Showing posts from 2012
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Infographic Friday


It's not the end of the world, as we know it

I put quite a few Christmas gifts on my credit card, just in case.  By Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy, and Slate.

Maya Apocalypse 2012: Doomsday end-of-the-world prophecies are nonsense.

If you’re still worried, ask yourself this: if the Maya could predict the end of the world 1,000 years in advance, why couldn’t they see the pending collapse of their own civilization?  When Saturday comes, and I can finally put a big X through Dec. 21 on my calendar, I will breathe a hearty sigh of relief. But my next breath will be a deep one, to prepare for the next bit of apocalyptic nonsense to come down the road. Because just as surely as this doomsday is nonsense, another will be along to replace it soon enough. I don't know what it'll be exactly, but I can be pretty sure it will be just as wrong as this one.  And I'll have to write about it. The funny thing about the end of world: For skeptics, it's actually job security.

God help me, I do love top ten lists

The president of Wellesley College explains why

The college is moving online.  From The Huffington Post.

H. Kim Bottomly: Online Education: WellesleyX, a Grand Experiment

But edX offers us something more, another way to bring about an even better educational experience. Students online will be tracked, and their progress studied, allowing us to learn which pedagogical approaches are most effective, and which don't work. Through data collection, we will be able to link individual learning to our syllabi, content delivery, and interactive tools, and clearly assess the effectiveness of each.  In addition, edX provides other exciting opportunities. For Wellesley College, the opportunity to provide access to Wellesley professors for many around the world -- especially women -- who would not otherwise have that opportunity, is consistent with our values. We imagine women in Saudi Arabia taking WellesleyX courses without having to leave their homes, or women in our own country taking a Wellesley course while juggling jobs and raising c…

Save the date

2013 Council for Accelerated Programs Conference
Navigating Acceleration:  Use Assessment and Best Practices as your Compass!
Pre-Conference Events:  July 30th
Main Conference: July 31 - August 1st Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center Metropolitan State University of Denver

For more information, visit Here.

Call for Proposals

It’s Not Business as Usual!
The Tennessee Adult Learner Conference:  2013 Hosted by Middle Tennessee State University, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the University of Tennessee System February 14 & 15, 2013 * Middle Tennessee State University* Murfreesboro, TN Call for Presentation Proposals Submission Instructions Deadline for submissions is January 18, 2013 Conference Overview: The theme for the 2013 Tennessee Adult Learner Conference is “It’s Not Business as Usual”.  Change is inevitable in all sectors of life and higher education is not exempt from change.  In fact, higher education across the nation, and in particular, in Tennessee is changing rapidly.  Factors influencing change include, but by no means are limited to:  The complete college movement, changing demographics, the new public higher education funding formula, MOOCs, technology, a continued scarcity of resources, the economy, the Tennessee Transfer Pathways, Prior Learning Assessments, lifelong learning, a…

School and technology

Maureen Downey has a great column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called Get Schooled. This appeared recently, and I was struck by words of Professor Huett.

Digital natives: Are schools foreign to them?
Technology guru and University of West Georgia professor Jason B. Huett said a frontier teacher from a century ago popped into today’s modern era would be agape at the changes she saw every place but one — the classroom.  “When she walked into a school, she would immediately know what this is, and she could pretty much swap her prairie dress for a pants suit and go right to work,” said Huett, West Georgia’s associate dean of online development and USG eCore, a multi-institution collaborative where college students can take classes online.  Huett is among the those urging schools to use technology to make schools more relevant, accessible and flexible and less like a prison sentence.

ETSU offers Renaissance Child Winter Enrichment Program

East Tennessee State University’s Office of Professional Development is offering a Renaissance Child Winter Enrichment Program, Jan. 3, 4 and 7, 2013.

This creative experience provides activities for children ages 6-12. The schedule includes storytelling, arts and crafts, and safe science experiments.

The program operates from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on the ETSU campus and costs $50 per day, with discounts for those attending two or three days. Each child should bring a bag lunch and wear “paint-friendly” clothing.

