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Showing posts from March, 2015

The long game

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And return on investment.  Roger Williams’ president, Donald Farish, shares his thoughts on the critics of higher education in University Business.
Higher ed is a tough world, but it’s a world we made
The problem is that looking at first-year salaries is a terrible predictor of lifetime earnings, especially with a liberal arts graduate. In the first year many of them are earning very little money, so it looks as if spending all that money on college was a terrible waste.  But 10 years out there’s a very different picture in place. You have to look at career earnings, or earnings at age 40—something other than just that first job. In the great majority of cases, they end up with a job they enjoy and a salary they find adequate for their needs, and earn about as much as graduates in professional programs.  To say it’s all about getting a job is throwing in the towel on all the things liberal arts have always aspired to. Many faculty in the liberal arts are horrified about the idea that w…

Memphis is number four

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Our poorest cities.  From CBS Money Watch.

America's 11 poorest cities
4. Memphis, Tennessee
Percentage of incomes under $25,000: 34.9%Percentage of population with bachelor's degree: 23.7%Percentage of incomes over $150,000: 4.8% (#30, tied with Columbus)Total population: 650,932 One of the worst unemployment rates for a major American city -- along with a shrinking tax base, urban blight and a high violent crime rate -- all attest to Memphis' economic problems.  A report by Elena Delavega at the University of Memphis noted the majority of Memphis' poor are black or Hispanic. The city's poverty rates for minorities are higher across every age category, compared to non-Hispanic whites. And she said nearly half of the city's children live below the poverty line.  "We need to support mothers," she told CBS affiliate WREG last year. "We need child care that is affordable. We need better public transportation."  Many of the poor in Memphis rely on …

Infographic Friday

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Source:LiveScience

Infographic Friday

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Brought to you by MBA@UNC: Master of Business Administration

Know your audience

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Good advice for writing.  Good advice for social media marketing. American Express Open Forum.
Some interesting demographic information from

Creating an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy Know the Demographics  Knowing where your target audience hangs out can help you decide which social media channels are more likely to pay dividends for your efforts. There's a wealth of regularly updated research to show a busy small-business owner the audience make-up of the various social media sites. Two sources are Pew Research Internet Project and Business Intelligence.  Here's the latest we know about the demographics for the most popular social media sites: Facebook: Facebook continues to get the giant share of users, with 71 percent of Internet users now using the site. Fully 70 percent visit the site daily, and almost 50 percent engage with the site more than once a day. Thirty-one percent of all seniors aged 65 and over are also spending time here. Pinterest: Females dominate…

Release the hounds

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We're considering adopting an RCM model.  It's appealing in theory, but it requires entrepreneurial and business-minded deans in order to be successful.  Continuing educators, who are often self-supporting, have long operated in this fashion.  But I've heard there's often a big turnover with deans when the model takes over.  Not everyone is a fan.  From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Colleges 'Unleash the Deans' With Decentralized Budgets
The decentralized budget model adopted by Oregon has a long history at some elite institutions and often goes by a jargony name: Responsibility Center Management, or RCM. But it's likely to be increasingly familiar. In recent years, as institutions have struggled with financial pressures amid declining sources of revenue, many more administrators have pushed RCM to "unleash the deans," as the budget model’s advocates like to put it: to give deans and the professors under them a financial incentive to cut costs…

Promises, promises

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Free community college works in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Students there succeed at higher rates.  From Inside Higher Education.

Free Community College: It Works
The goal was to “change the conversation about the value of community college” by using a clear message about free tuition, Brookey said. “There is no excuse in our community not to go to college.”  Each year since the program began, roughly 1,500 local students have accepted that offer and taken on the extra responsibilities that come with it. Roughly one in five graduating high school seniors in Tulsa County participates in Tulsa Achieves, according to the college. Enrollment numbers are up as a result. And Tulsa Achieves students top their peers in measures of academic performance. They have higher GPAs and retention and graduation rates, and are more likely to complete gateway courses.  For example, fully half of the first group of students, which first enrolled in 2007, had earned a bachelor's degree, associate degree or certi…

Blue light special

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That Kmart reference probably dates me.  Here's Virginia's concept of a bare-bones degree. Should this come to pass, it would a good job for a continuing educator to implement.  We're used to working with multiple institutions to help a student to complete a degree.  From The Washington Post.

