Showing posts from June, 2012

Although I worry about friends like this

Samuel Goldman takes note of continuing education in The American Conservative.  He wants to send more students our way. And that's a good thing.  I think.

U. of All People

I don’t have the answers to these questions. But I want to propose a distinction that may make it easier to figure them out. Let’s restrict the term “college” to four-year degrees in the arts and sciences, taught by faculty engaged in independent research and geared toward traditional, often residential students. Let’s call the constellation of part-time, vocational, non-residential programs geared toward non-traditional students “higher and continuing ed.”  Even though they’re sometimes housed in an umbrella organization called a university, these seem to me to be rather different businesses. When it comes to funding and their connection to the public interest, they should be evaluated differently. My suspicion is that the country really doesn’t need more students in college, which is largely a status marker. B…

Time to make a new playlist

As near record heat approaches tomorrow. A playlist from the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Brutally hot songs about heat

Projected costs when my granddaughter goes to college

But as I talked about earlier, these are only sticker prices.  Net prices should be lower. And, naturally, my granddaugher will have both athletic and academic scholarships to help pay her way.  From U.S. Business News and CNBC.

What College Tuition Will Look Like in 18 Years
Campus Consultants Founder and President Kal Chany figured out what college will likely cost by 2030 based on inflation rates. He wrote the book “Paying for College Without Going Broke.”

The findings? In 18 years, the average sticker price for a private university could be as much as $130,428 a year. . . .The situation isn’t much better if you go the public route. Sending your child to a state university could set you back at least $41,228 a year.

Seuk Kim knows what he’s up against. He has three kids under the age of three.

“I am very concerned. I make a decent living to provide for my family, but we are a one income household,” said Kim. “We will likely have to rely on some financial aid or hope they can qua…

ETSU’s Office of Professional Development to offer family mediation training

Rule 31 family mediation training approved by the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission (ADRC) will be offered this summer by East Tennessee State University’s Office of Professional Development. The sessions will meet from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily in the East Tennessee Room of the D.P. Culp University Center on two consecutive Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, July 26-28 and Aug. 2-4.

Jean Munroe will conduct the 46-hour course that will focus on parenting plans, support and the equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, as well as emotional issues and the effects of divorce on children. Other content includes crossover training for those who have taken Rule 31 training in civil mediation.

Munroe has been a mediator since 1991. She was approved in 1998 by the Tennessee Supreme Court ADRC to train Rule 31 mediators, and she has conducted over 100 mediation training sessions.
This training is of benefit to attorneys, teachers, social workers, p…

Traits of great bosses

Ah, if only I could behave like a mature adult, I'd nail this list.  Here are Steve Tobak's first four things that great bosses do.  From CBS News.
10 things great bosses do It may be an imperfect world, but there are still managers who more or less know what they're doing -- after they've had their morning coffee. Here's my take on what high-performance managers are supposed to do on a day-to-day basis: - Help the company achieve its strategic and operating goals by making smart business decisions and managing their team effectively.

- Entrust their employees with as much responsibility as their capabilities will allow and hold them accountable for the same.

- Behave like a mature adult -- genuine and empathetic -- even when their employees or their management are acting out like spoiled children.

- Provide their employees with the tools, training, and support they need to effectively achieve challenging but reasonably attainable goals.

Position yourself for power and productivity

I use number two a lot. Now I know why. From
3 Postures to Boost Productivity Now |
1) Put your hands on your head with your elbows out. This encourages you to sit up straight and open your chest, a position that makes ideas flow more easily. Try it when you're thinking through a problem.

2) Rest one arm on the chair next to you. This doubles the amount of space your body takes up, which makes you feel more powerful. Try this during a meeting or an important phone call.

3) Extend your legs or prop them on a footrest. Sitting at a computer restricts your body, which makes you less productive, so stretching out your legs is a way to counteract that. Try this when you're answering email.

Adult student need more than just classes

Adult college students need a range of services to help them succeed, Maureen Conway reminds us in the commentary in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Help Community Colleges Help Adult Students
The economy is showing signs of life, but unemployment remains high, with millions of Americans out of work or underemployed. Many people have turned to community-college vocational programs to strengthen their skills and better prepare themselves to return to the work force. But while this pays off for many, too many others receive little return on their additional education and training.

That's because, too often, these programs fail to provide the extra help that today's students need to complete a program and land a job.

A new Aspen Institute analysis details the importance of providing such support, including helping adult students cope with child-care and transportation issues or simply paying for books and materials. Such challenges can derail students and prevent them from obt…

I'm on vacation so this is infographic week


Who knew there was so much to consider?

