In Rules on Campus Sexual Violence, Education Dept. Emphasizes Training

Chronicle of Higher Education - Mon, 2014-10-20 02:55

The new regulations for colleges represent "the most significant change in campus-sexual-assault policy in 20 years," says one expert.

Categories: Higher Education News

Benchmark Survey Finds a Continued Rise in Giving to Colleges

Chronicle of Higher Education - Mon, 2014-10-20 02:55

The stock market’s recent volatility notwithstanding, the country’s improved financial outlook in 2013 contributed to a surge in donations to higher education.

Categories: Higher Education News

The Midwest Revealed: Not Always So Sunny

Chronicle of Higher Education - Sun, 2014-10-19 22:01

Paul Mokrzycki, a doctoral student at the University of Iowa, joined forces with other scholars to create the "Middle West Review."

Categories: Higher Education News

Transitions: U. of Florida Taps Cornell’s Provost as President; Sacred Heart U. Names New Dean

Chronicle of Higher Education - Sun, 2014-10-19 22:01

W. Kent Fuchs will take the helm at the University of Florida, while Robin L. Cautin will lead the College of Arts and Sciences at Sacred Heart.

Categories: Higher Education News

After 3 Decades Away, Scholar of Islamic Finance Returns to Egypt as a Provost

Chronicle of Higher Education - Sun, 2014-10-19 22:01

Mahmoud El-Gamal, an economist, has taken a leave from Rice University to be chief academic officer of the American University in Cairo.

Categories: Higher Education News

In Troubled St. Louis Area, Economist Helps Revive Sociology Dept.

Chronicle of Higher Education - Sun, 2014-10-19 22:01

Steven Fazzari will oversee the return of a department that vanished at Washington University in St. Louis nearly a quarter-century ago.

Categories: Higher Education News

A Test Case for Sexual Harassment

Chronicle of Higher Education - Sun, 2014-10-19 22:01

The University of Colorado’s philosophy department wanted to be an example of how to make the field more civil toward women. Instead, some say, it's become a scapegoat.

Categories: Higher Education News

Publishers Win Reversal of Court Ruling That Favored ‘E-Reserves’ at Georgia State U.

Chronicle of Higher Education - Sat, 2014-10-18 17:52

An appeals court said an earlier decision had misapplied fair-use standards in finding that the university did not violate copyright law.

Categories: Higher Education News

Community Colleges: Helping the U.S. Become “First in the World”

U.S. Department of Education Blog - Fri, 2014-10-17 13:04

About three-quarters of college students in this country attend a community college or public university. President Obama understands the crucial role that community colleges play in helping students and our nation skill up for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. That’s why, in a recent speech on the economy, he called them “gateways to the middle class” – and it’s also why they’re a key part of his ambitious plan to improve higher education in America.

I recently had an opportunity to visit LaGuardia Community College in Long Island, New York where I was able to deliver some exciting news. During my visit, I announced that LaGuardia is among the 24 winners of our new $75 million First in the World (FITW) grant program, designed to fund innovation in higher education in ways that help keep the quality of a college education up, and the costs of a college education within reach, so more students of every background can fulfill their dreams of getting a degree.

As this award made clear, community colleges are often at the forefront of innovation. They also promote the dual goals of academics and career readiness. To learn more about how LaGuardia and countless other community colleges across the country support students, I sat down with a group of them to hear their stories.

Hassan Hasibul, a former cab driver and alumnus of LaGuardia’s Tech Internship Placement Program, explained how he learned to thrive in the workplace and gained new skills – skills that got him noticed. “My internship site hired me, and even gave me a portion of their stock,” he said.

One of the most exciting innovations at LaGuardia, which the FITW grant will support, is the development of an integrated set of tools to increase and enhance student success, including the use of ePortfolios, learning analytics, and outcome assessments. With the extra funding, LaGuardia will help students navigate their educational and career goals as they transfer to other institutions or join the workforce.

