Showing posts from April, 2014

At the TACHE East Regional Meeting


Taking all the fun out of commencement

At the University of Southern Florida.  From The Miami Herald.

USF to students: no selfies at graduation
In the coming weeks, graduates of the University of South Florida will be able to frame their diplomas – but not a selfie of their walk across the commencement stage.  The university’s Division of Student Affairs is warning students against inappropriate behavior at the ceremonies at the SunDome and elsewhere, including taking “selfies” on stage with President Judy Genshaft or other dignitaries.  A school official told The Tampa Tribune that taking selfies would slow the commencement down.  The school sent a notice to all graduating seniors, and ads are being placed in the student newspaper requesting that students also refrain from “stepping,” “marching” or “strolling.”  In South Florida, college students still have the option of snapping a quick photo with their smartphone, as neither Miami Dade College nor the University of Miami specifically ban “selfies.” Florida International …

College financial outcomes

UVA ranks high on this list.  Especially for in-state students.  From Derek Thompson, writing in The Atlantic.
Which College—and Which Major—Will Make You Richest? A Bachelor of Science from Harvey Mudd College, the small California science and engineering school, is the most valuable college degree in America.  Stanford's computer science program pays off more than any single major in the country.  For the best dollar-for-dollar investment, nothing beats the University of Virginia.  As those three (all true) facts illustrate, there are many ways to answer the question What's the most valuable college education in the country? Every year PayScale, the largest private tracker of U.S. salaries, tries to answer the question. This year they released their findings in an elegant site that you can play with here. They also shared their hard data with The Atlantic, which we used to do some further calculations.  Before the candy, some methodological veggies. The challenge of putting …

The 10 college subjects with the lowest average IQs

Hmmmm.  Social Work comes in at number one with the lowest average IQ.  But the methodology seems a little suspect to me. From The Richest, although the study was done by
10 College Subjects With The Lowest Average IQs
Since the attempt to measure intelligence by standardized tests there have been those who wholeheartedly embrace the measures and others who argue that the tests are designed with a narrow demographic in mind. Critics say that such tests do not take into consideration class difference, ethnic diversity and even gender, and favor one or two forms of intelligence over others. Would a brilliant, introverted physicist be capable of empathetically managing a large team of people? Would an astronaut have what it takes to feed a community or raise a child? These are some of the questions we should ask ourselves when we attempt to categorize people by limited criteria like IQ.  People, communities and our world are all multifaceted. That said, since it becam…

Infographic Friday

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The Fiscal Times' public universities with the worst graduation rates

Leading from behind is Southern University at New Orleans at 4%.  Many of these seem to be branch campuses whose students probably transfer before graduation, much like at a community college. Could be a bit misleading.

Public Universities With The Worst Graduation Rates

Kiplinger's best public college values

Number 1 is UNC at Chapel Hill.

Best Public College Values, 2014

Race to the top

Tennessee still ranks high in obesity ratings.  Memphis is the most obese large community, and Clarksville ranks high as well.  From Gallup Well Being.

Boulder, Colo., Residents Still Least Likely to Be Obese
Among large communities with populations above 1 million, Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark., had the highest obesity rate, at 31.9%, while Denver-Aurora and San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif., tied for the lowest at 19.3%.The average obesity rate for all large communities was 25.7%, almost two points below the national average. None of the large communities designated as having the highest obesity rates ranked among the communities of all sizes with the 10 highest obesity rates. These findings suggest that residents in smaller communities are more likely to be obese than those living in larger communities.

A counterstrike against the war on teachers

Sometimes you hear that teachers aren't smart enough. But that's not the problem.  As Jack Schneider, writing in The Washington Post points out, "American teachers aren’t dumb; only the way we support them is."

‘If only American teachers were smarter…’
If assertions about the poor academic preparation of American teachers were accurate, the policy fix would be easy.  But such hysteria is generally unfounded.  Teachers go to legitimate schools, they get decent grades, and the overwhelming majority of them possess degrees in the subject they teach.  More than half possess graduate degrees. Consequently, there’s very little low-hanging fruit to pick.  Adequately educated though they may be, we could still work to select teachers from a more elite slice of college graduates.  Comparisons, for instance, are often made with doctors—the implication being that educational policymakers should turn to the medical profession as a model.  The first problem is scale.  There are ro…

Infographic Friday

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Those of us who worked our way through college in the 70s

Shouldn't judge.  You can't do that now.  Of course, this doesn't disprove that Millennials are "lazy and entitled." (Just kidding). From Svati Kirsten Narula, writing in The Atlantic.

The Myth of Working Your Way Through College
A lot of Internet ink has been spilled over how lazy and entitled Millennials are, but when it comes to paying for a college education, work ethic isn't the limiting factor. The economic cards are stacked such that today’s average college student, without support from financial aid and family resources, would need to complete 48 hours of minimum-wage work a week to pay for his courses—a feat that would require superhuman endurance, or maybe a time machine. To take a close look at the tuition history of almost any institution of higher education in America is to confront an unfair reality: Each year’s crop of college seniors paid a little bit more than the class that graduated before. The tuition crunch never fails to provide new fodd…

Council for Accelerated Programs conference

Registration will Open Soon! 2014 CAP Conference 
The New Face of Accelerated Learning
Tuesday, July 22 - Pre-Conference Events July 23 & 24 - Main 2-Day Conference
Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center Metropolitan State University of Denver

Visit the CAP Website for more information.

