Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another thing to do in Philadelphia

While at the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting, November 15-18. Annual Conference and Meeting
Visit Eastern State Penitentiary,, one of Time's Top 10 Haunted Places.

Built in 1829 with castle-like walls and imposing guard towers, Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Penn. was the first prison to institute solitary confinement. Prisoners lived alone, ate alone, and even exercised alone in individual yards. When an inmate left his cell, a guard covered his head with a hood so that he remained in confinement. Although the solitary system was quickly discarded due to overcrowding, Eastern State is widely believed to have caused mental illness among its prisoners. It operated as a regular prison from 1913 until it closed in 1970, during which time it housed both Al Capone and bank robber Willie Sutton. The prison was abandoned in 1971, and rumors of strange happenings have plagued the stone penitentiary ever since. Visitors to the prison—and there are many, for Eastern State is now a museum and Halloween haunted house—report footsteps in the yards, the sound of someone pacing in the cells, eerie noises, and lonely wails that drift through the cold, dark corridors. Cell Block 12 is famous for its disembodied laughter, and one guard tower appears, on some nights, to be occupied by a shadowy figure keeping watch over the empty prison.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One HBCU cuts continuing education

While another needs it to thrive. In an earlier post, I noted that Howard University was closing its continuing education unit. Grambling, on the other hand, is considering outreach to help it reach more students.

Outreach Would Help Grambling Grow Enrollment

Grambling State University could be facing some shake-ups in its course offerings and how it markets itself to increase enrollment.

It definitely could attract more students by offering its most popular courses at locations other than its campus, said Randy Moffett, president of the University of Louisiana System.

iPhone Organ Donor

App now available. From at

Organ donation is one of the most altruistic things a person can do. And yet, as Chapter 3 of SuperFreakonomics spells out, relying on altruism for organ donations has proved to be largely unsuccessful. There are a lot of reasons people give for not signing up as organ donors. Often, they just fail to opt in because of laziness or forgetfulness. So Richard Thaler had an idea. Why not build an iPhone app to help people enlist as organ donors? That app, developed gratis, is available now. As to the question of our inherent level of altruism, which app do you predict will get more downloads over all: the one that helps people make a life-saving donation — or the one that helps them pick the right urinal? (12)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

As a former college

English teacher, I'm in awe of James S. Lambert's Observer piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education: Heteronormaltivity Is Hot Right Now.

This Ph.D. candidate at my alma mater--the University of Iowa--writes about the time every English scholar must come clean about his or her interests. For those not sure how to describe their interests, he gives useful advice. Here are a couple of pointers:

2. Know your theoretical buzzwords, because you will have to use at least two of them. Here is a crib sheet of recent theoretical terms: liminal, heteronormativity, empire, postempire, trauma, narratography, post-new formalism, posthuman, specism, fecism, culturality, hybridity, hybridism, Lacanimal, bestiality, bestialism, bestialology, postbestiality, and so on. You get the point, but you will notice from those terms that the new hot thing is anything about animals and humans. Our field is evolving with such grace.

4. Take a group of common things or states, like dandelions, dead eyes, hugs, or hubcaps, and add "the rhetoric of" before it. If you prefer the singular, add "studies" after it. (Examples: "the rhetoric of thunderstorms" or "boredom studies.")

5. Take two totally unrelated concepts, like bookbinding and waterboarding, and add "the intersections of" before them. This works really well for sexualities: "the intersections between monuments and masculinity" or "the intersections between transgender and Trans Ams." If you can relate two unrelated concepts, you'll get a lot of thoughtful nods, which is your goal.

This is wonderful stuff. James, take it from me, if you're not careful, you may well end up in continuing higher education yourself. You don't take the study of literature seriously enough.

Howard University closes

its continuing education unit.

Peggy Berry informed ACHE today that "Howard University has decided to discontinue its continuing education program (Howard University Continuing Education, HUCE) effective October 31, 2009. " Institutions sometimes think they can just absorb all that continuing education does within other units, but those units typically exist to serve only the traditional campus students. The adults, the nontraditional students, the distant students--they either get served poorly or they migrate to other colleges and universities.

Adult Education Research Grant Opportuity

This grant is named after Alex Charters, longstanding ACHE member and adult educator. Alex will be in Philadelphia at the Annual Conference and Meeting.

