Posts Tagged ‘college news’
It’s not uncommon to ask a recent college graduate what their next step in life will be, and hear them reply with, “move back home and pay off my debt” or “find a job–any job!” As an increasing number of college graduates find themselves back at home with their parents and working jobs they could have obtained out of high school, the value of a college degree has fallen under some serious debate. But these criticisms of higher education have not fallen upon deaf ears. Earlier this month, The Society for College and University Planning held a conference in Chicago with a focus on how colleges and universities can change to be more relevant in today’s society.
Scott Carlson’s article College Planners Discuss How They Push for Change includes the podcast interviews of three individuals who gave speeches at this conference.
Sanford Shugart, the president of Valancia college in Florida, indicates that change is vital for numerous reasons, including the cost of college being an inadequate fit for the current market, and academic results not being as high as they should be. Shugart believes that in order to change college education, change needs to happen within the culture. He identifies the culture as being the millions of decisions made on a daily basis by students, faculty, and staff. Obviously, that’s a pretty major change, but Shugart, having identified the roots of higher education being eight-hundred years old, says it will take a change that scale to counter what is in our history.
Associate Vice President of the University of the Pacific Robert Brodnick, introduces his idea of “design thinking,” a concept that combines analytical thinking and creative thinking to produce a product. His theory is that analytical thinking to solve problems is overrated, and that by using intuition and emotion in all fields, as many of the creative fields already do, change can happen amongst not only college institutions, but corporate America. He says it’s these two areas that will need to change the most for our jobs to stay relevant.
The final podcast, which is an interview with Ira Fink, a college planner, indicates that change needs to happen in the way colleges think about money. Just as airlines increase their rates during the holidays and summer months, and decrease their rates during slow seasons, colleges need to consider how their space is used, and what the cost is for that space, in order to make a profit. He identifies Apple as being a company that can successfully think about their business in this sense, and believes it would be wise for education to consider doing the same.
It’s evident something about college education needs to change, but what that something is exactly can be hard to pin point. Is the educational system broken, or is the job market broken? Does the cost of college need to go down, or do jobs need to pay enough for students to able to afford their debt?
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Up-to-date college news from this week:
Half of Recent Grads Out of Work
According to a recent Rutgers University study, nearly 50% of recent college graduates are unemployed. The study which looked into college graduates from the last 5 years, or since the recession started, shows significantly less optimism in, what many label as, “the lost generation’s” ability to achieve the American dream.
Carol Van Horn, director of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers and a co-author of the study said, “I think they’re less optimistic, more focused on trying to find a good job and help pay off their loans, and they’re also experiencing a slow start to their career. And that’s making them not only less optimistic but more concerned about job security and the like.”
Van Horn added “It seems to mark them with a set of attitudes that’s different than people who graduated 10 years ago.”
West Georgia University Student Battles Flesh-Eating Bacteria
West Georgia University graduate student Aimee Copeland is battling a flesh-eating bacteria after a zip-line accident. Copeland, 24, was zip-lining along the Little Tallapoosa River near Carrollton, Georgia. During this, the line broke resulting in a cut on her calf. She went to the emergency room and had 22 stitches.
After many trips back and forth to the doctor, with ongoing sever pain, Copeland was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a rare flesh-eating bacterial infection. After being transferred to a burn center in Augusta, Copeland had part of her leg amputated. Copeland is currently in critical condition. Her father Andy said, this was “without a doubt the most horrific situation that a parent can possibly imagine.”
According to Dr. William Schaffner of the Vanderbilt University Medical School, “This often is a very subtle infection initially,” he said. “These bacteria lodge in the deeper layers of the wound. The organism is deep in the tissues and that’s where it’s causing its mischief.”
A university blog post said, “Aimee is awake, understands everything and is nodding her head to questions! Aimee is still on her life support, and we are waiting to hear more about how she is doing today.”
Any news going on your college campus? Share in the comment field below!
Up-to-date college news from this week:
Playoffs to Come to College Football?
