Higher Education Quick Takes
While many educators and politicians say that colleges need to increase science and technology enrollments to meet workforce demands, a study being released today suggests that there is no shortage of STEM workers. The study -- by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan but liberal leaning think tank -- finds that:
- Students have already responded to the interest in STEM by majoring in science and technology fields in sufficient numbers to meet workforce demands.
- Only one of every two STEM graduates finds a job in a related field.
- In computer and information science and in engineering, colleges in the United States are graduating 50 percent more students each year than there are jobs in those fields.
- Of computer science graduates who do not enter the IT workforce, 32 percent say it is because they could not find an IT job, and 53 percent say they found better jobs outside of IT.
Montana State University will decertify its faculty union after the affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association conceded defeat in a referendum brought by faculty members who wanted to end collective bargaining. The union had challenged four ballots after a preliminary results showed the faculty members favoring decertification held a five-vote lead. The Montana Board of Personnel Appeals has yet to release an official notice of decertification.
The University of Indianapolis is shutting down its campus in Greece. "[E]conomic conditions in Greece have made it very difficult to continue [operations] according to the high standards of the university and the expectations of our accrediting agency," said a statement from the university. The university will continue an M.B.A. program it operates in Greece for students from Saudi Arabia, and plans to "use that financially viable program as a model for developing new programs on a contract basis," the statement added.
WASHINGTON -- When choosing a college, most prospective students are more in need of help navigating already-available data than they are of more disclosures from colleges and universities, witnesses told the House Committee on Education and the Workforce's Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training during a hearing Wednesday. The hearing, on college transparency, focused less on what colleges should be telling prospective students and more on what can be done to make that information accessible and understandable. Witnesses, including Donald Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University, said they doubted information on students' salaries after graduation was enlightening, although requiring colleges to provide those data has received bipartisan support in Congress in recent months. Students need "better information, not just data," Heller said.
Robert Shearer, formerly the director of environmental health and occupational safety at San Francisco State University, has been charged with 128 felonies related to allegedly taking bribes to award a waste-disposal contract that cost the institution millions of dollars, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The bribes allegedly included $183,000, plane tickets for international travel and a Volvo. Shearer has appeared in court, but has not entered a plea in the case.
Only 28 percent of students at Taiwan's universities say that they interact with faculty members, and only 36 percent participate in class discussions, according to a new study, Taipei Times reported. The study comes at a time that some educators in the country want to encourage students to move beyond memorization to a more active concept of learning. Professors are being urged to ask more open-ended questions in class, so students would be less fearful of having an incorrect answer.
A new law in Washington State, requiring that all statutes be converted to gender-neutral language, has led to the elimination of all "freshmen," (at least as an official term), Reuters reported. From now on, they will legally be "first-year students."
Four men have been charged with hazing in the drowning deaths in the Appomattox River of two freshmen at Virginia State University, The Richmond Times Dispatch reported. Two of the men charged are also Virginia State students. The students were apparently completing an initiation for "Men of Honor," an unrecognized student group. University officials said that they can't bar students -- who are legal adults -- from joining unrecognized groups.