Wednesday, November 25, 2009

God help me I do love Top 10 lists


Posted using ShareThis

ACHE award winners


Several ACHE awards and scholarships were given out at the Awards Banquet at the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting last week.  Congratulations to all!  Here's the list of the awards:

Leadership Award:  Patricia Brown
Special Recognition Award:  Barbara Hanniford
Crystal Marketing Award:  Western Kentucky University for "Independent Learning 2008 Rebranding Initiative"
Marlow Froke Award:  William D. Oberman and Elizabeth T. Hill for "Discovering the Paths to Building Social Capital: Complex Campus and Community Linkages in Continuing Higher Education"
Distinguished Program Award Credit: Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for Reach Higher: Oklahoma's Adult Degree Completion Program
Distinguished Program Award Non-Credit: Austin Peay State University for Spanish in the Workplace for Tennessee Department of Rehabilitation Services
Creative Use of Technology Award: Kansas State University for Distance Learning Video Gallery
Older Adult Model Program: Ardmore Higher Education Center for Senior University
Outstanding Services to Underserved Population: Southern New Hampshire University for the SNHU Advantage Program

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Call for proposals for a conference at the beach

ACHE South Spring Conference
“Exploring New Frontiers in Continuing Education”

April 11-14, 2010
Melbourne, FL


Proposal Deadline: January 8, 2010

Conference Tracks
Presenters are requested to submit proposals for concurrent sessions for topics pertaining to adult and continuing higher education. Areas of focus include but are not limited to:

• Launching Lives: Transforming Students
• Mission Possible: Transforming Institutions and Ourselves
• One Small Step...One Giant Leap: Transforming Programs
• Defying Gravity: Transforming Services and Policies

Guidelines for Concurrent Session Proposals: Concurrent sessions will be 50-minutes in length, with three session times on Tuesday, April 13, and one Wednesday, April 14, for a total of 12-15 different presentations.

To propose a concurrent session, please provide the following items of information in the format below:

1. Name, Institution, Mailing Address, Telephone, Fax, E-mail for all presenters
2. Title of presentation.
3. Recommendation for Novice, Intermediate, Experienced, of All Audiences (Indicate One)
4. Abstract of presentation (70-80 words)
5. Brief biography of presenter(s)
6. One page double-spaced Presentation Summary, including pertinence to conference theme and which conference track(s) presentation addresses.
7. Special AV equipment needs: indicate if you will be using overhead transparencies, PowerPoint, or other presentation formats. Unless your presentation is on a flash drive, you must provide your own laptop computer. A podium, microphone, and one flip chart with pad and pens will be available in each concurrent session meeting room.

Send proposals via email by January 8, 2010 as a Microsoft Word attachment to:

Marilyn Read, Delta State University, at mread@deltastate.edu
Those submitting proposals will be notified of the decision by February 5, 2010.

I guess the biggest surprise to me

Was that there were philosophy job openings.  I'm certainly against gender bias.  From insidehighered.com.

Philosophers Against Bias

Many academic associations have policies barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Many of those same associations have job listing services that are used, in some cases, by religious institutions that require all hires to hold certain beliefs or follow certain rules, in some cases barring sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman.

The American Philosophical Association has for several years been debating whether allowing such institutions to use its jobs services undercuts the group's anti-bias rules and effectively hurts its members who are gay; some philosophers have suggested that the association ban job notices from colleges that discriminate against gay people.

While the association has now rejected that move, it has decided on a new procedure that will flag all ads from employers that either volunteer that they discriminate or are determined to do so.

The new policy is being hailed by some philosophers as an important demonstration of the association's commitment to equity. But there may be a loophole in the policy -- and an association of Christian colleges is questioning the fairness of the new procedure.

Under the new system, the association's rules against bias will be posted on the page where colleges can add a job notice. When placing the notice, colleges will be asked to indicate whether their policies are consistent with the association's bans on various types of discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation. Any colleges that does not indicate that it complies with the statement will be flagged for not doing so, so potential applicants will be aware of the issue. Further, the association will investigate any complaints about whether colleges that haven't been flagged are violating the policy, and if they are found in violation, they will also be flagged.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Advising in real life

Is no longer enough for online students.  I wonder if we could set this up for our online and off-campus programs?

