A Conversation with Michael Kirst

October 1st, 2014

Brooke Donald, Communications Manager of Stanford Graduate School of Education, interviews Michael Kirst on his recent reappointment to President of California State Board of Education, his thoughts on California’s education the next 4 years, Common Core State Standards, Local Control Funding Formulas, Vergara lawsuit.

New Book Well Worth Reading On Higher Education in Crisis

October 1st, 2014

American Higher Education in Crisis?: What Everyone Needs to Know by Goldie Blumenstyk

The book discusses trends that have brought the higher education system to its current state, and how they will reshape America’s colleges and universities in the years to come.

Incentives For 15 Credits A Semester For Full time Students

September 30th, 2014

15-credit strategies
Because most full-time college students aren’t taking enough credits for on-time graduation, colleges are trying a variety of approaches to get students to sign up for 15 credits a semester. This report provides an overview of the issue and underscores the idea that incentives only target students on the margin because there will always be students who enroll for 15 credits and there will always be stSemesterudents who don’t have the time and resources to do that. (Community College Research Center via ECS)

Finish College In 4 Years: Specific Policies And Practices

September 29th, 2014

By Jim Lanich, CBEE, Sacramento,

Many college students expect to complete a degree in 4 years, but are unable to do so. There are promising ideas about how to fix this problem: shorter, more targeted remedial courses; collaboration around choke points in the pipeline; and ensuring required courses are available when students are ready to take them. Making sure we provide students with what they need and then mitigating barriers for students are key steps on the road to our prosperity. Read More

Colllege Competition For Students May Hurt Low Income Students

September 25th, 2014
COLLEGES’ PURSUIT OF POWER AND PRESTIGE IS HURTING LOW-INCOME STUDENTS, writes New America’s Stephen Burd. In a new report released today and accompanying interactive application, he explores how institutions are using data to fiercely compete for the students they want most. Read the report and check out the graphic at EdCentral.

Community Colleges Fail To Implement Effective Practices

September 24th, 2014

The Center for Community College Student Engagement  announced the release of its newest report, A Matter of Degrees: Practices to Pathways. The report is the third in a three-part series to present key findings from a multi-year Center initiative—Identifying and Promoting High-Impact Educational Practices in Community Colleges—and describes relationships between selected student outcomes and student participation in the identified educational practices. It also sets forth the critical next-level challenge in community college work: strengthening student success by identifying the educational practices that matter most and integrating them into intentionally designed academic and career pathways.

Download the report: http://www.ccsse.org/docs/Matter_of_Degrees_3.pdf

Download the news release: http://www.ccsse.org/docs/Matter_of_Degrees_3_press_release.pdf

Girls College Prep Better Than Boys

September 23rd, 2014

WHY GIRLS TEND TO GET BETTER GRADES THAN BOYS DO
As the new school year ramps up, teachers and parents need to be reminded of a well-kept secret: Across all grade levels and academic subjects, girls earn higher grades than boys. Not just in the United States, but across the globe, in countries as far afield as Norway and Hong Kong. This finding is reflected in a recent study by psychology professors Daniel and Susan Voyer at the University of New Brunswick. The Voyers based their results on a meta-analysis of 369 studies involving the academic grades of over one million boys and girls from 30 different nations. The findings are unquestionably robust: Girls earn higher grades in every subject, including the science-related fields where boys are thought to surpass them. The article is in The Atlantic.

If you are interested in this topic check out “The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies Are Harming Our Young Men” by Christina Sommers, Simon Schuster, 2013.

 

Useful Online Resources For College Students

September 22nd, 2014

By Jane Hurst-guest blogger

The Internet can be an extremely valuable tool for college students, loaded with valuable resources they can use for their studies. It is quick and easy to access the Internet, and it makes learning a lot more fun and interesting. Students can use free and paid resources on the Internet, and they can choose which resources are going to be best for their needs. Here are some of the best online resources for college students that will help them to get the best grades:

  • Alison – The creators of this website believe that education should be free for all, and of the best quality. Here you can learn all kinds of new things, and get the tools you need for learning. The best part is everything is absolutely free to use.
  • KnowledgeNet – This is the site to visit when you need to find resources on IT-related topics.
  • Sports Apparel – This is the best place for students to get all of the athletic wear they need. Fancastle supplies colleges and high schools with sports uniforms, footwear, and a whole lot more, all at reasonable prices.
  • iHomework – This app can be accessed from any Apple device, from any place. Use this app to make notes about task, homework, course information, and much more.
  • The Rapid E-Learning Blog (Articulate Network) – This blog is from Tom Kuhlmann, and it is loaded with practical tips for students. There is all kinds of new information about topics related to education that will help anyone get the most from e-learning.
  • Getting Smart – This site is focused on learning, and provides resources to help you get more from studying.
  • Atrixware E-Learning Solutions Blog – This tool allows students to create awesome presentations with little effort. The best part of this site is the blog section, which provides plenty of information about the latest e-learning tools.
  • Coursera – Here you will find free courses from the top universities, including humanities, computer science, mathematics, biology, business, and much more. Students can use this site to learn more and get information they need for papers and projects.
  • Compass Learning – This website helps teachers to understand their students so they can teach according to their strengths and motivations. CompassLearning Odyssey lets teachers assess their students so they can provide the best study paths for them.
  • E-Learning Center – Find all of the resources you need on subjects pertaining to web development and IT. While some of the content is only available through a paid subscription, many other resources are absolutely free to use.
  • Saylor – Find free classes in a variety of subjects to help with your studies. These classes may not count as course credits, but they are definitely going to help you get a leg up on your fellow students.
  • FindTutorials.com – This website is loaded with the best tutorials on the Internet. You will find everything you need for your studies here, and then some. Check out the user votes on the various tutorials in order to find the best ones.
  • OpenCulture – Find content that will not only help you with school projects, but will also help you to develop your own personal intellect. You will find content about all kinds of topics, including writing tips and historical information. This is a great site for students who want to learn as much as possible and have an easier time writing papers.
  • Course Buffet – Use this website to find open courseware from a number of websites and avoid annoying searches.