Space is limited, and while substitutions are allowed, there are no refunds.

To register, call the ETSU Office of Professional Development at (423) 439-8084 or go to Renaissance Child. For more information, contact Angela McFall, program coordinator, at the same phone number or

Tales of the non-traditional

More news about graduation and adult and continuing education students. From The New York Times.

80-Year-Old Graduate of W.G.U. Texas Kept His Promise

Robert Titus likes to make jokes. Discussing his recently earned bachelor’s degree in marketing management, the 80-year-old said, “I wanted to get it while I was young, so I can start off on a good career.”   But Mr. Titus has no illusions about getting hired, and he is just fine with that. After more than a decade of retirement, he is happier than ever. So why pursue the degree?  “I promised my mother many, many years ago that I would get my degree,” said Mr. Titus, a former salesman who lives in Houston. “To me, it was a major, big, big, huge accomplishment.”  By a wide margin, Mr. Titus was the oldest member of the inaugural graduating class from W.G.U. Texas, a nonprofit online university created in 2011 with an executive order by Gov. Rick Perry.

Infographic Friday

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ETSU to assist those wishing to begin or complete graduate degrees

East Tennessee State University will offer assistance to those desiring to begin work on a graduate degree or those needing to write a thesis or dissertation to complete a degree.

A Graduate Record Examination Test Preparation Workshop will be held on Saturday, Jan. 12, in an all-day session for prospective graduate school applicants.

Sponsored by the ETSU School of Graduate Studies and the School of Continuing Studies and Outreach, the program has a registration fee of $55, which includes coffee and a continental breakfast, lunch as well as five hours of instruction on the verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing measures of the GRE. In addition, participants will take three 30-minute practice tests and receive the scores for the tests, along with advice on improving those scores.

The online link for registration is Test Prep.

Those who have nearly completed a graduate degree are invited to attend the ETSU Thesis and Dissertation Boot Camp. The four-session “c…

Just how cool is today's date?

Will Oremus and Slate answer.

12/12/12: Where does it rank among the all-time coolest dates?
At this point you’re probably wondering, just how cool is 12/12/12? Is it even in the top 50? If we celebrate today, does that commit us to an increasingly dreary procession of semi-cool-date celebrations in the years to come? At what point does cool-date fatigue set in?  On that last point, at least, you can rest assured: Today is the last repeating-number date of the 21st Century, even going by the cheaty two-digit-year format. Still, if we’re to avoid cool-date inflation, it’s essential that we some lay down definitive rankings. Herewith, the all-time top 10 coolest dates, according to universally agreed-upon standards of coolness such as roundness, symmetry, and coincidence with numbers of mathematical significance.1/1/11/2/34511/11/11111/1/10003/14/15926/6/6669/9/9995/4/3212/7/18286/23/1023

Florida community colleges challenged to offer $10,000 degrees

Bachelor's degrees, that is.  From The Miami Herald.

Gov. Scott challenges community colleges to offer $10,000 degrees
Scott’s proposal: offering discounted bachelor’s degree programs, priced at $10,000 or less for in-state residents.   The governor’s $10,000 degree push is for now voluntary, but seven of Florida’s 28 community colleges have pledged to take part, including Broward College.   The $10,000 figure would cover the cost of tuition for all four years of college, though it may not include other costs such as textbooks.   “This $10,000 degree challenge will undoubtedly jump-start the dreams of many Floridians,” Scott said in a statement released by his office.   Broward College Provost Linda Howdyshell said the school is looking into offering $10,000 degrees in three areas: information technology, supervision and management, and transportation and logistics. With so many details still to be worked out, Howdyshell said it would be difficult to launch the initiative by fall o…

Save the date

2013 GAEA Annual ConferenceMarch 11-12, 2013The Lodge & Spa at Callaway Gardens - For information on The Lodge & Spa, click here.  Register by January 31, 2013 to receive the Early Bird conference rate of $199 (available to members only). Special Offer: send two of your staff and the third attends FREE. Regular conference rate - $269; Non-Member rate - $299.