Second Life Advising Required by Penn State

Plenty of colleges have a presence in Second Life. Pennsylvania State University is taking that a step further. Academic advisers at the university’s online campus are now required to be available for meetings with students in the virtual world every week, a Penn State official said during last week’s Educause conference . . .
Students on the real campus get to chat with their advisers face to face. Now online students who never set foot there can do the “exact same thing,” says Shannon Ritter, social-networks adviser for the Penn State World Campus.
Almost the same thing, anyway. Second Life requires users to choose avatars, or graphical representations of themselves. So students who want to meet with Rachel Zimmerman will find themselves chatting with a character called RachelM Snoodle. Looking for Karen Lesch? The adviser goes by KarenM Magic. All advisers are required to cover at least two hours a week.

Ms. Ritter, whose job involves using emerging technologies to build community with online students, says there hasn’t really been any resistance to the requirement – just adjustment to a new technology.

“Second Life has been a completely new thing to almost all the advisers,” she says. “And so at the beginning they aren’t really sure how to do anything. But we schedule training sessions and work with them on the basics. And once they're in there, they really enjoy it."

Facebooking the ACHE Conference



I think the ACHE Conference Facebook site was a wonderful success!  If you haven't yet, take a look at it.  It was great if you were there, and it helped keep those who could not attend a little in the loop.

ACHE Conference Facebook

I've been getting spammed on my comment entries

So I had to go to "word verification" to stem the tide.  Over in Retrospace, the author has had the same problem and answered with an obscene gesture aimed at the spammers.  And it contained a better explanation than I could have composed:

Retrospace Gives the Bird to Spammers
Well, folks, you can thank spammers for having to use that pain-in-ass word verification every time you want to leave a comment. I've been deleting ridiculous comment spam for months, but it's just getting out of hand and taking up a lot of time. Who the hell are these spammers? I mean, what kind of business model uses spam as a marketing plan? Has it ever actually happened that someone notices spam in the comment section, is desperately curious about where this link might lead and actually clicked on it? EVER? Has this ever actually happened?
And if by chance you accidentally click it, who the hell is going to purchase something from them? Is their clever plot contingent upon ensnaring porn addicts who will lay down credit card numbers the minute they lay eyes on their lousy porno website? It all reminds me of when my computer was overtaken by a virus last year. No matter what I clicked after a Google search, it directed me to various idiotic ads. Gee, that really made me want to try their products. A helpful tip to up-and-coming businesses: forcibly taking customers to an advertiser against their will is not a good marketing strategy.
To all you spamming douche bags, this bird's for you.

Save the date



Thomas Edison State College's National Institute on the Assessment of Adult Learning 2010 will be held June 9-11, 2010.  I hate to take a cheap shot, but the English major in me is just too strong.  The theme appears to be Future Visions, although it was listed on the save-the-date postcard I just got as Future Visons.  I suppose it could be Future Bisons.  I picture Buffalo wielding light sabers...

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

Time's top 10 college presidents.

The Big Man on Campus

First they came for the smokers...

My C.E. buddy in town worries that they'll eventually come for the drinkers. Hah, he doesn't know politicians....

Fat Fees and Smoker Surcharges: Tough-Love Health Incentives

Saturday, November 21, 2009

ACHE


GeoTagged, [N36.35951, E82.43026]

Here I am at the Constitution Center during the optional reception Sunday night.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Human resources professionals recently held

an unconference. I learned about this on Punk Rock HR http://punkrockhr.com/, and it's an interesting idea. It sounds like a ground roots conference designed to meet the needs of--I suspect--younger professionals. Here is an excerpt from the unconference website:
HRevolution is a premier HR 'Un-conference' event being held in Louisville, KY, on November 6- 7, 2009. The focus is on HR, social media, technology, and how the three interact. Don’t miss your opportunity to participate in or sponsor this event.

The Story
The idea came from hearing HR professionals say that traditional conferences may not be addressing HR issues and social media in the way that bloggers do. So, we created this 1 1/2 day "experience," centrally located in Louisville, KY, where we can come together in a less structured setting. The goal is to share ideas and experiences so that each person leaves knowing more than they came with.

