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Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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Life After College: The Challenging Transitions of the Academically Adrift Cohort

Life After College: The Challenging Transitions of the Academically Adrift Cohort | SCUP Links |

The authors of Academically Adrift report on how recent college grads are managing. They're still stalking that cohort!

Yosipa Roksa and Richard Arum stirred up a great deal of conversation at SCUP–46. (SCUP members, and others who attended, can view video of Roksa and Arum’s plenary session in the SCUP–46 proceedings.)

In this Change magazine article, they report on their research about what’s happening in the lives of recent college grads.

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From Dining Hall to Community Center | A Presentation from the 2012 ACUHO-I Conference

From Dining Hall to Community Center | A Presentation from the 2012 ACUHO-I Conference | SCUP Links |

Worth a look. Note that this fall's SCUP Pubs Campus-Space MOJO will visit student housing as a topic from October 27–November 7. Please join us, it's free.

"Longitudinal studies of the ACUHO-I/EBI Resident Assessment indicate that satisfaction with personal space and dining services has improved while personal interaction has declined. Since personal interaction is the top predictor of a student's perception of the effectiveness of the residence hall and an important component to student development, it is vital that programs better understand and work to improve personal interaction. We propose that getting creative in the use of the dining facility could promote student interaction.

Research [was] presented showing the trend of declining personal interactions. Linking research to practice, representatives from a large dining program will discuss how they turned their dining centers into community centers where students come together for events, movies, and special programming. They also have "random acts of food" popping up around halls and events centered on interaction. Come to this program to learn about national trends, learn from a very creative dining operation how they?re supporting student interactions, and brainstorm other ways that dining facilities can be used to help promote student interaction."

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Did Anyone Ask the Students?, Part I - Next - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Jeff Selingo is editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. This is from his blog:

"As you can see, the future of higher ed should not be a one-size-fits-all online world where students are directed to a small set of career-focused majors. That’s an appropriate model for some students, particularly working adults, who might need a just a few more credits for a degree or any credential to get ahead in their careers. We often talk about how diverse our higher-ed system is, but as we design the next-generation model, perhaps we should be listening more to this generation of students to ensure it remains that way."

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Is This the Answer to the Student Debt Crisis? FixUC's 5% Solution - DailyFinance

Is This the Answer to the Student Debt Crisis? FixUC's 5% Solution - DailyFinance | SCUP Links |
College tuition just keeps rising, and student loan debt is at an all-time high, leading to hefty loan payments that can overwhelm earners early in their careers.

What if students were indebted for 5% of the annual income for the 20 years after graduation?

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What's More Expensive Than College? Not Going to College

What's More Expensive Than College? Not Going to College | SCUP Links |
There is a cost to not educating young people. The evidence is literally all around us.

The International Youth Foundation's new Opportunity for Action (PDF) paper, according to The atlantic's Derek Thompson:

"Focusing on the United States and Europe, the IYF authors focus on the so-called "NEETs" of the developed world: those Not Engaged in Employment/education, or Training. A 2012 U.S. study put the social cost per NEET youth at $37,450, when you factored in lost earnings, public health spending, and other factors. That brings the total cost of 6.7 million NEET American youths to $4.75 trillion, equal to nearly a third of GDP, or half of U.S. public debt.

Statistics like this are a good reminder that, even though college tuition is famously outpacing median incomes, there is still something more expensive than going to school. Very often, that is not going to school."

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MOOCs, Large Courses Open to All, Topple Campus Walls

MOOCs, Large Courses Open to All, Topple Campus Walls | SCUP Links |

"[T]his course, Building a Search Engine, is taught by two prominent computer scientists, Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford research professor and Google fellow, and David Evans, a professor on leave from the University of Virginia.

The big names have been a big draw. Since Udacity, the for-profit startup running the course, opened registration on Jan. 23, more than 90,000 students have enrolled in the search-engine course and another taught by Mr. Thrun, who led the development of Google’s self-driving car.

Welcome to the brave new world of Massive Open Online Courses — known as MOOCs — a tool for democratizing higher education. While the vast potential of free online courses has excited theoretical interest for decades, in the past few months hundreds of thousands of motivated students around the world who lack access to elite universities have been embracing them as a path toward sophisticated skills and high-paying jobs, without paying tuition or collecting a college degree. And in what some see as a threat to traditional institutions, several of these courses now come with an informal credential (though that, in most cases, will not be free)."

