Friday, December 31, 2010

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

And Happy New Year.

Ridiculously Strong Drinks

Alternatives to drinking on New Year's Eve

Hmmm.  Someone sober thought this would work?

Sorry, a boozy footbath won't get you drunk
There are a lot of ways to get drunk (especially this time of year), but according to new research published in the British Medical Journal, soaking your feet in booze is not one of them.

Still, foot drinking (sole sipping?) is a popular urban myth widely circulated in Denmark -- and elsewhere (search “drunk,” “soaking your feet” and “alcohol” and you'll get more than 17,000 hits). So much so that Danish researchers decided it was high time to put an end to it with a little scientific investigation.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A college president looks back

On how continuing education changed his college.

Lakeland College prepares for evolving work force Green Bay Press Gazette
Lakeland in the 1970s was among the first colleges in the Fox River Valley to offer bachelor's degree programs for working adults. The move was the vision of William Kellett, former Kimberly-Clark Corp. president and member of Lakeland's board of trustees.

Gould said Kellett had been involved with the state's commission on higher learning and was concerned about challenges graduates from two-year colleges faced when trying to transfer credits to a four-year college or university.

"Back then, credits were not transferable, and Bill saw that as an inefficient and awkward system," Gould said. "A lot of people had two-year degrees, and after a certain point many wanted to complete a four-year degree, but couldn't afford the time away from work."

That ultimately paved the way for Lakeland to establish partnerships with the state's technical college system, making it easier for its students to transfer credits. Among the first partnerships was with Fox Valley Technical College.

5 Reasons Why You Must Advertise

explains in Duct Tape Marketing that you must spend a little money to advertize your programs. Inexpensive, social media aren't enough. 

5 Reasons Why You Must Advertise
When done effectively advertising is an essential part of mix because:

1. Advertising is the only medium you can control – if you want your message to hit on the day a product launches or event is about to happen, this is the only vehicle you control completely.

2. Advertising allows you to target ideal customers only – when you match a very personal message to a very select audience you get far greater connection.

3. Advertising creates awareness for your content – The force that drives a great deal of conversion and trust building these days is educational content – ebooks, seminars and blog posts – advertising is a great way to help get that content found and consumed once you’ve gone to the effort to produce it.

4. Advertising adds credibility to your message – Don’t ask me why this is exactly, but every time I run advertising people comment that business must be going well. The perception that you can afford advertising is often enough to sell and resell prospects and customers alike and makes it easier to get attention for your entire message.

5. Advertising amplifies everything else you’re doing – When you are using advertising to create awareness for your content you automatically create more awareness for everything you are doing. Journalists find companies that advertise, referral sources remember companies that advertise, people fan and follow and friend from ads, and employees can point to well-placed ads as a source of pride in place they work.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Call for ACHE proposals

The Program Committee for the 2011 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting invites proposals for interactive sessions to be presented at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida, October 13-15, 2011.

For more information and submission guidelines, visit the Call for Proposals Website.

Year-end summary time

2010's most memorable movie moments

Monday, December 27, 2010

Lake effect job market

Great Lakes, Good Job Market
Companies based in the Great Lakes area expect to hire 13% more new graduates with bachelor’s degrees regionally for the 2010-2011 academic year compared with the year earlier, according to a recent survey by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. The region includes Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Year-end summary time

They aren't ranked but I like Self-Proclaimed Vampire Brings Out Seattle SWAT.

Top Headlines of 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hoping for a redneck hot tub this Christmas

Year-end summary time

“You will be visited by 69 spirits”: 23 TV episodes based on “A Christmas Carol”
1. Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)
Often cited as the first animated Christmas special, Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol is also one of the first TV shows to place an existing character within the rough outline of Charles Dickens’ classic novella about an elderly miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and the series of ghosts who provide him with some historical perspective on his life. In this hourlong special, the nearsighted bumbler Mr. Magoo (voiced as always by Jim Backus) appears on Broadway in a musical version of Dickens’ tale, with songs by famed composers Jule Styne and Bob Merrill. After the “this is just a play” framework is established, Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol serves up a shortened but still potent take on the story, with Styne/Merrill numbers like “Alone In The World” charting Scrooge’s gradual emotional softening. The show was such a hit that it opened the floodgates for Christmas cartoons on TV, and also inspired the short-lived NBC series The Famous Adventures Of Mr. Magoo, which stuck Quincy Magoo in different literary/historical adventures each week.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nearby LMU

Experiments with recruiting practices.  Lincoln Memorial University has a bustling off-campus program that this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education doesn't even mention.

A Small University Embraces a Big-Business Formula for Recruiting

Year-end summary time

The 10 Best Sitcom Christmas Episodes of the Past 30 Years

It's not fair to judge

Without knowing who these colleges serve.  Many serve urban, part-time populations who take longer to graduate.  I bet may serve first-generation college students who also take longer.

Colleges With The Lowest Graduation Rates

Today is

Christmas Adam:  The day before Christmas Eve. Since Adam was created before Eve, and the need to be equitable in the holiday season, Christmas Adam creates further anticipation of Christmas Day.

Guy 1: When is your family coming to our place?

Guy 2: On Christmas Adam and leaving New Year's Day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finals ended last week but in review....

see more Funny Graphs

On the other hand

Virtual meeting are increasing.

