 44.4 percent. It's followed by Arkansas, 37.5 percent; and Georgia, 37.3 percent.

Following Alabama, Michigan ranks No. 2 with the most obese 55- to 64-year-olds, 36 percent. Colorado has the lowest rate, 21.8 percent.

Our non-traditional graduate degree programs

are kicking butt!

At the School of Graduate Studies' Awards Ceremony and Reception held at the end of the semester, graduates from our Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and Master of Professional Studies were recognized with honors.

Elizabeth Roe's capstone project Wilderness Therapy for Adolescents: Utilizing Nature to Effect Change in Juvenile Delinquents won the Outstanding Capstone award. It was nominated by Dr. Marie Tedesco, MALS Director.

Lahla Deakins' A Proposal for a Non-Profit Pottery Program in Appalachia won the Outstanding Thesis in Arts/Humanities award. It was also nominated by Dr. Tedesco.

And Lee Ann Davis' project Project S.L.I.C.K. for Girls, Inc. of Kingsport, TN, won the Service Projects that Enhance the Public Good award. It was nominated by Dr. Jo Lobertini, Chair, Cross-Disciplinary Studies.

The first two students in the MALS program and the third is a student in the MPS. The MALS program has won several of these awards in the past, a sure sign of the quality of the program.

Having a meeting?

Slate's Gretchen Rubin's tips for a productive meeting:

1. Start on time, and end on time.
2. At the same time, remember that it’s helpful to spend a little time in chit-chat.

3. If some people hesitate to jump in, find a way to draw them out.
4. “If you’re willing to take the blame, people will give you the responsibility.”
5. Share the credit.
6. Making people feel stupid isn’t productive, and it isn’t kind.
7. Have an agenda and stick to it.
8. Never go to a meeting if you don’t know why you’re supposed to be there!
9. Standing meetings should be kept as short as possible and very structured.
10. Don't say things that will undermine or antagonize other people.
11. Be very specific about what the “action items” are.
12. If a meeting is long, schedule breaks when people can check their email and phones.
13. Meetings should stay tightly focused.
14. Here’s a radical solution: no chairs.

My next meeting will be chairless and topless!

Today is Canada Day