Quick Takes: More Reports From the U.S. Commission, MLA Mulls Change in Meeting Dates, Data Released About U.S. Colleges, iTunes Incentive From Saint Joseph

May 18, 2006
  • As it prepared for its fifth meeting today, the U.S. Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education released three more issue papers designed to set the table for its deliberations. The reports, which like previously released papers were commissioned by the panel's chairman, Charles Miller, but do not necessarily represent the views of its members, include a look at better aligning K-12 and higher education curriculums, by Michael W. Kirst of Stanford University and Andrea Venezia of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education; an examination of the interplay of college costs, prices and affordability, by Jane V. Wellman, a higher education researcher; a treatise on regulation of colleges, by Craig W. Parker, general counsel at Catholic University of America; and another exploration of higher education accreditation, by Vickie Schray, a member of the commission's staff. Unlike a previously released paper on accreditation, which proposed replacing the regional system of accreditation with a national one, Schray's paper says that the commission should recommend creating a "working group" that would aim to "transform" the accreditation system in ways that would increase the federal and state role, involve "formally trained and certified independent reviewers" in campus visits, and develop a "national accreditation framework" that focuses on student learning and provides much more information to the public.
  • The Modern Language Association has for years held its annual meeting between Christmas and New Year's -- much to the frustration of thousands of English and language graduate students and professors who cut short their vacations to trade ideas or job hunt. The MLA is now doing a survey to determine if members would prefer a later meeting date, in early January, so people could spend the last week of December doing something else. Any change would be a few years off.
  • The U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics has published a slew of data about various aspects of higher education, as part of its annual Digest of Education Statistics. The report contains information, some of it new, about enrollments, staffing, financial aid, and adult and vocational education, among other things.
  • Saint Joseph College, a women's institution in Connecticut, is offering three free iTunes downloads to high school juniors the college has invited to register on the college's admissions site. College officials hope to encourage more students to check out their institution.
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