SU Library's Special Collections Research Center invites applicants for adult education research grants

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Syracuse University Library invites applicants to its Alexander N. Charters Adult Education Research Grants-in-Aid Program, now in its third year. As much as $5,000 of grants-in-aid will be awarded in 2010 to researchers in the history and practice of adult education who wish to use the collections in SCRC's Charters Library. The actual amount of each award will depend upon the scope of the research outlined in the applicant's proposal.

The Charters Library of Resources for the Educators of Adults ( ) is the world's most comprehensive collection of English-language materials in the field of adult and continuing education. Among the resources available to researchers are: more than 55 discrete manuscript collections, 2,100 books, 50 professional journals, 220 newsletters, 400 sound recordings, 100 video-recordings, 10,000 photographs and some 2,800 master's theses and dissertations in the field. Online finding aids to the manuscript collections are available on SCRC's website at .

With more than 145,000 printed works and 2,000 manuscript and archival collections, SCRC is home to some of SU's most valued treasures, including early printed editions of Gutenberg, Galileo, and Sir Isaac Newton, as well as the library of 19th-century German historian Leopold Von Ranke. Holdings are particularly strong in the 20th century; they include the personal papers and manuscripts of such luminaries as artist Grace Hartigan, inspirational preacher Norman Vincent Peale, author Joyce Carol Oates, photojournalist Margaret Bourke White, and industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague, as well as the records of organizations such as avant-garde publisher Grove Press. SCRC regularly hosts exhibitions, lectures, and classes and offers fellowships and internships in library instruction and conservation.

The application deadline is December 1, 2009, and winners will be announced by January 15, 2010. To apply, submit a letter of intent outlining the proposed research topic, including the term of stay, proposed budget, a current résumé, and the name, with contact information, of one professional reference to:

Mary Beth Hinton
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Library
222 Waverly Ave.
Syracuse, N.Y. 13244-2010
Phone: 315-443-9763

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thank God for Alabama, Louisiana, and

Mississippi. But there's hope for Tennessee, Bill Frist writes in the Knoxville News Sentinel:

Tennessee's public schools are failing far too many of our children.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released data showing that Tennessee students rank 43rd in the country on national math assessments. On these tests, we rank behind all other Southeastern states except Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. In 2008, nearly 28,000 students dropped out of Tennessee high schools. Only 22 percent of Tennesseans older than 24 have a bachelor's degree.

Despite these alarming statistics, there is hope. Today, Tennessee has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve our schools. A confluence of factors is creating the best opportunity Tennessee has had in the last 20 years and likely the best opportunity we will have for the next 20 years for meaningful education reform.

Not only is the Tennessee Diploma Project creating a sense of urgency among educators, parents and students that something must be done to improve our schools, but Tennessee is also extremely competitive for hundreds of millions of dollars of new funding from the federal Race to the Top program and national foundations.

This is National

Save for Retirement Week!
And in case you hadn't noticed, the week's almost over. Oddly enough, I met with a TIAA-CREF representative on Tuesday to discuss my retirement plan.

National Save for Retirement Week

Congress established National Save for Retirement Week to increase awareness of the need to save for retirement. In 2009, the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate unanimously approved resolutions designating Oct. 18-24 as National Save for Retirement Week. The resolutions seek to increase personal financial literacy and raise public awareness of the retirement-savings vehicles available to all workers, including public- and private-sector employees, employees of tax-exempt organizations, and self-employed individuals.

Research shows that more than half of all workers in the United States, 53 percent, have less than $25,000 in total savings and investments, excluding their home and defined benefit plans.* With longer life expectancies and rising costs, especially for health care, it is critical that Americans understand the importance of saving for their future - now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Morgan State blocks online program

I mentioned this case in an earlier post: The results are in.

Morgan wins fight with UMUC over online program --

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Newsweek devotes a cover

Story to accelerated higher education. Another example of a practice started in continuing education being adopted by traditional education.

In this issue, Tennessean Lamar Alexander asks why college needs to take four years, warning of parallels with the flagging auto industry:

Yet, as with the auto industry in the 1960s, there are signs of peril within American higher education. It is true that the problem with car companies was monopoly, whereas U.S. colleges compete in a vibrant marketplace. Students, often helped by federal scholarships and loans, may choose among 6,000 public, private, nonprofit, for-profit, or religious institutions of higher learning. In addition, almost all of the $32 billion the federal government provides for university research is awarded competitively.