Created by

I'm on vacation, so this is infographic week

Infographic by R.O.I. Media Web Design

Happy Father's Day

Click image to see a larger version

The Evolution of The Dad via H&R Block

Tales of the non-traditional

Although Sue's story is just a small part of this piece on "life in one of the country's poorest counties."  Sue attended Eastern Kentucky University, by the way.  By Monica Potts, writing in The American Prospect

Pressing On the Upward Way
Now Sue was stuck in science and math courses, next to students fresh out of high school, talking about meta-this and osmosis-that. She was used to setting to a task and working in a fury until it was done, but maybe going to college was a bad idea, maybe she had reached the limits of her mental ability. If a data-entry company had been hiring on, she would have taken the job. When she’d go home, she’d tell J.C., “I don’t think I can do college.”

Sue felt like whenever someone from Owsley County went out into the world, the world went out of its way to poke them in the eye. One professor, who spoke at an orientation seminar, encouraged the freshman class to rub out their accents. “It’s all right to be from Eastern Kentucky,” he …

Sad songs say so much

Occasionally, I post something that appeals to the old English major in me.  And probably few other people.  I once wrote a paper on Science Fiction Imagery in Popular Music.  Sigh.  The comments after this article are the best part.  From Pacific Standard.

Pop Music Getting Sadder and Sadder
In the mood for a brisk, happy, up-tempo tune? You might scan the radio dial for a Top 40 hit, but for a better shot at satisfaction, choose an oldies station.

Over the past half-century, pop hits have become longer, slower and sadder, and they increasingly convey “mixed emotional cues,” according to a study just published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts.

“As the lyrics of popular music became more self-focused and negative over time, the music itself became sadder-sounding and more emotionally ambiguous,” according to psychologist E. Glenn Schellenberg and sociologist Christian von Scheve.

Analyzing Top 40 hits from the mid-1960s through the first decade of the 2…

The 66th Rhododendron Festival

Is this weekend.  In all our time in Tennessee, we've never made this festival.  From The High County Press.

66th Rhododendron Festival – June 16 thru 17
The Roan Mountain Citizens Club will hold its 66th Annual Rhododendron Festival at Roan Mountain State Park, Roan Mountain, TN, on Saturday. June 16 and Sunday June 17, Admission is free, hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Mr. Alan Jenkins, President of the Citizens Club, will open the festivities at 10 a.m. on Saturday the 16, by welcoming all those participating and attending this event. There will be over 90 vendors, selling a variety of handcrafted items. Food vendors and Entertainment will be provided on both days. Various musical groups will entertain, presenting mountain style music and gospel groups.

Tattoo to tooth ratio

Minus the teeth.The Tennessean has an entertaining slide show featuring some of the tattoos at the recent Bonnaroo music festival.

Tattoos of Bonnaroo 2012

The Gen Y workplace myth

Steve Tobak questions the whole notion of common generational characteristics.  Have we seen the last of these conference presentations.  Sadly, I think not.  From CBS News.
The Gen Y workplace myth Sound familiar? I'm sure you recognize all the common Generation Y workplace themes we hear over and over again, these days: Recession, no jobs, student loan debt, inflexible workplace, no work-life balance, new technology, even personal branding. The only difference is all that happened over 30 years ago. Not only is every word true, but most of my friends felt exactly the same way at the time. No kidding.  And then a funny thing happened. I grew up. I didn't lose what made me different. I didn't go to sleep one day and wake up a zombie pod person. I just experienced things and learned from them.  One of the things I learned along the way is that, in business as in culture, things change. Some things change because they should. Some things change even though they shouldn't…

There's off-campus

And there's off-campus.  UNLV has a Singapore campus where students can study hospitality, a natural fit.  This is an example of a university building upon its strengths.  From The Las Vegas Sun.

UNLV's Singapore campus part of effort to preserve Las Vegas' status as gaming kingpin
When a boom in her homeland's tourism industry prompted Foo Nyuk Xin to begin studying hotel management, the Singaporean student looked to Las Vegas as a learning ground.

"It’s where they've been doing it for years, so there's no better place to learn how everything works," Foo said. "In Singapore, it's all new."

Foo is one of more than 200 students from the UNLV Singapore campus visiting the city this month as part of their studies. UNLV's Harrah Hotel College, which opened its Singapore campus in 2006 and graduated its first class in 2009, offers instruction in more than accommodations. The visiting students are coming here to learn about conventions and…

I wondered when UM

Would address the Dasmine Cathey story that ran in The Chronicle of Higher Education. From Michael Kelley, writing in The Commercial Appeal. 

