Friday, January 31, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Enrollment data

Jonah Newman, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, shares some enrollment data recently released from the U. S. Department of Education.

Enrollment (Fall 2012):
  • Total enrollment at postsecondary institutions fell about 2 percent from 2011, to 21.1 million.
  • The total number of undergraduates fell slightly, to 18.2 million. Here’s a breakdown of where those undergraduates were enrolled, by sector:
  • The total number of graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in for-profit colleges fell nearly 8 percent from 2011, while enrollment at public colleges dropped 1.6 percent and enrollment at private nonprofit colleges rose less than 1 percent.
  • There are about five women for every four men in higher education—a ratio that has barely changed in more than a decade.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Save the date

October 27-29, 2014
Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort
Las Vegas, NV

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ACHE South awards nominations

ACHE South is seeking awards nominations for outstanding credit and non-credit programs, distinguished continuing higher education faculty and leaders, scholarships, and research grants. Recipients will be recognized at the 2014 South ACHE Spring Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 14, 2014.

For more information, awards descriptions, and nomination forms, please visit our website at
The application deadline is February 10, 2014.

If you have questions, please contact Dan Connell at or (606) 783-2612.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Spaces still available for ETSU GRE and GMAT prep sessions

East Tennessee State University has spaces remaining in a workshop for assistance to those desiring to begin work on a graduate degree. A Graduate Record Examination Test Preparation Workshop will be held on Saturday, Feb.1, 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 Academic Outreach, the program has a registration fee of $70, which includes coffee and a continental breakfast 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

In addition, the School of Graduate Studies and School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach are offering a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) preparation course on Saturday, Feb. 8.  For a registration fee of $125, this all-day workshop will provide instruction on the Integrated Reasoning, Math, and Verbal sections of the GMAT.

The online link for registration is

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

For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's not all doom and gloom

Or in our language, lower enrollments and budget cuts.  But of course, those are coming. The Week has five things that are improving, and number four is listed below.

4. Graduation rates are improving 
The more you learn, the more you earn. The correlation is clear as a bell: The national unemployment rate in November for adults with no high school diploma was 10.8 percent. For those with a high school diploma: 7.3 percent. Even better, if you have a bachelor's degree or more, the unemployment rate is 3.4 percent. So it's encouraging to see that in today's high-skill, high-knowledge economy, 78.2 percent of high school students graduated on time in 2010 — the best rate since 1974. The Department of Education says gains were widespread, with Latinos — the fastest-growing population bloc — showing the strongest increase. 
How have we done it? Among the helpful initiatives: Flex schedules and online teaching so students with jobs or babies can earn credits; requiring struggling kids to give up cushy electives for intensive tutoring in reading and math; and sending school officials door to door to encourage truants into returning to class. 
There's tons of room for improvement, though. Graduation rates for minority kids still trail white kids by wide margins, with about one third of black students and 29 percent of Latino students dropping out before graduation.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It's always easy in the movies....

A teacher points out how unrealistic inner-city education is portrayed in the movies in The Atlantic. I've addressed this theme before, and I always think of Kindergarten Cop, where good teaching means getting students to march, obey, and perform a musical number. No lesson plans.  No core curriculum. No one going after your tenure.  Sigh.

2014 promises to be a banner year for education in the news. New York City’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, will likely reverse some of his predecessor’s reform-minded policies. States are moving forward with implementing the Common Core standards despite increasing opposition.  And a number of closely watched court cases around tenure rules will have rulings handed down—with potentially wide-ranging effects.    
How will Americans process education news in the coming year? How will they decide which policies they support and which ones they oppose? How will they determine not only what’s best for their own children, but for children from other, less advantaged backgrounds? Unfortunately, many Americans’ experience with failing schools and struggling students comes from what they  see in films such as Stand and DeliverDangerous Minds, Freedom Writers, andLean on Me. These movies are popular: Dangerous Minds made more than $80 million at the box office in 1995, and the star of Stand and Deliver was nominated for an Oscar. But inspirational teacher films do not offer a realistic portrait of what it’s like to be a teacher or a student in an underserved school. Here's why.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In the rear view mirror

Writing in Slate, Tressie McMillan Cottom looks back on the media's obsession with higher education in 2013.  I guess bad publicity is better than no publicity.