A limited number of scholarships are available.
Topics will include:
Preparing Program Goals & Objectives Revamping Your Programs to Succeed Strategies for Designing Real Revenue Generating Programs Managing Stress During Program Development Effective Programming: Determining What Your Community Wants Examining New Trends in Continuing Education Keynote speakers include Dr. Earl Suttle and Mr. Henry Carter. Watch as Dr. Suttle inspires others in this short video.
Make your room reservations now! The Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens

Now accepting: Presentation Proposals, 2013 Award Nomin…

The Urban Dictionary Word of the Day

Seagull Management:  The seagull manager flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, then flies off again leaving a big mess behind.

How to annoy a millennial


Infographic Friday

Browse more data visualization.

God help me, I do love top ten lists

Save the date

Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education
45th Annual Conference
November 13-15, 2013
The Hilton Memphis


Is vital. . . and not just on evaluation day.  What is good feedback?  Paul Shread, in Time, explains below. So what are the characteristics of effective feedback? For starters, it should be frequent, say once a week. And make it short, focused and immediate, so no one’s left wondering how you feel about something that happened.If you must deliver criticism, sandwich it between two compliments so your employees realize that you recognize their value. Keep feedback focused on actions, not emotions. Specific directions or suggestions to help employees improve or figure out what to do next are most helpful. And remember one maxim: Praise in public, but critique in private. Everyone wants to be praised in front of their peers, while constructive criticism should be delivered privately.

Memphis is number five

Yes, Memphis.  A lot of these are in Texas and Oklahoma. A slide show from CBS News.

Top 10 most affordable cities in the U.S.

5. Memphis, Tenn.
Memphis is home to Elvis Presley's famous Graceland estate and the historic Sun Studio, where music legends such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash recorded some of their most popular hits. The city remains a haven for music lovers. Home values are reasonable, with a median home sale price of $73,700, according to
East Tennessee State University’s Honors College and Office of Professional Development is offering online language-learning courses available in 25 languages through Rosetta Stone, a leading provider of technology-based, language-learning solutions. From Dec. 1-20, anyone who registers for ETSU’s Rosetta Stone instruction will pay the traditional fee of $60 for two months and receive a third month free. Users pursue independent study, available at all proficiency levels, in the language of their choice. Among the most popular of the 25 languages available are Italian, English, Japanese, Latin, French, Spanish and Greek. This non-credit professional development instruction is available to the community and does not require formal admission to ETSU. For more information, contact Angela McFall of the ETSU Office of Professional Development at (800) 222-3878, or register online at

Infographic Friday

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Still time

ACHE South Conference
Destin, Florida
April 21-24, 2013
Partnering to Serve: Opportunities for All ACHE South has extended the deadline for the Call for Proposals to Monday, December 3, 2012. Don't miss this great opportunity to showcase your institution's programs and procedures to  your colleagues. Submit Proposals by e-mail to Visit for more information.

Nominate a continuing educator for this leadership award

This comes from the Chair Academy's 22nd International Leadership Conference, held in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Idahlynn Karre Exemplary Leadership Award

Exemplary Leader Guidelines

As part of our commitment to recognize exemplary organizational leadership, the Chair Academy is soliciting the names of exceptional post-secondary leaders and/or leadership teams. We recognize that one of the highest levels of recognition that a person can receive is to be honored by colleagues. The Chair Academy would like to team up with you and your college to celebrate those individuals or teams who you believe best exemplify and support academic and administrative excellence in leadership.  