Athlete admissions policies revisited at University of Memphis

A compelling story about a former University of Memphis football player's academic struggles has prompted president Shirley Raines to launch a study to evaluate admissions policies for student athletes."The Education of Dasmine Cathey" in The Chronicle of Higher Education tells the story of a talented athlete who arrived at the university wholly unprepared for the demands of the classroom.  With the assistance of academic advisers and through his own persistent efforts, however, Cathey, 23, appears to be on the verge -- despite poor grades and periods in which he failed to show up for classes -- of earning a degree.   In an interview with The Commercial Appeal last week at his duplex near East High School, Cathey, who majored in interdisciplinary studies, was co…

Our camps for kids

Our Office of Professional Development is a happy place these days.  For starters, it exceeded all its financial goals this year.  From The Johnson City Press.

ETSU campus turned campsite for summer

Thanks to various camps ––academic, sports, music-based ––East Tennessee State University’s campus will not be an empty or quiet place this summer.

The Office of Professional Development hosts academic- enriched camps throughout the summer for kids in a day camp atmosphere with their nine summer programs.

One of the programs is the Renaissance Child Camp, initially set up to be a springboard for success for kids ages 6 to high-school age.

“The idea behind it is having the well-rounded child, so they do a little bit of everything. They do problem-solving, creative writing, arts and crafts, science experiments and they get to go swimming every day,” Angela McFall, program coordinator for the Office of Professional Development, said.

The Renaissance Child Camp, celebrating its 10th anni…

Where the grads are

They go where other grads are, probably because that's where the jobs are.  This brain drain prevents many cities from prospering, and it may explain why it's so difficult to improve a state's higher education attainment level.  College graduates are more mobile, after all.  It may also be the reason people told me that when I moved here from Iowa, the average intelligence in both states went up.  Ba-doom Pshh.  From The New York Times.

As College Graduates Cluster, Some Cities Are Left Behind
Dayton sits on one side of a growing divide among American cities, in which a small number of metro areas vacuum up a large number of college graduates, and the rest struggle to keep those they have.

The winners are metro areas like Raleigh, N.C., San Francisco and Stamford, Conn., where more than 40 percent of the adult residents have college degrees. The Raleigh area has a booming technology sector and several major research universities; San Francisco has been a magnet for colleg…

Bunkum Awards

For 2012 announced. One thing I learned from this article is that the word bunkum derives from nearby Buncombe County, North Carolina, and its former Congressman, Representative Felix Walker.  True story.

Bunkum Awards Spotlight Shoddy Education Research: Grand Prize Winner Says Charter Schools Should be Like Cancer
The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder, has announced via online video the winners of the 2011 Bunkum Awards – presented for the most compellingly lousy educational research for the past year. The video is now available for viewing at

The 2011 Bunkum Grand Prize goes to the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), which received the “Cancer is Under-Rated Award” for Going Exponential: Growing the Charter School Sector’s Best. In its report, which advocated the rapid expansion of preferred charter schools, PPI compared those charters to viruses and cancers.

PPI says that it…

Net price is often overlooked

By folks outside of higher education.  It makes the true cost of tuition less scary. This piece from NPR has a nice graphic which I couldn't reproduce well.

The Price Of College Tuition
Here are two ways to think about the price of college tuition:

1. Sticker price is the full price colleges list in their brochures and on their websites.

2. Net price is the price students actually pay. Net price accounts for the fact that many students receive grants or scholarships. So it can be considerably lower than sticker price.

Quick example. Say you go to a school where the sticker price is $25,000 a year. You get a $10,000-a-year grant. The net price for you — the part you have to pay for through loans, work and family contributions — is $15,000 a year. . . .

[On average] The sticker price has gone way up (no surprise). But, because the value of grants and scholarships has also grown, average net price has grown much more slowly. In fact, in the past five years, average net price at private …

I messed up my May time sheet

By taking two hours of annual leave on Memorial Day.   It was corrected.

It saddens me that this is affecting some of our friends at UK

For the life of me I don't understand the necessity of walking a released assistant dean out the door like she was a criminal.  And Human Resources has over 100 employees?  Really? From

University of Kentucky laying off about 140 people, eliminating 164 vacant jobs
The University of Kentucky will lay off about 140 people in full and part-time positions across campus, losing roughly 1 percent of its workforce in the most severe budget cuts the flagship school has seen in recent memory.

UK Spokesman Jay Blanton said another 120 vacant full-time staff positions and 44 vacant faculty positions will be eliminated, but no faculty will lose their jobs.

Blanton said among the largest impacts are in Information Technology and Human Resources. The IT department laid off 11 of its 240 employees, or about 4.5 percent of its workers. The Human Resources department laid off 5 of its 110 workers.

Tales of the non-traditional

More news on adult and continuing education students.  From  Libby Sander, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

A Veteran and Father Graduates From a College He Long Dreamed of Attending
Growing up in this community in northern Maryland, Mr. Shriver, 29, used to pass by the stately brick buildings of the college that is now McDaniel and wonder: What went on up there on that hill overlooking Main Street? What would it be like to go to a college like that? What would it be like to go to college at all?

