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City College of N.Y. President Is Cleared in Dispute Over Spending From Arts Fund

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 16, 2016 - 2:55am
An investigation followed accusations that she had improperly used some $600,000 to pay adjuncts' salaries.
Categories: Higher Education News

Stresses on Doctoral Programs May Be Taking a Toll on Applications, Data Suggest

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 16, 2016 - 2:55am
A survey by the Council of Graduate Schools found a 4.3-percent decrease in applications from 2014 to 2015. Whether that represents a blip or a trend remains to be seen.
Categories: Higher Education News

What It Will Take for Missouri to Meet Its Faculty-Diversity Goal

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 16, 2016 - 2:55am
The university, rocked by campus protests last year, has unveiled an ambitious multimillion-dollar plan. But experts say the follow-through will be as important as the rollout.
Categories: Higher Education News

Innovation — Everyone Says It’s the Answer, but Is It What Colleges Need?

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 16, 2016 - 2:53am
Many people in higher education are working to make college more accessible and effective. Even some who are succeeding, though, acknowledge that praise and money tend to follow what’s "new" more than what works.
Categories: Higher Education News

Professors Are Nerds. Or So Your iPhone Would Have You Believe.

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 16, 2016 - 2:37am
The new Apple update links professors with the "nerd face" emoji. Some professors are taking that association in stride.
Categories: Higher Education News

Former Law Dean Accused of Harassment Sues Berkeley

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 15, 2016 - 12:36pm
Sujit Choudhry says the University of California tried to damage his career and employment prospects over a sexual-misconduct investigation.
Categories: Higher Education News

Residence-Life Officials, What's the Worst Roommate Spat You've Ever Had to Deal With?

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 15, 2016 - 12:27pm
A recent viral email from one college roommate to another prompts the question: How bad does it get?
Categories: Higher Education News

Florida A&M President Will Step Down After Rocky Tenure

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 15, 2016 - 9:33am
The university's Board of Trustees voted 10 to 1 to end Elmira Mangum's contract six months early.
Categories: Higher Education News

Veteran Teacher Shares Hopes for the New Year

U.S. Department of Education Blog - September 15, 2016 - 6:00am

Secretary King and senior officials got on the bus and went back to school this week during #OpportunityTour, which visited exemplary PK-12 schools and institutions of higher education and celebrated local ideas and initiatives across several southern states, including Alabama. This week’s edition of Voice from the Classroom brings us perspective from the 2008 Alabama Teacher of the Year, Dr. Pamela Harman.

After teaching for more than 20 years, I can say that everything about a new school year is exciting (except maybe having to wear shoes).

When I was a new teacher, the beginning of the school year intimidated me. I was nervous about both my content knowledge and my pedagogy. So my goals for the year focused on improving my practice and strengthening my teaching skills. I worked to deepen my science content knowledge, and I developed a repertoire of instructional skills and habits of mind necessary to promote my students’ success and capacity for life-long learning. It was difficult for me to push students’ learning because I was still honing the skills I needed to teach and evaluate it.

Now, with 20 years under my belt, I still want to improve my teaching, but my primary objective for the year is about my students — how I can push them beyond what they think they can learn. As a science teacher, I want to help my students develop the skills to master the Next Generation Science Standards. These standards require students to critically evaluate content, data and ideas, and communicate their learning through argument-driven inquiry. My primary goal is to create a classroom culture that supports students as they ask questions, collect data, summarize the evidence, and craft arguments to justify their answers to their questions.

The pressure is on me, but it’s an exciting, positive pressure. This is not how I learned science. It is more rigorous and challenging. Many students are not accustomed to taking ownership of their learning in this way. Some are reluctant to accept that they have something valuable to contribute.

From experience, I have learned that every student has untapped learning potential. This potential is released when students gain confidence in their abilities, as I continually support their learning. My hope is that I will be able to help my students move ever closer to their best version of themselves; that they will learn more than they thought they could; and they will come to expect even more from themselves. My hope for this year is that students will recognize the potential I already see in them — and strive to exceed it.

Dr. Pamela Harman is the 2008 Alabama Teacher of the Year and a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY).  Dr. Harman holds a Doctorate in Teacher Leadership, a Master of Geosciences from Mississippi State University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Earth and Space Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has been teaching in the Hoover City School system for 20 years. She is a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps and a National Board Certified Teacher.

The post Veteran Teacher Shares Hopes for the New Year appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

Newly Named Species Find Their 15 Minutes of Fame. Thanks, Obama.

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 15, 2016 - 2:55am
A handful of researchers have named their recent discoveries for the president. With that decision comes publicity and, for some, regret.
Categories: Higher Education News

A New Financial-Aid Timeline Could Reshape Admissions. Here’s How Colleges Are Preparing.

