Showing posts from May, 2013

Infographic Friday


It's still better to be a college graduate

Than not.  Matthew O'Brien, writing in The Atlantic, explains below.  Follow the link for a nice graphic he includes.

The College Grad Recovery Continues - Matthew O'Brien - The Atlantic

The rumors of the recovery's demise are greatly exaggerated. It turns out it's the same as it ever was: slow and steady, but real nonetheless. If you graduated from college, that is....The April jobs report reminded us of what we had forgotten. The recovery is the same in 2013 as it was in 2012 as it was in 2011 as it was in 2010. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the economy added 165,000 jobs the past month, and another 114,000 in upward revisions to past months. As Justin Wolfers points out, that gives us an average of 196,000 jobs a month so far in 2013, compared to 225,000 in 2012, and 194,000 in 2011. It's pushed unemployment down to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.But as disappointing as the recovery has been, it's been even more disappointing more people who didn…

I am reminded that Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl"

Is the only rock song containing the word moot. Why that appeals to me, I'm not sure.  Sigh.  But here, for the uninitiated, Grammar Girl explains the difference between moot and mute.
Grammar Girl : "Moot" Versus "Mute" :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™
A fan who shall remain nameless wrote to me with this problem: "In negotiations today, a union rep provided me with handouts of proposals she'd labeled 'mute.' Help!"Presumably, the union rep meant “moot,” not “mute.”“Moot” is an adjective that generally means something is isn’t relevant anymore.One of my favorite episodes of the sitcom "Friends" is when Joey says something that doesn’t matter anymore is "moo." I never get tired of that.

What makes a good continuing educator?

Some thoughts from John DeLalla, writing in The EvoLLLution.  I'd add that you have to be committed to continuing education, not just in theory but in practice.  I've heard continuing educators complain when their secretary wants to take a class.  And, oh yeah, you can't think making money is bad thing for a non-profit to do, which is a little different take on number five below.

Hiring a Continuing Education Leader

Yet, who do you hire? What personality traits should you look for? What are deal-breakers? What professional background? What skills? Some general aspects I look for in my new hires include, but are not limited to, the following list:  1.Personality: Patience, kindness and a sense of humor are leading indicators of success for staff.  2.Communication Skills: Not just being able to draft a quick email reply, but knowing what methods to use in communication with which constituents. Texting, for example, is not as common for business executives as it is for high sc…

Infographic Friday


I never knew about dyslexia-friendly fonts...

Till I read this.  From Daniel Hamermesh, writing in Freakonomics.

Font Improvement
I write all my papers, letters, and exams using the typeface Times New Roman.  As a lunch-table discussion here in England revealed, the University insists on certain typefaces that are dyslexia-friendly, particularly Arial, Trebuchet, and Verdana.  It costs me or any other faculty member nothing to use one of these on exams; non-dyslexic students are not harmed by them, and dyslexic students are better off.  Henceforth, no more Times New Roman on tests — mine will all be in Arial.  A clear Pareto improvement.

Children and teens invited to ETSU Renaissance summer camps

East Tennessee State University’s Office of Professional Development invites children ages six and up to participate in Renaissance Child camps this summer. 

The camps offer a variety of educational, hands-on, interactive opportunities for participants from first grade through high school. The programs are based on “STREAM” Educational Curriculum (Science, Technology, Reading/Recreation, Engineering, Arts and Math) and follow the Tennessee Core State Standards.

A new Renaissance Child Science Discovery Camp: A Journey to the Center of the Earth and Beyond for children ages 6-12 will explore earth science, with volcanoes erupting and crystal gardens growing. Campers can make edible “rocks” and participate in other experiments. Field trips to Bristol Caverns and Cooper’s Gem Mine are planned. The dates for the camp are June 3-7.

Computer Camp for Teens, to be held June 3-7, welcomes those ages 11-15. Students will learn videography, as well as greenscreen and effects compositing. Partic…

Save the date


The methodology is suspect

But these kind of lists are popular right now.  Here are the top ten universities with the worst professors, taken from CBS News.