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Adulthood, Delayed: What Has the Recession Done to Millennials? | The Atlantic

Adulthood, Delayed: What Has the Recession Done to Millennials? | The Atlantic | SCUP Links |

"Why won't Millennials grow up? she wondered.

The biggest reason is they can't, according to the Pew Research Center's fantastic new survey 'Young, Underemployed, and Optimistic.' It begins with school."

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Where Academic Rigor Is de Rigueur - and Means More to Students Than Amenities

"Meanwhile, the survey found that campus life - the category that includes housing, dining, and that resort-style gym - accounted for just 7 percent of the choice."

Academic rigor is more important to students than cushy dorms and recreational facilities? Well, for a select group of Boston University students it is.

"There is an assumption, including among more than a few incredulous parents, that high school seniors often choose their colleges based less on academic offerings than on softer factors like campus amenities (think climbing walls and walk-in, dorm-room closets), the ratio of men to women in the class and even the institution’s tolerance for keg parties.

But, according to a study conducted by Boston University and reported in The Boston Globe, those parents (and other observers) would be wrong in that presumption."

"Meanwhile, the survey found that campus life - the category that includes housing, dining, and that resort-style gym - accounted for just 7 percent of the choice."

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The mission for black colleges and universities continues

The mission for black colleges and universities continues | SCUP Links |

A very nice local piece which travels well across the country:

"What do HBCUs do well? Kimbrough said because those campuses enroll a disproportionate number of low-income students, they are able to cater to them in a way traditional schools cannot, including additional programs such as federally funded TRIO programs and extra attention from faculty and staff where it's needed.

'That's the real heavy lifting in higher education. When you look at the country as a whole, it's becoming more diverse and there are more people of color. We still have this growing gap based on income,' he said.

'We've become the model on how to take students from meager backgrounds and prepare them to be fully functioning citizens and productive citizens.''

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Campus Chasm Between Academic Affairs & Student Services?

Gren Dungy, executive director of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, introduces this essay with competing quotations from Academically Adrift, whose authors were plenary speakers at SCUP-46 last July.

"The VP for academic affairs comments 'Look at this. All that crap you have been talking about on student engagement? Here it says that not only does it not contribute positively to learning, it degrades learning!'

The VP for student affairs says, 'Yes, and did you notice that it’s the faculty whose low expectations and lack of rigor by not assigning enough reading and writing is the real problem? That’s why our students are not learning as much as they should!'"

What would a SCUPer say?

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A Conversation With Susan Whitmer, Education Design Expert

A Conversation With Susan Whitmer, Education Design Expert | SCUP Links |

SCUPer Susan Whitmer, strategic consultant with Herman Miller and SCUP leader, is interviewed this week in The Atlantic. 

"Q: What's something that most people just don't understand about your field?

A: Its complexity. There are so many challenges. Our world is changing at a rapid pace, yet education is mired in hundreds of years of tradition where change occurs at a glacial pace. We cannot continue to go about the business of passive learning in 300-seat lecture halls when the 21st century demands a fully engaged learner. The vastly diverse student population is an additional challenge. The days where the traditional student was 22 years-old no longer exist. Today, students on a campus range from 15-80 years of age. They bring a variety of experiences with them, and often are first-generation and from diverse nationalities. Add to this the challenges of educating all of these students in a less than stellar economy.

Q: What's an emerging trend that you think will shake up your field?

A: We are at a watershed moment in education design. The convergence of knowledge and circumstances provide us with the opportunity to revolutionize the built environment for all of education. There is an increasing body of research from the neurosciences, cognitive sciences, and social sciences that provide us with valuable insights about how people learn. Combine this knowledge with the skill sets required of the 21st-century worker and there is only one thing for us to do: We must create physical and virtual spaces that foster innovation and design thinking across the educational spectrum."

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Freedom University: Studying in Secret – Schools of Thought - Blogs

Freedom University: Studying in Secret – Schools of Thought - Blogs | SCUP Links |

By Thelma Gutierrez and Traci Tamura, CNN Every Sunday, in an unmarked building, in an undisclosed location in the college town of Athens, Georgia, a group of students quietly gather in secret.

