Higher Education News

The Education Dept. Wants to Hold Colleges Accountable by Reporting Graduates’ Earnings. One Problem: The Data Aren’t All There.

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 13, 2018 - 8:32pm
The soonest such information may be available is late 2019, but the department is likely to finalize the new policy this fall.
Categories: Higher Education News

Maryland’s President Warned of ‘Dormant Volcanoes.’ Now, One Looks Ready to Blow.

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 13, 2018 - 4:28pm
Wallace Loh announced a second inquiry into the University of Maryland’s football program on Saturday after ESPN detailed allegations of verbal abuse and intimidation of athletes.
Categories: Higher Education News

How a Decades-Old Experiment Sparked a War Over the Future of Psychology

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 13, 2018 - 2:00pm
The Stanford Prison Experiment lasted just six days, and it took place 47 years ago. But it has shaped our fundamental understanding of human nature. Now many in the field are wondering: Should it have?
Categories: Higher Education News

Idea Lab: Graduate Education

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 13, 2018 - 1:52pm
Graduate schools are under increasing pressure to change. They need to be better at enrolling underrepresented minorities. They need to train doctoral students so they are prepared for jobs outside of academe. And they need to find ways to shorten how long it takes to earn a Ph.D., especially in the humanities. To help deans, department chairs, and faculty members overcome these challenges, The Chronicle has collected articles and essays from Idea Lab, our section on how colleges solve problems...
Categories: Higher Education News

Idea Lab: Revenue and Costs

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 13, 2018 - 1:49pm
Many colleges face a financial squeeze. This collection of articles offers real-world examples for helping your institution through financial challenges. Buy a copy in the Chronicle store.
Categories: Higher Education News

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Teaching

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 12, 2018 - 5:00pm
New technologies promise to make the classroom experience more interactive and personal, but they also raise concerns about ethics and privacy.
Categories: Higher Education News

A Veteran President Calls on Colleges to Stop the Snobbery

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 12, 2018 - 4:30pm
Hierarchies die hard, but prestige should be based less on exclusivity and more on serving all students, says Elaine Maimon of Governors State University.
Categories: Higher Education News

Education Dept. Proposes Tossing Gainful-Employment Rule, Which Took Aim at For-Profit Colleges

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 10, 2018 - 9:00am
The department plans to bolster the College Scorecard, or a similar public-facing consumer tool, instead of using student-debt levels to hold underperforming institutions accountable. 
Categories: Higher Education News

A UVa Historian Talks About Charlottesville's White-Supremacist Rally a Year Later

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 9, 2018 - 5:32pm
Claudrena Harold discusses the difficult conversations she’s had with students and colleagues at the University of Virginia. “These events tested their faith,” she says.
Categories: Higher Education News

Princeton Will Rename an Archway to Honor a Fugitive Slave

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 9, 2018 - 4:40pm
Like many universities, the Ivy League institution is asking itself how to interact with its ugly past. Naming an arch after former slave who worked there is a step forward, some historians say.
Categories: Higher Education News

Transitions: CUNY Campus Selects New President, U. of Virginia Names Stanford's Law Dean as Provost

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 9, 2018 - 3:47pm
Claudia V. Schrader, CUNY Kingsborough Community College's new chief executive, comes from another campus in the system. University of Virginia's new provost will start next year.
Categories: Higher Education News

#RethinkSchool: From a Junkyard to a STAR School; STAR School Uses Navajo Cultural Values with STEM Projects to Overcome Rural Challenges

U.S. Department of Education Blog | Ed.gov - August 9, 2018 - 2:06pm

Mark Sorensen was fed up with seeing Native American students score lower on standardized tests, graduate at lower rates and be less likely to pursue post-secondary education compared to other groups of students in the U.S.

He had a vision for a charter school that would provide the Native students in his community a culturally inclusive school environment that would motivate them, so he bought a junkyard.

STAR School, located on the edge of the Navajo Nation near Flagstaff, Arizona, serves 145 K-8 students and challenges their application of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to daily life.

Unique Beginnings

“We found some land that was right near the reservation, but there were no power lines, no water lines and no kind of infrastructure,” Dr. Sorensen, director of STAR School said. “This piece of land was a junkyard.”

Dr. Sorensen used his previous experience living off-grid on a ranch as a baseline to learn how to run a school on solar power. Even though it was a highly complex process, STAR School became the first off-grid, solar and wind powered charter school in the country and has received recognition as a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School.

Schools from across the globe have contacted Dr. Sorensen to use STAR School as a model, including members of the Maasai tribe in Kenya.

The Four Rs – Relationships, Respect, Responsibility and Reasoning

STAR stands for Service To All Relations and reflects the school’s commitment to community service and Navajo values, which guide the academic and behavioral focus of the school.

“What’s important to us here is to recognize that this came out of Navajo culture, and it’s what has sustained the people for all these centuries,” Dr. Sorensen said. “We built the sustaining values into how we teach, not just what we teach.”

Dr. Sorensen explained that “peacemaking” is a principle that comes out of the four Rs and is practiced by the staff as well as students.

