Thursday, August 28, 2014

ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting

You won’t want to miss this year’s ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting held in Las Vegas, Nevada. 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 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.

Strengthen your adult higher education unit by gaining information on how to create, manage, and grow your programs.  Make a difference for your institution and join us in Las Vegas October 27-29, 2014 for a fabulous conference held at the newly renovated Tropicana Las Vegas.  Register Now!

Make the most of your ACHE Annual Conference experience and register for the ACHE West Regional Conference at the Tropicana, which will be held on Sunday, October 26!  The ACHE West Conference, themed “Living, Building, and Sharing the Dream,” is an excellent pre-conference opportunity to engage with peers and a great way to extend the value of your professional development investment.  As an added bonus, the Tropicana has extended their deeply discounted room rates for ACHE attendees arriving on Saturday to attend the West Regional Conference.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ETSU Professional Development to offer civil mediation training in Kingsport

East Tennessee State University’s Office of Professional Development will offer civil mediation training approved by the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission (ADRC).   
The sessions will meet from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at the new ETSU at Kingsport-Downtown Center, 300 Clinchfield St., Suite 460, Kingsport, on Thursday Saturday, Sept. 11-13, and Friday through Saturday, Sept. 26-27.

Jean Munroe will conduct the 40-hour course that will focus on employment, contract, business, personal injury, sexual harassment and community issues. Other content includes requirements of Rule 31, the mediation process, negotiation styles and methods, the reasons behind people’s decision making, the basics of neurolinguistics, increasing one’s emotional intelligence and ways mediators can market themselves.

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, psychologists, executives, ministers, law enforcement officers or anyone else dealing with conflict resolution.

The fee for the session is $1,445 until Aug. 19 and $1,245 after that date. Those who are already listed as Rule 31 mediators may take 16 hours of crossover training for $450, or $400 for those who have trained previously with Munroe.

To register, or for further information, contact the ETSU Office of Professional Development at 423- 439-8084 or toll free at 800-222-3878, or visit, click on “currently scheduled courses” and then “Social Sciences” to register online.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

If I can make it there

There's a good chance I'll be unhappy.  Nashville is one of the happier cities.  All that good music, I guess.  From Time.

Top 10 unhappiest metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million (as of 2010): 
1. New York, NY
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Louisville, KY
4. Milwaukee, WI
5. Detroit, MI
6. Indianapolis, IN
7. St. Louis, MO
8. Las Vegas, NV
9. Buffalo, NY
10. Philadelphia, PA
Top 10 happiest metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million (as of 2010): 
1. Richmond-Petersburg, VA
2. Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA
3. Washington, DC
4. Raleigh-Durham, NC
5. Atlanta, GA
6. Houston, TX
7. Jacksonville, FL
8. Nashville, TN
9. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL
10. Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, NJ

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I may be old, but some of these are just plain wrong.  Lead for led?  From Ben Yagoda, writing in The Week.

The psychologist Steven Pinker was once quoted as saying that the best way to tell if someone was under 30 was if they were comfortable using "fun" as an adjective. 
About 15 years later, that still seems on target. The farther away in the rear-view mirror 45 is for you, the odder it seems to hear something like "his party was funner than hers." And the younger you are, the more it seems perfectly normal. 
In my new e-book,  You Need to Read This: The Death of the Imperative Mode, the Rise of American Glottal Stop, the Bizarre Popularity of "Amongst," and Other Cuckoo Things That Have Happened to the English Language, I write about fun-as-adjective and a number of other trends that young people have brought into the language. 
Note that I call these "trends," as opposed to "horrible crimes against English." I know that some people decry new word-meanings and usages, while others defend them. My purpose here isn't to engage in that argument but rather to chart the course of change. 
To that end, I thought it would be fun to come up with a Pinker-like watershed age for some of these developments. Instead of just guessing, I devised a survey and sent it out via social media. First, I asked people to put themselves into an age range (18-25, 26-35, 36-45, etc.), and then, for each point of usage, I asked whether they themselves spoke and wrote that way. 
Now of course, given the number of English speakers in the U.S., not to mention the world, the results aren't scientific. And some people probably reported being more "proper" than they actually are. Finally, there are clearly factors other than age at work here, most obviously education. But the results are still pretty instructive.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rankings are funny

