Showing posts from October, 2009

God help me I do love Top 10 lists


Happy Halloween!


God help me I do love Top 10 lists


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'sTop 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 …

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)

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 …

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 res…

I love Community

The new NBC show set at a community college. This is Steven Porter's video. "Dean you later."

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

Women set to overtake men in the workforce

It was all predicted...

Mad househusbands

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…

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…

Morgan State blocks online program

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 …

Are your non-credit enrollments

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

Where Enrollment is Down
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

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.

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 an…

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

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 …

Men network on Mars

Women on Venus.

Understanding How Women Network
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.

The benefits of meeting

face to face.

Bring Back The Meeting
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

Happy Boss's Day


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 EntertainmentYou can register now for the ACHE conference at the conference registration…

The University of Westfield Online

SNL's skit on how to avoid telling employers you attended an online college.

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

Happy Columbus Day!


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

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 co…


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 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....
Old School Values
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.

Advice for adult students

Not every good job takes a graduate degree.
Surprising Jobs that Pay $25 an Hour
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.

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 tod…

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 »

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…

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.
Ig Nobel Ceremony 2009

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 spaceFor 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."Jenn…

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 (i…

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 n…

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