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Monday, August, 13, 2012

Life After College: The Challenging Transitions of the Academically Adrift Cohort

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Josipa Roksa and Richard Arum stirred up a great deal of conversation at SCUP–46. (SCUP members, and others who attended, can view video of Roksa and Arum’s plenary session in the SCUP–46 proceedings.) In this Change magazine article, they report on their research about what’s happening in the lives of recent college grads.

In this study, we explore how recent college graduates have navigated transitions into adult roles in this time of economic crisis. While these transitions are often rife with difficulties, college graduates today are facing unique obstacles in cutting a path toward independence and economic self-reliance.

These challenges are worthy of note, as early transitions tend to shape long-term trajectories, giving initial outcomes lifelong consequences. In his pioneering study of children born in the 1920s (i.e., shortly before or during the Great Depression), Glen Elder documented the profound effects that early experiences of economic hardships can have on human development, not only in the formative years but also throughout life (Elder, 1974).

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Monday, August, 06, 2012

Moving From Dining Centers to Community Centers—Helping Students Build Social Integration

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This slide set from the recent conference of the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I) is worth a look. (If this link does not take you right to the session, just select “guest” at the login prompt and filter for a portion of the title.)

Longitudinal studies of the ACUHO-I/EBI Resident Assessment indicate that satisfaction with personal space and dining services has improved while personal interaction has declined. Since personal interaction is the top predictor of a student's perception of the effectiveness of the residence hall and an important component to student development, it is vital that programs better understand and work to improve personal interaction. We propose that getting creative in the use of the dining facility could promote student interaction.

Research [was] presented showing the trend of declining personal interactions. Linking research to practice, representatives from a large dining program will discuss how they turned their dining centers into community centers where students come together for events, movies, and special programming. They also have "random acts of food" popping up around halls and events centered on interaction. Come to this program to learn about national trends, learn from a very creative dining operation how they?re supporting student interactions, and brainstorm other ways that dining facilities can be used to help promote student interaction.

Note that this fall's SCUP Pubs Campus-Space MOJO will visit student housing as a topic from October 27–November 7. ACUHO-I will be joining us. Why don’t you?

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Monday, August, 06, 2012

A New Analysis of Spending—Amounts and Patterns—of Three Different Liberal Arts Colleges

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A study of how money is spent at three different liberal arts colleges. The title link, abnove, takes you to the Inside Highezr Ed story about it. Here is a PDF of the full report

The three (kept anonymous in the study to encourage full release of data) are similar in their size (1,560 to 1,648 enrollments), mission, academic offerings, the breadth of student activities and athletics, and loyal alumni. Students at all three institutions say that they picked them for their personalized approach to education and close contact with faculty members. Students give all three institutions high marks. (Lapovsky consults with colleges on their financial strategies; she said only one of the three colleges is a client.)

But the three institutions are also very different: in what they charge students, in their expectations of faculty, in their support for student activities, and in their admissions competitiveness."

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Monday, August, 06, 2012

Anatomy of a Campus Construction Project

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An examination of the University of Akron's newest residence hall, and some of the planning that took place to make it happen.

The days of bond-funded campus buildings and two-dimensional architectural drawings are drawing to a close at many public universities. The money, for now, is available through public-private partnerships, and plans are made in three dimensions, making for an easier sell to top decision makers.

Campus construction, particularly residence halls, starts with projections meant to keep a college or university years—sometimes decades—ahead of student demand. Those projections, once passed along the campus’s chain of command, tell the mathematical story: We’ll need more dorms, or we won’t.

That’s how it started at the University of Akron (UA), a 220-acre campus with 29,000 students.

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Sunday, August, 05, 2012

The Diane Rehm Show: Universities Shift to Online Learning

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Did you know that you can listen to podcasts of Rehm’s shows (or read its transcript)? Here’s the description of this higher ed conversation with some heavy hitters:

The nation’s top universities have traditionally offered courses to an elite few. Only qualified students with enough financial resources need apply. But today, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are enrolling in classes at universities like Stanford and MIT. These higher ed institutions and many more now provide free online classes to anyone, anywhere. At the same time, other universities are offering on-campus students the opportunity to enroll in a growing number of online classes. As universities move toward instruction online, observers say higher education—and possibly the business model—is being redefined. Diane and her guests discuss the new generation of online learning and what it means for the future of higher education.

Guests on the show included Daphne Koller, founder of Coursera and professor at Stanford University; Jeffrey Selingo editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education; Kevin Carey director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation; and Peter Struck professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Sunday, August, 05, 2012

Leaner, Meaner State U—Kevin Kiley Reports on NACUBO 2012

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This is a must-read. Kevin Kiley thinks and writes well, and there is a great deal in this piece of interest and value to those who plan for the future of higher education. 

