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Karen Gross
By Karen Gross, Former President of Southern Vermont College. During calendar year 2012, she served as Senior Policy Advisor to the US Department of Education in Washington, DC. The views expressed here are hers alone and do not represent the views of the US government, including the Department of Education.

Entries by Karen Gross

Leadership Decision-Making: Lessons From a Blizzard

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 11:15 PM

After a blizzard moved up the East Coast earlier this week, the Mayor of New York City and the state's Governor were being criticized for "over-reacting" and "over-planning." The storm turned out to be less severe than anticipated and the shutdown of the subway system together...

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When Does a College's Obligation to Its Students End?

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 5:56 PM

Note: This commentary refers to an article in Inside Higher Ed, written by President Karen Gross and Director of Diversity and the Mountaineer Scholar Program, Ivan Figueroa.

In our recent piece in Inside Higher Ed, we suggested that institutions serving vulnerable students have an obligation to these individuals...

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Making Connections Throughout the Educational Pipeline: Valuable Lessons Learned

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 5:42 PM

How different are the needs and challenges across the educational pipeline? In September, my two colleagues Fran Bisselle, Ed.D. Head of School, Maple Street School, Manchester Center, VT, Trudy Hall, Head of School, Emma Willard School, Troy, NY, and I decided to swap places for the day, leading each other's...

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Headed Down the Up Escalator: Why Education is Failing Our Students

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 9:57 AM

In his Sunday Op-Ed last week, Nicolas Kristof observed that Americans are not riding up the education escalator, a useful image he has deployed for years. Instead, we are falling behind a host of other nations in terms of the percentage of our population earning a...

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Rinse and Repeat Does Not Work for College Admissions: A Call for Change

(2) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 7:03 PM

The standard approach to college admissions for vulnerable students is not working. Students who can succeed at four-year colleges are not getting there. It is time to rethink the approaches we've been using for decades and consider viable alternatives. Not surprisingly, given that this is college admissions season, several new...

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Football and Higher Education: Presidents Need to Speak Up and Speak Out

(3) Comments | Posted August 9, 2014 | 10:34 AM

Here's what I do not understand -- and apparently I am in good company: Football player Ray Rice apparently physically harms his then-fiancée (now wife Janay Palmer Rice) in an elevator and is videotaped (for all to see) literally dragging her from that elevator. His punishment...

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The Student Loan Problem: The KISS Solution

(1) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 6:15 AM

President Obama is right: A wider range of college graduates (and even
non-graduates) need a more effective way to pay down their student debt. Otherwise, the data show they will be hurting both themselves and the economy because low credit scores can inhibit employability and the capacity...

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What Is the Value of a Liberal Arts Education? The Answer Is an Open Book

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 10:43 AM

Efforts to explain why a "liberal arts" education matters keep falling short. The rising price tag for a "liberal" education, including the increasing level of student loan balances and defaults, has critics painting higher education as not worth the paper on which a diploma is printed. Limited employment opportunities add...

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The Problem With Percentages and Education: Which Students Merit Our Attention?

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 3:49 PM

This piece is co-authored by Catherine McKeen, Director, Center for Teaching & Learning, Southern Vermont College.

Remember Mitt Romney and his 47 percent comments? He rightly got nailed by the media for saying that 47 percent of the population (whom he acknowledged would never vote for him) does...

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Bringing Our Best Selves to the Table: A Responsibility We Owe to Our Students

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 3:29 PM

Some individuals who have lived through serious tragic or traumatic events are able to rise above the fray and help others in richer and more fulsome ways. Think about the Boston Marathon survivors. Think about Nelson Mandela. Think about Christopher Reeves.

Examples abound. I just finished Tom Greene's newest...

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The Impact of Speaking Out: When Silence Stopped Being Golden

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 12:37 PM

Many women of my generation grew up learning to be quiet. For real. We were told when we were young that children were meant to be seen, not heard. Then, as we approached college age, with the start of the Vietnam War and the Women's Movement, we started to see...

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Developing Leadership Within the Academy: Mystery and Misunderstanding

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 8:48 PM

Recently, I had an opportunity to participate in a workshop at the UNLV Academic Leadership Academy, a newly created initiative designed to fill a gaping hole in leadership training within academic institutions, most especially for women and minorities. It is structured to enable UNLV professors, department heads, and...

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Google Gives Information; Knowledge Promotes Empowerment

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 9:34 AM

I was recently asked what information we actually still need to know in an age of Google. At about the same time, I was invited to speak to a local high school social studies class studying Ancient Greece. In preparing for the latter, I found a partial answer to the...

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The Power of Small -- In Education and in Medicine

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 6:26 PM

The Fall 2013 issue of the Cleveland Clinic's magazine Catalyst is titled "The Power of Small," and addresses the enormous impact nanotechnology has and will continue to have on medical diagnosis and treatment. For some patients, the approach can combine diagnostics and therapies that are personalized -- now termed "theranostics."...

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When the Buzzer Sounds: Basketball, Giving and Thanks

(1) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 11:20 AM

This piece is co-authored by Dan Engelstad, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Southern Vermont College.

Southern Vermont College's first basketball game of the 2013 season started with a remarkable win over Williams College. Williams was in the top three in NCAA DIII preseason polls, and we had a pre-season ranking of...

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What a College President Learned Teaching a High School Class: It's About Technology, Time and What's Tested

(1) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 6:53 PM

I recently had an opportunity to teach 9th and 10th grade students at our local high school. I wanted to re-enter the classroom for two primary reasons: the desire to understand and then strategize on improving the current misalignment between high school courses and college readiness across the nation; and...

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Google Gives Information: Knowledge Promotes Empowerment

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2013 | 9:52 PM

I was recently asked what information we actually still need to know in an age of Google. At about the same time, I was invited to speak to a local high school social studies class studying Ancient Greece. In preparing for the latter, I found a partial answer to the...

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Health Care and Education Reform: Double Trouble

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 12:41 PM

I have been struck by the frequency with which experts recently have linked the issues confronting our health care and education systems. At first, I did not appreciate the depth of the linkages between these two central social priorities, and now I struggle to separate them.

At a

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The Government Shutdown as a Teachable Moment: A Voice from the Bully Pulpit

(2) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 5:43 PM

The shutdown of the federal government this week should have educators all riled up. Are they? Hard to know since the educators' decibel level hasn't been heard above the fray.

On this we can agree (well, at least most of us): the role of the Pre-K -20 pipeline is...

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Re-Thinking Orientation for Veteran Students on our Campuses

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 11:45 AM

Over the next several years, 1.4 million service members will be transitioning from military life to civilian life, with many entering our institutions of higher learning. Indeed, the newly revised Transition Assistance Program (TAP), implemented in November 2012 as a mandatory course for exiting soldiers, is designed to encourage veterans...

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