Nobody in Mr. Shriver's family had ever done so, and for a long time, it looked as if he wouldn't, either. The oldest of four sons, he left home at 17. He had tired of clashing with his father, a strong-willed brick mason, and went to work nights at a local grocery store to support himself while he finished high school. During his senior year, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps under a delayed-entry program. He reported for basic training in August 2001.

In the service,…

Defend your program

LERN has some good advice about internal marketing.  Now, more than ever, it's important to brag on our successes and tie what we do into the institution's mission.  Although I don't like the defensiveness of this, the content could be an attractive continuing education conference theme.  It would require a positive slant.

Hot Topics 2012
An emergency warning has been issued by LERN on defending your program and the field. In the last few months, even the most successful programs have reported they have to justify their program. It’s an issue that is now critical to every program. 3 things you can do:

1. Stay on message. Create 3-5 talking points about the value of your program.

2. Send monthly info. Every month, send a positively worded message to decision makers with data and info.

3. Become engaged. Be more visible to leaders. Sit at the table. A track of sessions on ‘Defending the Field’ will be led by Rita Martinez-Purson of Albuquerque, NM, at the big LERN Conference


When states repeal motorcyle helmet laws, the supply of organ donors goes up.  Duh.  And motorcycles are not getting any safer.  From Freakonomics.

Motorcycle Deaths Hold Steady

Maybe this is why summer school enrollments are down

I hope it's because the economy is improving across the board.  From Time's Moneyland.

Jobs: Teens Find Employment, But Many Aren't Looking
According to the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 160,000 American teenagers were hired last month. In May of 2011, by contrast, only 71,000 teens landed jobs. Even that was better than the year before, when a pathetic 6,000 teenagers were hired in May of 2010, which led into the worst summer for teen employment since the years after World War II, when returning servicemen often competed with high school kids for jobs.

While teenagers should be the most excited to hear about the improved summer jobs market, most probably won’t take notice. As the Los Angeles Times and others have noted, “the number [of teens] who aren’t looking for work has steadily risen since 1994.”

Last summer, 1.1 million Americans ages 16 to 19 found summer jobs, up from 960,000 the summer before. In both cases, per NPR, the figures meant that sl…

Race to the top

Doctors talk about the TTR, tooth to tattoo ratio, as a measure of overall health.  I wonder where we rate on that?  From The Tennessean.

Tennessee's dental health among worst
The dental health care for Tennesseans ranks among the worst in the nation, which has sent more patients to the emergency room and caused more adults to lose teeth to decay and disease.

A Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed the number of people who visited a dental clinic or a dentist dropped nearly 10 percent between 2005 and 2010.

The same survey found the number of people who lost at least one permanent tooth increased to nearly 55 percent of the population in Tennessee.

That puts Tennessee at 47th in the nation for dental health, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

Four year guarantee

This seems relatively low risk.  The student promises to take enough hours each year to graduate in four, and to meet with an advisor to make sure the right courses are taken.  I suppose ISU would be on the hook if courses were not available or scheduled correctly, but it's hard for me to imagine other cases where the student would not be at fault. From

Indiana State University Promises To Cover Costs Of Students After 4 Years
It won’t make students go to class or study for finals, but it will ensure Indiana State University students have the resources they need to graduate on time.

It’s called the Sycamore Graduation Guarantee – and it’s a promise to students that if they need more than four years to complete their degree, then ISU will foot the bill. Incoming freshman can sign the guarantee during their summer orientation or anytime during their first year.

“Statistically, the longer you take to get out of college, the less chance you have of finishing,” ISU …

Why we multitask

We're addicted to it.  Must...put...down...iPhone....From
Find relief from multitasking -- and get more done But if you think checking email while you're watching the news and ironing that work shirt for tomorrow is helping you get more done in less time -- it's not -- though you are getting something else out of it, finds a new study in the Journal of Communication.

Even though studies prove we're less productive when multitasking, we keep at it because it makes us feel good, says study author Zheng Wang, PhD, of Ohio State University. Dr. Wang and her colleagues had college students check in three times a day for four weeks, each time reporting what they were doing and why. The results? Most reported doing several activities at the same time--even though it made them less productive -- because it gave them a boost of happiness.

Setting up for Blue Plum festival.


10 Ways to Be a Better Learner

Jeff Cobb recently contacted me about his newly released book for lifelong learners: 10 Ways to Be a Better Learner.  He sent me copy, and it's a practical, common-sense approach to more effective learning.  He will be offering a free download of the eBook version at Amazon from June 4-8.  Adult and continuing education students should take advantage of this opportunity.

You can find out a bit more about the book on Amazon and about the author on his Mission to Learn blog.