Higher Education Webcasts

Confessions of a Community College Dean

In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

March 3, 2013 - 10:46pm
Life happens when it happens, but I picked a hell of a week to take a blogging break. The University of Phoenix has been informed that it’s likely to be put on probation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, its regional accreditor.
February 21, 2013 - 9:48pm
Oscar Wilde supposedly once claimed that he would have been a socialist, but he liked to keep his evenings free. All that civic participation would have crimped his style. I was reminded of that this week in discussion with some faculty who were balking at the time commitment involved in serving on search committees. They all believe in heavy faculty involvement in searches, but all that participation really adds up.
February 20, 2013 - 10:19pm
I like this story a lot, even though it’s a little pessimistic. Apparently, Klamath Community College, in Oregon, has decided to make a series of changes to improve student success rates.  Some of the changes are relatively straightforward, such as requiring academic advising and new student orientation. But it has gone farther than that, and eliminated late registration.
February 19, 2013 - 9:23pm
In response to yesterday’s post about the seeming invisibility of the social sciences, a commenter asked me why, if I value the social sciences so highly, I strongly advise against people getting Ph.D.’s in them. Shortly after that, I saw Michael Berube’s essay about graduate admissions, in which he kinda, sorta suggested that they should be cut back, but not unless the departments are willing, and it’s complicated, and anyway aren’t we all “awesome.”
February 18, 2013 - 9:24pm
STEM initiatives are all the rage in academia these days.  They’re popular with policymakers, who see them as a form of high-end workforce development; they’re popular with parents, who see them as high-end job placement; and they’re somewhat popular with students.  At the community college level, developmental math has long been -- and continues to be -- a major challenge for graduation rates; it continues, rightly, to receive substantial attention.
February 14, 2013 - 9:14pm
From the “other duties as assigned” file: yesterday I had to go in for a medical procedure.  In the course of making small talk with the tech, she mentioned that her daughter is looking at colleges, but they’re both worried about student loans.  I mentioned where I work, and for the next half hour, the conversation was all about transfer, comparative tuition levels, student loans, and the difficulty for new grads who can’t find jobs but have huge loans to pay off.  All of this during the procedure.
February 13, 2013 - 9:55pm
I’ve been a fan of Kevin Carey’s for some time.  He gets a lot right, and even when he’s off, he’s interesting. This week he's true to form.
February 12, 2013 - 10:27pm
One of the reasons I like President Obama is that he’s clearly a Dad.  I don’t just mean that he has children; I mean that he’s obviously an involved parent.  (If you haven’t seen the video of the two-year-old at the Medal of Honor ceremony, check it out.  Obama responded as a seasoned parent would.)
February 11, 2013 - 9:37pm
I need some help from my wise and worldly readers on this one.  A longtime reader writes:Do you know of any data, reporting, etc, on the information-seeking habits of transfer students when looking at four-year colleges? I would make a guess that some things are the same, but if there are differences, then we should be taking them into account.
February 10, 2013 - 9:36pm
The last time I wrote about Sandy Shugart, I gave him a bit of a hard time. Based on his essay last week, I regret that.  It’s a wonderful piece, well worth reading. It’s about the “completion agenda,” and the useful and destructive ways that it can be interpreted.

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