25 universities with the worst professors

Which U.S. colleges and universities have the worst professors?
According to the latest figures compiled by an education think-tank, many of the worst profs are teaching in schools in the Midwest and on the East Coast. The Center for College Affordability and Productivity compiled a list of schools with the best and worst professors by culling through millions of teacher ratings at The teacher ratings were one of the components that the center used in evaluating 650 colleges and universities for Forbes' ranking of America's Best Colleges. Millions of students have used RateMyProfessors to share their feelings about their teachers in the U.S., Canada and U.K. Using a five-point scale, students rate professors on three criteria: helpfulness, clarity and easiness. An overall quality score is…

Never utter one of these in a crisis

Hero advice from Charlie Jan Anders in io9.  I've listed a couple of my favorites from the twelve presented.

12 Phrases That Are Never a Good Sign For a Hero's Survival

"You can do better than that!" Or, alternatively: "Is that all you got?" Said tauntingly to an attacking evil person. Inevitably, that isn't all they've got."When all this is over..." And finally, the classic. As often satirized on The Simpsons and other shows, the moment someone starts talking about all the great things he or she is going to do after this nightmare is finally ended, you know there's no happy ending in store for that person. In Hunt for Red October, as soon as Sam Neill starts talking about the great time he'll have living in Montana after he's defected, you know it's curtains for Sam — and we're not talking about picking out curtains for his Montana cabin.

Infographic Friday


Is college still worth it?

By Degree Jungle Is College Still Worth It

ETSU announces OpenBUCS free online course system

Beginning this fall, East Tennessee State University will offer free college courses through the Open Buccaneer University Course System (OpenBUCS), university officials announced today (Tuesday, May 14). 

The emergence of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) precipitated the development of the OpenBUCS initiative. But what makes the ETSU program unique is a path to actual college credit.

MOOCs began in recent years, with notable programs established through a partnership between Harvard University and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and by Stanford University. Today, the Harvard and MIT program has 25 MOOC courses with 675,000 students, and Stanford has more than 3 million students in 100 courses. And, other institutions across the country are following suit.

“Higher education is changing rapidly, and (MOOCs) are having a phenomenal influence,” explained Dr. Karen King, ETSU vice provost for eLearning. “These free courses are created so that enrollment is open. Students mo…

Should your continuing education operation be autonomous?

Philip DiSalvio, writing in The EvoLLLution, says yes.And, in classical composition style, much appreciated by an old English major, he has three supporting paragraphs to back up his thesis.  You'll have to follow the link to find the support.

Organizational Autonomy and the Continuing Education Unit
With many higher education institutions becoming increasingly dependent on continuing education (CE) units to generate revenue and to fund overall institutional operations, strategic organizational options must be considered.  This begs the question of whether continuing education should gain autonomy from the rest of the campus or remain a part of the traditional infrastructure. Will the institution be better served by a CE unit that functions independently as the entrepreneurial arm of the university? Will an autonomous campus unit that is particularly attuned to market forces and niche markets serve the institution’s overall mission?  Many see the ground shifting in fundamental ways…

Your highest paid state employee

Probably isn't your college president. Unless you live in Alaska, Montana or Delaware. From Reuben Fischer-Baum, writing in Deadspin.

Another top ten list

CBS Money Watch lists the ten cheapest cities to live in.  Memphis comes in at number five.  I seem to recall Beale Street being a bit costly, myself.

10 cheapest places to live in the U.S.
Memphis, America's fifth-least expensive city according to the Cost of Living Index, has a population of 652,050, based on the latest datafrom the U.S. Census Bureau. With an index of 86, the cost of living in Memphis is up a tenth of a point from a year ago.Market prices in Memphis, Tenn.-- Half-gallon of milk - $2.29 Monthly rent - $711 Home price - $193,834 Gallon of gas - $3.401 Haircut - $13.20 Movie ticket - $8.93 Bottle of wine - $9.17

God help me I do love top ten lists

Scenes from

The SCSAO picnic for our spring graduates.  Commencement is tomorrow.

Infographic Friday


Conference on Adult Learner Enrollment Management

July 16-18 in Boston.

Still trying to decide if you'll attend CALEM 2013? Here are the top three reasons you should:

#1 - Networking with your peers. More than 30 institutions are already registered to attend...and we haven't even hit the early bird deadline. This is shaping up to be a sold out event with institutions from across North America in attendance. The conference agenda is packed with sessions, breaks, extended lunches, and evening dinner groups, where you'll have the opportunity to gain insight and ideas from your peers at a wide range of types of institutions.