Virginia House: State should offer a bachelor’s degree for $16,000
Virginia’s House of Delegates envisions the state offering a bachelor’s degree for the bargain price of $16,000.  The House unanimously approved a bill by Del. Ben Cline (R-Rockbridge) that would require the state to develop options for a “cooperative” four-year degree priced at about $4,000 a year. The bill envisions students amassing credits through online education, community colleges and four-year colleges.  “This new offering would help Virginia families access a college education who may have otherwise found it unaffordable. We’re proud of Virginia’s universities that regularly rank among the best in the nation, …

Infographic Friday

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Find more great infographics on NerdGraph Infographics

Even flagships suffer budget cuts

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Cost-cutting measures at the University of Tennessee. The idea below of revoking tenure stirred up UT faculty.  Rightfully so.  Even though higher education may see improvements in state funding, we're still way behind, as Dr. DiPietro points out. From The Tennessean.

UT president: System headed toward $377M funding gap
But it doesn't mitigate the urgency at UT.  "We're not even back to the state appropriations that we received before the recession," DiPietro said. "The reality is we have to be ready."  Although chancellors at different UT locations will get the chance to tailor their approaches, DiPietro laid out strategies that could fill the chancellors' "toolboxes" as they look for ways to cut expenses and boost revenues.  DiPietro said chancellors would be allowed to boost out-of-state enrollments up to 25 percent of the student body. Out-of-state students would bring in significantly more tuition revenue, although DiPietro said schools…

Speaking of coffee

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Another study discovers possible health benefits to coffee.  Of course, correlation is not causation.  Or so I've heard.  From Time.
Moderate Amounts of Coffee May Help Keep Arteries Clear, Study Says Drinking three to five cups of coffee per day may help to reduce signs of blocked arteries, says a new study out of South Korea.  Published Monday in the medical journal Heart, the study involved more than 25,000 male and female workers, who previously showed no signs of heart disease, looking for calcium buildups indicating plaque growth that can cause heart attacks and strokes.  The results showed that those who drank the least amount of coffee, and the most, had a larger amount of calcium in their arteries than those who consumed a moderate amount.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

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Morning has broken

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My starting ritual involves coffee. Lots of coffee. Here are some tips to improve your morning productivity from Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

The Morning Routine Experts Recommend For Peak Productivity
Here’s what we can put together from listening to all the experts: Stop reacting. Get up before the world starts making demands so you can figure out what’s important to you. Decide what matters today. You won’t get everything done, so what will move the needle? What will let you end the day feeling like you accomplished something? No more than 3 goals. Use your “magic hours” for those three things. Your peak productivity time is probably an hour or two after you wake up. If you know your best hours are at another time, fine. Protect your “magic hours.” Have a starting ritual. Go to the place where you get stuff done. Get your coffee. Anything that tells your brain it’s time to rock. When things go sideways, use “positive procrastination.” If you can’t tackle the super scary thing, do the …

Infographic Friday the 13th

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Promises, promises...

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Let's hope Tennessee Promise is successful in getting students like Amanda into college.  While Tennessee universities will have to step up their game, more associate degree holders with little student debt will be a good thing.  From The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Tennessee’s Task: Turn ‘Free Community College’ From a Rallying Cry Into a Success Amanda Raven Smith wants to go to college. But she doesn’t want to have the same experience as her father, who spent decades paying off student loans for a degree he couldn’t afford to finish.  "I had been planning on it," she said, "but didn’t have a way to do the funding."  So on a Thursday evening in January, Ms. Smith, a senior at Columbia Central High School, in Maury County, Tenn., was one of some 600 students who attended a meeting at the school. The objective: to learn about the Tennessee Promise, the program guaranteeing that the state will cover tuition and required fees for two years of community or tech…