But as I discovered myself during my four-year tenure as president of the University of Tennessee in the late 1980s, in some ways, many colleges and universities are stuck in the past. For instance, the idea of the fall-to-spring "school year" hasn't changed much since before the American Revolution, when we were a nation of farmers and students put their books away to work the soil during the summer. That long summer stretch no longer makes sense. Former George Washington University president Stephen J. Trachtenberg estimates that a typical college uses its facilities for academic purposes a little more than half the calendar year. "While college facilities sit idle, they continue to generate maintenance, energy, and debt-service expenses that contribute to the high cost of running a college," he has written.

Read the whole essay at The Three-Year Solution .

Are your non-credit enrollments

down? They at one community college, confesses this Community College Dean:

Locally, our credit-bearing programs are bursting at the seams. The library is literally standing-room-only at peak hours; veteran staff tell me they've never seen that before. English as a Second Language is through the roof.

But our non-credit courses are dramatically down. The profit-making classes -- pottery, French for travel, that sort of thing -- are cratering. Contract training for local employers is also down. The only increases are in the money-losing pro bono area of adult basic education. (ABE is sort of a pre-remedial track. Think 'basic literacy,' as opposed to 'developmental writing.')

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

A Balloon that Didn't Fly - Top 10 Shocking Hoaxes - TIME

Introductory Spanish goes completely online

at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Adios to Spanish 101 Classroom

Spanish 101, which had featured online lessons combined with one classroom session per week, will drop its face-to-face component in an effort to save on teaching costs and campus space in light of rising demand for Spanish instruction and a shrinking departmental budget.

“We were seeing that there was just a lot of demand on our resources, both monetary and space-wise, due to Spanish,” said Larry King, chair of the Romance Languages and Literatures Department.

Meanwhile, the department’s budget was slashed by $150,000 this year. It had been planning to shift its introductory courses online even before the recession hit, King said, in hopes of freeing up money to hire another instructor. Instead, the anticipated savings from the move have so far spared his department from personnel cuts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More with less

And less was the good old days.

Karine Joly, writing in, lists seven ways colleges and universities can save money. Here are the first two:

1. Look more closely at your print publication budget.
For some print publications—especially those targeted to internal audiences such as current students, staff, and faculty members—going paperless might be a very smart move. Printing and mailing costs have dramatically increased over the past few years, so going paperless could result in a substantial savings. Some readers will welcome a digital publication for a number of reasons: convenience, accessibility, the possibility to save trees and also, as expenses are lowered, perhaps jobs down the line.

2. Embrace (free) social media to reach your audiences.
With promotion and PR budgets under attack, now is the perfect time to incorporate social media in your strategy. Why not give a try to Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Ning, or even Twitter? This move will only cost staff time and could bring home some amazing results.

That’s the road chosen by more and more marketing and communications professionals, including Mark Greenfield, director of the web services office at the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York system. Last year, he built a new website for the Undergraduate Academies program to create a sense of community and get students to connect and collaborate. Total cost of this project: $0. Total time spent by his office: half a day.

Read all seven at Doing More With Less.

Check List

for the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting next month.

Register for the Conference (early bird extended Oct.31st)

Make Hotel Reservation (lower rate extended Oct.31st)

Sign up for A Night at the Constitution Center (separate form)

Dust off your wig and colonial garb

Dry clean Dressy Clothes for the Awards Banquet

Check out the newest Keynote Speaker

Decide what concurrents and roundtables to attend

Book activities & tours

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What makes a mean boss?

Power Plus Incompetence Equals a Mean Boss

It's no wonder that so many readers sympathize with the hapless Dagwood even today. A recent survey reveals that a startling 37 percent of the country's workforce—some 54 million people—have bosses who scream at them, belittle them, sabotage their work, and are otherwise aggressive. Social scientists and policymakers are very concerned about this toxic phenomenon, if only because of the enormous personal and economic costs. It's hard for people to do their best work when they are busy trying to avoid the office ogre.

So why are workplace tyrants so common? What's the psychological dynamic underlying such dysfunction at the top? It's not simply the power; there are many powerful bosses who are good and decent—or at least tolerable. Power corrupts only some—but which ones and why? Two psychologists recently decided to explore one possible explanation: perhaps it is power, but only power mixed with incompetence, that leads to aggression and abuse.

Wray Herbert.

Men network on Mars

Women on Venus.