What are they thinking, over there where the purse strings are? Here’s what:

Public university employees can expect two things from their universities over the next few years: new programs with an emphasis on increasing tuition revenues, and a whole host of “operational efficiency” initiatives designed to get more bang for each buck.

Much of the focus here at the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers has been on how public universities, particularly large research institutions, can change their underlying financial models to accommodate a "new normal” of decreased state appropriations and increased emphasis on tuition revenue, while dealing with increase political pressure to constrain tuition prices.

“If we are going to change how we deliver higher education, it is going to require new ways of thinking,” said Elson Floyd, president of Washington State University, at a session entitled “The Changing Financial Model of Public Universities.”

These just a couple of the issues Kiley identifies and writes about in his excellent coverage of NACUBO’s annual meeting.

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Sunday, August, 05, 2012

'College is Worth It,' Say Emerging Adults

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Clark University recently conducted a study of 1,000 1,000 young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 “to determine their views on a variety of subjects including work and the economy; love, sex and marriage; use of social media; relations with parents; and what it means to be an adult. Respondents come from a range of social, ethnic and educational backgrounds, as well as geographic regions across the United States.”

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s top CEOs all skipped college.  PayPal’s CEO and Co-Founder Peter Thiel is paying $100,000 to young inventors to drop out of college and get started on their inventions now.  But, despite the trend (and temptation) of focusing on the “now,” a new survey reveals that young people widely see the value of taking their time to get a college degree –whether they have attained one or not.

Regardless of the potential debt waiting for them after graduating, college costs are well-spent, they report, even though they may not find the right job immediately following graduation.  And, with all the dire news about the job market for their generation, nearly all those surveyed believe th

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Sunday, August, 05, 2012

Art-Science Collaborations—The Future of X by Allison Carruth

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A short (less than 5 minutes) video worthy of a brief work break, especially as this type of collaboration requires a great deal of planning, and has been the focus of many SCUP presentations, as well as a 2010 regional event* at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

"I see the future being one in which the arts reclaim their central role as interlocutor, critic, visionary, but also co-developer of technology," Carruth explains. In this short interview, the UCLA professor describes cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary work being done at the intersection of biology, art, and ethics, with applications like in vitro meat. Since NASA began developing it in the 1970s, in vitro meat has presented an opportunity to combine science and culture to create a more ethical and resource-efficient food source. The Future of X, a new series on the Atlantic Video channel, looks at what's on the horizon for culture, technology, business, and politics.

*Here is what associate professor and chair of psychology at St. Edward's University, Russ Frohardt, said about his experience at that SCUP North Atlantic event:

I have glimpsed the future of successful education in this country. I attended the [SCUP conference] and was provided a sense of clarity regarding the kind of goals, resources and leadership that are essential for delivering successful education in a global community in the immediate and distant future. 

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Sunday, August, 05, 2012

'No More Excuses': Michael M. Crow on Analytics

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Quote of the Week

We're next headed away from hard, confined definitions of learning timeframes. We're trying to change from the old agricultural cycle—or whatever it is that semesters are currently based on, because nobody really knows—to cycles based on learning outcomes. That might mean a course could take two years and other courses could take three weeks. How can we allow students to individualize their learning in a structured institution? We're looking to use technology and analytics to help us move into a much less constrained time structure.

Diana Oblinger, of EDUCAUSE, interviewing Michael M. Crow, president of ASU. These are two of SCUP’s favorite prognosticators. Where do they think higher ed is going? Worth a look at ‘No More Excuses’: Michael M. Crow on Analytics

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Monday, July, 30, 2012

Future of Higher ED: 202 Through the Eyes of Tech Experts


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New PEW Study on the Future of Higher Ed, as Seen by 1,021 Tech Experts

We’re pretty sure that you know some of the names quoted in the opening of this really nice report. This is a must-read for the external scanning process for those currently engaged in strategic planning:

In the Pew Internet/Elon University survey of 1,021 Internet experts, researchers, observers and users, 60% agreed with a statement that by 2020 “there will be mass adoption of teleconferencing and distance learning to leverage expert resources … a transition to ‘hybrid’ classes that combine online learning components with less-frequent on-campus, in-person class meetings.” Some 39% agreed with an opposing statement that said, “in 2020 higher education will not be much different from the way it is today.”

Among the majority expecting much more dependence upon online components in higher education in the future, many bemoaned it. “They are worried over the adoption of technology-mediated approaches that they fear will lack the personal, face-to-face touch they feel is necessary for effective education,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project. “Most noted that economic forces will compel the changes. Yet, a share of this group was excited about the possibility for universities to leverage new online capabilities and peer-to-peer collaborations that they believe would enhance knowledge creation and sharing.”

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