"They are aspiring professors, diplomats and engineers who have been banned from Georgia's top five public universities.

But here, in this donated space, it is safe to study."

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How Are Students Actually Using IT? An Ethnographic Study | EDUCAUSE

This ECAR report is only available to ECAR members. We recommend that you get your hands on it, if you can. Many SCUPers at large institutions will find that their campus is an ECAR member and that will gain them access. It includes discussion of third spaces, collaborative learning, and data from live observations at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Abstract: This ECAR research bulletin describes an anthropological ethnographic analysis of student practices relating to the use of information technology on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) campus. Using EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR) studies as benchmarks, this imaginative research examines learning management system usage and satisfaction, student ownership and use of technology devices (especially mobile devices), and where on campus students choose to compute. Field data for the project were collected from four sources: notes on participant observation of student practices, unstructured interviews with a selection of technology users, an online survey for enrolled students, and the shadowing of consenting students while they were on campus.

Citation for this Work: Cooley, Christopher J., Thomas Malaby, and David Stack. “How Are Students Actually Using IT? An Ethnographic Study.” (Research Bulletin 17, 2011). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 2011, available from

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Construction Communications: Getting the word out about new buildings on campus | University Business Magazine

Construction Communications: Getting the word out about new buildings on campus | University Business Magazine | SCUP Links |

SCUP welcomes University Business intern, Jordan Mills, and her observations about how space changes are/should be communicated to students.

Jordan! We want you to engage with us in our #CampusMOJO!

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The Fallacy of Information Overload - Brian Solis

The Fallacy of Information Overload - Brian Solis | SCUP Links |

Solis has a rewarding frame within which to look the pros and cons of "information overload"from both a personal and a planing professional view: "We are the engineers of the mdeia levees that presently overflow."

"Social media has gifted us a new democracy. And with it, the ability to connect to people around the world and create, share, and devour knowledge, entrainment, and irrelevant information at will. It’s as intimidating as it is beautiful. We have passed the Attention Rubicon and there is no turning back. The towers of social media will not come crumbling down upon the foundation of a former reality when we or the generations before us led a much simpler life. The key for us now is forged in self-control or some form of aspirational governance that focuses our connects and interactions.

Indeed, there is a very real human cost of social connectivity. But, the symptoms of information overload are only a reflection of our inability or lack of desire to bring order to our chaos. See, we are the engineers of the media levees that prevent overflow."

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Column: School shooters share traits

Column: School shooters share traits | SCUP Links |
James Alan Fox: As with the Oikos U. tragedy, suspects are often older students, who see their education as do-or-die situations.

I don't claim to be clairvoyant. I'm just someone who has studied the 20 campus shootings that resulted in multiple fatalities over the past two decades. The average age of these assailants exceeds 35, with several being well into their 40s. Unlike a traditional-age college student who might dismiss a failing grade or an expulsion as a temporary setback, older students often view their pursuit of a college degree as their last hope for success. Failure at this stage of life can leave them feeling that they are simply out of options.

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Metro State's new Student Success Building (Denver)

Metro State's new Student Success Building (Denver) | SCUP Links |

Slide show: "The Dec. 3, 2010 groundbreaking ceremony for the $62 million, 100 percent student fee-funded Student Success Building was attended by more than 200 Metropolitan State College of Denver students, faculty, staff and the College’s Board of Trustees."

Students voted to fund this building.

#ipeds 127565

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State Cutbacks Curb Training in Jobs Critical to Economy

State Cutbacks Curb Training in Jobs Critical to Economy | SCUP Links |
State colleges are cutting financing for technical, engineering and health care programs as the need for training in those fields grows.

Not a good thing.

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Younger, wealthier students pick community college, bringing expectations | Inside Higher Ed

Paul Fain notes in Inside Higher Ed that as more "weathier" students choose to begin at community colleges, they are bringing with them expectations about student services, amenities, and eventual transfer. 

Rachel Ann Atijera's curator insight, November 14, 2014 12:45 PM

I can relate to these students since my parents make over $100,000, but I plan to go to a community college (then transfer to a four-year university). I plan to do this because since my family won't be getting a lot of finical aid due to their high overall salary. So going to a community college would be cheaper and I would have less student debt.!

