Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

January 10, 2014

Career Colleges of America, a three-campus institution that focuses on medical training, appears ready to close its doors, The Press-Enterprise reported. The newspaper said that the for-profit institution faced significant financial problems, including having been put on "cash management" status by the U.S. Department of Education. The Los Angeles Times reported that the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training had formally alerted the college's officials Wednesday that its accreditation had been revoked. Officials from the institution could not be reached for comment, but an official of the state's for-profit-college association told the Press-Enterprise that he believed the institution was poised to close.

 

 

January 9, 2014

A student's request at York University in Canada has set off a debate over conflicting rights, The Globe and Mail reported. The student is male and enrolled in an online course, and he has objected to a requirement for a group work project that would require him to meet in person with some students, including female students. He says a public meeting with women would violate his religious beliefs. The professor wants to reject the request, saying that to grant it would endorse a biased view of women. But the university says that the professor should grant the request out of deference to religious beliefs. The student's religion has not been identified.

 

January 9, 2014

Cengage Learning, the second-largest higher education publisher in the U.S., on Tuesday announced it has formed a partnership with Knewton to provide adaptive learning technology in a handful of its products. Cengage will use Knewton technology in the company's MindTap platform, an interactive textbook reader. The technology will first appear in the management and sociology disciplines, a Knewton spokesman said.

The partnership is the latest in a series for Knewton, which provides its technology to publishers such as Cambridge University Press and Pearson. Cengage is in the midst of restructuring after the company filed for bankruptcy protection in July.

January 9, 2014

A new report from MDRC, a nonprofit social policy research organization, describes promising efforts to help the 39 million adult Americans who lack a high-school credential successfully transition to college. The report looks at three general types of adult education reforms: efforts to increase the rigor of adult instruction and the standards for earning a credential; GED-to-college "bridge" programs; and interventions that allow students to enroll in college while simultaneously completing the requirements for a high school degree. LaGuardia Community College has a particularly successful GED bridge program, according to the report.

January 9, 2014

Okay, that was a cheap ploy. Yes, the contest is winter-themed this month, but it really has nothing to do with the Arctic Vortex. But you clicked, right? Please click here to submit a caption for this month's cartoon contest, and visit this page to vote for your favorite among the three finalists chosen by our panel of judges for last month's drawing. You offered lots of good captions for them to choose from.

And please join us in congratulating the winner of November's Cartoon Caption Contest: Tom Panettiere, associate director of financial aid and scholarships at the State University of New York at Purchase.

His submission for the cartoon at left -- The college, ever mindful of its job placement reporting, was glad to be able to count Jinny Barholomew as both a "pilot" and as an "advertising executive" due to a gray area in the regulations. -- earned the most votes from our readers. He will receive an Amazon gift certificate and an original of the cartoon signed by Matthew Henry Hall.

Thanks to all for participating.

January 9, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Wing Yee (VerBon) Cheung of the University of Southampton explains why how we think about the past can influence attitudes about the future. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

January 9, 2014

WASHINGTON -- The Education Department is convening a panel of experts to make public presentations later this month on how the Obama administration should develop a federal college ratings system, a department spokesman said Tuesday.

The National Center for Education Statistics, the department’s research arm, will host a symposium on January 22 featuring “experts on empirical methods for measuring performance, metric development, and state and federal postsecondary data and data collection and dissemination infrastructures,” according to a forthcoming department announcement. 

Officials have asked the attendees to make presentations based on the department’s December request for information on how it should piece together a ratings system. In that notice, official sought answers to 30 questions, including information on what kinds of data are available, how they should be weighted in a ratings system, and how best to present ratings information to consumers.

The daylong event will be held at the Education Department’s K Street offices here and will be open to the public. A department spokesman Tuesday confirmed the following list of experts who will be presenting:

  • Braden Hosch, State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • Brandon Busteed, Gallup
  • Christine Keller, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
  • Dana Mukamel, University of California at Irvine
  • David Figlio, Northwestern University
  • Don Hossler, Indiana University
  • Hans L’Orange, State Higher Education Executive Officers association
  • John Pryor, University of California at Los Angeles
  • Kevin Carey, New America Foundation
  • Patrick Kelly, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems
  • Patrick Perry, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
  • Robert Kelchen, Seton Hall University
  • Robert Morse, U.S. News & World Report
  • Roger Benjamin, Council for Aid to Education
  • Russell Poulin, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Cooperative for Educational Technologies
  • Sarah Turner, University of Virginia
  • Sean Corcoran, New York University
  • Tod Massa, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
  • Tom Bailey, Columbia University 
January 9, 2014

California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, will present his 2014-15 budget plan today, and a leaked copy suggests a continued recovery in state support for higher education -- especially for community colleges. The University of California and California State University systems would each receive a 5 percent increase, contingent on continued adherence to a deal with the state to freeze tuition rates. State funds for community colleges would increase by more than 11 percent. In his budget plan, Governor Brown calls for more efforts throughout public higher education to be more efficient and to improve graduation rates. While the plan requires legislative approval, the ideas in the plan have attracted legislative support.

Governor Brown is also proposing a $50 million awards program to use $50 million in one-time General Fund for the Awards for Innovation in Higher Education program. Funds would support grants for colleges with plans to "significantly increase the number of individuals in the state who earn bachelor’s degrees, allow students to earn bachelor’s degrees that can be completed within four years of enrollment in higher education and ease transfer through the state’s education system, including by recognizing learning that has occurred across the state’s education segments or elsewhere."

 

January 8, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved the distribution of a new vaccine -- approved in Europe but not yet generally approved for use in the U.S. -- at the University of California at Santa Barbara, NBC News reported. That university has had an outbreak of meningitis that is not prevented by vaccines used in the U.S. The meningitis reported at Santa Barbara is similar to that at Princeton University, which in December with CDC approval vaccinated thousands of students with the new vaccine.

 

January 8, 2014

What do tenured professors have in common with audiologists, hair stylists and jewelers? They’ve all got the lowest-stress jobs, according to a new report from CareerCast.com. The job portal’s annual ranking, which last year named university professor as the No. 1 least stressful job, has attracted much criticism from professors who say their work entails more than its fair share of stress. The 2013 ranking backlash escalated after Forbes picked up on the study and published an article saying that "professors have a lot less stress than most of us," thanks to lots of vacation time and few deadlines. In response to that article, professors took their complaints to Twitter under hashtags such as #RealForbesProfessors. Gawker even weighed in on the debate, with a post called "The Forbes-College Professor War Is So On."

This year’s report ranks university professor the No. 4 least-stressful job, behind audiologist, hair stylist and jeweler. Seamstress/tailor, dietician, medical records technician, librarian, multimedia artist and drill press operator round out the top 10 least stressful jobs. The No. 1 most stressful job is enlisted member of the military, followed by military general. Unlike last year – when adjunct professors pointed out that uncertain employment and low per-course pay were particularly stressful aspects of their jobs – the ranking notes that it refers specifically to tenured professors. (Last year’s ranking referred only to full-time professors, not adjuncts, but that was not made clear in the ranking itself.)

Via email, a CareerCast spokeswoman said that the organization had not changed its methodology – which takes into account 11 factors, including travel required, potential for growth and deadlines – in light of the criticism. Tony Lee, publisher, CareerCast, added via email: "We received a lot of feedback about our ranking of university professor as a low-stress job. But we found that while adjunct and part-time teachers are right that their jobs can be stressful, the stress levels for tenured university professors – which is what we rank – are lower than the majority of other jobs we measure in our report."

Pages

Back to Top