Some of the fun and informative topics that the HRevolution may explore:

*Blogging Basics - tools, platforms, getting started
*Advanced Blogging Topics - hosting, building an audience, promotion, aggregation
*Social Media in HR - building the case, learning the tools, planning the strategy, executing the plan, measuring the results
*New Technology you can use - Demo and discussion of some exciting new technologies for information sharing and collaboration, low-cost (some even free), low maintenance, and really cool

The $50 participation fee will help cover the cost of the conference rooms (and related fees), food, and tweetup. Because of our generous sponsors' support, this participant fee is much lower than originally anticipated. At the close of HRevolution, if there is any surplus of funds, we will be donating it to Junior Achievement KY. Junior Achievement works with students to help prepare them for success in the global economy.
http://hrevolution.eventbrite.com/

Friday, November 13, 2009

Only 8 states are less happy

Than Tennesseeans. This is from Jeanna Bryner's The Well-Being of 50 U.S. States at livescience.com. It uses data from the Gallup-Heathways Well-Being Index that included questions about "six types of well-being, including overall evaluation of their lives, emotional health, physical health, healthy behaviors (such as whether a person smokes or exercises), and job satisfaction."

I've listed the bottom 10 unhappiest states below. Conversely, the happiest are Utah and Hawaii. Hawaii, I can understand. Utah, not so much...

The Well-Being of 50 U.S. States LiveScience

40. Louisiana: 64.2
41. Michigan: 64.0
42. Tennessee: 64.0
43. Oklahoma: 64.0
44. Missouri: 63.8
45. Indiana: 63.3
46. Arkansas: 62.9
47. Ohio: 62.8
48. Mississippi: 61.9
49. Kentucky: 61.4
50. West Virginia: 61.2

Off to Philly

I leave for the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting today, and look forward to several days of learning, networking, discovering, and--oh yeah--passing the gavel to Dr. Roxanne Gonzales! I'll be doing my blogging from the City of Brotherly Love next week.

A virtual high school

for military families is in the works. Their football team can be called the Trogans.

U.S. Military to Debut Virtual School
When new assignments force members of the armed forces to move, it often means children need to switch schools. In some military families, children change schools multiple times during the course of their academic lives. The Department of Defense says that the disruptions can produce setbacks in students' schooling, but department officials are working to fix that: They're developing the military's first online virtual high school, to be open in time for the 2010-2011 school year.

The online curriculum is being developed in collaboration with experts at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas under a $6.2 million contract from the Department of Defense Education Activity program. The coursework is meant not to replace or compete with face-to-face schools but to supplement them.
Zach Miners. Usnews.com.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I love college football

But should assistant college coaches be making more than college presidents? Assistant coaches? We may have to change the school colors at UT from orange to green. I know, to be fair, the UT athletic programs returns money to help the entire university. Still...


At least 66 football assistants, including more than two dozen in the Southeastern Conference, make $300,000 or more, and USA TODAY found that perks once reserved for head coaches are commonplace: multiyear and rollover deals, supplemental income from TV and radio, performance bonuses, retention bonuses, cars, complimentary tickets and country club memberships.

Tennessee's nine assistants earn an average of more than $369,000; Texas' better than $327,000.

By comparison, the American Association of University professors put last year's average salary for full professors at public doctoral universities at $115,509. Two years ago, the most recent period covered by the Chronicleof Higher Education's annual survey of presidents' compensation, median pay and benefits for CEOs at public research institutions was $427,400. Nearly one in 10 pulled down less than $300,000.

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

Christmas must be coming up since I'm hearing Christmas songs in stores, and one of my neighbors has his Christmas lights up. So here's a list of the Top 10 Dubious Toys that you may want to keep off your shopping list. From time.com.

1. Homeless American Girl
2. A Child-Size SUV
3. Breast-Feeding Baby
4. Racist Golliwogs
5. Crazy for You Teddy Bear
6. Harry Potter and the Vibrating Broom
7. Terrorist Lego?
8. First Daughter Dolls
9. Airport Security Play Set
10. Barbie's Pregnant Friend

Top 10 Dubious Toys

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Follow the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting

On Facebook this year!

If you are going to the conference you can become a fan and upload your pictures during the conference. If you can’t make it to this year’s conference, stay updated this way. Follow this link to become an ACHE Facebook Fan today!