Do you know someone who…

has developed a program to enhance the learning community at your institution? has created programs to enhance diverse offerings and meet the needs of the ever-changing college population? has created an environment in which others are empowered and is viewed as an exemplary leader by their …

Continuing educators have known this

For quite some time.  Traditional students have just about disappeared.  From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The New Traditional on Campuses

And yet on another level, as a longtime professor and sometime administrator at community colleges, I am increasingly aware that the nostalgic film playing in my head, as I walk those elite four-year campuses, is more akin to an old episode of Leave It to Beaver than to contemporary reality. My experiences and those of the students I encounter at elite campuses no longer resemble the common experience of many college students today. What we used to call "nontraditional" students—older, working, married, and maybe still living at home—now constitute a large and growing percentage of those attending college in the United States. In fact, they are fast becoming the new traditional.  Consider: The National Center for Education Statistics reports that of the 17.6 million people enrolled in college in the fall of 2011, only 15 percent wer…

ACHE award winners

The following individuals and programs received awards at the recent Association for Continuing Higher Education Annual Conference and Meeting:


John G. LaBrieSpecial Recognition

Crystal Marketing Award
Northeastern State University College of Professional Studies
Northeastern University Spring 2012 Graduation.Marlowe Froke Award
Tim Sullivan and Emily Richardson
Living the Plan: Strategic Planning Aligned with Practice and Assessment.PROGRAM AWARDS

Distinguished Program Award - Credit
Northern Kentucky University
Learning Through Military Leadership Regis University
Jesuit Commons - Higher Education at the MarginsDistinguished Program Award - Non-Credit
Kansas State University
Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) -  Kansas State University Grain and Biorefinery Operations Program Oklahoma State University                                                                                   International Conferenc…

Maybe you think you're smarter than your boss

Well, you might be.  But there may be other reasons why you're not the boss, and Alison Green (akaAsk a Manager) lists ten of them. Here are the first two.  From

10 Reasons You're Not the Boss

1. You don't look the part. It might seem superficial and unfair, but appearances really do count. You might get away with pushing your office's dress code to the limit, but it's probably impacting the way people perceive you and what opportunities you're offered.  2. You're terrible at time management. Managers need to keep track not only of their work, but also keep track of other people's too. If you can't stay on top of your own projects, your employer isn't likely to have faith that you'll be able to monitor the work of an entire team.

Infographic Friday

Prepare for your child for higher education with tutoring from

Happy Thanksgiving

I prefer Snowballs.

Credit for MOOC's?

Just a matter of time.  But I still don't understand the business model behind them.  From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

MOOC's Take a Major Step Toward College Credit

The American Council on Education has agreed to review a handful of free online courses offered by elite universities and may recommend that other colleges grant credit for them.  The move could lead to a world in which many students graduate from traditional colleges faster by taking self-guided courses on the side, taught free by professors from Stanford University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and other well-known colleges.  In what leaders describe as a pilot project, the group will consider five to 10 massive open online courses, or MOOC's, offered through Coursera for possible inclusion in the council's College Credit Recommendation Service. That service has been around since the 1970s and focuses on certifying training courses, offered outside of traditional colleges, for which st…

Associate degree salaries

Community colleges are hot right now. Among four-year degree holders, engineers earn the most and psychology majors the least.  From CBS News.

What 2-year college degrees pay best?
The annual report shows much stronger interest among employers in graduates with associate degrees. New grads with two-year degrees are earning an average salary of $34,960, and some earn significantly more. Computer science majors with two-year degrees earned $39,408, while nursing grads earned almost the same salary ($36,927) as the typical bachelor-degree recipient.

Checking up on the Chancellor's description

Of Tennessee's higher education funding flip-flop.  Yes, it happened.  When I started in Tennessee, we were a cheap tuition state where students paid 30% of the cost of tuition.  Now we're a relatively high tuition state with students paying 67% of the cost. PolitiFact Tennessee confirms that history below.

Official says students, not state, paying most of college cost

But when John Morgan, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, told a U.S. Senate committee that Tennessee students now pay 67 percent of the costs of their educations at the state’s universities and 60 percent at community colleges, we were curious.  When many parents of today’s students were public college students themselves two, three or four decades ago, the ratio was the reverse: state appropriations comprised up to 70 percent of the costs, and students and their parents picked up the rest.  Did the burden shift that much?  In a word, yes. Morgan was precisely on mark with his testimony, as expected fr…

Infographic Friday


Northeastern University opens a branch campus in the northwest

And I don't mean northwest Massachusetts.  The campus hopes to partner with Amazon, but it's hard to imagine that local universities chose to ignore that opportunity.  From The New York Times.

