Minor Details

Insights on the college completion agenda, higher education policy, and institutional performance, from James T. Minor of the Southern Education Foundation. Follow him on Twitter.

January 23, 2013 - 10:04pm
When parents, teachers, lawmakers and communities debate over which part of the American education system should receive the most scrutiny or support, adult education, specifically General Educational Development (GED),  is rarely in contention. Conceptually adult education programs serve those who depart school without diplomas and are now seeking a credential to access the workforce or postsecondary opportunities.
September 13, 2012 - 9:21pm
Over the past couple of years the censoring of self-expression has been a hot topic on many campuses. Recently the media washed ashore a new wave of controversy concerning Hampton University’s business school policy that restricts MBA students from wearing their hair in locs (or what is more commonly referred to as “Dread-locs”). This comes on the heels of the brouhaha that developed following the implementation of a written dress code policy at Morehouse College.
August 21, 2012 - 10:18am
In recent years the higher education community has focused more on the role institutions’ play in student success. For a long time the blame for failure has been laid squarely at the feet of students.  If a student dropped out of college it was assumed that they were unmotivated, under-prepared, or lacked the aptitude required to be a college graduate.  The fact that dropouts were admitted meant that they somehow fell through an admissions crack undetected.
July 12, 2012 - 3:41am
For a long time the higher education community has debated the role of trustees, how they should participate in academic governance, and whether trusteeship even matters. There is a good deal of consensus about the latter — yes, trusteeship matters and I argue that it matters more at MSIs.
May 30, 2012 - 9:04am
There has been lots of speculation about the future of HBCUs. While some of this has played out in the media, there is also an on-going conversation within this sector about what needs to happen to ensure a viable and productive future. Both conversations are sensitive in nature complete with nuance and divergent views concerning which directions are best. There are, however, a few clear environmental signs that demand the attention of everyone concerning the future of HBCUs regardless of one’s current position.
February 13, 2012 - 8:27am
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced its plan to develop and release a “College Score Card” intended to assist families compare college costs and net tuitions prices. If you’re wondering whether information on college tuition is already available, the answer is yes. This College Scorecard, however, is partly intended to help families determine “value.” That is, balancing the cost of attendance at particular institutions against measures like graduation rates, loan repayments percentages, and the likelihood of getting a job after graduation.
January 22, 2012 - 8:08pm
The University System of Georgia which governs 35 public colleges and universities recently announced its plan to consolidate eight institutions into four in order to better serve students. Many stakeholders were disappointed by the clandestine nature and pace with which these decisions were made and are concerned about the possible consequences, many of which are yet unknown.
January 9, 2012 - 8:58am
Because the nation is rightly fixed on improving degree completion rates, the discussion about America’s higher education agenda is at risk of becoming so pedestrian that terms like access and success lose their meaning.  In similar fashion, once everyone and everything became “green” it was less clear to me what was meant by a “green economy,” “green jobs” or “green politics.”
November 15, 2011 - 9:24am
This week I will attend my 14th annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) in Charlotte, NC. Each year I learn about which research topics are of interest to this community of scholars and try to gain a sense of which issues have the most potential to change the way we conceive problems or the way higher education professionals practice.
November 2, 2011 - 3:00am
If I were feeling a bit more obtuse this morning I might have titled this entry “Tis the Season for Trying to Assess Student Learning in College.” Now more than ever higher education leaders, the legislative community, and the public are obsessed with having better data about what students actually know and are able to do upon graduation.
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