Faculty and staff aren’t the only ones helping students make academic and career decisions. Students are also helping other students plot out their courses and career trajectories. Jenny Perez shared her experience in helping her peers. “Even if they aren’t planning on transferring, I help them open their mind about the possibilities in their future,” she said.

For Enes “Malik” Akdemir, who came to the U.S. at age 18, without money or relatives, the LaGuardia faculty and students have become a huge, supportive family. After a year and a half in intense English immersion classes, he discovered his passion for aeronautics.

During a school tour, he stopped to admire a vintage picture of a plane flying over Manhattan. Pointing to the flight deck, I said, “Someday, you’ll be right there.”

“Someday,” he agreed.

Stories like those of Hassan, Jenny and Malik offer a glimpse of the great work happening every day in these incubators of innovation. They also serve as reminders of the clear role that community colleges play in ensuring that. America’s more than 1,100 community colleges are playing a major role in helping to ensure that our higher education system is once again, first in the world. And, every step of progress brings us closer to reaching our North Star Goal – to reclaim our place as the nation with the world’s highest proportion of college graduates.

Ted Mitchell is Under Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education.

Categories: Higher Education News

Boulder Valley School District Shines in Solar-Powered Learning

U.S. Department of Education Blog - Fri, 2014-10-17 08:27

Note: U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognizes schools, districts and postsecondary institutions that are 1) reducing environmental impact and costs; 2) improving health and wellness; and 3) teaching environmental education. To share innovative practices in these three ‘Pillars,’ the Department conducts an annual Green Strides Best Practices Tour of honorees.

Imagine a gymnasium filled with children eagerly raising their hands during a school-wide event when asked the question, “How is electricity at your school produced?” In many of the schools in Boulder Valley School District (BVSD), with our annual 300-plus days of Colorado sunshine, the answer to that question is an enthusiastic “SOLAR POWER!”

We were delighted to showcase our solar program during the 2014 Green Strides Best Practices Tour which visited BVSD Sept 17. Approximately 8 percent of our district-wide energy needs are met by solar, with panels on 28 of our 55 schools. By taking advantage of community partnerships, grants and bond money, we’ve been able to install solar power in schools across the district.

The growing dome greenhouse at Columbine Elementary. (Photo credit: Boulder Valley School District)

The Renew Our Schools Program, for example, helped support the installation of solar panels at Arapahoe Ridge High School and kick-started the creation of a Green Team, who we heard from on the first stop of the tour. This team led efforts to green the school, including competing in BVSD’s Energy Challenge, an effort to conserve energy through behavioral change among building occupants. While the solar panels help raise awareness about alternative energy and give students data to manipulate, student-led conservation measures, such as educating the school community about ways to save energy, auditing the school’s usage and taking follow up action on the findings, lead to even greater energy savings.

Additionally, a bond program in 2006 funded the solar panels and other green features at LEED Platinum Casey Middle School, which was also part of the tour. The solar panels double as cover for bike parking, offering shade and weather protection to the many students who bike to school year-round as part of the Alternative Transportation Program. Teachers at Casey incorporate live data from the Green Touch Screen and hosted Energy Days in which students learned about solar energy and baked cookies using a solar oven, among other interactive lessons. The sun not only provides clean electricity, but floods the school with natural daylight by design, so students and staff can be at their most productive.

During the tour’s stop at Columbine Elementary, before visiting the community supported gardens and growing dome greenhouse, we headed to the rooftop to see the roughly 100kW photovoltaic system. The system is part of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) BVSD signed with Solar City in June 2011. The 14 schools in the agreement have large-scale systems that provide an additional 1.4 MW of solar power for the district and 15 to 30 percent of each school’s electricity. All the schools in the PPA have websites showing live data from the solar panels and real-time energy consumption. These schools are using materials provided by the National Energy Education Development Project and Solar  City for lessons about renewable energy and efficiency, providing standards-based real life examples of sustainability, math and science.