Are Virtual Office Meetings Better Than the Real Thing?
Results published by Market Media Research shows that virtual meetings and events doubled from 2008 and 2009. The industry is expected to grow to $18.6 billion by 2015, a 56 percent annual growth rate. Especially when it comes to virtual trade shows and conferences, USA Today says that companies are even turning to programs like Second Life to host their virtual meetings while other businesses are developing innovative techniques to combine social media and the virtual event to create a more personalized experience.

Maybe telecommuting isn't such a good idea after all

People might value physical, social interaction and increase the quality of their work accordingly. 

The Value of Face Time: To Work Better, Work Closely
The authors analyzed a bunch of scientific studies, looking at how far away the participating researchers labored from one another. They then looked at how often those studies were cited by other scientists, which is a measure of how influential the work becomes.

They found that the closer together researchers worked, the more often other academics cited their study. This was especially true if the researcher listed first (usually the one judged most responsible for the work) and the one listed last worked near each other. The closer they were, whether they were in the same building, on the same campus, or on different campuses of the same institution, the louder their work seemed to talk.

"Despite all of the profound advances in information technology, such as video conferencing, we found that physical proximity still matters for research productivity and impact," says Isaac Kohane, lead author of the study and the Lawrence J. Henderson professor of pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston and director of the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. . . .

While this may just be another one of those egghead academic phenomena, other recent studies from the business world lend some support. One recent study suggested that conducting all communication by email leads to less engagement in a task. You need face-to-face meetings to build trust, empathy and a feeling of responsibility to each other. Some of the efficiencies that email and teleconferencing offer are counteracted by the inefficiencies of disembodied communication.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I may have mentioned something earlier about liking my iPhone

Daniel Hamermesh offers help for the climate- challenged iPhone user.  And boy have we been climate-challenged around here lately.

How to Stay Warm While Operating Your iPhone in the Cold
New technologies give rise to other new technologies and complementary goods. I love my iPhone and, living in a warm climate, I always have fingers warm enough to operate the heat-sensitive letters on its screen. But in a cold climate, I would have the same problem others have — I would have to choose between being able to operate the iPhone and having warm fingers. The two are no longer mutually exclusive: Companies are marketing mittens and gloves with fold-over buttonable fingers, so you can briefly expose your warm, functioning fingers to punch in letters and numbers on the iPhone, and keep your fingers warm when not using the device. Human ingenuity, even in a minor area like this, is truly remarkable.

Year-end summary time

The top worst film according to The A.V. ClubThe Last Airbender.

The 15 worst films of 2010
Artistically and critically speaking, there was no bigger fiasco this year than The Last Airbender, M. Night Shyamalan’s first foray into big-budget special-effects action-adventure. Clumsily adapting the entire first season of a terrific Nickelodeon animated series into a 103-minute live-action feature, Shyamalan coped with his time crunch by having the characters dully, dutifully explain everything they’re thinking, planning, or feeling. Flat acting and stiff directing don’t help matters, nor does the overcrowded plot; treating his world as something the characters have to constantly define for each other makes his fantasy world feel even more ludicrous and unreal. And then there’s the disastrous 3-D conversion, which make the visuals so dark and muddy that even the special effects couldn’t serve as a sop for the fans. Laughable where it’s supposed to be serious and depressing where it’s supposed to be comedic, The Last Airbender was a punchline for much of 2010—again, artistically and critically speaking. Financially, it made back its money, and Shyamalan has sketched out a sequel that may or may not happen. If it does, at least this time, viewers will go in forewarned, and with a slot ready and waiting for the worst films of 2011 or 2012.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The new regulation that is giving every online degree program heartburn

If we enroll out-of-state students, even in our online programs, we have to be authorized by every state involved.  I'm beginning to have sympathy for the Republican point of view concerning the fate of the Department of Education.  From the Chronicle of Higher Education.

State-Oversight Rule Draws Protests From Colleges and Congress
Under the Higher Education Act, colleges must be legally authorized to provide postsecondary education in every state where they operate.

But the law does not specify how states should approve colleges, leaving it to state lawmakers and administrators to set their own standards for approval.

The result has been a patchwork of policies at the state level. Some states, like Hawaii and Wyoming, allow colleges to operate with only a business license. Others, including New York and Ohio, send teams of reviewers to scrutinize applicants. A number of states, including California, defer their decision to accreditors, deeming institutions "authorized" if they have regional accreditation.

There is even more variety in how states regulate distance education, according to a 2006 survey by Dow Lohnes, a law firm. In some states, only colleges with branch campuses in the state must seek approval. Others require any college that even advertises in the state to be authorized.

Until recently the Education Department took a hands-off approach to the law. Before certifying a college to award federal aid, officials would confirm that it was authorized in its home state and states with physical campuses. But officials didn't check whether an institution was authorized in every state in which it enrolled students, and they didn't punish institutions that weren't.

This alone could stave off tuition increases

Appy State has its own brewery  and wants to profit from it.  Meanwhile, in Tennessee, we can't even possess alcohol on state property.

ASU brews hops, hopes to sell beer
Ivory Tower Brewery, in the basement of the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center, is a small nonprofit brewery operated by university professors who taught an honors class in beer brewing to 12 students last spring.

