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With nearly 2.5 billion materials circulated through more than 16,000 public branches, 2013 was one of the strongest years for libraries in the past decade.
Interesting programming breadth and scope is only part of what this article covers:
By being responsive to the unique needs of their communities, libraries have taken on sometimes surprising roles. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, for example, the central branch of the City-County library has a case worker from the state’s Family and Children Services agency on hand four hours a day, five days a week. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, you can check out musical instruments, microscopes, telescopes, and home tools. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New York libraries offered direct assistance to residents who needed help rebuilding. The Sacramento Public Library in California hosts Punk Rock Aerobics, led by one of its librarians. Outside Rochester, New York, you can check out fishing poles. In Dallas, Texas, a public library facilitates Coffee and Conversations, one-hour sessions for the homeless; more than 70 people attended the second meeting. And in Woodbine, Iowa, you can borrow cake pans.
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STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability.
A useful Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) report describing how 40 institutions formed a network to better use the results of student outcomes assessment.
In the latter part of the 20th century, behavioral scientists and society more generally adopted a cultural belief that cognitive ability was the most significant determinant of educational and workforce outcomes. This led to efforts to raise students test scores, the promotion of teachers who were successful in doing so, and heavy if not exclusive reliance on test scores for admissions and employment screening.
So the 21st century is becoming the era in which we recognize the importance of soft skills, the role education plays in developing those skills, and the way they evolve throughout the life cycle. And we are developing new education, training, and intervention methods and new assessments in recognition of this importance.
NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition— A much-awaited annual document that identifies “six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.”
“‘If These Halls Could Talk’: Essential Skills for a Multicultural Campus”— is a Sunday morning workshop at SCUP–49 this summer, developed from a highly-rated 2010 concurrent presentation. The following are representative attendee reviews then of Lee Mun Wah’s SCUP–45 contribution to SCUP’s programming: “Thought-provoking "thought-provoking"; “original”; and ‘[the] best presentation at the conference. This year, he will demonstrate how attendees can deepen campus dialogues and mediate conflicts between students, faculty, and staff.
Since then, Lee Mun Wah has directed the movie, The Color of Fear: “This is the dialogue most of us fear, but hope will happen sometime in our lifetime.” Part 1 can be viewed in the SCUP Mojo.
For 30 wonderful years, we had been unusually flush, and we got used to it, re-designing our institutions to assume unending increases in subsidized demand. This did not happen. The year it started not happening was 1975. Every year since, we tweaked our finances, hiking tuition a bit, taking in a few more students, making large lectures a little larger, hiring a few more adjuncts.
Each of these changes looked small and reversible at the time. Over the decades, though, we’ve behaved like an embezzler who starts by taking only what he means to replace, but ends up extracting so much that embezzlement becomes the system. There is no longer enough income to support a full-time faculty and provide students a reasonably priced education of acceptable quality at most colleges or universities in this country.
Is he correct? "Our current difficulties are not the result of current problems. They are the bill coming due for 40 years of trying to preserve a set of practices that have outlived the economics that made them possible."
The expectations of college students and parents have also factored into the faciltiries that are being provided. Universities that fail to improve their campuses and offer amenities and the kinds of learning environments now expected on college campuses are in even greater danger.
“The desire to have something like this has been around for a very long time, but it came into focus in the last couple of years,” said Weber. The Institute’s museum will contain interactive exhibits on topics ranging from climate change to cancer research, and the facility as a whole, measuring 27,000-31,000 square feet, will contain research and teaching facilities, seminar and conference spaces, study areas, a cafe, and more. “The vision is to engage the issues of our time through the arts, sciences, humanities and technology based on research here at UC Santa Cruz and bringing in material that complements and pushes what’s going on here,” said Weber.
The site, he added, is “really spectacular,” wedged between a forest of Redwoods and Ancient Oaks above and a grand meadow overlooking the Pacific below. There will be a public presentation of the final three teams’ schemes on April 3 at UCSC. The $32-40 million project’s completion date will depend on ongoing fundraising, added Weber.
The study, released today by the National Bureau of Economic Research, examines the college grades of students admitted to the University of Texas at Austin through the "10 percent program" in which the top students at every Texas high school have been guaranteed admission (although the percentage has been reduced somewhat since the plan was created).
The study (abstract available here) found that the quality of high school is a key predictor of grades in college, not only in freshman year, but continuing into the sophomore and junior years as well.