Northeastern University Plans Seattle Campus

With name tags clipped on and PowerPoint at the ready, officials from Northeastern University invited prospective students in one night last week for a peek at a new extension campus, 2,500 miles from the school’s home in Boston and about as far northwest as you can get in the lower 48 without swim fins. It is a trend that many colleges and universities have embraced in recent years — remote campuses to extend the brand and the flow of tuition checks.

The location of an extension campus that Northeastern University is planning to build in Seattle.
But there was more going on here. And all the new dean, J. Tayloe Washburn, had to do to demonstrate that was walk to the bank of windows in the meeting room where the prospects and the staff had cong…

Online adult education flat-lining?

It would appear that most adults prefer to learn in a more traditional environment.  This may be news (and perhaps bad news at that) to only the for-profits.  I think the rest of us are not surprised. Eduventures is a sponsor for next week's Association for Continuing Higher Education's Annual Conference, so maybe they will have something to say about this study there.  From Inside Higher Education.

Adult students' interest in online education is flat, study finds

The market for online higher education aimed at adults may be reaching maturity, according to a new report from Eduventures. And without a better-defined product, the report's author said online learning faces a risk of petering out and being little more than a back-up alternative to on-campus education for students.“We feel this is the watershed moment,” said Richard Garrett, vice president and principal analyst for Eduventures and the report’s author. “After years of endless growth, we’re definitely coming t…

More education means longer lives

White women without high school diplomas declined the most, followed by white men without high school diplomas.   From The New York Times.

Life Expectancy for Less Educated Whites in U.S. Is Shrinking

For generations of Americans, it was a given that children would live longer than their parents. But there is now mounting evidence that this enduring trend has reversed itself for the country’s least-educated whites, an increasingly troubled group whose life expectancy has fallen by four years since 1990.  Researchers have long documented that the most educated Americans were making the biggest gains in life expectancy, but now they say mortality data show that life spans for some of the least educated Americans are actually contracting. Four studies in recent years identified modest declines, but a new one that looks separately at Americans lacking a high school diploma found disturbingly sharp drops in life expectancy for whites in this group. Experts not involved in the new research …

ACHE starts today

Here I am at the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting in Austin.  I am working with technology for the conference, which means you can expect a return to chalk and blackboards if we're not careful.  Hey, I think we depend way too much on PowerPoint anyway! Fortunately, I have some capable help.  That's kind of the story of my career....

A continuing educator is leading ETSU's QEP team

A five-year initiative at East Tennessee State University aims to get students “in top form” when it comes to information fluency.

This initiative, called “INtopFORM,” will begin in fall 2013 and will focus on teaching students how to seek, evaluate and use sources of information when resolving questions and addressing problems.

“Information fluency is an important critical thinking skill and one that is especially vital during this information age,” said Dr. Amy Johnson, assistant dean of the ETSU School of Continuing Studies. “With advances in technology, students researching a topic can have access to thousands of journal articles and website links within a matter of seconds.

“That is why now, more than ever, we must teach students how to evaluate sources of information in order to form insightful conclusions, to solve problems, and to pose new questions.”

Johnson says the INtopFORM initiative may change the way some courses at ETSU are taught or structured as new inn…

Infographic Friday. Sort of.

Christy Buckles presents on social media at TACHE


TACHE opens

With all the pre-conference activities successfully concluded, the 44th Annual Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education opens today in Nashville.  Looks like a good turnout.
This year Association for Continuing Higher Education is broadening its audience and bringing a virtual component to the ACHE 2012 Annual Conference & Meeting on November 12-14 in Austin, Texas. By utilizing the Mediasite webcasting platform, an online attendee pass will be available for the first time, giving attendees the option to view live streams of conference sessions from their desktops or mobile devices. They can even pose questions to the speaker by clicking the Ask button on the Mediasite player.

TACHE keynoter, Joe Turner does card tricks in the Hospitality Room


TACHE Registration