It’s looking increasingly likely that NCAA College Football could end up with a “final four” of its own. The BCS is toying with the idea of a four-team playoff to decide the national championship winner. That idea, along with a small list of other options, are being presented to the various conferences who will decide the fate of the system. According to the Wall Street Journal:
“Commissioners from the BCS conferences will present to conference constituents two to seven options for a four-team playoff. Those options include holding semifinals at campus sites, as well as neutral-site games. A championship game will be held at a neutral site, either an existing bowl or a site that bids in advance to host the game.”
Students Protest College Debt
While President Obama was travelling the country to pressure congress to renew low interest rates on student loans, students were protesting rising college debt. The protests on Wednesday were designed to draw attention to the day that US student loan debt was set to hit $1 Trillion. According to Reuters:
“Several hundred protesters, mostly college students wearing placards noting the size of their debt loads, rallied in New York City’s Union Square park on Wednesday.
They set fire to student debt documents and held signs reading ‘Debt free degrees’ and ‘Education in America: Don’t bank on it.’”
The Veep Visits NYU
Vice President Joe Biden visited NYU this week. His remarks included criticism of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy. Biden criticized the presumptive Republican nominee for comments that he made saying that he would rely on the State Department heavily for foreign policy advise.
Biden said, “In my view, the last thing I think we need is a president who will subcontract our foreign policy to some expert at the State Department. That kind of thinking may work for a C.E.O., but it cannot and will not work for a president, and it will not work for a commander in chief.”
The big sound bite from the speech though was when the Vice President created a bit of a stir by saying that the president has a “big stick.” He was referencing the famous Teddy Roosevelt quote.
Any news going on your college campus? Share in the comment field below!
Up-to-date college news from this week:
Shooting at small Oakland, CA College
Tragedy struck this week at Oikos University in Oakland, CA as a gunman opened fire on campus killing at least 7. According to the AP, the shooter, One Goh, had intended to target a female administrator. In a news conference, Alameda County Dist. Atty. Nancy O’Malle said:
“On Monday, April 2, One Goh committed crimes of such enormity and brutality that our community, our country and citizens around the world are left reeling. The scope of this murderer’s rampage is unprecedented in Alameda County.”
Students Pepper Sprayed
While protesting rising tuition costs, students at Santa Monica College were pepper sprayed by campus police earlier this week. During a board meeting, over 100 students protested outside and were subsequently pepper sprayed with over 30 students needing medical attention. Chants ranged from ”Let us in, let us in” to “No cuts, no fees, education should be free.” Santa Monica College president Chui L. Tsang was less than sympathetic to the students stating:
“Santa Monica College regrets that a group of people chose to disrupt a public meeting in an unlawful manner. The College has launched a full investigation into the matter. The College’s action comes at a time when SMC is confronted with the greatest budget crisis ever to face higher education in California.
Kentucky Wins National Championship
Led by national player of the year Anthony Davis, the University of Kentucky Wildcats won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Their 67-59 win gave coach John Calipari his first national title and is the school’s eighth championship. Davis only shot 1 of 10 from the floor and all six of his points came from the free throw line. However, he had 15 rebounds, tied an NCAA championship game record with six blocks and added five assists and three steals.
Texting in Class
According to a US News and World Report Article texting is a huge problem in college classrooms. A study by University of Pittsburg of over 190 students showed that students read 2.6 text messages and sent 2.4 texts during one class. Author of the study Fang-Yi Flora Wei said:
“College students may believe that they are capable of performing multitasking behaviors during their classroom learning, such as listening to the lecture and texting simultaneously. But the real concern is not whether students can learn under a multitasking condition, but how well they can learn if they cannot sustain their full attention on classroom instruction.”
FLOTUS to Speak at Two College Graduations
First Lady Michelle Obama will be serving as the commencement speaker for at least three college graduations this spring. However, she will not be straying far from the White House! The lucky schools are North Carolina A&T, Virginia Tech and Oregon State University.
She’ll head to neighboring Virginia on May 11th , where she will be speaking at Virginia Tech. The First Lady chose Virginia Tech due to their resilience following the awful tragedy on their campus in 2007. The next day she’ll head to historically black college North Carolina A&T. She chose A&T because the school has “been instrumental in educating generations of African-Americans.”
Finally, on June 17th, she’ll head to Oregon State University where her brother coaches the Men’s Basketball Team. The school has been recognized for their ongoing efforts to champion healthy eating. As many know this has been the main cause for First Lady Obama in her first term.