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 15, 2016 - 2:55am
Some institutions have pushed to send admitted students earlier notifications of their aid — even if that means setting tuition earlier. Others are taking a wait-and-see approach.
Categories: Higher Education News

How to Produce Students Who Can Change the World

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 15, 2016 - 2:55am
Robert Sternberg shares his vision for "what universities can be."
Categories: Higher Education News

Faculty Union Declares Victory as Lockout at Long Island U. Ends

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 14, 2016 - 8:12pm
Professors on the Brooklyn campus will resume teaching on Thursday. The university had barred them from the campus since September 3 amid contentious contract talks.
Categories: Higher Education News

Athlete Accused by Chapel Hill Student Faces Sexual-Assault Charges

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 14, 2016 - 7:01pm
The football player, now suspended from the team, faces misdemeanor offenses in connection with the woman's accusations this week. A police investigation is continuing.
Categories: Higher Education News

After Closing Campuses, ITT Says It Will Cease Operations Entirely

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 14, 2016 - 2:33pm
In a federal filing on Wednesday, the for-profit educator made its demise official.
Categories: Higher Education News

UMass-Lowell Will Hand Out Mini-Harambes at Soccer Game

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 14, 2016 - 1:57pm
The first 100 students at the event will receive plush dolls of the gorilla, who was shot at the Cincinnati Zoo in May after a boy fell into his enclosure.
Categories: Higher Education News

ACC Moves Championships Out of North Carolina

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 14, 2016 - 12:24pm
The Atlantic Coast Conference says the games will be played at neutral sites to avoid the state's controversial new law commonly known as the "bathroom bill."
Categories: Higher Education News

Chicago State U. President to Leave After 9 Months

Chronicle of Higher Education - September 14, 2016 - 12:02pm
The departure is another in a string of hits for the embattled institution, which laid off 300 employees this year.
Categories: Higher Education News

Choosing a College Easier with the College Scorecard

U.S. Department of Education Blog - September 14, 2016 - 10:00am

Even though my father was a guidance counselor, choosing a college was still an overwhelming process. There were few independent reviews of colleges and no real way of knowing if the information I found was accurate. Unearthing lesser known, high quality colleges outside of my region was tough. It was even tougher to figure out if a college’s students found jobs after graduating or even graduated at all. In short, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

The College Scorecard, called for by President Obama, solves this challenge by giving everyone – students, families, guidance counselors and non-profits – access to a whole host of data verified by the U.S. Department of Education on thousands of institutions across the nation in an easy-to-use online tool. College is still the best investment a person can make in them self—bachelor’s degree-holders earn roughly $1 million more over their lifetimes than high school graduates. The College Scorecard makes choosing between thousands of institutions easier by providing simple to understand information on institutions’ incoming students and the graduating students’ outcomes. Along with 1.5 million other folks, I’m using the Scorecard as I help my daughter in her college search.

Today, we updated the Scorecard as a part of our first annual data refresh. It includes updates to our data on college completion, debt and repayment statistics, and post-college earnings. This refresh now brings the College Scorecard to 19 years of higher education data that is made available, encompassing over 1,700 data points across 7,000 institutions. Also, we highlighted key efforts to measure accurate completion rates and other student outcomes, including the Student Achievement Measure and the Voluntary Framework of Accountability.

Since its redesign in September 2015, the Department has improved the Scorecard to make it better for you. For example:

  • In December 2015, we held a Technical Review Panel with representatives of institutions, researchers, web developers, higher education associations, and other experts, where we talked about improvements to the College Scorecard website, data, and Application Programming Interface (API) – a tool to make our data more easily accessible for the development of new applications and tools by outside developers (to date, over 600 developers have accessed the Scorecard API).
  • In January 2016, we added nearly 700 additional institutions that predominately grant certificates to the Scorecard for users to have even more options when searching the website.
  • In March 2016, through an interim data update, we removed closed institutions and updated our “caution flags” for schools facing financial or federal compliance issues. Providing information about institutions under review by the Department helps ensure accountability for schools and protect the interests of students.

And we’re not done yet. The higher education landscape is changing, and this tool will itself change over time. We’re working to integrate the College Scorecard into the FAFSA; considering other cautionary indicators that students should be aware of before enrolling in an institution, and continuously improving the quality of our data, particularly around completion rates.

We’re working hard to make sure the Scorecard keeps up with students’ needs. Check out the updated College Scorecard and stay tuned for more!

Ted Mitchell is U.S. Under Secretary of Education.

The post Choosing a College Easier with the College Scorecard appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

Research on Distance Ed and Technological Advancements: An Update on DETA

WCET Frontiers Blog - September 14, 2016 - 6:13am
What’s Been Up?