The class covered the chemical, biological and production process of brewing malted beverages, including the science of how to combine hops, malt and yeast to produce styles and flavors of beer.

Since that beer was used for research and educational purposes by a university, it was legal. But selling beer is another matter.

"The university is authorized to sell products that are incidental to instructional and laboratory work already," said Dayton Cole, ASU's attorney. "But because alcoholic beverages are so heavily regulated, we need to get permits."

Extending continuing education to the high school

We do some of this with dual enrollment, but we haven't had much luck with high school students attending summer school.  And I'm sure we could register students as young as 10 in any credit class.  But it may be time to look at it again. 

I think the DoSC mission is interesting.  It seems broader than most in continuing education.  How does yours compare?

Rutgers Continuing Studies and HEROES offer $2,700 in Talent Search Scholarships
Rutgers University's Division of Continuing Studies (“DoCS”) and Higher Education, Resources and Opportunities for Exceptional Scholars (“HEROES”) today announced that they will award $2,700 in scholarships in conjunction with a Talent Search. The Talent Search is designed to identify exceptionally gifted middle school and high school students, recognize them for their exceptional academic aptitude and help them access academic opportunities designed for exceptionally able students.

Elizabeth Beasley, Director, New Brunswick Summer & Special Projects at Rutgers University states, "We are delighted to be able to recognize exceptional younger scholars through this Talent Search program, in partnership with HEROES. At the Rutgers New Brunswick campus, we have seen a growing number of younger students (aged 10-17) register for university courses in Summer Session - and perform exceedingly well. We hope to use the Talent Search program to increase awareness of university resources and programs available to these younger, gifted students." . . .
The mission of DoCS is to provide distributed and lifelong access to Rutgers University through education, training, research, service and knowledge transfer to communities throughout New Jersey and beyond. DoCS has actively worked to serve NJ's gifted students by creating a new Gifted Education Certificate Program for educators, providing High School Summer Scholars Scholarships, offering Summer Program at Rutgers for Kids ("SPARK") and sponsoring the annual HEROES Conference.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Continuing education job openings

Even in tough times, colleges and universities are still hiring.  Here are some continuing education jobs from the Chronicle of Higher Education and
Kansas State University:  Assistant Professor of Adult Education
Tarrant County College District: Vice President of Continuing Education

The most educated county in the country

Eighty-seven percent is amazing....
Carlisle is tops in rate of college graduates
According to the American Community Survey, released yesterday, about 87 percent of Carlisle residents over 25 years of age have an undergraduate degree or higher, while more than 50 percent over 25 have a graduate degree or higher. The national average for a bachelor’s degree is about 27 percent, and the statewide average was 38 percent.

Leslie Thomas, 52, said she moved to this town northwest of Boston because of Carlisle’s rural quality and because she thinks the residents are more educated.

“There’s a lot of emphasis on education in Carlisle, and the parents are very involved,’’ said Thomas, who has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Northeastern University. “People are more open to different things.’’

Retreat 101

I'm a big believer in retreats.  And in getting us away and planning the future.  While I'm not sure about all of these (I'm not big into skits, and my retreats end at the end of the workday.), Seth Godin has some interesting advice.  Tell me what works for you.

How to organize a retreat
•Must be off site, with no access to electronic interruption

•Should be intense. Save the rest and relaxation for afterwards

•Create a dossier on each attendee in advance, with a photo and a non-humble CV of who they are and what they do and what their goals are

•Never (never) have people go around a circle and say their name and what they do and their favorite kind of vegetable or whatever. The problem? People spend the whole time trying to think of what to say, not listening to those in front of them (I once had to witness 600 people do this!!)

•Instead, a week ahead of time, give each person an assignment for a presentation at the event. It might be the answer to a question like, "what are you working on," or "what's bothering you," or "what can you teach us." Each person gets 300 seconds, that's it.

•Have 11 people present their five minutes in an hour. Never do more than an hour in a row. The attendees now have a hook, something to talk to each presenter about in the hallway or the men's room. "I disagree with what you said this morning..."

•Organize roundtable conversations, with no more than 20 people at a time (so if you have more attendees than this, break into groups.) Launch a firestarter, a five minute statement, then have at it. Everyone speaks up, conversations scale and ebb and flow.

•Solve problems. Get into small groups and have the groups build something, analyze something, create something totally irrelevant to what the organization does. The purpose is to put people in close proximity with just enough pressure to allow them to drop their shields.

•Do skits.

•Have a moderator who is brave enough and smart enough to call on people, cut people off, connect people and provoke them in a positive way.

•Invite a poker instructor or a horseshoe expert in to give a lesson and then follow it with a competition.

•Challenge attendees to describe a favorite film scene to you before the event. Pick a few and show them, then discuss.

•Don't serve boring food.

•Use nametags at all times. Write the person's first name REALLY big.

•Use placecards at each meal, rotating where people sit. Crowd the tables really tightly (12 at a table for 10) and serve buffet style to avoid lots of staffers in the room. Make it easy for people to leave boring tables and organically sit together at empty ones.

•Do something really interesting after 10 pm.

•Serve delicious food, weird food, vegan food, funky food. Just because you can.

•Don't worry about being productive. Worry about being busy.

•Consider a tug of war or checkers tournament.

