In Quest for Success, Colleges Ask: What’s Working? The Chronicle of Higher Education
With the pressure on for higher graduation rates, better retention, and more-engaged students, colleges are deploying a variety of tactics in their pursuit of student success. But whether they’re offering a first-year experience or a flipped classroom, how do they know if the programs are working?
Dave Jarrat, vice president for marketing at InsideTrack, a company that works with colleges to improve student success, says the absence of any methodology to track the effectiveness of multiple initiatives simultaneously makes it hard for colleges to figure out what works. What’s more, he says, most institutions don’t think about measurement when they’re starting a new support program.
To know what works, colleges need "real, solid data" about what happens with their students, says Kay McClenney. And colleges that tend to shy away from closing ineffective programs need to shift from a culture of anecdotes, she says, to a culture of evidence.
Constant measurement is essential, says Kathleen Cleary, associate provost for student completion at Sinclair Community College. "We can’t wait five years to see if our changes are working."
The College Degree has Become the New High School Degree The Washington Post
A new report finds that employers are increasingly requiring a bachelor’s degree for positions that didn’t used to require baccalaureate education. A college degree is becoming the new high school diploma: the minimum credential required to get even the most basic, entry-level job.
Technology has changed the nature and responsibilities of many jobs. Duties are becoming more complicated, requiring more technical knowledge and stronger critical thinking skills.
Regardless of what you actually learn in college, graduating from a four-year institution may broadcast that you have discipline, drive and stick-to-it-iveness. In plenty of jobs there is little to no difference in skill requirements between job ads requiring a degree and those that do not.
College grads are landing in positions that probably don’t use the skills they’ve piled up thousands of dollars in debt to acquire, and many high school grads and college dropouts are being shut out from the first rung of the career ladder altogether.
Harvard University Launches Education Research Website University Herald
What's the point of research if it doesn't get into the hands of practitioners? That's the idea behind Usable Knowledge, the new education research website from the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.
The site will provide smart, practical and timely content relating to both K-12 and higher education. The content will highlight the researcher of Harvard Graduate School of Education faculty.
"The goal is to put that knowledge directly into the hands of practitioners who can use it to make a difference in their classrooms, schools, districts, universities, and communities," according to the Usable Knowledge website.
Founded in 1920, the Harvard Graduate School of Education is grounded in the belief that education is the "most pressing issue of our time, and that research-based education policy and practice have the power to create a more just and prosperous society," according to its website.
The Power of the Personal The Chronicle of Higher Education
Under fierce pressure to do more with less, colleges today need improvement strategies that are simultaneously reliable, powerful, available, and cheap.
There is one step colleges can take right now to engage students, without spending a cent or creating a new program: They can encourage more face-to-face human contact. Such human contact may be the key to workable improvement strategies.
The influence of friends, teachers, and mentors on students’ careers can be truly pervasive, running from start to finish. What matters most in college, then, is who meets whom, and when.
The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index found that having "a mentor who encouraged my hopes and dreams," "professors who cared about me," and "at least one professor who made me excited about learning" made students far more likely to be successful later in life.
At its heart, higher education is a human activity, powered primarily by bringing thinkers together. So rather than attending so much to programs and policies, maybe higher education should focus first on its people, and on helping them find—and eventually care about—one another.
Online Education Company edX Offering Free High School Courses The Boston Globe
The online-learning collaborative edX is expanding its reach beyond higher education and will begin offering courses geared toward high school students. The 26 high school courses were created by 14 institutions — including MIT, Georgetown and Rice universities, the University of California Berkeley, Boston University, Wellesley College, and Weston Public High School.
The online classes, available to anyone in the world, will cover such subjects as computer science, calculus, geometry, algebra, English, physics, biology, chemistry, Spanish, French, history, statistics, and psychology.
Anant Agarwal, chief executive of edX, said the offerings will help address a “readiness gap” that leaves a significant number of high school students unprepared for college studies.
One high school course will aim to help students “demystify” the process of applying to selective colleges — understanding admissions requirements, navigating financial aid, and trying to help high school students match a college to their interests.
Palabras Clave: MOOC, edX, educación media superior
Where to Go to College If You Want the Highest Starting Salary The Washington Post
If starting salaries were the sole measure of elite universities, U.S. News's most recent college rankings would look very different. Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and Columbia, the country's top four universities by U.S. News's measure, for one, wouldn't crack the top 10, or 20, or even 30.
The top of the list would instead be reserved for elite military and tech schools, which send graduates out into the workforce with some of the country's highest early-career salaries, according to a new report by PayScale.
It appears that technical abilities and specialized skills are highly valued among recent graduates, which explains why a student who graduates from an engineering program at California Institute of Technology will likely be better compensated, at least up front, than a Harvard graduate with an English degree.
New College Rankings Remind Us of What's Wrong With American Higher Education Forbes
For better or worse, the rankings have become the most important measuring stick for elite institutions and the semi-elite colleges that wish to join them. The widely acknowledged problem is that those measures often have everything to do with who colleges admit and less to do with what colleges actually teach them while they’re there. These rankings are about prestige and selectivity.
The fastest and most surefire way to climb the ranks is to attract better students, typically by raising SAT benchmarks, rejecting more applicants, and ensuring that admitted students choose to go (yield). Raising tuition doesn’t hurt either.
In most sectors, competition tends to benefit consumers, as firms work to attract customers by selling a quality product at a competitive price. Competition here implies trying to serve as many paying customers as possible in order to maximize market-share.
As long as we continue to define “the best colleges” as those that enroll the best students–as opposed to those that teach their students the most or deliver the best return on investment–rankings competition will do little to expand educational opportunity.
DeVry Schools Startups with 1871 Incubator Chicago Business
DeVry Education Group Inc. is teaming up with 1871 on an incubator for education-technology startups. DeVry is launching the EdTech Incubator, expecting to admit up to 10 startups spread over two classes annually.
The Downers Grove-based company, which runs a for-profit network of schools and has an enrollment of more than 100,000, will provide the startups with access to and mentoring from its executives. They'll offer feedback on the startups' ideas and test the most promising ones at its campuses.
"It will help us improve teaching and learning. We'll co-create solutions we can pilot across DeVry," said Jeff Dunn, senior director of DV X, DeVry's research and development unit.
DeVry has piloted more than a half-dozen experimental programs based on work done by startups such as Civitas Learning, an Austin, Texas-based company that provides analytics about student performance. Civitas helped DeVry better identify specific test scores that were better indicators of students' eventual success.
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