Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

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

Top Ten Reasons the World Won't End on December 21

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 children, or young people from all areas of the country -- rural and urban -- trying their hand at an interesting course, expanding their knowledge of history, their appreciation of art and science, and their insight into our society. 
Yet another benefit is the potential for WellesleyX to become the means by which we provide lifelong learning for our alumnae -- something they want and something we want to do. We hope to extend their four-year educational experience to a lifetime.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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, and workforce demands.  While all of these factors impact higher education for all age groups, this conference targets the impact of change on the adult learner (25+ years of age).  
To meet these challenges and opportunities, all of us are faced with developing new ways of doing business—how, in the face of change, do we still provide the services, support, and programs our adult learners need to begin, persist and complete college?  What works on your campus, in your community, through your institution’s collaboration with other entities?  Truly, it’s not business as usual!
Proposal Guidelines:
Each proposal should showcase a program, service, support mechanism or research that addresses one or more change factors impacting higher education at your institution or in your community.  Proposals can highlight collaboration between community and campus (e.g., the process of securing an agreement with the local transit company to allow enrolled college students to ride the city bus for free) or can focus on campus-based services, programs or support mechanisms (e.g., a concierge type service for adult learners), or research on innovative practices in higher education around the adult learner population.  We are seeking innovative responses to the current changes in Tennessee higher education communities—we want participants to walk away from this year’s conference with a toolkit of proven programs, services, or supports to aid the adult learner.  Presentation slots will be 45 minutes, including a presentation  no longer than 30 minutes, with additional time for questions and discussion.  As always, the aim of the presentations is to help us explore ways to improve the services, programs, and support for adult learners in Tennessee, keeping in mind that it’s NOT business as usual.
Completing the Call for Presentation Proposals Submission Form:
Ø  Complete a separate application for each presentation you are proposing.
Ø  Send the completed proposal submission form electronically to:  Jessica Gibson at   Jessica.Gibson@tn.gov no later than January 20, 2013.
MTSU, THEC, and UT, in cooperation, reserve the right to combine similar proposals, and to edit titles and descriptions as necessary.  Prior to submitting your application, please check to be sure that all your proposed speakers and conveners are available to be present at the 2013 Tennessee Adult Learner Conference, February 14-15, 2013.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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.

Monday, December 17, 2012

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 mcfalla@etsu.edu.

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.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Infographic Friday

Appointments Redefine Event Success Infographic
More on Event Management Software
It's time to get face-to-face and demand more value from events. Discover how one-to-one appointments are changing the event landscape with Certain's new Infographic!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

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 “camp” will emphasize writing time in a library computer lab plus options for mini-workshops on topics such as Milestones and Speed Bumps, Thesis and Dissertation Style Guides, Review of Writing Mechanics, The Review and Editing Process and Organizing Literature for Review. Participants will receive review and feedback by expert thesis and dissertation readers.

The cost is $150 total and each enrollee should attend at all four sessions, which are held on Friday evenings from 6-10 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., with an option of remaining until 9 p.m. The workshops will be conducted January 25 and 26, February 8 and 9, 22 and 23, and March 23. The sessions will be held in room 309 of ETSU’s Charles C. Sherrod Library.

The registration fee includes snacks and Saturday lunches.

Additional work with a tutor is available for a charge of $15 per hour, beginning with the second session.

Online registration is available at Boot Camp.

The Boot Camp is a collaborative effort of the ETSU School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach, the School of Graduate Studies, the Writing Center, the Charles C. Sherrod Library and graduate faculty.

For further information, contact the ETSU Office of Professional Development at 1-800-222-3878.      


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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. 1/1/1
  2. 1/2/345
  3. 11/11/1111
  4. 1/1/1000
  5. 3/14/1592
  6. 6/6/666
  7. 9/9/999
  8. 5/4/321
  9. 2/7/1828
  10. 6/23/1023 

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 of 2013, though the college might be able to begin one of the degree tracks by then. 
Miami Dade College representatives declined to comment on Monday.  
Right now, pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a Florida community college costs an average of $13,264 for four years of instruction. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree at a state university — where tuition has increased dramatically in recent years — costs about $25,700.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Save the date


2013 GAEA Annual Conference

March 11-12, 2013

The 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.