Speaking of the Times, they devoted a lot of resources to long-form reporting on higher ed this year. Their coverage of what researchers call tuition discounting at expensive universities is an example of how the higher-ed inside game jumped into popular awareness in 2013. The Atlantic, Politico, and yours truly here at Slate started delving into the complexity of higher ed memes in ways that had once been primarily the domain of niche publications like Inside Higher Ed. Nonprofit initiatives such as the New America Foundation’s Higher Ed Watch leveraged a steady stream of empirical research on higher-ed trends from the likes of PolicyMic and the Brookings Institution. Demos best exemplified how this convergence of in-depth analysis and resources from intersecting organizations made for better analysis. Demos didn’t just pick up on a Century Foundation report on declining public investment in community colleges. It put those findings in the context of trends in for-profit higher education and skyrocketing student loan debt. Demos also produced what was, pound-for-pound, my favorite white paper of the year: Its empirically grounded analysis of the long-term effects of student loan debt applies rigorous social science methods to a question that matters to millions of Americans. Even better, the report is well-written, approachable, and readily available. That is research and analysis that matters. 
Our obsession with higher education often came out in stories that were ostensibly about completely separate issues. Coverage of the federal government shutdown in October featured a lot of student voices, but little of it focused on working-class and poor students, whose food and child care subsidies were hit hard because wealthy pols in Washington couldn’t play nicely in their publicly subsidized sandbox. And while you might be hard-pressed to think of a fodder less suited for a higher-ed think piece than the morass that is the U.S. tax code, Elizabeth Stoker and Matthew Bruenig pulled off a wicked smart analysis in Salon of how inequalities manifest through tax policies, are rewarded by legacy admissions at prestigious universities, and altogether make a mockery of American meritocracy.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Help for graduate students available at ETSU Boot Camp

Those who have nearly completed a graduate degree from any institution are invited to attend the East Tennessee State University 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 all four sessions, which are held on Friday evenings from 5:30-10 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., with an option of remaining until 9 p.m. The workshops will be conducted Jan. 24-25, Feb. 7-8, 21-22, and March 21-22. The sessions will be held in room 309 of ETSU’s Charles C. Sherrod Library. The registration fee includes snacks as well as breakfasts and lunches on Saturdays.

Additional work with a tutor on weekdays is available for a charge of $15 per hour, beginning with the second session. Free oral defense practice is also available upon request.

Online registration is available at

The Boot Camp is a collaborative effort of the ETSU School of Graduate Studies, Graduate Council, School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach, the Writing Center, the Charles C. Sherrod Library, and graduate faculty.
For further information, contact the ETSU Office of Professional Development at (800) 222-3878. For
disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

This appeals to the old English major in me

Business Insider has an interactive map of the most famous book set in every state.  Tennessee's?  Two bestsellers by John Grisham.

Most Famous Book Set In Every State [MAP]

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In the year 2014

Higher education will focus on some old, and some relatively new, ideas.  But Sophie Quinton, writing in The Atlantic, does see any game changers. I've listed one of the old ideas, re-purposed, below.  I cut my academic teeth on prior learning assessment.

Earning College Credit for What You Know 
The Obama administration, state governments, and foundation funders are all pressuring colleges to shrink the time it takes for students to graduate. Two strategies for doing so gained attention this year: advancing students based on mastery, and giving students credit for work experience. 
The fancy term for the first strategy is "competency-based learning," and it works best online. Students move through course material at their own pace, their test scores—not time in class—determining how quickly they move through the material. At Western Governors' University, an online institution that pioneered this structure almost 20 years ago, students earn bachelor's degrees two years faster than the national average. This year, the University of Wisconsin system started offering a competency-based option. 
Another strategy is "prior learning assessment," whereby students get college credit for on-the job and military training, volunteer experience, and hobbies. Credit is usually granted through placement tests, assessments of student portfolios, or according to the American Council on Education's recommendations. Some employers and colleges—like Starbucks and City University of Seattle—have struck up partnerships that allow employees to earn college credit for workplace training.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

On the other hand...

Time tells us why many don't want to be the king, uhm, boss.

5 Reasons You Definitely Don’t Want to be the Boss
According to a new Pew survey, 43% of respondents say they wouldn’t want to be a boss or top manager manager someday. That’s more than the 39% who do want to climb the corporate ladder, despite research showing that supervisors are happier with their family, financial and professional lives. 
Why are so many of us content to be worker bees, especially in a culture that holds upward mobility and professional advancement in high regard?

It's good to be the king

Or, to a lesser extent, the boss.  From The Pew Research Center.

Why it's great to be the boss
It pays to be the boss, in more ways than one. 
In addition to bigger paychecks, America’s bosses are more satisfied with their family life, jobs and overall financial situation than are non-managerial employees, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. 
Top managers with children also are less likely than other working parents to say parenthood has been an obstacle to job advancement (33% vs. 17%) and more likely to say their current position is their career rather than a just a job to get them by.

Monday, January 13, 2014

ETSU to offer clinical medical assistant training

East Tennessee State University’s Office of Professional Development will offer a Clinical Medical Assistant Training Program at ETSU at Kingsport-Allandale Feb. 10-May 21.

