Posts published in June, 2011
Students and families can compare colleges’ tuitions, the pace at which they are rising and the net cost of attending each college on a new Web site the Department of Education made public, fulfilling a legislative mandate
Transitions to College: An In-Depth Look at the Selected Influences of Demographics, Development, and Policy
by Margaret Terry Orr , Teachers College Record On line
This article provides an overview of a set of articles in this special issue that synthesize current research and provide future directions for research, both conceptually and methodologically, on gender, socioeconomic, and language-minority differences in college transitions, as well as a review of college transitions research in the discipline of human development. It concludes with an example of policy analysis research on college transitions, focusing on 2-year to 4-year college articulation policies. These reviews provide a foundation for further research, policy making, and programmatic action to improve the college transition pathways for all youth, particularly those for whom college-going opportunities are most challenging because of demographic and economic conditions.
A new initiative from The College Board seeks to identify existing — and needed — research around the Educational Experience of Young Men of Color, to understand the issues behind the data, and to provide an overview of the legal landscape within which solutions must be developed. The College Board has conducted an extensive data and literature review to determine what is known to date on the situation facing young men of color, and in partnership with the Business Innovation Factory, has engaged these young men directly to understand how they view their experiences, and to add their voice to the discussion of how to better meet their needs. The particular value of the literature review is that it looks at six distinct pathways that young men of color — and all students — take after high school, and for the first time synthesizes in one place the literature for males of all four minority groups: African American, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Hispanic/ Latinos and Native American, and Alaska Natives. The initiative’s goal is to isolate and identify the factors that contribute either to the persistence or to the attrition of young men of color from high school to higher education.
See the initiative website: http://youngmenofcolor.collegeboard.org/home
Source : PEN Newsblast
3-year College Degree Programs Not Catching On
Several institutions have launched three-year degree programs and political leaders in at least two states, Ohio and Rhode Island, have instructed public colleges to offer accelerated degrees. But students have not responded, often because of the intense schedules that also leave less time for other campus activities. (Washington Post, 06/15/11)
Executives from Career Education, DeVry and Rasmussen agree that increased federal scrutiny of the for-profit sector provides an opportunity to generate competitive advantage through an increased focus on student success.
Over the past two decades, the cost of a college education has risen dramatically. Tuition and fees have increased at twice the rate of inflation, rising more quickly than market goods or services and outstripping the growth in family incomes. In his new study, Opportunities for Efficiency and Innovation: A Primer on How to Cut College Costs (published by AEI’s Future of American Education Project), Oklahoma State University professor Vance Fried finds that this dramatic rise in college tuition costs is due to the ways in which traditional colleges and universities organize and allocate resources, and not due to lavish university facilities and extra student services.
“Higher education insiders sometimes point to the increasing cost of auxiliary services like student housing and big-time athletics as a major cause of large tuition increases. This is a red herring,” notes Fried. “Football, good food, and hot tubs are not the reason for runaway college spending. Rather, the root cause is the high cost of performing the instructional, research, and public-service missions of the undergraduate university.”
To identify areas ripe for cost savings, Fried creates a provocative experiment: what would it cost to educate undergraduates at a hypothetical college built from scratch? Fried concludes that undergraduate colleges should consider five major cost-cutting strategies:
1. Eliminate or separately fund research and public service
2. Optimize class size
3. Eliminate or consolidate low-enrollment programs
4. Eliminate administrator bloat
5. Downsize extracurricular student activity programs
“Rather than focusing only on the big-ticket items that tend to dominate debates about college costs, Fried argues that the real levers for increasing efficiency include rethinking student-faculty ratios, eliminating under-enrolled programs, and trimming unnecessary administrative positions,” explains Andrew P. Kelly, AEI research fellow and editor of the Future of American Higher Education Project. “His recommendations are a must-read as states look to rein in college costs.”
Vance H. Fried is the Riata Professor of Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University and author of Better/Cheaper College: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Rescuing Undergraduate Education (Center for College Affordability and Productivity, 2010). His research focuses on entrepreneurship in the higher education industry, entrepreneurship and public policy, and venture capital. Before joining the faculty at Oklahoma State, Fried worked as an attorney in private practice, executive of an independent oil company, and investment banker working with small- and mid-cap companies. He is also a certified public accountant.
Scott Swail at Educational Policy Institute provides this sage advice :
By Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Out-of-state students and those recruited internationally account for almost half the total enrollment at some universities and, in certain years, as high as the 75 percent share of the freshman class reported by the University of Vermont last fall. At Pitt, in-state students make up 69 percent of the school’s main campus population, a share that is down from 79 percent a decade ago, and they are 74 percent of the university’s total population, compared with 82 percent a decade ago.
By Watson Scott Swail, President & CEO, Educational Policy Institute/EPI International
This week at EPI’s International Conference on Student Success (Retention 2011), I attended a session by Tom Mortenson, Senior Scholar at The Pell Institute and editor of Postsecondary Opportunity. Tom looked at the issue of predicted versus actual persistence and graduation rates at US four-year colleges and universities. Interesting stuff.
The data launched us into a dialogue about what responsibility college officials—including administrators, professors, counselors, and advisors—have to tell students where they stand with regard to prospective graduation and college success. Every institution houses the data and technology to run every prospective student through a real-time regression analysis to provide a predictive rate of success. That is, we can come up with the odds of a particular student’s chance of graduation from any institution.
If we can do this, the question is what do we do with that information? On one hand, we can surely use it to determine whether we admit or reject that student. We do that now. But for most of the institutions that are either open admission or have liberal admissions policies, these data have other potential services. In this case, if we know that Student A has a 36 percent chance of success at our institution, then what do we do with that data? The participants in Tom’s session were dialoging about whether we tell the student what we already know: that they are at risk.
One participant was adamant that it would be morally apprehensible to tell students that their odds of success are low. It would, in her words, crush their motivation and thus put them at even greater risk of failure.
I disagreed. In fact, for years I have counseled just the opposite. At our Retention 101 workshops, I advise participants that we have a moral and ethical responsibility to advise students exactly where they stand, what they need to do to succeed, and how we are able to support them.
By Christine Armario/Boston Globe
A higher percentage of young Hispanic adults is finishing high school, and the number attending a two-year college has nearly doubled over the last decade, according to Census data released Wednesday. The percentage of Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in high school and don’t have an equivalent degree was 22 percent in 2008, down from 34 percent in 1998. Meanwhile, the number attending a 2-year college increased 85 percent, from 540,000 in 2000 to 1 million in 2008. “It’s an amazing level of growth,” said Kurt Bauman, the chief of the Census Bureau’s education branch. Researchers said the numbers on high school completion were the result of several factors, including targeted efforts to reduce the number of Latino students dropping out, as well as an increasing percentage born and attending all their schooling in the United States. (more…)