REGISTER NOW!

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.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Feedback


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.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

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 Trulia.com.

Monday, December 3, 2012


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 https://etsuaw.etsu.edu.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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 dlavit@murraystate.edu. Visit uwf.edu/ache/proposals 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 colleagues? 
  • has modeled loyalty, commitment, integrity, acceptance, and open communication to enhance the overall effectiveness of their department/area in their institution?  

We will recognize your outstanding leaders or leadership teams at the Chair Academy’s 22nd Annual International Leadership Conference scheduled for April 4-7, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The award presentation is scheduled for Saturday, April 6, 2013, during our third general session.

All Exemplary Leaders will be showcased in the 2012 Idahlynn Karre Exemplary Leader Booklet, containing your Leader's photo and a description of why he or she is being recognized, which will be given to each conference participant.

Your Exemplary Leader or team of leaders will be featured in the Summer 2013 edition of the Chair Academy’s journal, Leadership.

Your Exemplary Leader’s or team of leaders' picture will also be featured on the Chair Academy webpage for one year.

Your Exemplary Leader’s or team of leaders’ college president will receive a formal notification of the leadership honor being bestowed.

Deadline submit nomination: January 16, 2013

Note: The Exemplary Leader(s), or their nominator, MUST be present at the conference to receive their award.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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 were attending a four-year college and living on campus. Thirty-seven percent were enrolled part time, and 32 percent worked full time. Forty-three percent were attending a two-year college. More than a third were over 25, and a quarter were over 30. By 2019, the percentage of those over 25 is expected to increase by more than 20 percent. 
Given the trends—which those of us who work at community colleges have been observing for some time, and which are now playing at four-year campuses near you—how must faculty members adjust their thinking? And their teaching?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ACHE award winners

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

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

Leadership
John G. LaBrie
Special Recognition
Virginia Moxley
OUTSTANDING COMMUNICATION AWARDS

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 Margins
Distinguished 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 Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Health
Creative Use of Technology
Western Carolina University
Online Collaborative Learning Beyond Course Registration
Regis University
Passport to Course Development
Outstanding Services to Underserved Populations
Northeastern University
Foundation Year

Monday, November 26, 2012

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 (aka Ask a Manager) lists ten of them. Here are the first two.  From usnews.com.

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.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

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 students might want college credit. McDonald's Hamburger University, for example, is among the hundreds of institutions with courses certified through ACE Credit, as the service is known.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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.

Monday, November 19, 2012

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 from a higher education administrator who spent 10 years as state comptroller, state  government’s chief auditor and financial watchdog.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

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 congregated and throw wide his arms: the headquarters buildings of the tech giant Amazon.com filled the view under a gray Seattle mist.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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 to more of a plateau situation.” 
Eduventures is a research and consulting firm that works with colleges and higher education-related businesses. The study (more about it, and where to buy a copy) was based in part on the newly-released results of a survey of 1,500 U.S. adults on their attitudes about online education. Released today, the company has conducted a version of the survey (of 18- to 70-year-olds) sporadically since 2004. 
Citing survey findings and market data, the report found that 38 percent of prospective adult students prefer to study fully or mostly online. That portion remains virtually unchanged since 2006, when 37 percent said they preferred online learning. Similarly, there was only a small bump over the last six years in the percentage of adult students who said online college is equal in quality to campus learning.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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 said its findings were persuasive.

Monday, November 12, 2012

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 innovative teaching strategies and “best practice” methods related to information fluency are implemented.

“We want our students to ask questions in order to solve problems, to identify appropriate information sources, to apply critical thinking skills in evaluating information, to access new information, and to communicate information in effective and ethical ways,” she added. “These skills and abilities are essential to the workplace and for lifelong learning.”

The INtopFORM initiative is ETSU’s new quality enhancement plan and is an element of the university’s reaffirmation process with the Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

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.