How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment: A Report on Earnings and Long-Term Career PathsBy Debra Humphreys and Patrick KellyStudent, parents, and policy makers interested in the "return on investment" of college education tend to place unwarranted emphasis on the choice of undergraduate major, often assuming that a major in a liberal arts field has a negative effect on employment prospects and earnings potential. This new report—which includes data on earnings, employment rates, graduate school earnings bumps, and commonly chosen professions—presents clear evidence to the contrary. It shows not only that the college degree remains a sound investment, especially in these difficult economic times, but also that—as compared to students who major in professional, preprofessional, or STEM fields—liberal arts majors fare very well in terms of both earnings and long-term career success.
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Also available for purchase in eBook Version (PDF).Read an excerpt of this publication online.
What the final product also does, with absolute success, is add multilayered urbanity to a corner of the campus that in the past was more awkward than alluring.
We guess the critic likes it:
This isn't the first educational building in the city that digs down to open up possibilities: Pfau Long Architecture did so in an even more dynamic way at Lick-Wilmerding High School a decade ago. Lo Schiavo Center shows that it can be done in a large-scale way. What seems like a loss - the removal of a knoll and existing plaza - in fact can be a gain.
In and of itself, Lo Schiavo Center is a refined work of architecture. It's even better as part of something larger, and that's the standard by which all urban buildings should be judged.
Step off the elevator into the University of Pennsylvania's hallowed rare-book room at the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, and you immediately recognize something is different. Where's the wood? Van Pelt...
Step off the elevator into the University of Pennsylvania's hallowed rare-book room at the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, and you immediately recognize something is different. Where's the wood?
Van Pelt is notorious for being one of Philadelphia's harsher examples of '60s-era Brutalist architecture, with walls made of bare concrete block and prison-size windows, and yet its rare-book room was always decorated as though it were part of some English manor house. Deeply carved, 16th-century oak paneling greeted visitors in the entryway. Dim and a little dusty, the mood was a cross between a Borgesian labyrinth and Dumbledore's attic. You were never sure what might lurk around the dark corners.
So when the elevator slides open now, it is a surprise to confront a shimmering glass screen, etched like crystal. Bright sunshine beams around the space. To the right, a glassed-in porch beckons. Arranged with elegant modern seating, it could be a swank condo lobby, except that it is filled with students sprawled on the sofas with their laptops.
Forget that stuffy collegiate style of yore. This is what a rare-book library looks like circa 2014.
At Lynn University, one of the first small colleges to offer a 24-hour cafeteria, students are more nourished and classes are more flexible.
Nice summary of some of the many responses.
It was not that long ago that many management consultants, economists, industrial-organizational psychologists, and laypeople believed that cognitive skill was the single most important predictor. What happened to change that?
"[B]ehavioral science research in psychology and economics suggests that non-cognitive factors—soft skills such as motivation, work ethic, teamwork, organization, cultural awareness, and effective communication—play a role that is as important or even more important in determining success in school and in the workplace.
So the 21st century is becoming the era in which we recognize the importance of soft skills, the role education plays in developing those skills, and the way they evolve throughout the life cycle. And we are developing new education, training, and intervention methods and new assessments in recognition of this importance."
George Siemens taught the first MOOC back in 2008. He shares his take on why they're still valid -- and what might happen next in higher ed.
"The linear nature of MOOC solutions to the perceived problems of higher education (better instructional software and greater numbers of learners) failed to account for knowledge building as an integrated social, economic and cultural activity of society."
Becoming a chief academic officer takes years of preparation. Dawn Z. Hodges explains how she gained the necessary skills and persisted through her job search.
This: "I believe the more you know about the college as a whole and how the different divisions work together, the more effective you can be as a dean or a chief academic officer — and the more valuable you are to the college."
My big idea for 2014 is that more colleges shift from measuring learning based on how much time students spend in a classroom to a system that is based on how much they actually know. The official term for this is “competency-based education,” and this past year, three universities—Northern Arizona University, the University of Wisconsin, and Southern New Hampshire—experimented with offering degrees in this way.
Here’s how it basically works: Students demonstrate mastery of a subject through a series of assessment tests or assignments, instead of following a prescribed set of courses. Faculty mentors work closely with students throughout a degree program to design a schedule and access the learning materials they need to demonstrate mastery and then another group of course evaluators grades those exams, research papers, or performance assessments.