“After we started teaching and acting according to these values, the incidence of conflicts among students reduced drastically,” Dr. Sorensen said, “and for the past eight years we never had a single fist fight on the campus. I’ve been a principal for over 40 years, and that is incredibly unique.”

This experience at STAR School contrasts with a National Center for Education Statistics report that found American Indian/Alaska Native high school students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property substantially more than Hispanic, African American, White and Asian students.

STEM in the Community

At STAR School, the values of relationships, respect, responsibility and reasoning are used to evaluate real-world problems in the community. As a STEM school, students then use STEM to try to solve them.

“Science means so much more to [students] when they apply it to an actual situation in their community,” Dr. Sorensen said. “The students can be empowered to make the community stronger.”

Students at STAR School helped engineer and build inexpensive, alternative air-conditioning units called bucket coolers using 8 gallon buckets and aquarium pumps. The students were able to install these bucket coolers at their grandparents’ homes, which commonly lacked sufficient cooling for the high desert heat.

The students also help ensure families have fresh drinking water. They test the community’s water quality and then help filter it in a repurposed school bus that has a mobile filtration unit.

“[The students] leave this school going into high school with an idea that science, technology and engineering actually helps their family and their community,” he said. “I know there are some of our graduates who have gone into scientific fields because of what they started learning here.”

The Gift of Being Rural

The STAR School demonstrates the creativity and innovation rural areas bring out of communities and students. Place-based learning introduces and engages students in analytical problem solving while proving students a sense of ownership in their education.

“We have unique gifts. It would be great to see more rural schools linked up to share our gifts, and have people recognize that between 100 and 200 students, there is a wonderful chemistry that can develop for a school that size,” Dr. Sorensen said. “We are a good example of that.”

STAR School is an example of the tremendous possibilities when we rethink school and embrace innovation to focus on students.  How are you rethinking school? If not, why not?


Savanna Barksdale was an intern in the Office of Communications and Outreach.

Continue the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

Note: This is a post in our #RethinkSchool series. The series features innovative schools and stories from students, parents and educators highlighting efforts across the United States to rethink school. Check back on Thursdays for new posts in the series. The #RethinkSchool series presents examples of approaches schools, educators, families and others are using to rethink school in their individual and unique circumstances. Blog articles provide insights on the activities of schools, programs, grantees and other education stakeholders to promote continuing discussion of educational innovation and reform. The Department of Education does not endorse any educational product, service, curriculum or pedagogy.

The post #RethinkSchool: From a Junkyard to a STAR School; STAR School Uses Navajo Cultural Values with STEM Projects to Overcome Rural Challenges appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

One Drink at Dinner, Don’t Set Your Sights on the Highest-Ranked Department, and Other Job-Search Advice From a Professor Who’s Been There

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 9, 2018 - 1:21pm
An economics professor writes a guide that mixes the encouraging, the practical, and the matter-of-fact.
Categories: Higher Education News

Sustaining the College Business Model

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 9, 2018 - 8:38am
This Chronicle report examines sprawl in programs and facilities that many colleges can no longer afford. Case studies profile 11 institutions that are finding additional revenue through new pipelines of students, streamlining operations to control spiraling costs, consolidating to combine efforts, and revolutionizing what they offer. Get your copy of the report to prepare to grapple with costs and revenues in detail – and to leverage both tradition and innovation to pivot in new directions.
Categories: Higher Education News

How One Email From You Could Help Students Succeed

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 9, 2018 - 7:53am
A professor shares some promising results from sending a personalized message to students who failed her first exam -- one example of the kind of “nudge” that can boost student performance.
Categories: Higher Education News

Here’s How Colleges Can Get More Involved in Elections — and Not Just in the Midterms

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 8, 2018 - 10:04pm
A new report from the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University offers recommendations on teaching civic engagement in a time of political discord.
Categories: Higher Education News

How Colleges Are Sparing Birds' Lives and Conserving Energy

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 8, 2018 - 2:06pm
Campus planners and students work together to encourage the use of new window technologies that prevent winged creatures from smashing into glass-facade buildings.
Categories: Higher Education News

What’s a 9-Letter Word for ‘King of CrossWorld’?

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 8, 2018 - 12:26pm
Michael Sharp, a Binghamton University instructor, has spent the last 12 years blogging about crosswords to a devoted following. His site now looks retro, but it's facing all the debates and dilemmas of the modern internet.
Categories: Higher Education News

Facing Calls to Hasten His Departure, USC’s President Steps Aside

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 7, 2018 - 7:11pm
C.L. Max Nikias, plagued by a string of sexual-misconduct scandals at the university, had announced in May that he would leave his post. By this month, faculty were becoming restive.
Categories: Higher Education News

The Koch Institute Is Worried About Free Speech on Campus. But Not in the Way You Might Think.

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 7, 2018 - 6:58pm
Policies and laws that hinder open dialogue, like those being pushed by some conservative groups, will also prevent students from learning from one another, says the institute's director of free expression.
Categories: Higher Education News


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