It’s college commencement season. Across the country, moms and dads, grandparents, and other family members are gathering on campus quads, football fields, and in basketball arenas to celebrate
Alberto Acereda, Ph.D.'s insight:
Key idea: We need more authoritative and accurate ways of measuring the value that a college adds to a student’s life than some arbitrary rankings system created by a magazine that doesn’t even publish anymore.
Do you have questions about how other states are transforming their education systems to competency-based schools? Here is your chance to hear directly from two state leaders and ask all of your questions.
Grants go to the increasingly creative field of educational games. There is a growing base of evidence indicating that games can be an important and effective component of our strategy to prepare a highly skilled 21st century American workforce.
We are pleased to release Degrees of Value today. This paper aims to provide information on one important aspect of college—the return on investment. While there is certainly more to a college education than the financial payoff, the fact remains that this is an increasingly dominant concern for students. Over 80 percent of students now cite “to be able to get a better job” as a very important reason for attending college.
As tuition soars at universities across the U.S., the value of a university degree is dropping. Prestigious diplomas are still well-regarded but they only reveal one dimension of a given individual’s educational experience. In response to the problem, alternative credentialing platforms are seeking to quantify skills learned both online and in the real world. As cheap and convenient online competitors pop out of the woodwork, look for these alternative credentialing approaches to provide students with a more comprehensive way to show off what they’ve learned. Badges, certificates and new methods for translating skills to credits are challenging traditional views of college degrees.
Corporate governance is a much-discussed topic, and the operation of corporations has proven a fertile field for investigative journalism. But even though many colleges and universities are multibillion-dollar-a-year operations, the subject of university governance has been largely neglected. This is unfortunate because university governance raises fascinating questions of great public interest involving the complex intersection of law, morals, and education. Nasar v. Columbia is a case in point.
We are constantly told that America needs to import its engineers from abroad—specifically China and India—in order to make up for a perceived talent deficit in the United States. The reality is that out of the 500,000 engineers who graduate per year from India, only 2.6% are employable and over 50% don’t have skills to succeed. Moreover, About 80% of Indian students have not mastered the basics of reading or mathematics.
OER use is new enough that data on student performance are not readily available. Early evidence at SCC shows that students are doing just as well with digital material as with traditional textbooks. TCC has found the same thing.
Anant Agarwal, president of edX, shared his thoughts at a panel on Friday. At the forum, Agarwal dropped the news that edX, the Harvard and MIT-funded MOOC provider, would announce "a significant number" of university partnerships in the "next few weeks." This news has big implications for both online learning and higher education. Many university educators fear MOOCs will replace them, and the new partnerships will only serve to heighten that anxiety.
There is little agreement about what universities’ core competencies actually are. Students want them to emphasize personal growth and amenities; the faculty favors pure scholarship and graduate education; politicians want job training and economically productive research; and so on. None of these constituencies “owns” the university. On the other hand, none can simply be ignored. As a result, nothing much gets done.
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