Georgia Drops College Ban From Immigration Bill
State Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville has chosen to drop a provision from his immigration bill that would have barred undocumented immigrants from attending state colleges in Georgia. Sen. Loudermilk was unable to get the bill to the floor of the house with that language and as a result he has dropped this provision from the bill.
“There’s other provisions in there that we really need to streamline the process of identification and also security,” Loudermilk stated. “Instead of just jeopardizing all this when we didn’t have the support for the education part, I told them to pull that off if we need to and move forward with the rest of it.”
Final Four This Weekend
The Men’s NCAA Basketball tournament will come to a close this weekend as the Final Four arrives in New Orleans. The lucky schools who have made it this far all happen to be from the Midwest! This “all Midwest” Final Four features University of Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio State and Louisville. The semifinals will take place on Saturday, March 31 with the finals on Monday.
In a matchup of high profile coaches, John Calipari’s Kentucky will face off against Rick Pitino’s Louisville. Tip off for that game is at 6:09. Following the conclusion of the Kentucky/Louisville matchup, Ohio State and Kansas will square off in what is certain to be a great game. Tip off for that game is scheduled for 8:49pm.
Affirmative action had major forays in the news about 9 years ago when the Supreme Court allowed public colleges and universities to take account of race in admission decisions. And now, with another big legal decision looming, it’s back in the news again.
What is affirmative action?
Higher education institutions that uphold affirmative action take positive steps to increase the representation of minorities among their student bodies. Affirmative action was instituted to increase populations among the student body that have been historically excluded, namely African-American and Latino students.
Why is affirmative action so controversial?
There are those who believe that affirmative action leads to preferential selection by race or ethnicity. Just being of a certain race accounts for points on certain college applications. In 2003, the United States Supreme Court upheld the decision in Grutter v. Bollinger that ruled that the University of Michigan Law School had a compelling interest in promoting class diversity and that its “plus” system did not amount to a quota system that would have been unconstitutional under Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (which set aside 16 of the 100 seats for African American students).
What’s happening now?
Now we’re back to arguing over it again. According to the New York Times, when the Supreme Court agreed to hear a major case involving race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas, both supporters and opponents of affirmative action said they saw the announcement as a signal that the court’s five more conservative members–since 2003–might be prepared to do away with racial preferences in higher education.
A reversal of the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision would make it so that public colleges and universities would not be able to use a point system to increase minority enrollment. Defenders of affirmative action believe the court’s backpedaling of the 2003 decision could seriously affect the building of a more integrated, diverse, and just education system in the United States. Minorities such as African-Americans and Latinos often, unfortunately, land disproportionately in the bottom half of the socio-economic gap. This leads not only to an economic divide, but an educational one as these students are generally not exposed to the same opportunities in education.
So how did this topic makes its way back into the ring once more? In Texas, students in the top 10 percent of high schools are automatically admitted to the public university system. The top 10% policy was created to side-step considering race but simultaneously increase racial diversity in part because so many high schools are racially homogenous. A Texas student who did not make the cut, Abigail Fisher, just missed that cutoff at her high school in Sugar Land, Tex., and then became part of a separate pool of applicants who were to be admitted through a complicated system in which race plays an unquantified but significant role. Ms. Fisher then sued in 2008 on the grounds that, according to the Project on Fair Representation, she and thousands of past applicants have been unfairly denied admission to the University of Texas based upon its unconstitutional use of racial preferences.
Opponents of affirmative action believe that it’s a form of discrimination and whether it’s “for or against”, discrimination is wrong. Hans von Spakovsky, a legal fellow at conservative think tank, Heritage Foundation, said, “The idea that [my daughter] might be discriminated against and not be admitted because of her race is incredible to me.”
What’s to come?
If the Supreme Court forbids the use of race in admission at public universities, it’s possible that it would bar the use at private ones as well under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The 2003 decision to allow for affirmative action was made to create a day 25 years down the line where, as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who was the on the court in 2003, said, “the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary” to create diversity in higher education. That day might just be approaching a decade early, and depending on which side you take, the timing’s right, or we ended it too early.
What is your opinion on affirmative action? We’d to hear your opinions and create an open, but respectful, dialogue. Share in the comment section below.
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