The class consists of 112 hours of instruction, plus 60 hours of online training and a clinical externship of 40 hours.

The program fee of $800 includes the textbook, externship placement and a certificate of completion.

Clinical medical assistants can pursue employment as health care professionals in a physician’s office or a clinical setting by helping with procedures, caring for patients and performing simple laboratory tests.

For further information, contact the ETSU Office of Professional Development at (800) 222-3878 or

For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Call for proposals

30th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning

Submit your proposal(s) to present at the 30th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning. This is the premier conference in the distance education and training field, hosted by UW-Madison Continuing Studies department of Distance Education Professional Development (DEPD). 

Choose from a variety of presentation formats depending on your expertise and experience in the field of distance education/training—from a 15-minute speed session to a 3-hour hands-on workshop.

Deadline for proposals is Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014, at 4pm CST.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

But first he has to want to change...

A short, research-based observation on how daughters, sisters, and wives change a man.  From Sarah Yager, writing in The Atlantic.

How Women Change Men
Male CEOs typically pay their employees less and themselves more after having sons, but this trend doesn’t hold with daughters. In fact, male CEOs with firstborn daughters actually pay their employees more, giving female employees the biggest raises. 
Men who have daughters also grow less attached to traditional gender roles: they become less likely to agree with the statement that “a woman’s place is in the home,” for instance, and more likely to agree that men should wash dishes and do other chores. 
Having a sister, however, has the opposite effect, making men more supportive of traditional gender roles, more conservative politically, and less likely to perform housework.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

God help me, I do love Top Ten lists...

Here are the top ten stories in higher education from The Hechinger Report.

Top ten stories from Hechinger: Higher education headed for a shakeout

  1. Skepticism grows of the effectiveness of MOOCs.
  2. Alarm bells sound that higher education may be headed for a shakeout.
  3. Students begin to nibble at the “education buffet,” assembling their educations from many sources …
  4. … including by starting college early.
  5. Success coaches help get students in, and through, college.
  6. More states tie financial aid to performance …
  7. … and let students know how much degrees from which programs in particular schools will pay.
  8. Universities and others look for new ways to rank them.
  9. Foundations continue to push for higher-ed reform.
  10. The debate rages on between sciences and the humanities.

But in Tennessee, the average debt is

Is only $21,775.  Fifty-eight percent of graduates have debt.  That's less than many new cars. Still, that's a lot and you especially have to worry about those who have debt but no degree. From CNN Money. There's a nice intereactive graphic where you can compare states in the article.

Average student loan debt: $29,400
The average debt load for the class of 2012 was $29,400, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute for College Access & Success' Project on Student Debt. 
In 2011, the average debt load was $26,600. The organization noted that its 2012 report is more comprehensive -- based on federal data that includes all four-year colleges collected every four years. In the years in between, averages are based on information provided voluntarily by colleges. 
At the same time that debt has been going up, colleges across the country have been hiking tuition and fees and families' incomes have been shrinking, student loan debt has risen at an average rate of 6% per year from 2008 to 2012, the report found.

Monday, January 6, 2014

RIP old technology

The end of the DVD and GPS?  From Micah Singleton writing in Techlicious.

5 Tech Products That Will Be Dead in 5 Years
With the speed of innovation in the tech industry, we can’t know every piece of technology that will fill our everyday lives in five years, but we can predict what won't last. As smartphones begin to render low-end cameras obsolete and Netflix continues to upend the DVD and Blu-ray market, it’s clear the technology landscape will look dramatically different in the near future.

You know, it might just be a good idea

To avoid mentioning work at all on Facebook.  Except to praise the place, of course.  From CBS News.

There have been cases where Facebook has fast-tracked a career.  But I've heard plenty of stories of Facebook sabotaging someone's chance of success. Here are four good reasons to put your Facebook hobby on hold for your job. 
You're addicted 
If you can't stay off Facebook during work hours, that's an easy tell that it's affecting your job. "Companies need to know that they have your undivided attention. If you are constantly on Facebook, which is easy to determine simply by paying attention to frequency and volume, then a company may have reason to be concerned about how you spend your time at work," says Roy Cohen, career coach and author of "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide."  If you're "liking" a co-worker's new baby photo between 9 and 5, your boss might see that and not "like" it very much at all. 
You hate your boss and vent online 
This one seems so obvious, but people still do it. "It's baffling, but millions of employees across America assume their boss doesn't use Facebook. Vent your frustrations about your 'idiot boss' or the 'crazy CEO' and guess what? They'll find out," says Phil Cooke, media consultant and author of "One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born To Do."

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014