The Sustainability Management System has guided this work, and the District has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars and has significantly reduced our environmental footprint. However, we see the real value from our sustainability efforts in educating our students and using these opportunities to prepare our students to be engaged environmental stewards and successful, life-long learners.

Dr. Ghita Carroll is Sustainability Coordinator at the Boulder Valley School District.

Categories: Higher Education News

As Ebola Fears Touch Campuses, Officials Respond With an ‘Excess of Caution’

Chronicle of Higher Education - Fri, 2014-10-17 02:56

Colleges want to keep their students and employees safe. They also want to avoid causing unnecessary alarm.

Categories: Higher Education News

Hammer, Nails, and Software Bring Thoreau Alive

Chronicle of Higher Education - Fri, 2014-10-17 02:56

Students at SUNY-Geneseo are not just reading Walden. They're building a version of the author’s cabin in the woods, using 19th-century tools.

Categories: Higher Education News

Here Are 88 Weird College-Owned Trademarks, Arranged as a Poem

Chronicle of Higher Education - Fri, 2014-10-17 02:55

Some of them are standard. Others, not so much.

Categories: Higher Education News

Why Colleges Don't Want to Be Judged by Their Graduation Rates

Chronicle of Higher Education - Fri, 2014-10-17 02:55

The government's calculation of the rates ignores millions of potential graduates, a worrisome prospect as a controversial college-rating system is about to be unveiled.

Categories: Higher Education News

Promoting Safe and Supportive Schools

U.S. Department of Education Blog - Thu, 2014-10-16 12:36

Cross-posted from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs blog.

Last week, Secretary Duncan joined representatives from education and juvenile justice organizations at the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Summit on School Discipline and Climate. There, he spoke about the importance of comprehensively supporting our students – and not just when it comes to raising test scores. Our schools should first, and foremost, be safe places to learn and our students should feel secure and valued.

We’d all agree that acting out in school is both disrespectful and disruptive, but should a minor infraction like tardiness or a dress code violation earn a student suspension or expulsion? For some kids, that’s exactly what happens, thanks to zero-tolerance disciplinary policies in place in school districts across the country. What’s even more troubling, too often these removals from school begin a road to academic failure and even later involvement in the juvenile justice system.

Under a promising effort called the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, the Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services, in partnership with philanthropies, are helping to foster safe, supportive, and productive learning environments while keeping students in school. As part of the initiative, on Oct. 6 and 7 we held a National Leadership Summit on School Climate and Discipline that brought together teams of educators and justice system professionals from 20 states and the District of Columbia to discuss how to improve school disciplinary practice and reduce student entry into the juvenile justice system. The summit provided the opportunity for states and local jurisdictions to develop strategies and begin taking steps toward disciplinary and juvenile justice reform. We also announced $4.3 million in grant awards to support activities designed to keep kids in school and out of court.

Kids should be held responsible for their behavior, but there are better alternatives to the harsh disciplinary methods being used in too many districts. By working with schools and justice system professionals, I believe we can find ways to keep our kids in school and on the path to learning and success.

Karol Mason is Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Categories: Higher Education News

When Guns Come to Campus, Security and Culture Can Get Complicated

Chronicle of Higher Education - Thu, 2014-10-16 02:56

The cancellation of a speech by a feminist media critic at Utah State University has revived concerns about safety at institutions in states that allow firearms on campuses.

Categories: Higher Education News

NSF-Backed Scientists Raise Alarm Over Deepening Congressional Inquiry

Chronicle of Higher Education - Thu, 2014-10-16 02:55

Grants to some 50 professors are now being investigated by the Republican-controlled House science committee.

Categories: Higher Education News

As Complaints Over Private Student Loans Rise, Repayment Information Remains Scarce

Chronicle of Higher Education - Thu, 2014-10-16 02:55

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has received 5,300 complaints from borrowers since last October, an increase of 38 percent.

Categories: Higher Education News
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