Posts published in March, 2016

2 New Studies on College Completion

 From ECS
Working to fix the broken freshman year 
In 2015, only a little more than half of students who enrolled in college in 2009 made it to graduation, with the largest percentage dropping out after their freshman year. That’s why 44 state colleges and universities have come together in an attempt to reshape freshman-year programs. (NPR, Feb. 25)
Remedial Education
More work needed on college readiness
Developmental education is a barrier to college completion, higher education experts agree, yet most students are not prepared for college-level work and are not successful in remedial courses, according to a report. (Community College Daily, Feb. 23)


10 Big Shifts Coming In Higher Education

Here are the 10 higher-education trends identified by Chronicle of Higher Education reporters and editors, with help from people whose jobs put them on the front lines of academe every day:

 A fresh wave of attacks on free speech, often coming from students. Instructors (and even student debaters) are under pressure to provide students with trigger warnings, meant to warn them of potentially upsetting topics. Also contributing to the trend are student protests denouncing a hostile campus climate, and the emergence of watchdog groups that scrutinize campus speech for bias. Some colleges are fighting back.

 Efforts by colleges to combat sexual assault by creating new cultural norms on the campus. Under pressure to make sure their handling of sexual-assault cases will stand up under Title IX, some institutions are proactively educating students about the meaning of consent and the importance of intervening to prevent sexual violence.

 The growing use of metrics to measure faculty productivity. Colleges have new tools to see how their professors stack up, and they’re not afraid to use them. Faculty critics say the tools provide an incomplete and inaccurate picture of their jobs.

 The need for college leaders to react quickly to events that could quickly spin out of control. “Reactive” used to be seen as a negative label, but in the age of social media, when leaders can no longer control the campus agenda, the ability to react has become a survival skill.

 Widespread attacks on shared governance. The traditional model of shared governance is eroding as more governing boards make unilateral changes that ignore faculty opinion, such as appointing someone from outside academe as president. Boards are reacting to fiscal pressure, political heat, and complaints about the cost and value of a degree.

 The outsourcing of services that are a core part of a college’s mission. It’s not unusual for colleges to turn the operation of campus bookstores and cafeterias over to private companies, but now they’re also outsourcing some key academic services, like advising and even teaching.

 Increased scrutiny of academic research. Corporate influence and outright fraud have undermined the credibility of scientific research. Meanwhile, some fields have been tainted by research scandals involving fabrication and the inability to replicate results.

 A movement to overhaul the college transcript. Some colleges are adding new types of information to transcripts to better reflect what students have learned and accomplished. An expanded and digitized transcript may lead to “the quantified student,” but it could also provide a powerful accountability metric that allows colleges to track graduates.

 The rise of the instructional designer. As online learning and new classroom technologies spread, the demand for instructional designers — who develop courses that others may teach — is growing.

 A reliance on better marketing to survive enrollment challenges and create a stronger institutional identity. The golden rule: Know who your students are, and figure out how best to serve them.


9 Helpful Tools You Can Use To Make Your First Resume Perfect

By Michael Yarbrough

First impressions are vitally important in business. One of the best ways to make a good impression on your prospective employer is to send an outstanding resume. Unfortunately, students don’t normally have enough experience in writing resumes, and the first time doing so can be rather challenging for them. Since a professionally written resume is the first step in landing a good position, you must learn how to do it well. That’s why I’d like to recommend a list of helpful tools that will help polish your first resume.

  1. Unplag

Students tend to use as templates those resumes that are available on the Internet. However, there is the danger of inadvertently plagiarizing content. There’s no doubt that employers are interested in those candidates that put solid efforts into writing a nice resume. For this reason, it is recommended to use plagiarism detection software, and Unplag serves that purpose well. Students upload resumes to the library and scan them against each other or against the Internet.

  1. Super Resume
    This site’s collection of free resume templates can be a valuable aid to beginners. Of course, students are to remember about the risk mentioned above (using resumes without changes), but a good example is always a plus. If students use templates reasonably and with good common sense, Super Resume is one of the most useful resources for those students who make the first steps in a successful job search.
  2. CV Maker

This is an alternative tool to the one mentioned above. CV Maker also has a number of templates for a resume. The interface is simple, so it won’t take much time and efforts to figure out how to use it. You’ll just need to fill out the various fields: Basic Information, Objective, Work Experience, Qualifications, Education, Computer Skills, Interests, and References.

  1. Vizualize
    This is another resource that provides you with a number of resume templates to choose from. However, besides appealing themes and styles, you can also present your data in some new formats. For example, demonstrate your language skills via language maps or skill bubble charts, create pictograms, tree-maps and statistics, display your work experience in timelines and use other features. If you log in to Vizualize via your LinkedIn profile, your job experience information will be automatically transferred to the Vizualize profile.
  2. Branded Me
    This is a resource for designing professional web pages. It’s possible to sign up with your LinkedIn or Facebook accounts and get your profile data transferred to the Branded Me page. One more attractive option available here is Connect. Branded Me users can stay in touch with their friends, colleagues, and employers by adding them as connections on the website.
  3. Hemingway Editor
    Hemingway Editor works in the following way: You paste your text into the field on the website and immediately get results. Hemingway Editor highlights errors, adverbs, passive voice, and long or overly complicated sentences. What’s more, the editor has a readability scale of one to ten, and your text gets a ranking when you check it. Thanks to these marks you’re able to see any serious drawbacks in your resume and correct them right away.
    This online resume builder has a detailed questionnaire that provides your future employer with detailed information about your achievements, goals, skills, and personal traits. A convenient interface allows you to fill it out with your credentials step by step – personal data, timeline, infographics, portfolio, education, and work examples.
  5. Visual CV
    A good resource to create resumes, portfolios, and personal landing pages is found on this site. The variety of templates offered through this website is very rich. Moreover, these templates look more original than those offered on the majority of web resources, even while maintaining a professional look. It’s a chance to make your resume design unique and memorable.
  6. RezScore

RezScore is a resource that scores resumes online. You upload one and immediately get an A, B or C score for it along with a report. Both Summary and Tips for Improvement sections inform you what exactly you should do to make your resume better. Users can also see in what industries their resume will be strongest, what skills you have, and what personality traits you have. The latter is a helpful section because it lets you know how your potential employers will probably see you.

Now you know how to make a good first impression. The next step is a job interview, and you need to get ready for it as thoroughly as possible to present yourself in the most favorable light.


Michael is a former school teacher, currently working as an ESL tutor. Teaching is his favorite way of finding inspiration. In spare time he enjoys volunteering and provides a lot help to wild and homeless animals. Connect with Michael via Twitter and Linkedin.