•Create an online site so attendees can check in after the event, swap email addresses or post promised links.

•Take a ton of pictures. Post them as the advance progresses.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Now I understand

The reference to ACHE in the Higher Reach report on the LERN Conference.  I missed this earlier posting by Charles Mehl and Josh Pennino.

Top Ten Things Overheard at ACHE
10) Budgets are shrinking (again…?) and we need to do more with less. New technologies are part of the solution.

9) A tough fiscal environment requires more diligent strategic planning.

8) Why isn’t Destiny Solutions at ACHE this year?

7) Think like Google by applying Google business principles to continuing education: Innovate, measure, capture, and then innovate again.

6) America’s workforce needs to be rebuilt and we need to do it. Let’s stay ahead of the curve and be there for the future.

5) Did you know that the new president of ACHE is a Jenzabar client?

4) Effective grant writing can make a huge difference in funding growth. Don’t overlook the importance of this capability.

3) Adult learners come in various forms and fashions, but most require the same “academic triage” services.

2) McCain and Palin aren’t the only Mavericks: difficult times require radical decision making all around.

1) Wow – how can the University of Oklahoma send so many people to ACHE each year?!

Today is

Mmmm. Chocolate...

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
December 16th is yet another of those days that celebrate specific food items. The history of national chocolate covered anything day will involve a lot of research as it is not particularly well known. However, it is certainly a day for all you chocolaholics out there! You need not feel guilty about eating the addictive stuff on chocolate covered anything day.

National chocolate covered anything day is literally a day for binging. While you can definitely have your fill of chocolate chip encrusted cookies, cakes and pies on the national chocolate covered anything day, you are also at liberty to slather the yummy chocolate over anything and everything that takes your fancy.

Do they even call them albums anymore?

Whatever you call them, Paste Magazine names The 25 Best Album Covers of 2010.  Here's number nine:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I just read this

On the Higher Reach blog. Josh Pennino reports on the LERN conference held last month.  I wonder what number five means?  Maybe someone can help interpret? 
Top Ten Things Overheard At LERN
10. The times have changed… why haven’t your course offerings? (And simply rewriting course titles won’t get you there). 
9. You really don’t use ratios to measure the success of your offerings? So how do you know if you’re doing well or not?

8. Highlight career opportunities at the beginning of the process, not at the end. Linking a program to an actual outcome makes selling much easier.

7. Chicago is my kind of town!

6. Does your staff have the tools they need to be successful? And if so, do they know what to do with them?

5. Remember number 8 from our ACHE learnings…?

4. Is Lumens / LERN one company? Are you sure?

3. I don’t understand twitter either, but that’s not the point. The next generation of learners needs you to figure it out. Quickly.

2. 50% of every promotion dollar is wasted, the difficult question is – which 50%? Do your promotion techniques really work? How do you know?

1. The future is here… hybrid courses!

Cover letter update

But what do you do if you're an entrepreneurial, innovative, results-orientated team player with extensive experience and a proven track record like me?

1. Extensive experience
2. Innovative
3. Motivated
4. Results-oriented
5. Dynamic
6. Proven track record
7. Team player
8. Fast-paced
9. Problem solver
10. Entrepreneurial

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thank God it's not our fault

Poll: Public blames grad rates on college students
The public pins most of the blame for poor college graduation rates on students and their parents and gives a pass to colleges, government officials and others, a new Associated Press-Stanford University poll shows.

All sectors of American higher education received high marks for quality. That extends to for-profit colleges, despite recent criticism of dubious recruiting tactics, high student loan default rates and other problems at some schools.

The belief that students are most at fault for graduation rates is a troubling sign for reformers who have elevated college completion to the forefront of higher education policy debates and pushed colleges to fix the problem, said Michael Kirst, professor emeritus of education and business administration at Stanford.

"The message is, 'Students, you had your shot at college and failed and it's your fault, not the college,'" Kirst said.

Want that MBA?

Some things to consider before taking the plunge.  Penelope Trunk offers alternatives.

Thinking of Getting an MBA? Here Are Five Reasons Not To
If you got into a top-ten business school, go. You will earn $150,000 when you get out, you will have a good-housekeeping seal of approval for your business IQ, and you will have a great network. Also, the top business schools have such a wide range of applicants that the schools themselves are great at sifting through who should be in business school and who shouldn’t.

If you did not get into a top ten school, then you’re making a mistake if you attend. Really. People go to business school for the wrong reasons.

Any retention effort works a little bit, some of the time

And now some evidence that smaller class size doesn't help retain students.  But replacing adjuncts with full-time faculty does.

Unconventional Wisdom
Sara Goldrick-Rab, who co-authored the report, notes with some irony that her home institution of Wisconsin has actually made reducing class size a key initiative.

“The things they are putting their stock in right now are not necessarily the most cost-effective,” said Goldrick-Rab, an assistant professor of educational policy studies and sociology. “The problem here is we have leaders without good information.”

“There’s not much evidence to suggest that reducing class size is going to do much of anything, and there is some evidence that it’s an expensive thing to do,” she added.

So what does improve degree completion productivity? Apart from using more full-time faculty, there’s evidence to suggest that something as basic as picking up a phone and calling students who’ve missed class makes a big difference at relatively little cost, the paper notes. The researchers drew upon data from Des Moines Area Community College, which created a call center and found that the persistence rates were between 2 and 15 percentage points higher among students with whom they had conversations than among those whom were only left voicemails. While the data are limited, the college's experiment suggests outreach and student contact matter, the paper notes.