#2 - Keynotes and sessions from thought leaders. Two college presidents, one senior fellow at a higher education think tank, a senior extended education executive, and two higher education partners with more than 50 years experience between the two of them...and that's just the keynotes. Sessions will be led by practitioners from across the United States sharing actionable ideas for success that you can …

Knoxville is number two

On Amazon's list of the most well-read cities.  Up from number 22 last year, thanks to their romantic bent... Announces the Most Well-Read Cities in America today announced its third annual list of the Most Well-Read Cities in America. The ranking was determined by compiling sales data of all book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format since June 1, 2012, on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents. The Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities are:
Alexandria, Va.Knoxville, Tenn.Miami, Fla.Cambridge, Mass.Orlando, Fla. . . .Knoxville, Tenn. made the biggest gain this year, jumping from the #12 spot in 2012 to #2 this year. Knoxville residents also purchased the most books in the Romance category—top titles include Fifty Shades of Grey and Married by Mistake.

We're number one

Image lists Tennessee as the top state to retire.  Low taxes and all that.

10 best states to retire
That's right, Tennessee hits our No.1 spot. Its cost of living is the second lowest in the country, just behind Oklahoma, according to data collected from the Council for Community and Economic Research. And the Tax Foundation puts Tennessee's state and local tax burden as the third lowest in the nation.  Tennessee also ranked among the best in the country for access to medical care, and its weather is warmer than average.  All of those factors make Tennessee an excellent place for retirees, especially those on a tight budget and fixed income. There is still one main drawback, however. Tennessee's crime rate is among the worst in the U.S.

Save the date

Thomas Edison State College Presents The National Institute on the Assessment of Adult Learning Looking Back.  Moving Forward. June 19-21, 2013 Atlantic City, NJ Register Now

About the National Institute
Celebrating its 25th year, the National Institute on the Assessment of Adult Learning: Looking Back. Moving Forward. provides a uniquely engaging learning experience for education professionals who are involved in prior learning assessment (PLA) and the assessment of adult learning as well as for those who may be considering incorporating these aspects of higher education. The main goal of the National Institute is to address issues such as: Prior Learning AssessmentDistance EducationAssessment MethodologiesEffective Learning OutcomesCollege-level LearningWorkplace Education and AssessmentUtilizing TechnologyThe National Institute also serves as a venue to share experiences in a casual environment and to network with colleagues.

All attendees are also invi…

Urban Dictionary Word of the Day

Send and run: The act of delivering bad or unpleasant news via email at the very last point in the day, so as to purposely avoid being there when the response is received. Usually deployed just after 5 pm or before going away on holiday.

Save the date


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

Click Here for Access to the Conference Brochure and Registration Form!

Infographic Friday

Embedded from SALT Blog

A thoughtful essay on college completion

At least at the community college level.  This is bySanford C. Shugart, writing in Inside Higher Education.  You may remember Sandy from the ACHE Annual Meeting in Los Angeles whose planning was chaired by John Yates and (ahem) me. To refresh your memory, he sang.

Moving the needle on college completion, thoughtfully (essay) | Inside Higher Ed

Not long ago, a good friend and outstanding college president moved from El Paso Community College, where for a decade he had led a complete transformation of the college and the results its students achieved, to Austin Community College, a college ready for much the same kind of transformational leadership.  Within the first few weeks in Austin, on his drive to work, he encountered a large billboard that said “Austin Community College, Graduation Rate 4% -­‐   Is this a good use of taxpayers dollars?”  Welcome to Austin. The billboard was sponsored by a business leader with a variety of concerns over higher education in the Lone Star state. My f…

Some thoughts on changing academic advising

By bringing it more into the online world.  Here's an example of eAdvising at Arizona State University from Elizabeth D. Phillips, writing in Change Magazine.

Improving Advising Using Technology and Data Analytics

Traditionally, the collegiate advising system provides each student with a personal academic advisor who designs a pathway to the degree for that student in face-to-face meetings. Ideally, this is a supportive mentoring relationship. But in truth, this system is highly inefficient, error prone, expensive, and a source of ubiquitous student dissatisfaction.This article describes a method that enhances human advising with modern technology and data analytics, thereby freeing advisors to spend more time on the things only people can do. This method, called eAdvisor, helps students find majors in which they are likely to succeed; keeps them progressing toward a degree; and makes advisors more informed, efficient, and effective. It also allows the university to manage enrollmen…