The narrative looks like this: A man thinks, "Who do I know who has what I need right now?"--could be a job, investment tip or tickets to the game--and then he asks for it. Simple.

Women are generally more complex. "We see things from a lot of different angles, not just one straight-lined route, and so we take a roundabout route," says Blanke. In an effort to personalize professional networking, women normally try to create connections or friendships. "Before we think, 'What can this person do for me,' we ask, 'What can I do for her in order to get what I need.'"

Meghan Casserly.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The benefits of meeting

face to face.

Of course, our meeting was filled with important presentations and provocative breakout sessions, but the real value was people spending one-on-one time with each other, sharing stories about the challenges and opportunities of working with individual clients in specific markets. Like in physics, the interaction between different entities creates energy. Based on the response of the attendees, I am confident this meeting will pay for itself 10 times over in the business opportunities it generates, and not to mention, the improved morale of our team members.
Fred Cook. Forbes.Com.

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

Full List - Top 10 Worst TV Spin-Offs - TIME

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

While at the ACHE conference

Visit the Arshile Gorksy Retrospective, opening today at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Even by the standards of the Abstract Expressionist painters, who had a thing for anguish, the life of Arshile Gorky stands out for its oversupply of pain. He entered the U.S. in 1920 as a teenage refugee from the Armenian genocide. Just 28 years later, suffering from cancer and depressed after a series of setbacks — his wife left him, his painting arm was paralyzed in a car accident and a studio fire consumed dozens of his canvases — he took his life. All the same, that life was a triumph. The voluptuous works of Gorky's last years, all those plump sexual swellings and cloudbursts of bright color, are among the glories of American art. The Philadelphia retrospective, his first in almost 30 years, will trace the full arc of his profound struggle to find himself. —Richard Lacayo. Top Picks for '09 Autumn Entertainment

You can register now for the ACHE conference at the conference registration page.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Let's not include him

When we average part-time faculty salaries.

On July 1, 2008, state Sen. Tommy Norment boosted his state paycheck nearly tenfold with the stroke of a pen. That's when he accepted a part-time faculty appointment with the College of William and Mary, his law school alma mater.

His annual salary for teaching two courses: $160,000.

That means Norment now wears two hats with regard to William and Mary: well-paid employee and powerful advocate in the General Assembly.

Bill Sizemore & Julian Walker. The Virginian-Pilot

Friday, October 9, 2009

The end of Elderhostel

I guess Youngerhostel was taken...
What's in a name? Well, a lot, especially if you're Elderhostel. The popular Boston-based tour company just changed its name to Exploritas, in the hopes of attracting more travelers. The company will continue to sell nearly 8,000 tours in 50 states and 90 countries, all with an educational bent.

The new moniker (pronounced ek splÔR i tahs) comes with a few other improvements, including more domestic itineraries in 2010 and a social networking tool on the company website. But the biggest difference is a drop in the age requirement, from 55 to 21. The goal is to attract more people in their 40s and 50s. Chief executive James Moses admits that Exploritas isn't likely to win over many twentysomethings.

J. D. Rinne. Budget Travel. Read the rest at Elderhostel changes its name to appeal to the under-50 crowd

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Online students and grading

patterns. I've just seen a chart outlining a semester's grade distribution for an online collaborative that we participate in. Twenty-five percent of the students received a grade of A and 41% received a grade of either F, I, W, or Drop.

Online courses have high non-completion rates, of course. But why? It's not enough to shrug and accept that this is only typical. I've heard some the reasons: "Students enroll thinking the courses are easy, and then drop when they realize the work involved." "Students get in over their head and stop participating." "Course controls allow under-prepared students without prerequisites into the courses." "Some courses are poorly designed." "It's a difficult course."

While all of these contribute, I'd like to see the data. It may well be out there and I'm not aware of it. Most of what I read has to do with student motivation, technical skills, and whatnot, but it must be more complex than that. We need to improve these rates, and it's difficult to improve if we don't know what to work on.

On the other hand, the amount of A grades is troubling as well. It's probably true that many of these students are older, working, and more serious--and they tend to do better in courses. And graduate courses are included in these numbers, and I'm assuming they tend to have higher grades. And some of these courses are taught by adjuncts, some of whom may tend to grade high to avoid controversy and keep their jobs. Still . . . 25%?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Windows are for sissies. Of course, it is a problem when I can't hear my iPhone ring with my top down and my music up.

