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Showing posts from November, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

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I'm shocked...

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Perhaps the seminar advised students not to pay $36K for a three day event. Or maybe that was in the remedial course. From CBS Moneywatch.
Lawsuit accuses Donald Trump of deceiving students
A class-action lawsuit in California accuses Donald Trump of bilking students at his for-profit Trump University. Plaintiff Art Cohen, a California businessman, alleges in a 2013 complaint that Trump lead him and about 5,000 other Trump University students to believe they would receive an education on par with elite business schools, such as the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. Cohen, who says he spent $36,490 for a three-day seminar, also said that Trump seemed to have no involvement in the course and that the caliber of instruction was subpar.

Bad news for community college short-term certificate programs?

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Turns out they may not be all that meaningful.  Or profitable. From Money.

One Type of College Education That Almost Never Pays Off Short-term college certificate programs sound like a no-brainer. These community college programs, which are intended to take less than a year to complete, promise a meaningful credential with a fraction of the workload and price tag of a more conventional college degree.  But according to new research, published in the journal of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, these short-term certificates don’t actually make graduates more employable, or lead to a significant increase in earnings.  “While we find that earning associate degrees or long-term certificates is associated with increased wages, an increased likelihood of being employed, and increased hours worked, we find minimal or no positive effects for short-term certifications,” wrote Mina Dadgar and Madeline Trimble, who jointly authored the study. Long-term certificates are designed to be co…

Bartleby, the Scrivener

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Anyone?  The art of work avoidance from The Atlantic.

The Art of Not Working at Work
Consider the last novel by David Foster Wallace, The Pale King, in which an IRS worker dies by his desk and remains there for days without anyone noticing that he is dead. This might be read as a brilliant satire of how work drains liveliness such that no one notices whether you are dead or alive. However, in the strict sense of the word, this was not fiction. In 2004, a tax-office official in Finland died in exactly the same way while checking tax returns. Although there were about 100 other workers on the same floor and some 30 employees in the auditing department where he worked, it took them two days to notice that he was dead. None of them seemed to feel the loss of his labors; he was only found when a friend stopped by to have lunch with him.  How could no one notice? I talked with over 40 people who spent half of their working hours on private activities—a phenomenon I call “empty labor.” I want…

Infographic Friday

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Embedded from FindTheRightJob

I deserve a raise, I work so hard

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Not so fast.  Does your boss like you?  From The Week.
4 things your boss will never tell you about getting a raise or promotion Hard work isn't all it's cracked up to be. Performance is only loosely tied to who succeeds: Via Stanford business school professor Jeffrey Pfeffer's book Power: The data shows that performance doesn't matter that much for what happens to most people in most organizations. That includes the effect of your accomplishments on those ubiquitous performance evaluations and even on your job tenure and promotion prospects. [Power]Research shows being liked affects performance reviews more than actual performance: In an experimental study of the performance appraisals people received, those who were able to create a favorable impression received higher ratings than did people who actually performed better but did not do as good a job in managing the impressions they made on others. [Power]

Some tips for help with public speaking

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Especially if you struggle with like I do.  From the American Express Open Forum.
Give a Killer Speech With Only Seconds to Prepare
It happens all the time. Even if you’re not a professional speaker, we all have moments when we’re asked to say a few words on short notice. Being asked to make a speech on the spot can intimidate even the most composed, outgoing person. It’s the kind of scenario that gives people nightmares.  Until now.  Use these six tips to make sure what you say is both coherent and memorable, even if you have just seconds to prepare.  1. Use the callback technique. One of the tactics employed by standup comedians, the callback technique, is used to anchor your words to concepts or points that have already occurred during the event. The idea is to tie your speech to something that the audience—as a group—can relate to. You want to capitalize on the shared experience of the evening. Making a joke about something that happened earlier or mentioning the highlights of the …

Doctoral dancing

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What a great idea! Using dance to explain complex research.  From Newsweek.
Dancing Their Way to the Top… of Academia Every year since 2007, doctoral candidates have traded jargony text for tights, statistics for dance styles, and deductive reasoning for fancy footwork, all in an effort to translate their dissertations into a competitive dance-off.  The overall winner of the 2014 “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest, announced Monday, kicked it up a notch, using a flying trapeze to put her work as a doctoral biology student, “Alterations to plant-soil feedbacks after severe tornado disturbance,” into motion.

A New Orleans native, Uma Nagendra’s doctoral research at the University of Georgia was inspired by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and looks at how the “natural world recovers from disasters,” according to the announcement in Science—which along with its publisher, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and HighWire Press, sponsors the annual contest.  In her video, Nag…

The poor you will always have with you

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Poor decision making.  From Businessweek.com.

Poorsplaining: What It's Really Like to Be Poor in America Poor people are more likely than rich people to smoke. To get fat. To get into hassles with cops and creditors. To have children despite no visible means of support, to lurch from one crisis to another, and sometimes to have very bad attitudes. But before you judge them, just try being poor yourself.  Linda Tirado has been poor, and she doesn’t judge. Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, which goes on sale Oct. 2, is her unapologetic explanation for why she and other poor people do what they do. It’s funny, sarcastic, full of expletives, and most of all outrageously honest.  For Tirado, being poor has meant walking miles to jobs because she didn’t have money to fix her car. Stacking boxes and cleaning toilets. Suffering chronic pain from rotten teeth she can’t afford to have cared for properly. Getting treated like human garbage by customers, bosses, doctors, and landlord…

Infographic Friday

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Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Quit working for free