Because call centers are relatively inexpensive, a college could produce just a few additional degrees with that method and still be more cost-effective than a popular program like Upward Bound, which supports low-income students but comes at a high cost, the report finds.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow day! Final exams scheduled today and tonight are rescheduled to Friday. The day before Commencement.

Going mobile

Some tips to keep in mind as you plan your mobile presence.

Practicing good mobile habits
Is your website content ready for mobile devices? Forecasters predict that by 2013 there will be 1.7 billion mobile internet users. You can be sure that many of those users will be prospective students (and their parents) doing college research through their mobile devices.

Friday, December 10, 2010

For-profits and the G.I. Bill

Where the money takes you.
Colleges That Recruit Veterans Garner Profits and Scrutiny
More than 36 percent of the tuition payments made in the first year of the program — a total of $640 million in tuition and fees — went to for-profit colleges, like the University of Phoenix, according to data compiled by the Department of Veterans Affairs, even though these colleges serve only about 9 percent of the overall population at higher education institutions nationwide.

As the money flows to the for-profit university industry, questions are being raised in Congress and elsewhere about their recruitment practices, and whether they really deliver on their education promises. Some members say they want to place tighter limits on how much these colleges can collect in military benefits, a move certain federal officials say they would welcome.

These questions come as the for-profit education industry is under increased scrutiny, with the Department of Education proposing regulations that would cut off federal aid to colleges whose graduates have extremely low loan repayment rates.

If video killed the radio star

What hath the interweb slain?

What the Internet Killed
It’s hard to imagine life without some of the technological innovations of the last decade. But in a world where connectivity is everywhere, there are some traditions, values, and just plain ways of life that we no longer adhere to. Here’s a sampling of casualties due to our constant mobile and Internet connections.

Continuing education job openings

Even in tough times, colleges and universities are still hiring.  Here are some continuing education jobs from the Chronicle of Higher Education and .
Northern State UniversityDirector, Office of Extended Studies
Rice UniversityProgram Coordinator
University of Central FloridaAssistant Director, Education/Training Programs
The College of New RochelleCoordinator of Off-Site Graduate Programs
Arizona State UniversityCoordinator, Outreach and Education

Complete college

Four things to try.  I think it's particularly true that we don't focus on logistical issues such as the scheduling of courses and the number of course sections offered.  Students can't graduate if the courses aren't there.  From the Chronicle of Higher Education.

  1. Focus on Likely Dropouts
  2. Build Up Advising Services
  3. Involve Diverse Voices
  4. Make Logistical Changes

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Continuing education 101

Adult and nontraditional students fuel growth at North Carolina college. 

Guilford Grows Up
With plush green lawns, colonial architecture and roots in the Quaker faith, Guilford College rests comfortably in the long tradition of liberal arts institutions. Contemplating the culture of a college like Guilford, one might readily imagine groups of young people diving into Yeats or Wordsworth beneath a canopy of shady oaks. And while there’s surely some truth to that stereotype, Guilford’s last decade of growth has been largely tied to a significant increase in nontraditional students, making the college one where you’re just as likely to see a mother of two in her mid-30s as an 18-year-old freshman.

Guilford’s adult bachelor’s degree programs date to the 1950s, but it was only in the last decade that the adult population began to rival that of traditional students on the residential campus. While college officials say that serving adults is part of Guilford's community-oriented philosophy, they also acknowledge that these students are crucial to bringing in additional revenue.

Adults made up about 35 percent of Guilford’s enrollment in the early 2000s, but they now constitute close to half of the North Carolina independent college's students. Indeed, Guilford's enrollment of about 2,800 this fall constituted a doubling of size in about 10 years, and that growth has mostly come from students who are 23 or older.

Want to make college cheaper?

Reduce athletic departments.  I love college sports but I'm just saying....  Gregg Easterbrook follows the money.

Bowl season is nearly upon us, and college football conferences are reshuffling like mad, with bowl invites, television rights and media exposure the motives. College marketers know that in 2008 the University of Texas had $88 million in football revenue while Ohio State had $68 million (Wall Street Journal figures), and football dollars are still going up. The money rush isn't confined to the top, rather it is spread broadly across the higher-education landscape. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which plans to start Division I-AA participation in 2013, is asking $2,500 per personal seat license for good seats at its new field, plus a donation of up to several thousand dollars, making the true PSL price more like $5,000. That's for a Division I-AA program that doesn't even exist yet.