Promise and the small privates

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Just a rumor but I've heard some small private colleges will start offering associate degrees to take advantage of Tennessee Promise--although I'm not sure if that's even possible under the legislation.  But competition is tough out there.  However, despite the title below, I'm not sure this is an unexpected fear.  From The Hechinger Report.
The unexpected reason some in higher ed fear free community college When the governor of Tennessee proposed letting students in that state go to community college for free — almost a year before President Barack Obama started pushing the idea nationally — a surprising worry flashed into Kina Mallard’s mind.  “My first reaction was: another curve ball,” she recalled grimly. “Here’s another curve ball for higher education.”  Mallard is executive vice president and provost at Carson-Newman University, a Baptist liberal arts school in Jefferson City, Tennessee with about 2,300 students, and the kind of small private, nonprofit higher-ed…

The dilemma of the regional public university

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Regionals face pressure from community colleges--everyone's darlings right now--on the one hand and flagship universities on the other. Why should students attend?  The answer to that question in the key to survival. From The Washington Post.

Regional public colleges — the ‘middle children’ of higher ed — struggle to survive Unlike their flagship counterparts, regional public universities can’t as easily rely on private donations, big research grants, or higher-paying out-of-state students to make up for what the state cut in funding. In the Northeast and Midwest, declining numbers of high-school graduates means that many regional schools can’t even fill their classes. And now, President Obama’s proposal to make community college free further threatens to drain federal and state dollars from the coffers of regional public institutions.  For regional public universities to survive, a handful states in the Northeast and Midwest need fewer of them. But it’s often impossible to merge o…

Save the date

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National Association of Branch Campus Administrators
The 2015 NABCA Conference 15-18 April 2015 Quad Cities (Illinois & Iowa)
Western Illinois University Quad Cities Campus
Hotel Blackhawk Figge Art Museum Guys in Ties

Infographic Friday

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Find more great infographics on NerdGraph Infographics

Save the date

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Please plan to join the TACHE East group For the 2015 Regional Meeting May 15th, 2015 Pellissippi State Community College, Strawberry Plains Campus Located off I-40 at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike in Knox County. 9:30-4:00 $20 Lunch included

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Pygmalion effect

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The self-fulfilling prophecy of teacher expectations.  From The New York Times.
How Elementary School Teachers’ Biases Can Discourage Girls From Math and Science Beginning in 2002, the researchers studied three groups of Israeli students from sixth grade through the end of high school. The students were given two exams, one graded by outsiders who did not know their identities and another by teachers who knew their names.  In math, the girls outscored the boys in the exam graded anonymously, but the boys outscored the girls when graded by teachers who knew their names. The effect was not the same for tests on other subjects, like English and Hebrew. The researchers concluded that in math and science, the teachers overestimated the boys’ abilities and underestimated the girls’, and that this had long-term effects on students’ attitudes toward the subjects.  For example, when the same students reached junior high and high school, the economists analyzed their performance on national exam…

One of our off-campus poster children

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Never Too Late

Sevierville resident Brian Sims only completed one year of college and spent 14 years working in restaurant management.  In 2000 he quit the business and began working as a special education teacher’s assistant within the Sevier County school system, and later, he began driving a school bus route for special education students.

He admits that he let his age be an excuse for not going back to college to earn a degree.

“I told people I was too old to go to college,” said Sims, a special education teacher at Seymour High School.  “But I remember someone saying to me, ‘Brian, you are going to turn 40, and you can do it with a degree or not, but you are going to turn 40 either way.’

“So, why not, I thought.”

In 2001, Sims, then in his mid-30s, began his journey toward a college degree and enrolled at East Tennessee State University in the special education program. His passion for teaching students with special needs came from his heart. Not only did he work as a teaching as…

Free tuition doesn't mean more degree completion

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A thoughtful essay by Michael Bernick in Time.
Free Community College Isn’t the Answer Today in California, the majority of community college students, and nearly all low-income students, pay few, if any fees. As business columnist Kathleen Pender has detailed, almost half of the state’s community college students receive a waiver on all fees. Federal Pell grants and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, for which low- and even middle-income students are eligible, are additional financial supports. Tuition is not a significant obstacle to enrollment for Californians at all incomes, and hasn’t been for some years.  Instead, at the top of concerns for community college administrators is the low student completion level. The majority of community college students leave without a degree or certificate. A 2010 study by the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy at California State University Sacramento concluded that within six years of enrollment, only 30 percent of Californ…