Why Is College So Expensive? And Can Obama Make It Cheaper?

Why Is College So Expensive? And Can Obama Make It Cheaper? | SCUP Links |

Regarding the president's speech in Ann Arbor last week:

"Is this plan just "political theater of the worst sort," as University of Washington President Mike Young put it? Or is it a brave attempt at "tying the method of funding to the outcomes we're looking for," as William Powers, president of the University of Texas at Austin, said? Honestly, it might be a bit of both. Some aspects of the plan look like little more than window dressing in an election year. But overall, it seems like an earnest attempt to hog-tie some of the many wild forces that are pushing up the cost of a college education."

Paul Whitney's comment, February 7, 2012 8:38 AM
Overall personnel costs and various fees charged to students are out-of-whack. Colleges continue to produce budgets that are geared to their survival and not directed toward the consumer [student] needs.
Miscellaneous charges are included in tuition costs that by their nature will continue to rise. Productivity is not a concept that Higher Education has any concept of or a clue how to address. Certainly, the federal bureaucracy is not the place for us to look for ideas on lowering costs...besides, how is No Child Left Behind working for you? Race to the Top is just another federal program throwing money at a problem. Schools that are innovative and manage their costs to revenue will survive.!

Opposites Don’t Attract (And That’s Bad News)

Opposites Don’t Attract (And That’s Bad News) | SCUP Links |

A must-read for those interested in campus community. A Kansas study indicates that stdents at large schools actually have less diverse interactions with different kinds of people than do those at small schools. Big schools let students find more people just like them.

"[T]his craving for similarity – for interacting only with people who think and act in familiar ways – doesn’t merely influence our behavior during cocktail mixers. Instead, it shapes our social world, constraining the reach of our personal network. This was elegantly demonstrated in a new paper by Angela Bahns, Kate Pickett and Christian Crandall at Wellesley College and the University of Kansas. The psychologists were interested in how the social diversity of college influenced the nature of social interaction. Did more diverse schools lead to more diverse friendships? Or did the opposite happen, so that a varied “social ecology” made us even more likely to seek out extremely similar people?"

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Infograhic: Facebook University

Infograhic: Facebook University | SCUP Links |
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Broadband, Social Networks, and Mobility Have Spawned a New Kind of Learner -- THE Journal

"Students are different today because of technology. Every educator knows this, of course, but this change is about much more than agile thumbs, shriveling attention spans, and OMG'd vocabularies. According the Pew Research Center, the combination of widespread access to broadband Internet connectivity, the popularity of social networking, and the near ubiquity of mobile computing is producing a fundamentally new kind of learner, one that is self-directed, better equipped to capture information, more reliant on feedback from peers, more inclined to collaborate, and more oriented toward being their own "nodes of production."

"These three elements together have changed the context of learning," says Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project. "Today, knowledge is literally at your fingertips.'"

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Some Asians' college strategy: Don't check 'Asian'

Some Asians' college strategy: Don't check 'Asian' | SCUP Links |
When applying to Harvard, Lanya Olmstead checked only one box for her race: white. She considers herself half Taiwanese, half Norwegian.


This is an examination of one aspect of selective admissions at elite schools. Such admissions may undergo more scrutiny in light of the Obama administration's recently-published guidelines via the Department of Justice and Department of Education: Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity in Higher Education:

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Bridging Academics and Student Affairs to Advance Student Success: Freshmen Academies at Queensborough Community College | AAC&U News | November 2011 |

Bridging Academics and Student Affairs to Advance Student Success: Freshmen Academies at Queensborough Community College | AAC&U News | November 2011 | | SCUP Links |

This case study is available via AAC&U News, a publication of the American Association of Colleges & Universities:

"The first semester of college is crucial for students at any institution, but it’s especially important at Queensborough Community College (QCC), where many students are the first in their families to attend college and may be unprepared for the transition from high school. For these students, the first semester is crucial for both retention and long-term success. Faced with high dropout rates, the QCC developed the Freshmen Academies, a new advising and enrollment strategy that bridges academics and student affairs in an effort order to reach students early and provide them with more individualized support to navigate their first year of college."

StudentGeneratedInduction's curator insight, October 28, 2014 5:25 PM

Support for students who are the first generation to go to university in their family.