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Take your vacation time and be more productive.  From CBS MoneyWatch.
Americans give up enormous amounts of vacation time Americans apparently love -- or fear -- work so much that they end up volunteering to work for their employers.  Workers skipped 169 million days of paid time off last year, forgoing vacation time that couldn't be rolled over, couldn't be paid out, nor banked or substituted for another benefit, according to an analysis from the U.S. Travel Association conducted by Oxford Economics. Those skipped vacation days have an economic value of $52.4 billion, with each vacation day equal to $504 per employee, the study found.  While Americans have always tended to forego vacation days, the trend is worsening, with last year representing a low point in the last four decades, the survey found. Workers are often fearful of falling behind, while almost one in five workers is worried about losing their job, employment site Glassdoor.com found earlier this year. The U.S. is…

The reality of lifelong learning in Germany

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It often starts in an apprenticeship.  Could this work in the United States?  From The Atlantic.com.
Why Germany Is So Much Better at Training Its Workers The first thing you notice about German apprenticeships: The employer and the employee still respect practical work. German firms don’t view dual training as something for struggling students or at-risk youth. “This has nothing to do with corporate social responsibility,” an HR manager at Deutsche Bank told the group I was with, organized by an offshoot of the Goethe Institute. “I do this because I need talent.” So too at Bosch.  “Building world-class diesel parts is hard,” the executive in charge of the program explained. “We’re very careful about who we hire. We’re looking for quality.” As for trainees, they learn quickly enough: A mistake on the factory floor is a million-dollar mistake—and they grow up fast, learning not just skills but responsibility. No wonder the apprenticeships are popular: At the John Deere plant in Mannheim…

Good news for art majors

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Turns out, they're doing just fine.  Or at least the ones responding to they survey are....From The Pacific Standard.
That Arts Degree Is Paying Off Given the economic malaise of the past five years, opting to earn a degree in the arts—never a surefire route to a big salary—has been widely viewed as particularly risky. But a new survey suggests those recent alumni, as a group, are actually doing more than OK.  “Arts graduates are among the happiest professionals in the U.S.,” insists the just-released report Making It Work: The Education of Recent Arts Graduates from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project based at Indiana University.  Disputing the “gloomy myths around the value of an arts degree,” the report finds overall job satisfaction for people who have graduated with an arts degree over the past five years is quite high, at 75 percent. That figure is down only slightly from that of older graduates, 82 percent of whom say they are satisfied with their current job.  The st…

13th grade

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Another slant on dual enrollment, early college, or whatever the hot new term is for merging high school with the community college.  From Slate.
Welcome to 13th Grade! Turns out, however, the 13th grade is not a half-bad idea when that “super senior” year also counts as a free first year of college—as it does in a few rural and exurban school districts in my home state of Oregon. For the students who participate in this optional fifth year, their transition to postsecondary education comes without tuition, but with substantial support and oversight—not only are they required to get periodic progress reports from every professor, every term, but sometimes the very classes they take are housed on that self-same familiar campus.  The program gets its money—and its legality—from allowing the 13th-graders to exist in a sort of definition limbo: They’ve technically completed high school, but they’re not given diplomas yet, which grants them continuing eligibility for the state’s $6,500-per-…

Infographic Friday

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You will find more statistics at Statista

A closer look at community colleges

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As they innovate faster than universities.  But that's their mission, isn't it?  From The Hechinger Report.
Want higher-ed reform? You may be surprised where you’ll find it Long the Rodney Dangerfields of American higher education, community colleges are suddenly getting some respect. . . .   But at a time when there’s huge pressure for reform in higher education, many community colleges are proving more responsive than their four-year counterparts.  Community colleges in 21 states have added four-year bachelor’s degree programs in high-demand fields, for example, and those in California will follow suit next year. They’ve connected closely with local businesses, and provide education so much more in tune with workforce needs that people who have bachelor’s and even master’s degrees return to community colleges for training that will get them jobs. Among students who transfer from four-year public universities, more than half now go in the opposite direction of Miramontes and s…

Let the games begin

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I lean to the boondoggle side, although I think they can be valuable for new teams or organizational teams like we create in ACHE and TACHE.  But for established working groups, not so much.  From Newsweek.com.
Do Team Games for Employees Really Improve Productivity? And when play consists of a California wine tasting followed by a giddy sangria-making contest topped off with party hats and wobbly conga lines, is anybody really learning anything?  Possibly, says professor Michael Useem of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, but it depends almost entirely upon whether a military-style debriefing summing up the key points of the exercise is done when the playing has stopped. “Velcro-ing yourself to a wall won’t do a thing for you, but if it’s framed as decision-making leadership and teamwork, it can work,” says Useem, director of the school’s Center for Leadership and Change Management.  “They’re a management boondoggle—a waste of time,” says Michael Driscoll, a …
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Say what you will, Tennesseans are charitable....

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You will find more statistics at Statista

Fall Back

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I'm not so sure about the "greatest shame" part, but man I hate when we spring ahead.  From The Atlantic.

Daylight Saving Time Is America's Greatest Shame Daylight Saving Time is the greatest continuing fraud ever perpetuated on American people. And this weekend, the effect of this cruel monster will rear its ugly head again. On Sunday morning, Americans across the country will have to set their clocks back one hour, and next week, the sun will begin its ambling lurch to eventually setting at 4:30 in the afternoon. Technically-speaking, this sleep cycle-wrecking practice of setting our clocks back is because we will be going back to Standard Time after our flirty summer with DST. And the unsettling shift back to these hours, and the hour "we gain," is the back-end of the time-bargain we have to pay for setting our clocks forward in March to "maximize daylight"—a phrase probably better suited to organisms that rely on photosynthesis—during the sprin…

Non-Traditional Student Week

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ETSU has a major in storytelling

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Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics