Posts published in September, 2012

Two Thirds Of Secondary School Students Use Social Media To Find Colleges

Social Networks and College Choices
“These days, it’s not uncommon for a university to have at least a Facebook page, a Twitter handle, and a YouTube account – maybe even a Pinterest page and a Tumblr, too. But a recent survey shows that for recruiting purposes, the number of social media accounts might not be nearly as important as what colleges and universities do with the technology. About two-thirds of high school students use social media to research colleges, and more than one-third of those students use social media to help decide where to enroll, according to a survey conducted by Zinch, an online scholarship- and school-matching service run by Chegg, and Inigral, a tech company that focuses on student engagement online.”

California Community Colleges Stagger From State Aid Reductions

This is part of the context causing the growth of  California for profit colleges in yesterdays blog-by Carla Rivera/Los Angeles Times

Marianet Tirado returned to Los Angeles Trade Tech community college this fall, optimistic that she would get into the classes she needs to transfer to a four-year university. Of the courses she wanted, only two had space left when she registered in May. She enrolled in those and “crashed” others. In one of those cases, she lucked out when the professor teaching a political science class admitted additional students. But she couldn’t get into a biology class because she was too far down on the waiting list. If the math and English courses she needs aren’t offered next spring, she may have to push back her plans to apply to San Francisco State, UCLA or USC. Her mother is puzzled that Tirado may spend three or four years at what is supposed to be a two-year college. “Because that’s what we think community college is,” said Tirado, 24, a journalism major who lives in Watts. “It’s hard to explain to my mom that I’m trying to go to school but the courses are not there.” This is the new reality for Tirado and about 2.4 million other students in the nation’s largest community college system. The system is the workhorse of California’s 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education, which promised affordability, quality and access to all. In reality, the state’s two-year colleges are buckling under the stress of funding cuts, increased demand and a weak record of student success. (more)


For Profit Colleges Grow Significantly In Fiscally Stressed California

Guest Blogger : Su Jin Jez, Professor Of Public Policy, Sacramento State

In a recent article in the California Journal of Politics and Policy, I highlight the prominent role that for-profits play in California higher education.  Enrollments at for-profit institutions in California have grown rapidly over the past ten years.  In 2000, fewer than 100,000 students attended a for-profit, but by their peak in 2009, nearly 400,000 students had enrolled at a for-profit – second to the California Community Colleges in student enrollment, but enrolling more students than the University of California, California State University, or private non-profits.  (However, in 2010, for-profit enrollment dropped to below 300,000 – this may be random shifts in enrollment, or, more likely, decreased demand due to the negative press regarding for-profit institutions).   Not only are for-profits enrolling a large number of students, they’re issuing a large proportion of the state’s undergraduate awards.   They issued about one in five of the state’s long-term certificates, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees.  These awards represent 56% of the state’s long-term certificates, 17% of the state’s associate’s degrees, and 7% of the bachelor’s degrees.

Given the capacity issues at public colleges and universities, California should rethink the way it views and approaches for-profit institutions.  The current political environment demonizes for-profits.  Not to say that they haven’t done plenty to be demonized for, but it’s time for state policymakers to start thinking about how for-profits can help the state rather than focusing on how to minimize the harm that they can do.

Read the full article here for details on for-profit certificate and degree production and my suggestions for state policy in creating a role for for-profits in California:


Adjunct College Faculty: An Overview Of Their Status And Uses

From Tim Handorf recently  shared  an article 25 Telling Facts About Adjunct Faculty Today  that was recently published on their blog at

It is difficult to get an overview of adjunct faculty in one place, and I found this useful.

Redesign Of Remedial Community College Math Yields Impressive Results

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s two newly developed community college mathematics pathways, Quantway™  and Statway™, have demonstrated promising results in their initial implementation during academic year 2011-12. The original goal was to double the proportion of community college students earning college-level math credit within one year, an essential milestone for students who must have that credit to continue to further academic study.  This target was far surpassed in just the first year.