Despite the cash-grab in big-college athletics -- Texas, already the leader in football revenue, cut an even better deal for itself this fall by threatening to leave its conference -- nearly all universities lose money on sports. Recently the NCAA reported that only 14 Division I-A programs clear a profit, while no college or university in the United States has an athletic department that is financially self-sustaining. Nobody in Division I -- not Alabama, not Auburn, not Oklahoma, nobody -- has an athletic department that pays its own way. . . .
In an era when budget stress is causing classes to be cut and core academic missions to be scaled back, many collegiate athletic departments are the most overstaffed organizations this side of a Monty Python sketch. Because sports is viewed as sacrosanct, the athletic department can get away with having far more people than needed -- then sending the bill to average students and to taxpayers.
Ohio State lists 458 people in its athletic department. Included are the athletic director (who's also a vice president of the university), four people with the title senior associate athletic director, 12 associate athletic directors, an associate vice president, a "senior associate legal counsel for athletics" and plus a nine-person NCAA compliance office. NCAA rules are complex, to be sure, but does Ohio State really needs nine people who do nothing but push NCAA paperwork? The Ohio State NCAA compliance staff is lean and mean compared to the football staff, which includes 13 football coaches, a director of football operations, three associate directors of football operations, a "director of football performance" and three football-only trainers.
How do these numbers compare to academic departments at the school? There are 192 faculty members in Ohio State's English department, with a support staff of about 50. Thus the Ohio State athletic department has roughly twice as many people as the Ohio State English department. Sports receive more staffing than English though nearly all Ohio State students at some juncture take a course through the English department, while few participate in NCAA athletics. And sports receive more staffing than English, though there is a widespread feeling that many Americans are inadequately educated in subjects such as English, while not one single person in the entire United States believes there isn't enough emphasis on sports.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I come back from the SACSCOC Conference

And find a couple of Tennessee universities in trouble. This is one more thing in a string of troubles for TSU.  And Fisk is still trying to sell its art.

TSU, Fisk University miss accreditation benchmarks
Two Nashville schools were warned that they've failed to meet all the standards for accredited universities in the South.

Tennessee State University has a year to meet measures of institutional effectiveness expected from accredited schools. Fisk University must report back in six months about its efforts to shore up shaky finances.

On Tuesday, TSU failed to win reaffirmation of its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which ensures the quality and basic qualifications of public and private universities across the South. Fisk, which was reaffirmed last year, has been monitored to see whether its finances would improve. The association's board warned that Fisk's finances still were not where they should be.

Both schools remain fully accredited, and leaders at both said they would work hard to meet expectations. Schools that lose their accreditation also lose their academic standing, while their students lose access to federal student loans and grant programs.

The warning does not affect the university's ability to grant degrees or conduct research or win federal grants, but it does sting.

A retention GSBI

We've talked about this very thing as a way to help retention at my university.  And I have to wonder if it would work better at a university since community colleges can still be perceived as grades 13 and 14 of high school.  As far as retention goes, I'm working on a theory that says any retention effort works a little bit some of the time, but nothing has a significant effect very often.  Anyway, Dean Dad describes a research based, good sounding, bad idea.

We treated a group of new students as a single cohort. They all took the same sections of every class together, and the instructors for the various sections coordinated assignments for maximum reinforcement. The idea was to bundle everything good into a package, and to see how successful we could get a given cohort to be. They got some of the best instructors, they had opportunities to bond with each other, and they even had special group exposure to various extracurriculars. In theory, they should have been super-integrated into the life of the college, what with all the bonding and suchlike, and their success and satisfaction rates should have gone through the roof.

They hated it. . . .

The college had taken for granted that anything that helped students succeed was good. If the research suggested that student bonding helps, then let’s encourage that. If the research suggested that linked courses were good, then let’s link everything. If some is good, then more must be better!

But the students themselves made a distinction between high school and college, holding the latter to a different standard. While some level of support may have been helpful, too much became infantilizing. They wanted some autonomy, even if that came at the risk of some level of distance. In fact, the distance was a bit of a selling point.

Call for presentations

ACHE MidAtlantic Region
2011 Spring Conference
Innovative Curricular Practices
March 24-26, 2011
Shepherdstown, WV
The program committee for the 2011 Spring Conference invites proposals for concurrent session presentations. Find more information on submitting a proposal here.
Proposals should be no longer than 250 words (including a concise title) and submitted as a Microsoft Word document. Please include your name, mailing address, institutional affiliation, daytime phone number, and email address; forward to Chris Quinn by February 1, 2011.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The economics of higher education

Getting your degree still pays off in the long run.

Is the Cost of College a Bargain?
For more than two decades, as the cost of college has climbed at twice the rate of inflation, critics have argued that bloated bureaucracies, overpaid faculty, and unnecessary amenities are inflating tuition. Yet in a new book—Why Does College Cost So Much?—economists Robert Archibald and David Feldman argue that college isn’t actually overpriced.

The reason: although the total cost of attending an in-state, four-year public university has nearly doubled to $16,140 since 2000, the benefits that come with it have increased considerably, too. Indeed, over the same time period, the difference in wages between those who attend college and those who don’t has climbed by 20 percent.

ACHE 2011 call for proposals

ACHE 2011 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting
Sustainable Leadership: Bold Thinking About Who We Are
October 13-15, 2011
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Orlando, Florida

Instructions on submitting a proposal can be found here.  Deadline is February 11, 2011.

Alexander N. Charters Library of Resources for Educators of Adults

If you've never visited the Charters Library at Syracuse University, take a quick look here.  Dr. Charters is a past president of ACHE--way, way past--and has attended every annual conference that I know of.  If you've been to a conference, he is always introduced.  This year, ACHE created the Alex Charters Research Grant.  The purpose of the  grant is to promote the development and dissemination of new knowledge, theories, and practices in adult and continuing education. Grants up to $3,000 may be awarded.  ACHE members or doctoral students with sponsorship from ACHE are eligible to submit research grant proposals. Members of the Research Committee, national officers, and Board members are not eligible.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Blow'd up good, blow'd up real good!