Tennessee has an overall ranking of 14 but is the worst state to live in?  But also the 14th best state for business?  While being the 14th most stressed state? Hmmmmm.  Still, I think I'd rather live in here than in the 50th overall ranked state.  From CNBC. 
America's 10 worst states to live in
1. Tennessee 
The violent crime rate in the Volunteer State is the worst in the country, according to the most recent full year of FBI statistics from 2012, although the state says crime declined last year. Tennesseans might want to volunteer to exercise a little more—fewer than half frequently do so. Health is poor, with high rates of diabetes and obesity. Roughly a quarter of adults are smokers. Based on these numbers, when they sing the blues in Memphis, they mean it. 
  • 2014 Quality of Life score: 63 points (out of 300)
  • Weaknesses: Crime, health, environment
  • Strengths: Music and barbecue
  • 2013 Quality of Life rank: 49
  • 2014 Top States overall rank: 14

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Not the cheapest

But in the top ten.  Kentucky is number one.  From MSN Money.

America's cheapest states to live in 2014 .
No. 9: Tennessee

  • 2014 Cost of Living rank: 9th cheapest
  • 2014 Cost of Living score: 42 (out of 50)
  • 2013 Cost of Living rank: 2nd cheapest
  • Average home price (Jackson-Madison County Metro): $217,168
  • Half gallon of milk: $2.31
  • T-bone steak: $8.88
  • Monthly energy bill: $148.18
  • Doctor visit: $95.00
If you love your whiskey, you're in good company in Tennessee, home of the Jack Daniel's Distillery. They've been making the charcoal-filtered brown liquor in the 9th cheapest state since 1866. Fancy another libation? The average cost of a six-pack of imported beer here is $8.40 and only $7.77 for a bottle of wine. At prices like these, how about another round?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Not a Southern state to be found on this list

No stretch that Hawaii is number one.  But both North and South Dakota in the top ten?  Hmmmmm.  From CNBC.

America’s top states to live in 2014
1. Hawaii
The business climate in the Aloha State may leave a little to be desired, but the real climate? Wow! Hawaii boasts 4 of the 5 major climate zones in the world—a paradise by almost any measure. But there is more to quality of life in Hawaii than nature. Its residents are healthy, crime is low, and Hawaii is one of the most visited states in the union. Worth a trip—maybe for good!
  • 2014 Quality of Life score: 277 points (out of 300)
  • Strengths: Health, air quality, attractions
  • Weaknesses: Seriously?
  • 2013 Quality of Life rank: 1

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tennessee is the 14th

Top State for Business but last in quality of life.  The classic political trade off.  The top state for business is Georgia, followed by Texas and Utah. The worst is Rhode Island.  Rhode Island?  From CNBC.  

America's Top States For Business
We score all 50 states on 56 measures of competitiveness, developed using input from business groups, economic development experts, companies and the states themselves. States receive points based on their rankings in each metric. We then separate those metrics into 10 broad categories, weighting the categories based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. That way, our study ranks the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Maybe self-directed learning

Is more problematic than we educators like to admit. Hmmmm. I smell some adult education dissertations brewing on the topic.  From Future Tense.

Bill Gates Is an Autodidact. You’re Probably Not.
In a paper published in Educational Psychologist last year, Paul A. Kirschner of the Open University of the Netherlands and Jeroen J.G. van MerriĆ«nboer of Maastricht University challenge the popular assumption “that it is the learner who knows best and that she or he should be the controlling force in her or his learning.” 
There are three problems with this premise, van MerriĆ«nboer and Kirschner write. The first is that novices, by definition, don’t yet know much about the subject they’re learning, and so are ill-equipped to make effective choices about what and how to learn next. The second problem is that learners “often choose what they prefer, but what they prefer is not always what is best for them”—that is, they practice tasks that they enjoy or are already proficient at, instead of tackling the more difficult tasks that would actually enhance their expertise. And third, although learners like having some options, unlimited choices quickly become frustrating—as well as mentally taxing, constraining the very learning such freedom was supposed to liberate.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

That which we call a rose...

Think twice before naming your daughter Daenerys.  Mother of Dragons not withstanding. From The Atlantic.

Names work hard: They can affect who gets into elite schools, what jobs we apply for, and who gets hired. Our names can even influence what cities we live in, who we befriend, and what products we buy since, we’re attracted to things and places that share similarities to our names. 
A name is, after all, perhaps the most important identifier of a person. Most decisions are made in about three to four seconds of meeting someone, and this “thin-slicing” is surprisingly accurate. Something as packed full of clues as a name tends to lead to all sorts of assumptions and expectations about a person, often before any face-to-face interaction has taken place. A first name can imply race, age, socioeconomic status, and sometimes religion, so it’s an easy—or lazy—way to judge someone’s background, character, and intelligence. 
These judgments can start as early as primary school. Teachers tend to hold lower expectations for students with typically black-sounding names while they set high expectations for students with typically white- and Asian-sounding names. And this early assessment of students’ abilities could influence students’ expectations for themselves.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Update on the drive to 55

It's more than just free tuition for community college students.  And it warms my continuing education heart to hear the director mention adult learners--the big losers when it comes to rising tuition costs.  From The Tennessean.