The National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) is wrapping up its second year of a national U.S. Department of Education funded effort to conduct rigorous research to identify key factors influencing student success in blended, online, and competency-based education.

The DETA Research Toolkit was launched in 2015 intended to help overcome the lack of research literacy in distance education practice and the methodological disciplinary divisions by providing a common language for educators to conduct research. It contains guides on designing experimental and survey research, support for data collection through institutional warehoused data and student surveys, a student survey instrumentation packet for dozens of meaningful measures, data codebooks to facilitate merging of data sets, and more. Notably, the DETA Research Toolkit has been downloaded by almost 600 individuals in every state of the U.S. and in over 20 countries throughout the world in less than a year.  These research tools facilitate cross-institutional empirical data collection examining students, courses, programs, and institutions to identify instructional and institutional practices that influence student outcomes, in particular for underrepresented students.

As shared on the WCET Frontiers blog last fall, DETA Subgrant Awards included a competitive proposal process to identify and fund faculty and institutional partners to employ these research designs to address top questions in distance education as outlined in toolkit. These top research questions were developed at a national summit held last year bringing 50 experts from across the country to guide the DETA research agenda.  Since last fall, several institutions have partnered with DETA to conduct research at their institutions, including Oregon State University, University of Central Florida, California State University Fullerton, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Florida SouthWestern State College, San Diego Community College District, Montana State University, and WCET.  Each of these institutions collected student data in survey or quasi-experimentally designed studies in the Spring 2016 semester and completed preliminary analysis over the summer months.  Several were part of cross-institutional studies. With a good foundation of national research, we look forward to bringing on several new partners this fall.

What’s Coming Up?

We still have several studies in which we are looking for institutional partners for a fall data collection.  Interested in being a DETA Partner? The data collection consists of DETA gathering institutionally warehoused data, most likely from your student information system, and the administration of a survey to your blended, online, or competency-based education students. Please complete this form to show your interest.

We are working on preparing a series of DETA Research Briefs and DETA Webinars to help share the findings of our research. The research briefs will be 2-page documents that contain an abstract, introduction, methods, results, and conclusions.  The webinars will go into much more detail explaining the university or college demographics, particulars about their online courses and programs, description of the intervention, if applicable, recommendations for future research, and implications for practice.  This series will be coming later this fall.

We are putting together a special edition of the Online Learning Journal of DETA-supported research that will be released in 2017. The special edition will contain 8 peer-reviewed journal articles highlighting DETA research designs. Each article will discuss implications for future research and practice.

We are looking to release DETA Research Toolkit 2.0 this fall.  We are currently looking for contributors and reviewers. Feel free to email us to express your interest.

Tanya Joosten explaining DETA’s research agenda and the Toolkit.

Learn More about DETA at the WCET Annual Meeting

Join the DETA Community in Minneapolis! We will be at the WCET Annual Meeting next month holding sessions to bring folks together, share research, and discuss challenges and opportunities in conducting research in an effort to build a community to increase awareness of research being conducted, build collaborations in research and funding, and support each other in conducting rigorous research. If you are interested in attending our sessions, helping facilitate a session, or presenting at one of the sessions, check out more details. There will be primarily 3 sessions that you can attend:

  1. A workshop: Creating and Diffusing Online Instructional & Institutional Practices From Data & Evidence. With a goal of discovering how we turn our research findings into practice, this workshop is a roundtable brainstorming discussions that takes findings from a cross-institutional study and challenges the participants on determining how to interpret these findings, turn them into practice, and develop diffusion processes across the institution.
  2. A lightning round session: Research in Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) (Part 1/2).  With a goal to increase everyone’s awareness of research being conducted, we will hear from awardees and others who are conducting research in distance education at their respective institutions. Each researcher will briefly describe their study in a lightning round format of 5 minutes and 5 slides per presenter.
    Note: If you are interested in presenting, please contact DETA via email. We encourage all folks conducting research no matter how big or how small to come share.
  3. A small group discussion: Research in Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) (Part 2/2).  With a goal of better understanding how DETA can support research in this area, participants will gather in small groups to discuss a) challenges in conducting research and needs of the research community, b) possible solutions or resources to meet needs and overcome challenges, and c) opportunities for funding and collaboration. In previous DETA community discussions, we identified some of the top challenges in conducting research. We have been working to identify and implement recommendations to  increase each individual’s and institution’s capacity to carry out DETA Research. Come ready to ask questions, pose problems, brainstorm solutions, share opportunities for funding or collaboration, and more!

Tanya Joosten, PhD
Director, eLearning Research and Development, Academic Affairs
Co-Director, National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


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