As a LinkedIn thought leader, Selingo was asked to provide a "big idea" to this series of big ideas/
The next time President Obama touts a new higher education plan, look around. You’ll likely find Nancy L. Zimpher in the background. Zimpher, the chancellor of the State University of New York system, has become the White House’s go-to college president. The love reached new heights Thursday, when Zimpher was picked from nearly 100 college...
In the quote below, Zimpher speaks of how SUNY can take things to scale. In fact, SCUP is helping a SUNY prototype for sharing knowledge about innovative learning environments grow to scale: FLEXspace.
She’s a valuable ally. The SUNY system is both enormous — a 64-campus behemoth that runs the gamut from community colleges to top research universities — and relatively centralized. Buy-in from Zimpher is the equivalent of reaching dozens of colleges and hundreds of thousands of students.
“We’re so big, if we get good ideas, we’re the kind of place that can really take it to scale,” Zimpher said in an interview Thursday night.
College in media is regularly portrayed as an island of self-exploration and opportunity, from the gross appetite of Animal House's frat scene to the brainy riches to more riches tale of The Social Network. In reality, the experience of college as playground is restricted. Fully 44 percent of those who attend post-secondary school go not to Middleton or the like, but to a community college. Those who do attend elite universities are shockingly wealthy; at Harvard, 45.6 percent of undergraduates come from families with income over $200,000, putting them in the top 3.8 percent of households in the U.S.
Toward the beginning of the film, Audrey and her mom are doing a crossword puzzle which asks for a synonym for "feckless." The word then comes up again and again, a jokey advanced vocab college term. It's a description of George and Edith, obviously, who are indulging in a flirtation that is a betrayal of their spouses and their children. But it's also a description of college itself, which is portrayed as an oasis of irresponsibility in which the well-to-do reproduce their own privileged fecklessness.
Interesting perspective on higher ed.
This tool highlights those changes, from the national level down to within the more than 3,000 counties in the U.S. See the key takeaways for every county, the trends in changing demographics, population densities, and search for areas with specific demographic attributes. (Related articles: Colleges, Here Is Your Future | Changing Times, Tough Choices)
The current underdevelopment and enfranchisement of the Texas Mexican American population, "Tejanos, " will result in one of the unprepared and highly illiterate population in the Western Hemphispher in the 21st century. This population now comprises the majority of enrollment in public schools in Texas but has one of the lowest participation rates in terms of outcomes: literacy, numeracy, social literacy, techno-literacy, reading and writing comprehension and graduation with college ready skills. It also has one of the highest attrition rates of any ethnic group in America with 38% dropping out before they graduate.
Texas is investing much in expanding higher education institutions but that is not the corresponding case in terms of funding for public schools. This inbalance will create a situation where there will be a diminishing return on investment as fewer Mexican Americans will be capable of attending these colleges and universities.
The research that I am currently conducting is directed at understanding how Tejanos must be prepared to assume competitive leadership roles, either elected or appointed, in elected or appointed offices so that can have a say-so in how policy is brokered and resources allocated to expand the capacity of this most endangered ethnic population.
The Future of Higher Education Infographic takes a look at the paths that higher education could take in the next few years.
An interesting visual.
Some schools feast on federal aid and don't care if the student can repay it. Here's one woman's tragic story
Like many others, Jaqueta had an important asset: She was eligible for a federal student loan. It is impossible to talk about for-profit education without mentioning how the availability of federal loans affects the process.
The lack of wealth among many students in their classrooms means that a higher share can qualify for need-based student aid. More than 60 percent of students at for-profits receive need-based Pell Grants. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, says that 96 percent took out student loans — twice as often as was the case with students in traditional four-year public institutions and more than seven times the rate of students at community colleges.
Those numbers are not an accident.
Ready for the next revolution? The profession changed dramatically thanks to mechanization and mass production, and the next massive shift will be no less disruptive. In this era of small-scale, bottom-up design, say hello to 3D-printed houses, digicities, and curriculums that teach future architects about far more than just building.
About a year ago I was paging through a report prepared for our college by a group of leading risk-management consultants. Illustrated with brightly colored heat maps and tables, the report’s conclusions looked fairly reasonable. But then I reached a chart titled “Reputation Risk.” Tucked among the factors that contribute to reputation, listed only after “branding” and “community relations,” was the phrase “academic excellence.”
Corporate jargon may help explain why campuswide awareness of risk has not fully taken hold at many academic institutions. Deans, presidents, and faculty leaders can find the framework of Enterprise Risk Management, commonly known as ERM, alienating. The talk of suppliers, products, deliverables, and profits is not our language.