From Tim Copeland's Blog

On College and University Marketing and Enrollment Management. This part covers discussions from a recent UCEA South Roundtable discussion. It looks like he was live-blogging from the entire conference.

What Corporations Want from Education Partners – Selling Professional and Continuing Education

There's a new Facebook


in Education site up. Become a fan at http://www.facebook.com/education.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From the higher ed marketing blog

Andrew Careaga's slide presentation from the workshop he conducted the AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management Conference.

What web ads

Attract our attention? Oddly, it's not the animated, busy ones....

Why We Look at Some Web Ads and Not Others

Then there was the result that most surprised the researchers: text-only ads received the most looks. Part of that might be our accidentally thinking text-only ads are part of the information we're looking for. But as Nielsen explains it, the nature of the Web itself might be coming into play as well. Unlike television, which is a passive medium, the Web is all about taking action — searching, clicking, registering, buying, downloading. It might be the case that as we're out there on the Internet, what we're attracted to is content that gets us to where we want to go.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Will furloughs lead to

increased faculty unionization? In Iowa, Northern Iowa University, the one state university that is unionized, may refuse to take faculty furloughs. If that works, unions may gain power...


UNI's faculty union formed in 1976, when professors clashed with administrators over issues such as tenure.

Instructors at the other two schools didn't follow UNI's lead because they saw unions as a threat to academic independence.

That could change if UNI faculty members avoid unpaid time off, said Arnold Van Der Valk, who heads ISU's faculty senate.

"That will prove the union means something," he said. "I feel that we have learned a real lesson from the Board of Regents in terms of how little power we have. They'd really made up their minds, I think, before anybody had a chance to comment."

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

The 10 Best Internet Memes of the Decade (2000-2009) :: Blogs :: List of the Day :: Paste

Friday, November 6, 2009

How to create a killer conference

This is by Jackie Huba, writing in the Church of the Customer blog. Some enthusiastic food for thought here. I was especially interested in the part about developing an iPhone app that conference attendees could use to examine the program. That's pretty sweet. I'm guilty sometimes about thinking too small about conferences during tough times...

At the start of 2009, 7% of business meetings scheduled for the year had already been canceled. As the year wore on, it seems as if things only got worse for the conference industry. Thanks, Great Recession!

So how in the world did the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association nearly double the attendance of its annual summit from 600 in 2008 to 1,100 this year?

Since I was invited to keynote at the conference, I found out first-hand:

  • Provide killer content. This one-day event had 5 tracks with enough variety for everyone: Fundamentals, Strategy, Tactical, Trends and Technical tracks. Sessions tackled key issues such as legal problems in online marketing, diversity in the interactive industry, and job strategies for a sucky economy.
  • Its members are fiercely loyal. Five years ago, MIMA had 200 members. Two years ago, it had 700. Now it has 1,200. By focusing on a long-term loyalty strategy of membership growth, plus great content, attending the annual conference was a no-brainer for many members.
  • Technology was everywhere. MIMA set up home bases on Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, and YouTube. They live-streamed the conference over the web. They created an iPhone app for attendees to browse the schedule and manage their conference experience. They encouraged attendees to download Bump, an iPhone app that allows people to exchange contact info by "bumping" their phones together.
  • Best customer service ever. Whacked out customer service isn't usually part of most conferences, but it was here. Masseuses gave neck massages in the speaker green room and in the press room. A hospitality station offered laptop and phone charging. There was hand sanitizer galore to combat H1N1 flu fears. There were private breast pump rooms for moms. My favorite: Snuggies for those who were too cold (why are conferences forever freezing cold?)
  • An event coordinator brimming with imagination. MIMA smartly put Jennifer Kane from Kane Consulting in charge of event management. Brimming with energy. Always smiling, even under stress. Always focused on the attendee's experience. It was her idea to do the hospitality station. The conference was managed like a fun, bustling restaurant with great service. There was even an official MIMA cupcake in conference bags.
  • They were bold. In tough times, it's tempting to be conservative. Bare-bones everything. MIMA wasn't. It secured Seth Godin as the luncheon keynote speaker to drive attendance. They were right. The conference sold out 2 weeks before it happened.
  • Humor. Maybe it's Minnesota, but humor was rich in its abundance at the conference. Weeks earlier, MIMA showed how by using the Seth Godin action figure to create a YouTube video called "Little Seth Godin at the Minnesota State Fair." In it, Little Seth gets rolled into a lefse. (It's a Scandinavian Minnesota thing.)
  • Absolutely nutty creative. I asked Jen Kane if a TV would be at the reception party on Sunday, the night before the event, because my Steelers were playing the Chargers. (Yeah, I'm a fanatic.) Sure enough, they had a TV and, to my utter shock, they assembled a "Steelers lounge" just for me. They called it Jackie's Joint, and it came with VIP Reserved Chair, popcorn machine, gold pom poms and large screen TV. It was sick, and I loved it. (More pics here.
« How to create a killer conference

