Posts published in March, 2013

State Budget Officers Project Postsecondary Finance Is Unsustainable

A National Association of State Budget Officers’ report concludes that the way states and colleges pay for higher education is unsustainable. The report offers recommendations for state lawmakers and campuses to fix the problems, including a focus on performance, tuition controls, and efficiencies. (Chronicle of Higher Education, 03/27/13)

Transfer Students Have To Take Many Courses Twice

A third of students now transfer sometime during their academic careers, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center says, and a quarter of those change schools more than once. When these students’ credits don’t transfer with them, they churn, seemingly endlessly, in college, piling up debt and wasting time repeating the same courses. It now takes full-time students, on average, 3.8 years to earn a two-year associate’s degree and 4.7 years to get a four-year bachelor’s degree, according to the advocacy organization Complete College America—further increasing the already high cost to families, and, at public universities, states. Only 61 percent of full-time students who set out to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree manage to do it within even eight years, Complete College America reports. The article is from the Hechinger Report ‘

Students With a Few Credits Missing Find A Way to Complete College

The Project Win-Win has helped community colleges and four-year schools in several states find hundreds of ex-students who have either earned enough credits to receive associate degrees or are just a few classes shy of getting them. As the Lumina Foundation-backed project winds down, some participating schools plan to continue the effort on their own. (Huffington Post, 03/17/13)

I have reviewed these posts, and found them packed with useful information

A few days ago we looked at the most important issues to students and parents when it comes to college satisfaction. As a follow up, today we’ve published a report on the factors that persuade students to enroll in a particular college. Please enjoy our infographic on enrollment factors

US Ed Dept Loosens Up On Financial Aid For Learning Versus Credit Hour

Higher Ed Watch 

The U.S. Department of Education took a critical step forward today in moving towards a more flexible and innovative financial aid system-one that privileges (and pays for) learning, rather than time. In a letter released this morning, the Education Department let the world know not only that schools can award federal financial aid based on competency rather than seat time, but that the Department wants them to do so. [Full Article]

Colleges Hate And Love National Rankings

Jeff Selingo writes in The Chronicle of Higher Education: Most presidents will say they don’t care about rankings. They just did so again in a forthcoming survey of campus executives, conducted by The Chronicle, in which presidents put improved U.S. News & World Report rankings dead last in a list of measures by which they judge their success. But that message obviously hasn’t filtered down to their PR officers, who bombard the news media with press releases each fall, when the U.S. News rankings are released, or their marketing teams, which stuff this publication and others with advertising right around the time U.S. News sends its reputation survey to college leaders.

Source: Carnegie Foundation


Successful College Drop Outs Are Rare: Few Become Business Entrepreneurs.

University of Chicago president Robert J. Zimmer published “The Myth of the Successful College Dropout: Why It Could Make Millions of Young Americans Poorer” in The Atlantic online edition.  The article refutes the increasingly pervasive notion that young people would be better off bypassing college in favor of entrepreneurial adventures. Most college dropouts have low incomes with few good job prospects. The few exceptions have been highlighted in the media, and this view is misleading.

Michael Kirst at Senate Education Committee hearing on the Common Core State Standards.

Higher Education Involvment in K-12 Common Core Curriculum

Based on a review of literature and on interviews with individuals involved in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) nationally and in Washington State, Florida, and Kentucky, this NCPR paper outlines the development of the CCSS and the CCSS-aligned assessments, the involvement of higher education representatives in their design  and implementation, and how the CCSS and the aligned assessments can be used to  support the mission of community colleges.


Learn more and download the report at:

K-12 Common Core Curriculum Has Major Implications For Postsecondary Education

Here is my new paper , “The Common Core Meets State Policy:This Changes Almost Everything”. It includes the strong links between k-12 and college readiness in the 46 states implementing Common Core Curriculum. It stresses how California’s 3 systems of higher education work together with k-12 to integrate common core.