I used to live in Rolla, Missouri.  I wonder if the WalMart is still closed on Sunday because of the blue laws?

Missouri university to award nation's first master's degrees in explosives
The nation's first master's degrees in explosives engineering will be handed out this month at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.

The university said the program was approved last year and is part of Missouri S&T's mining and nuclear engineering department. Fifteen graduate students are enrolled in Missouri S&T's explosives engineering program.

The degrees will be handed out to three students on Dec. 18.

Missouri S&T started offering a minor in explosives engineering at the undergraduate level in 2005.

I once turned down a job interview at UT-Martin

Because it was too close to the New Madrid Fault.  It's just a matter of time...maybe in 2012 like the Mayans predicted?

New Madrid earthquake threat worries Tenn.
Tennessee's biggest catastrophe will come without warning.

A major earthquake would destroy buildings, roads and bridges along hundreds of miles. The cascading collapse of power, communications and transportation systems would plunge Middle Tennessee into a disaster that would make the May flood seem minor.

Seismologists estimate a 25 percent to 40 percent probability of a major quake within the next 50 years in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which stretches from Memphis to southern Illinois.

Call for presentations

The 58th Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE) will take place on June 5 – 8, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario.

CAUCE 2011 invites Deans and Directors, CE managers, environmental researchers, business and academic leaders, marketing and communications experts, program designers, instructors and finance professionals to submit proposals for presentations at CAUCE 2011.

Submission Guidelines

Proposals must be submitted through the online form at the CAUCE 2011 conference website.

All sessions are scheduled for 1 hour blocks (except poster sessions) and should be designed with the conference theme and tracks in mind.

Submissions should be written in the proposed language of presentation (English or French). Simultaneous translation will not be available.

Presentations may be in the form of:
■Case studies
■Roundtable discussions
■Poster presentations
Conference Theme and Tracks

Conference theme: Sense & Sustainability

Conference tracks:

How do our institutions continue to design and to maintain programs for personal and professional enrichment? What are the key ingredients of innovative and successful academic initiatives? Who are the learners of today, tomorrow and in decades to come?
Where are the institutional models that make financial as well as pedagogical sense? How do we rationalize resources? Where does Continuing Education fit into our universities’ strategic plans?
What can Continuing Educators contribute to the overall sustainability initiatives of our institutions? How “green” are our organizations? What does “sustainability” look like from a Continuing Education perspective?
The deadline for proposal submissions is January 31, 2011. Presenters will be advised of the status of their submissions by February 28th, 2011.

Friday, December 3, 2010

School district gives every third grader a smart phone

What will these kids expect from college in nine years when it's time for them to enroll? 

Gobles schools to give smart phones to 3rd graders to access high-speed Internet
They look like an ordinary Verizon “smart” phones.

But the $60 handheld devices have the potential to transform education in Gobles Public Schools, according to school officials.

The district is spending about $45,000 to give a Verizon smart phone and high-speed Internet service to every third-grader.

The phone and texting functions on the devices will be blocked, but the 75 children will be able to access the Internet. The mobile learning devices also will be loaded with educational software.

“It’s like a mini computer,” Gobles Superintendent Brenda Wilson said.

The expectation is that children will be able to do many of their assignments on their devices, including homework. One advantage is that teachers will be able to create more individualized worksheets and homework assignments based on each child’s ability, so that advanced students are provided more challenges and struggling students are given work that will boost their skills.

But the real advantage of the program is that it makes schoolwork fun and engaging, which means children spend more time on their schoolwork, officials say.

Continuing education job openings

Even in tough times, colleges and universities are still hiring.  Here are some continuing education jobs from the Chronicle of Higher Education and .
John Brown University:  Dean, Professional Studies
Southern Utah University:  Dean of the University College
California State University, Long Beach:  Associate Dean
University of Wisconsin - Green Bay:  Advisor – Adult Degree Programs (Wausau, WI)
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania:  Dean of Graduate & Continuing Studies
Northern State University:  Director of the Office of Extended Studies
Union County College:  Director of Continuing Education

Engineering Technology, Surveying, & Digital Media Community College Visitation Day

New community college employment website

Cox, Matthews and Associates, Inc. publisher of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education (formerly Black: Issues In Higher Education) has launched two new websites. and is a website aimed at those working or seeking careers in the community college environment as well as those interested in community colleges. The website has a job board dedicated to community college career opportunities as well as an e-newsletter which is disseminated twice a week.

“Our objective is to reach every community college, four year institution and career college as well as associations in the United States and Canada,” said Ralph Newell, Vice President for Business Development & Technology. The site provides news and information related to community, technical and career colleges. and to those interested in providing their products and services to these institutions. Currently the e-newsletters reach over 25,000 community college professionals.

Newell stated that, “Community colleges are bursting at the seams with new enrollees across the country since the economy is still spurting. Adults are filling classrooms as well as taking online courses for a myriad of reasons. And this segment of higher education is more than ready for useful news and information.” will instantly be of immense value to these groups, according to Newell.