Compared to previous developmental math students from their institutions, the 1,131 students enrolled in Statway™ dramatically increased the success rate of passing a college-level math course (with a grade of C or better). Working with institutional researchers at the colleges, Carnegie established baseline performance network-wide. Typically in the Carnegie network colleges, only 6 percent of developmental math students achieved college math credit within one year and only 16.6 percent of students achieved this goal within three years. In contrast, in the first year of Statway™ implementation, 52 percent achieved this milestone. In other words, Statway™ students more than tripled the success rate in one third of the time.

Quantway™ achieved comparable results. The first semester of Quantway™ was launched this spring serving 573 students in eight colleges. Of those students, 54 percent earned a grade of C or better. Because the first semester of Quantway™ can roughly be thought of as a replacement for the combination of elementary and intermediate algebra, Carnegie compared Quantway™ results to baseline data gathered from the same institutions from those courses. Baseline data indicate that only 8 percent of the developmental math students complete a college-level math class in the first year. Assuming 10 percent attrition between terms and the same pass rate in the second term as in the first term, Quantway™ is on track to achieve a 26 percent success rate, which is more than triple the baseline success rate.

USA Colleges Intensify Undergrad Overseas Recruiting

University Rankings Show Boom in Global Student Mobility
“The compilers of a leading league table of the world’s top universities on Tuesday reported an ‘unstoppable rise’ in the numbers of students choosing to travel abroad to study. ‘Global student mobility is on a seemingly unstoppable rise, with those seeking an overseas education targeting the leading universities,’ wrote John O’Leary, an academic adviser to the London-based Quacquarelli Symonds, which produces the annual QS World Universities Rankings. ‘Even after considerable growth in recent years, the latest rankings show an extraordinary rise of almost 10 percent in international student numbers at the top 100 universities.'” via Inside

20 Amazing Changes In College Demographics

There have been some major changes in postsecondary demographics , and here is the most comprehensive list in one place that I have seen. Kaitlyn Cole from sent this to me.

Here’s the link: (

University Of Phoenix: It’s Rise And Recent Turbulence

Here is the story of one of the world’s largest universities  that is in the political spotlight today.

The rise of Phoenix
“’In 1970, adults lacked effective access even to ineffective higher education,’ writes Sperling. ‘Supposedly, the mission of my own university was to serve the entire community, but a working adult wanting to pursue a degree was offered courses designed for kids just out of high school, taught by professors who considered it their job to deliver the subject matter in lectures scheduled for two or three nights per week. With great persistence, an adult learner could expect to earn a degree in 6 to 10 years — for some, it took 20.’”

Should There Be An Alumni Factor In College Rankings?

Time to Up-End College Rankings?
“Student-faculty ratios, graduation rates and cost of attendance all are valid measures of a school’s quality – and are central criteria used in many popular college rankings. But as families grow more concerned about high tuition costs and low job-placement rates, a new ranking system is betting they’ll be more interested in alumni outcomes. That is, the school’s success in graduating men and women who are prepared to meet the demands of today’s job market and workplace. Alumni Factor, launching Monday, weighs data including graduates’ household income, net worth, whether alums would return or recommend the school to others, immediate job placement and more to rank 177 U.S. colleges.”

Courts Rebuff State Efforts To Underfund Illegal Immigrants

In separate decisions over the past month, courts in New Jersey and Florida have rebuffed state efforts to reduce spending on college education by denying low tuition rates and financial aid to American citizens whose parents are illegal immigrants, The New York Times reports. The latest ruling came from a federal court in Florida, which threw out state regulations defining American children of parents without legal immigration status as out-of-state residents, ineligible for tuition breaks at public colleges and universities. Tuition for out-of-state students can be as much as three times the rate for residents. The five students who brought the lawsuit against Florida education officials were born in this country, had been living in Florida for most or all of their lives, and had graduated from public high schools there. In a broad decision, Judge K. Michael Moore of Federal District Court in Miami found the regulations unconstitutional because they “create a second-tier status of U.S. citizenship,” by denying benefits to the students freely available to other Americans. The policy “does not advance any legitimate state interest,” the judge wrote, while it hindered Florida’s goal of “furthering educational opportunities for its own residents.” The lawsuit was brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama.
Read more:

Source: PEN Newsblast