Drive to 55 director: Success hinges on ‘culture change’
You never let one initiative take up all of the air in the room. The Tennessee Promise is certainly central to the Drive to 55. But one of my daily goals is to not lose sight of what are we doing for adult learners? What are we doing with our collaborations with K-12? In order to get a state to increase their attainment to 55 percent by 2025, it just requires that holistic effort.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Infographic Friday

Student infographic
This infographic is brought to you by NatWest Student Accounts – taking the hassle out of student finance.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Free college for all

While we're funding students, let's not forget to fund colleges and universities as well.  Tuition still doesn't pay all the cost of instruction at public institutions. And these plans like Tennessee's ignore adult students who are being priced out of the market.  From The Community College Daily.

Now the idea of college for free for almost everyone has unexpectedly leapt to the top of the conversation about the ever-rising cost of tuition.
Tennessee will make its community colleges free beginning next year. Oregon is moving forward with a study considering the idea. 
Seizing momentum
A new report recommends that the first two years of public universities and colleges be free nationwide, and a nonprofit called Redeeming America’s Promise goes even further with a proposal to give every lower- and middle-class student a scholarship to cover the full cost of college. 
“The rising millennial generation has been so deeply affected by student debt that they’re driving a conversation about this challenge,” said Morley Winograd, president of Redeeming America’s Promise, who said “well-meaning but what I would call Band-Aid solutions” aren’t enough to fix the problem. 
States look to increase access through low- and no-cost tuition
The group led by Winograd, who was an advisor to former Vice President Al Gore and now is a senior fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, proposes redirecting existing federal and state financial aid and tuition tax breaks to give full tuition scholarships in specified amounts — $2,500 per academic year for community college and $8,500 for four-year universities — to every student from a family earning $180,000 a year or less. 
That would come in just under the current average advertised full cost of public college and university tuitions, as calculated by the College Board.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It's always been hard to find a job in the humanties

Even in the Seventies, I knew that spending lots of money on an English graduate degree was risky unless I was receiving financial support.  But it helped me get my job in higher education administration.  Of course, my Ph.D. in education helped....
From Slate.

The Unending Horror of the Humanities Job Market, in One Chart

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Where does Tennessee rank?

14th. Just below Virgina and above Mississippi. The least stressed?  North Dakota.  Don't worry; be happy.  From Movoto.

These Are The 10 Most Stressed Out States In America
You, America, are way stressed out. 
And you have a right to be, what with getting over the housing bubble, dealing with ever-longer commutes, and working longer and longer hours. But which states take being stressed to the next level? 
It turns out the good people of Florida have earned the dubious distinction of being the most stressed out in the country. They are at the top of the pack of the 10 most stressed out states: 
1. Florida
2. Georgia
3. New Jersey
4. California
5. Nevada
6. Illinois
7. New York
8. Maryland
9. North Carolina
10. Arizona

Monday, August 4, 2014

The City College of San Francisco saga

It's hard to shut down a college that keeps enrolling students. From Kevin Carey, writing in The New York Times.

For the last two years, the City College of San Francisco has operated in the shadow of imminent death. It is the city’s main community college, with 77,000 students, and in June 2012 its accreditor warned that chronic financial and organizational mismanagement threatened its future. If the problems weren’t fixed in short order, the accreditor said, it would shut down the college. A year later, the accreditor decided that City College’s remedial efforts were too little, too late, and ordered the campus to close its doors this July. 
The political backlash was fierce. The faculty union lodged a formal complaint with the Department of Education against the accreditor, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, challenging its right to exist. A separate lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial this year. Politicians including the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, whose district includes part of City College, issued public condemnations. Finally, last month, with the scheduled closing date weeks away, the accreditor gave in. The college was granted two more years to improve, and most observers assume that the threat of dissolution has passed. 
Most of City College’s problems, however, remain unsolved. Its brush with mortality illustrates a much larger problem in higher education. Millions of students are enrolled in colleges accountable to no one other than accreditors that lack the will and authority to govern them. Because the consequences of closing these institutions are so severe, they have become, in effect, “too big to fail.”