Save the date

UPCEA 96th Annual Conference
University Professional & Continuing Education Association
Doing What Matters: New Knowledge & Strategies
April 6-9, 2011

For more information, visit the conference website.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Save the date

Nashville billboards claim Jesus will return May 21, 2011

Call for proposals

August 3-5, 2011
Madison, Wisconsin

Sponsored by Distance Education Professional Development (DEPD)

Submit a proposal to present at the 27th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning.  Deadline: January 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm--CST.

Submit your proposal via the online proposal form.

Call for proposals

ACHE Great Plains Regional Conference
February 24-25, 2011
Northeastern State University
Muskogee, Oklahoma.

The conference theme is Generational Learning Styles - Models and Markets for the 21st Century.

For more information on submitting proposals, go to the conference website.

Submit proposal via email attachment no later than December 17, 2010, to Tim McElroy at   Phone: 918-683-0040.  Fax 918-458-2106.

Call for presenters

2011 CCAE COABE National Conference
California Council for Adult Education (CCAE)
Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE)

Literacy to Work
April 17-21, 2011
San Francisco, California

The Call for Presentations Committee is interested in presentations that highlight outstanding and innovative practices in all aspects of adult education – including basic literacy, family literacy, adult high school diploma and GED instruction, English as a Second Language, English Language Civics education, correctional education, post-secondary-transitions and student re-entry programs, workforce development, career and technical education community education and other areas relevant to our field. The committee is looking for presentations that are based on successful implementation, current research, sound practice, and that encourage networking among providers in helping adults achieve their educational, career, and personal goals. Presenters are encouraged to actively involve participants. Style of presentation may include audio-visuals, group activities, open discussion, etc. Proposals will be selected by committee.

Click on the following link to submit a proposal as a Presenter. The deadline to submit is December 13, 2010.

Successful applicants will be notified via e-mail by January 24, 2010. Presenters must pre-register for the conference before January 24, 2011. Failure to pre-register for the conference will result in rejection of the proposal. If you have a change of e-mail address, please contact Nancy George at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Taking Graduate! Philadelphia nationwide

Graduate! Philadelphia was a sponsor and helpful partner for the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting held in Philadelphia in 2009.  I was talking with ACHE President Tish Szymurski today, and she told she that the organization had received an $800,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation to replicate its program in other cities.  Tish mentioned Des Moines, Chicago, and Louisville with some discussion going on with Nashville.  It's a great program and I wish it success--as long as it doesn't compete with me!

Graduate! Philadelphia gets Lumina grant to help other cities
The program was created by the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board and the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania to help the more than 300,000 people in the Philadelphia area with some college credits complete their degrees. The program has already been replicated in Connecticut and the grant will be used to help organizations in Chicago, Des Moines, Iowa, and a third city that hasn’t been selected set up similar programs.

Graduate! Philadelphia has 17 two- and four-year colleges and universities as partners and offers services at seven Philadelphia locations. In the last two years, more than 2,000 people have asked it to help them return to college and more than 605 of them have enrolled and are receiving support from it as they pursue their degree.

Tennessee community colleges get some building relief

Nashville State Community College and Pellissippi State Community College are using the funds to purchase buildings for off-campus sites.  And Northeast State is looking at a building in downtown Johnson City.

TN community colleges to receive millions to improve campuses
Eleven Tennessee community colleges are celebrating a multimillion-dollar windfall that should give them the funds they need to build up, build out or refurbish their overcrowded campuses.

Members of the Tennessee Board of Regents voted Tuesday to divide $87 million in unexpected construction funding among the schools with the greatest need, the best plan for getting their campus improvements built quickly and matching funds from outside donors.

"This is a great day," said TBR member John Farris, who chaired the committee that combed through the colleges' applications and whittled a $227 million wish list down to $87 million, with no one college receiving more than $9 million.
Pellissippi State Community College could soon be expanding into East Knox County, where it is looking to purchase a sprawling 18-acre campus that once housed Philips Consumer Electronics' North American headquarters.

The school's $8.5 million funding request was added to a list of recommended projects by an ad hoc committee made up of Tennessee Board of Regents Trustees.

The committee considered how to dole out $88 million in funding for community college capital projects.

The recommended list of projects will go before the full Board of Regents on Thursday for approval, then to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and State Building Commission.

If the building is approved, the school could start using it in the fall.

"This basically just changed everything for us," said Pellissippi State President Allen Edwards, who expects the Board of Regents to OK the project.
Northeast State takes look at Downtown Centre
One of downtown Johnson City’s largest buildings, the nearly abandoned Downtown Centre, along with the downtown community around it could soon be brought back to life with the help of Northeast State Community College.

After touring the former courthouse in mid-November the community college is considering purchasing the building to house a much needed Washington County campus. The college currently has campuses located in Elizabethton, Blountville and Kingsport, but with a large number of students travelling from Washington County, there is a significant need for a Johnson City campus.

Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge said the college is very early in their search for a facility for a Washington County campus.

“They’ve expressed their interest in establishing a Washington County campus, which we very much want to encourage,” Eldridge said. “They liked what they saw but they are still very, very early in their process.”

The tour, he said, was a way for school officials to familiarize themselves with the facility and the layout. According to Eldridge, their response was positive as they identified spaces for lecture halls, classrooms, administrative offices, student commissary and well over 300 parking spaces in the parking garage.