Men, convertible drivers at risk for hearing loss

People who drive convertibles may also have a buzzing noise in their ears after driving for several hours, said Dr. Philip Michael, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital in the United Kingdom, who also presented research at the meeting.

"The likelihood is that, for short trips, you're not really going to do much," he said. "But if you're spending the whole summer driving around with your top down on a highway, then doing that on a regular basis increases your chances."

Michael and colleagues measured the volume of noise while driving seven convertible cars, each manufactured by a different company, spanning the spectrum from low to high cost. While this sample was too small for formal analysis, the data indicated a general trend toward higher noise exposure as the speed of the vehicle increased.

On average, Michael and colleagues found a sound level of 87 to 89 decibels, which is slightly above the government-set safe limit of 85 decibels. Read more sound guidelines from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Convertible drivers can reduce the risk of hearing loss by simply putting the windows up, said Michael, who drives a convertible himself.

The first thing we do,

Let's kill all the lawyers. Henry VI, part 2.

Nashville's Belmont University fought the law and the law won.

Belmont plans law school for 2011

Belmont University has the law on its side. Or it will, when Tennessee's newest law school opens on the campus in the fall of 2011.

The school spent five years laying careful plans to launch a law school and late Tuesday night the university announced the plans were moving ahead. In less than two years, Belmont plans to build the multimillion-dollar school, staff it and open the doors to its first law class.

The Belmont College of Law would be the state's sixth law school, the third in Nashville and the first new law school to open in Middle Tennessee in a century.

Jennifer Brooks. The Tennessean.

I guess I'm not alone

The typical smartphone customer consumes about 40 to 80 megabytes of
wireless capacity a month. The typical iPhone customer uses 400 MB a month.

The iPhone Is Not an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

Institute for Forgiveness

at Chestnut Hill College. I've had to ask forgiveness so much I'm sure I could get experiential learning credit....

The Garden of Forgiveness at Chestnut Hill College is a space near the center of campus, enclosed by stone buildings and populated by roses, benches, and a birdbath in the middle. Rededicated last spring, the garden is meant as a place for “releasing past hurts, facing oneself and others with forgiveness and repentance… and moving toward healing and reconciliation together for the sake of a new future.”

College officials renamed the garden last spring as part of its Institute for Forgiveness and Reconciliation. As many other colleges seek to advance their missions by building new, state-of-the-art centers designed to propel them into the 21st century, Chestnut Hill is looking to emphasize the principles that the Sisters of St. Joseph -- the college’s founding order of nuns -- have espoused since the 17th century.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Advice for adult students

Not every good job takes a graduate degree.

1. Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technician
2. Human Resources Recruiter
3. Paralegal or Legal Assistant
4. Respiratory Therapist
5. Police Officer
6. Advertising Sales Agent
7. Interior Designer

Woodrow Aames.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The stimulus at work

in Tennessee. I'm being petty, but it's too bad all of the money couldn't have gone to state technology centers and community colleges. And maybe even a university or two. But the more important thing is that folks are being retrained...

Tennessee's jobless get free career training from stimulus

The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development will get $28 million this year from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to retrain workers who have lost their jobs in the economic downturn, and another $10 million for its adult career training programs.

That's a 40 percent increase in the state's career training budget — enough money, state officials hope, to retrain and re-employ an additional 22,000 people this year.

Some $2.2 million of that will go to Workforce Essentials, which operates career centers in a nine-county radius outside Nashville. That should be enough to train 2,000 people out of the estimated 31,000 who are jobless in those counties today.

Jennifer Brooks • THE TENNESSEAN

While in Philadelphia at the ACHE

Annual Conference and Meeting--take a look at its Best Attractions and Activities,PA/. Here's the beginning of the list:

Independence Hall
Liberty Bell
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Franklin Institute Science Museum
Barnes Foundation
View all 9 »

Friday, October 2, 2009

Tips for adult students

transferring from a community college. Community college enrollments are booming. Many students will be looking to transfer to a four-year college or university in order to earn their bachelor's degree. Lynn F. Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman, writing in The Professors' Guide, have some tips to help the transfer process:

1. Complete your associate's degree. National research shows that community college students who finish their degree program complete the baccalaureate at a much higher rate than those students who transfer with simply a grab bag of credits.

2. Shop around. Examine all of the options available to you as a transfer student. Examine both public and private four-year institutions to decide what will be the best fit for you. The four-year institution that you had your heart set on in high school might not ultimately be the best choice for the subject you want to pursue.

