The Texas Workforce Commission has ordered ATI Enterprises not to enroll new students in 16 career schools in the state, the Associated Press reported. The move follows questions raised by WFAA-TV about the accuracy of the chain's job placement rates. A company official declined to comment, saying that ATI would respond on Friday. The blog Higher Ed Watch features a review of the criticism of ATI.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Phyllis M. Wise was on Wednesday named as the next chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wise is currently provost at the University of Washington, where she also served as interim president. She is among a very small number of Asian-American academics named to the top position on an American campus.
China and its universities are making great strides in science, but are being held back by widespread plagiarism that detracts from the quality of research produced, NPR reported. In one example cited, when the Journal of Zhejiang University-Science became the first in China to use software to check for plagiarism, it found that 31 percent of paper had excessive copying. The figure rose to 40 percent for papers in computer science and life science.
Representatives of more than 200 colleges gathered in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to discuss the President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, an effort launched by the White House in March to encourage colleges to bring different religious groups on campus together to work on specific issues. The colleges are tackling various problems, including hunger, human trafficking and environmental issues, during the yearlong project, said Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. "They don’t have to agree about theology, they don’t have to agree about their different beliefs, but we feel they can agree on issues of service," DuBois said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.
Colleges participating include both secular institutions, including Cornell University and American University, state universities, Jewish and Christian colleges and some theological seminaries, as well as community colleges. The White House will recognize some of the best examples after the effort is complete.
A new coalition has formed of the 22 colleges and universities with policies of open access on research published by faculty members -- policies that make that research available free in online repositories. The Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions will be a forum for sharing strategies and for advocating open access policies. The members of the new coalition are:
- Arizona State University
- Brigham Young University
- Columbia University
- Concordia University
- Duke University
- Emory University
- Gustavus Adolphus College
- Harvard University
- Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
- Lafayette College
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Oberlin College
- Oregon State University
- Rollins College
- Stanford University
- Trinity University
- University of Hawaii-Manoa
- University of Kansas
- University of North Texas
- University of Northern Colorado
- University of Oregon
- Wake Forest University
The U.S. Department of Commerce released new data on Wednesday on the gender gap in science and technology fields -- stressing the economic impact on women. The study noted that women hold almost half of all jobs in the United States, but less than 25 percent of those in STEM fields. This trend continues even though women in STEM jobs earn 33 percent more, on average, than do women in other fields. And the data show that of those who study STEM fields in college, women are less likely to seek out STEM jobs. Of men with a STEM degree, 40 percent work in science and technology fields, while only 26 percent of comparable women do so.
The Apollo Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, on Tuesday announced that it was purchasing Carnegie Learning, which has created adaptive learning tools that have been particularly successful in teaching remedial mathematics. The company is a spinoff of research conducted at Carnegie Mellon University. Apollo will pay $75 million to buy the company and another $21 million to Carnegie Mellon for related technology rights that it still owns.
Anya Kamenetz, whose 2010 book DIY U heralded the "edupunks" who were seeking alternatives to higher education and the entrepreneurs who aimed to provide those alternatives, has published a new book (downloadable free) designed as a practical guidebook to navigate the nontraditional pathways to higher learning. The book -- which Kamenetz calls "the first ever sponsored" by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation -- lays out the many sources of content and (to the extent practicable) credentials that can be found online to help create a "personalized path to an affordable credential using the latest innovative tools and organizations."
China is seeing a growth in Jewish studies, with 10 universities now having Jewish studies centers, The Jewish Chronicle reported. The centers are organizing conferences, offering courses and publishing Nanjing University's Institute of Jewish Studies produced an 800-page Chinese translation of the Encyclopaedia Judaica, which is considered the standard reference work on Judaism in the country