Thursday, November 5, 2009

There's hope for journalism majors after all

From the Freakonomics Blog at http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/

Newspapers Not as Dead as You Think
We’ve blogged about proposals to save ailing print newspapers. Despite shrinking circulation and falling ad revenue, Daniel Gross doesn’t think print news is doing so badly. In a Slate column, he points out that “Every month, several million Americans pay to have newspapers and magazines delivered to their homes — a trick most online publications have yet to pull off.” Jason Kottke compares print newspapers’ sales strategy to Apple’s iPhone and Mac sales: “they have less market share but they make more money on each sale than their competitors by offering a premium product.” (7)

Continuing education salaries

The Chronicle of Higher Education lists the median salaries of college administrators at various types of institutions for 2008-09. I've pulled the continuing education positions.

Median Salaries of College Administrators By Job Category And Type of Institution, 2008-9

Dean, Continuing Education

$109,925--All
$153,276--Doctoral
$109,925--Master's
$81,611--Baccalaureate
$89,6962--2-year

Associate/assistant dean, continuing education

$80,904--All
$108,004--Doctoral
$78,987--Master's
$62,544--Baccalaureate
$70,545--2-year

Director, continuing education

$74,907--All
$97,251--Doctoral
$74,352--Master's
$64,586--Baccalaureate
$66,993--2-year


Conference/workshop education coordinator, continuing education
$43,115--All
$43,073--Doctoral
$42,532--Master's
$40,000--Baccalaureate
$46,015--2-year

Continuing-education specialist
$49,927--All
$52,317--Doctoral
$49,442--Master's
$47,778--Baccalaureate
$51,296--2-year

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Deadline is Friday

I got this request in an email from Jeannette M. Passmore. I was unfamiliar with the group, but it looks like they do good work. Their website is http://www.myacpa.org/comm/commuter/. Anyway, I thought I'd pass this on even though the deadline is tight:

As a member of the Commission for Commuter Students and Adult Learners, I'd appreciate your help!

We're looking for great programs to recognize for our 2010 Commission Awards, which recognize:

Outstanding Commuter Program
Outstanding Adult Learner Program
Outstanding Collaboration
Commuter/Adult Learner Perspective by a Student Development
Professional
Commuter/Adult Learner Perspective by a Student Graduate Student Research
and Innovation

In the past, our awards have highlighted innovative and creative approaches to addressing commuter and adult student learner needs from colleagues whose work primarily lies in Student Activities - namely you! We'd appreciate your help in nominating someone and/or some program that deserves recognition! Please see attached for Awards descriptions.

To nominate, you can use the attached form and email/fax back to me or you can nominate online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=iyr8Wolki81vv1jUm90brQ_3d_3d

Don't delay - nominations are due November 6, 2009!

Thanks for your help and involvement with the Commission for Commuter Students and Adult Learners!

Best,
Gerry Elizondo
Chair Elect, Commission for Commuter Students and Adult Learners

More things to do in Philadelphia

This is a neat link from the Official Visitor Site for Greater Philadelphia: Philadelphia and the Countryside.

www.­foreverindepende­nt.­org

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

At the SCS&AO retreat.


Where to dine at the ACHE Conference

This is actually a re-posting of my experiences dining near the Sheraton Society Hill--the 2009 ACHE conference site--during a mid-year board meeting. I thought I'd put it out there to help people plan their meals in Philadelphia. But keep in mind, there are a lot of restaurants nearby and these are just three that I visited.