On the other hand

Maybe that liberal arts degree isn't too bad after all.  From Minding the Campus.

The Underestimated Value of Liberal Arts Degrees
The subject matters of arts and humanities, like philosophy and English, are often viewed as being too far removed from daily life to be useful outside of the academic world. Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape, claims that a student not in a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) will likely "end up working a shoe store." Hunter Baker, Dean of Instruction at Union University, however, argues that abilities to think critically and contextualize new information are necessary to long-term business success; according to Baker, arts and humanities cultivate such skills.

Melissa Korn at The Wall Street Journal lends some credence to Baker's claims: liberal arts majors with post-graduate degrees make $2,000 more than their professional and pre-professional equivalents at the peak of their careers. The Huffington Post prov…

Man, you don't want to be an art major

At Murray State.  At least according to Derek Thompson, writing in The Atlantic.

These U.S. Colleges and Majors Are the Biggest Waste of Money
It gets worse. The self-reported earnings of art majors from Murray State are so low that after two decades, a typical high school grad will have out-earned them by nearly $200,000.

Infographic Friday

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Deadline is tomorrow

Call for Proposals Deadline extended to April 11th!
ACHE - Las Vegas • October 27-29, 2014
The deadline to submit your proposal to present at ACHE - Las Vegas has been extended to
April 11, 2014. But don't wait!

The conference theme is “Winning Together: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.” In these changing landscapes, continuing education professionals must rely not only on other units within their college or university but on their counterparts from schools across the country. Uniting together as a team allows units from across the world to think creatively, share ideas, and provide mutual support at times when some universities no longer see the value of continuing education.

Reasons to present at ACHE Las Vegas:
• To share your expertise with colleagues in your field
• To build your resume
• To secure travel funds with your ins…

Save the Date


Nashville, y'all

Ssssssss. So hot, right now.  From
The South’s Red-Hot Town Nashville has had the strongest employment growth of any large metropolis since the Great Recession. It was the second-fastest-growing U.S. city for most of 2013 and the only one in the top four outside of oil-booming Texas. The city’s cost of living, meanwhile, is cheaper than the U.S. average by over 13%. Office vacancies fell to 10.4% from 12.3%, among the 10 biggest declines in U.S. markets last year, according to CBRE, a commercial real estate firm. Foodies flock to nationally lauded new restaurants housed in shuttered factories, while well-to-do college graduates rent their first apartments in the Gulch, a former brownfield transformed into the first LEED-certified neighborhood in the South. Middle Tennessee is one of at least a dozen red-hot but sometimes overlooked regions that have successfully pulled themselves out of the Great Recession and into a broad, rising prosperity. Though the ingredients for the b…

Saw this bumper sticker on a car parked at Biltmore

North Carolina: First in Teacher Flight.  So I googled it.  This is from the blog Teaching Speaks Volumes.

It may be only be six weeks after New Year’s, but already both the state of North Carolina and Wake County have grave concerns about filling the needed teaching positions for next school year.  And so they should.  North Carolina often fills positions from teachers in states like Ohio and New York where turnover is low and teachers can’t find positions. However, with no more pay for advanced degrees in NC, most of those candidates will likely no longer be coming here anymore.  Besides needing to attract teachers, there’s the issue of teacher turnover. NCDPI was concerned enough about this very issue to send a report to the General Assembly.

Infographic Friday

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FIrst time I've heard of

The Tinkerbell Effect. But it all make sense. From io9.
Clap if You Believe in the Tinkerbell Effect
The Tinkerbell Effect spans multiple scientific disciplines, including economics, but perhaps its most dramatic demonstration is in psychology - where it literally makes people see things.There are multiple Tinkerbell Effects, but they all get their name from the scene in the stage play ofPeter Panduring which Tinkerbell is dying and the audience is told to clap if they believe in fairies. Perhaps there has been an audience that failed to clap (and I would love to know if the actors prepare for such a thing), but generally they clap, and Tinkerbell springs back to life. If people believe something, it will occur.In psychology, it just makes people believe that something they believe in will occur. This happens a lot.

Losing credits reduces graduation rates for transfer students

I would like them to drill down deeper.  Are the students starting in programs that don't typically transfer, like AAS programs?  Is it the time involved?  Cost?  Discouragement?  The article notes that graduation rates for transfer student is about 60%, matching the rate for students who start at universities. Hmmm.  From CBS Moneywatch.

Why many community college students don't graduate
The researchers, from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, said the biggest obstacle to community college students in going on to obtain a bachelor's degree is lost college credits. The greater the credit loss, the less likely the student will earn a bachelor's degree.  When examining transcripts that represented a national cross-section of college students, David Monaghan, a doctoral student, and Paul Attewell, a professor of education, discovered that roughly 14 percent of transfer students had to start nearly from scratch. Their new institutions accepted fewer tha…

God help me, I do love top ten lists