3. Plan ahead. The earlier you begin to prepare for transfer, the better. Visit your top choices, collect transfer materials, and find out if there are any transfer agreements between where you are and where you want to go. The more information that you have, the easier it will be to make a decision.

4. Know what actually transfers. Make sure you are picking courses that are transferable to colleges and universities. There are Web sites, tools, and advisers at both community colleges and universities to help you choose wisely.

4-Star Tip. Many states have "articulation agreements"—negotiated documents that make clear what's needed to transfer from one higher education institution to another. The benefit to you as a student is that the agreement takes the guesswork out of the process by telling you, in black and white, what classes you need to take and what grades you need to make to avoid losing hard-earned credits when you transfer.

5. Don't be shy. Meet regularly with advisers at the community college. Keep your adviser informed of your transfer plans, and as transfer approaches, set a time to meet with an adviser at your target institution. If you try to navigate this process without the help of advisers, you might not be able to maximize your community college courses.

6. Choose a major. Pick your major early, and seek advice about the best courses to take to meet requirements. By choosing your major early, you can take the prerequisites that you need for that program at the university. Well-planned course taking will help you finish your transfer program more efficiently, saving you time and money in the long run.

7. Get admitted. Make sure that you apply to both the institution as well as the program that you want to attend at that institution. If you get admitted to the university, it often does not mean that you are admitted to the specific program that you want to study, like engineering or nursing. Make sure you complete those application materials, too. The deadlines for the university admissions materials and the program admissions materials might be different. Do your research!

8. Make them show you the money. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if you have not done so already. Call the university admissions office to see if it has scholarships set aside for transfer students—many institutions do. Make sure that you meet all of the deadlines for financial aid. Otherwise, you might miss out on assistance that is available to you.

9. Attend orientation. You might think that you do not need this because you already are a college student. But navigating the university is different. Take advantage of the opportunities that the universities have created for transfer students. These orientations will help ease the transfer process.

10. Stay focused. This one is easy to forget. Whether it's your associate's or bachelor's degree we're talking about, finishing on time is not easy. But it can be done if you are focused and work hard. Keep your goal in mind even when you're working in your hardest class, which you don't much like. It will all pay off.

10 Tips for Transferring From Community College

The 2009 Ig Nobel Prizes

were awarded last night at the 19th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard's Sanders Theatre. Here's a sample:

PEACE PRIZE: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining — by experiment — whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.
REFERENCE: "Are Full or Empty Beer Bottles Sturdier and Does Their Fracture-Threshold Suffice to Break the Human Skull?" Stephan A. Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael J. Thali and Beat P. Kneubuehl, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, vol. 16, no. 3, April 2009, pp. 138-42. DOI:10.1016/j.jflm.2008.07.013.


Candy may not be dandy

Do Candy-Eating Kids Become Criminal Adults?

69% of people who had been convicted of a violent act by age 34 reported eating candy almost every day as youngsters; 42% of people who had not been arrested for violent behavior reported the same. "Initially we thought this [effect] was probably due to something else," says Moore. "So we tried to control for parental permissiveness, economic status, whether the kids were urban or rural. But the result remained. We couldn't get rid of it." Alice Park.

Bad economy + more students

Equals a space crunch for Tennessee community colleges.

Enrollment boom puts TN colleges in race for space

For Tennessee colleges and universities, the good news in a bad economy is that more people than ever are heading back to school.

Now the schools just have to figure out where they're going to put everyone.

"As long as we have seats available, our doors are open to anyone," said Lance Woodard, director of records and registration at Nashville State Community College, where full-time student enrollment increased 19 percent this fall.

Nashville State found seats for everyone, but it meant classes spilling out into trailers, neighborhood annex classrooms, online classes and even lessons held in hallway lounges.

"We were completely shocked by the enrollment numbers," said Woodard, whose office was besieged by applications, including many from laid-off workers eager to train for new careers.

"We've heard stories from students that are just very sad."

Jennifer Brooks • THE TENNESSEAN • October 2, 2009

Top 10 things to do in Philadelphia

While at the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting, November 15-18. Annual Conference and Meeting. You can register now at the conference registration page.

Looking for things to do while visiting the City of Brotherly Love? The harder thing for you to do is to pare down just what you will actually have time to do! In Philly, the fun never ends and there is always something fresh, new and exciting going on. There's something for everyone in Philadelphia.