There are several restaurants and taverns close to the site of the 2009 ACHE Annual Meeting and Conference. We visited the Artful Dodger www.artfuldodgerphilly.com/, which, according to its website, "dates back to the early 1800’s. While it is rich in history, it remains an active part of the neighborhood where you can enjoy a pint of ale, great food, sports, music, and other activities."

We had a wonderful lunch at the Old Original Bookbinders www.bookbinders.biz/ where Joe DiMaggio, Lillian Russell, Richard Nixon, The Rat Pack, Bob Hope and a host of other celebrities have all enjoyed seafood, cocktails, and friendship.

Our dinner on Tuesday night took place at the City Tavern www.citytavern.com/. According to its website "the Tavern was built for the convenience and credit of the city by a group of eminent Philadelphians who felt that their hometown deserved a fine tavern which reflected its status as the largest, most cosmopolitan city in British North America. When the Tavern was completed in 1773, it was one of the most elegant buildings in the city."

It's always good advice

To store your booze and porn off-campus. After all, you never know when someone will rob you, and then get caught with your stuff. From the tennessean.com.

Report explains booze in East TN school building, not porn

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn — An internal report by Sullivan County schools officials explains where whiskey taken from a school system warehouse came from. Still a mystery is where pornography originated.

The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office issued a theft report on Oct. 21, stating a break-in earlier that date at the building in Blountville resulted in the theft of a computer, two cameras, eight pornographic DVDs and two bottles of whiskey.

The Kingsport Times-News reported an internal investigation, released Thursday by school system attorney Pat Hull, stated the whiskey was given as a gift by a textbook sales representative, was unopened and was stored in a locked cabinet.

The school board's report found no connection between any employees and pornography.

As part of Non-Traditional Student Week

The Office of Adult, Commuter, and Transfer Services at ETSU is sponsoring an essay contest:

Write and Enter to Win: “The Joy of Returning to School and Continuing my Education.”

Adult, Commuter and Transfer Services (ACTS) invites all ETSU non-traditional students to write a brief statement about the “joy of returning to school and continuing my education.” Come by our booth on the second floor of the D.P. Culp University Center Nov 2 - 6 from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm or enter online by emailing your statement to warnerc@etsu.edu by Friday November 6 at 4:30 pm.

All statements will be compiled and submitted to the online adult student leadership network known as “The NET.” Members of the THE NET will vote on the winning statement.

A gift basket containing a $25 Bookstore certificate and other items will be awarded to the winner

Monday, November 2, 2009

Saw Chuck Havlicek

at the TACHE Drive-In Conference in Nashville last Friday. ACEware was a sponsor for the event. http://www.aceware.com/

He was saying that based on his experience, attendance this year at continuing education conferences was down about 30%. We were down more than that at TACHE, but it's a very tough year, particularly for the community colleges, who make up most of the membership. I thought for sure I had a picture of Chuck in some compromising position, but alas I didn't...

This week is

Non-Traditional Student Week. November 1 - 7, 2009

Non-Traditional Student Week

ANTSHE is proud to announce its annual nationwide celebration of Non-traditional Students in Higher Education. Institutions and members are encouraged to plan events to recognize the non-traditional students on their campus, as well as highlight efforts that improved their adult student environment.

ANTSHE is the Association for Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education http://www.antshe.org/

I blame this on the television series

Community.


Some are there because of the recession, and others despite it. Regardless, more young Americans than ever are in college — especially community college, according to a new report.

A record high of about 11.5 million Americans age 18 to 24, or nearly 40%, attended college in October 2008, according to a study of Census data released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. Virtually all the increase of 300,000 students over the previous year came at two-year schools, while attendance at four-year schools
remained flat.

Community colleges almost certainly saw attendance go up at least that much again this year, though final figures are not yet available. The American Association of Community Colleges reports growth rates of 10% and higher have been common this fall on many campuses.

Overall college attendance has been going up for about 30 years; what's new is the sharp uptick at community colleges, driven in large part by recessionary bargain hunting and closer ties between two- and four-year colleges that give students more confidence they'll be able to transfer.

"It's not just middle-aged people coming back to school and very poor people any more," said Mike Grace, 24, a student at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, N.C., who plans to transfer to nearby North Carolina State next spring. "I'm seeing what I would consider to be relatively rich kids coming to school."