Byline:

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot.

The Bottom 5% Of All 4 Year Colleges

September 18th, 2014

From Education Trust

As student access and success are central to the mission of any higher education institution, we proposed setting a bottom-line standard — based on the bottom 5 percent of four-year colleges — to encourage improvement.

We’ve followed through on that, recognizing that policymakers, students, and families alike need clear information on those colleges.  We’re happy to share those standards are now clearly visible in our College Results Online database. Now in its ninth year of compiling and sharing critical information on colleges across the country, College Results Online marks colleges with one of our “Bottom 5 Percent Indicators” when they have dismal graduation rates or don’t enroll their fair share of low-income students.

College Dropout Factories: These colleges graduate very few students and may not be the best option, particularly for first-generation or low-income students who often require additional support. These colleges should draw the attention of states and policymakers, who are placing a greater emphasis on outcomes in higher education, and the public, which is increasingly questioning the return on the investment for a college degree.

Engines of Inequality: These colleges enroll very few students from working-class and low-income families and are not very socioeconomically diverse. This is a flag for students from these backgrounds — and any student seeking a culturally diverse experience in college. Low-income access has received a lot of attention, including from President Barack Obama, so this is an important indicator to follow, particularly as the administration sorts out its college rating system.

To see how these work, watch our brief video tutorial. But know that College Results Online continues to offer the interactive tools that you know and love, including options to:

  • Search for nearly every four-year college in the nation to find data on its students;
  • Compare graduation rates of similar colleges serving similar students; and
  • See how colleges fare graduating diverse groups of students.

Post Graduate Job Search Preparation: Important Tips

September 17th, 2014

By Melissa Burns

Today’s competitive job market can be daunting for new college graduates. Only about 17 percent of students have a job offer upon graduation. There is also mounting evidence that Universities do not adequately prepare students for their future job searches. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get ready for your post-graduate job search and drastically increase your chances of finding work.

Plan Early

Your search for a job should begin years before you actually get your diploma. Starting from your first year at University, look for opportunities that can offer you real-world experience in your field. This might include internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer work. In addition, make sure that most of your employers and professors get to know you.  Be proactive, ask questions, and develop relationships with them. If you do so, there’s a good chance that these people will be willing to write your letters of recommendation, help you network, and give you some sound advice for succeeding in your chosen field. In your last semester, map out a detailed plan for your job search: Lydia Dallett, a columnist for Business Insider, gives some tips on how to accomplish this.

Network

Most new graduates begin their job search by reviewing advertised job openings online. However, according to NPR, only about 20 percent of job openings are publicly advertised. Many employers don’t have the time or resources to sort through hundreds of applications, so they rely on word-of-mouth to find a good employee. Therefore, while searching for jobs on websites such as Indeed or SimplyHired can be very helpful, most of an applicant’s time should be spent pursuing that other 80 percent of jobs that are not advertised. The way to find them is through networking. Cornell University offers some excellent advice on how to network effectively. Simply put, the biggest part of networking is letting the people in your life know that you’re looking for a job. Most people are not hesitant to let their parents and best friends know that they are searching. But, they may not have thought of telling their neighbours, acquaintances, former employers, or church members. All of these people can be excellent resources. You will likely be surprised at how eager people are to help you. Don’t overlook social networking sites, either. A recent study found that about 15 percent of employees found their jobs by networking through Facebook and similar sites.

Search in Unlikely Places

While most of your job searching time should go toward networking, you can maximize the time you do spend searching online by looking in lesser-known places. For example, websites such as Gumtree or Adoos, which are most commonly used for buying and selling, also have job advertisement sections. You can also visit the websites of the companies you are interested in working for–they will often have jobs posted on their websites that are not publicly advertised.

Research the Company

If you’re applying to dozens of jobs a week, it can be exhausting to do the added step of researching every company. Nonetheless, you are much more likely to be considered if you can tailor your resume and cover letter, at least a little bit, to the company’s goals and philosophy. It will be clear to the employer that you took the time to do some research and that you’re genuinely interested in working for their company. The company’s website will usually offer sufficient information, but you can also research their page on LinkedIn.

The post-graduate job search will be much less stressful if you’re adequately prepared. Use these tips to help you succeed.

Melissa is a graduate student of the faculty of journalism. She is a passionate blogger and writer. Now she dreams od publishing her owm novel.