1. If history is your thing, then you need to check out Independence Historical Park. Take a step back into Colonial America and see where the birth of our nation began! This attraction includes Independence Hall, Carpenters Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Old City Hall and the Betsy Ross House.

2. How do you like your sports? Well, any way you play it, you've surely come to the right place! The Philadelphia sports teams rock! The Philly pro sports teams include the Eagles (football), Phillies (baseball), 76ers (basketball), Flyers (ice hockey), Kixx (soccer), Charge (Women's soccer), Philly Soul (arena football), Phantoms (American League ice hockey) and Wings (lacrosse.) Come out and cheer!

3. Do you crave natural beauty, a wide array of animals from all over the world - and great entertainment ? Then you must see Fairmount Park! A trip to this park includes the Philadelphia Zoo and Playhouse in the Park, beside the beautiful and quite lovely park itself.

4. Does culture or art or science - or even the weird stuff in the world - get you going? Then, you just have to pay a visit to Philly's museums - which are a cut above all the rest! You can make the trip to a wide spectrum of choices, which start with places like the Philadelphia Art Museum, The Franklin Institute, the Museum of Natural Sciences, the Please Touch Museum and the Mutter Museum. This list goes on and on - to the many and varied other museums in the City, too.

5. Let's talk about the Eastern State Penitentiary. This is a place where innovation in the corrections institutions across America got its start. This is the place for all you law and order buffs out there to really learn about the history of the criminal justice system and penal codes systems, too.

6. Now, no trip to Philadelphia could ever be called complete without a stop at the Philadelphia City Hall. A brilliant work of architecture, it is the actual working seat of the government in Philly. Located centrally at the intersection between Broad and Market Streets, it is truly a 'Don't Miss' site!

7. Are you an expert in the kitchen? Are you simply a great chef? Do you like to get the freshest and most interesting ingredients for your epicurean taste buds? Then shopping at the Reading Terminal Market and the Italian Market, among others, is the place for you! Every ingredient for every delectable dish you ever could possibly think of is awaiting you here! Yum!

8. Symphonies, Rock Concerts, Jazz Performances - and anything else in the world of music are the next topic for your touring pleasure. Top concerts in the US, featuring the best of the best in sound, can be found at venues like the Academy of Music, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Electric Factory venues, Wachovia Spectrum, Mann Music Center, and a host of smaller, more intimate clubs. Pick your tunes, pick your place - and you are set to go for one of the most melodic evening of your life!

9. Does the sight of a stage and some grease paint give you a thrill? Are you the type who remains transfixed in your seat even after the final curtain call has been taken? Then Philly's got it for you! Live Broadway-style theater, theatre in the round, small proscenium spaces and elegant palaces from La Belle Époque are yours for the taking - - with a ticket, of course - in the dramatic world Philadelphia's professional theaters. You can see superb shows at the Forest Theatre, the Walnut Street Theatre, and many others throughout the City. Applause! Applause!
Last, but not least, who could forget shopping!

10. Mall Shopping/Dining/Entertainment - Philadelphia scores a big hit on a global level with her huge assortment of shops, malls, stores, boutiques, outlets and other places where your dollar gets its biggest 'bang for the buck'! A few top notch suggestions are The Gallery at Market East, Franklin Mills, The Shops at Bellevue, Shops at Liberty Place and The Bourse. Space doesn't permit it here, but suffice it to say that there are so many more hospitable, warm friendly places to make your outing a true pleasure.

Top 10 things to do in philadelphia

Thursday, October 1, 2009

You've still got time to read one

In celebration of Banned Books Week.

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read
September 26−October 3, 2009

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, please see Calendar of Events and Ideas and Resources. You can also contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4220, or

In case you need to kill four minutes


Some tips on recruiting adult students to college

from Stamats Inc. and the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Colleges should:

1. Evaluate how they track data on prospective students.

2. Audit their internal practices for dealing with adults.

3. Spend serious time in the community.

4. Go back and contact every adult who has applied in the last 12 months.

5. Create a focus group of current adult students. Ask them how the institution could better serve them.

6. Ask current adult students to invite a friend to a class.

7. Offer résumé-writing workshops for current adult students and one guest of their choice.

8. Do not underestimate the power of happy students—or unhappy ones.

8 Strategies for Recruiting Adult Students to 4-Year Colleges