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Higher Education Reform

Community College and the American Dream

Daniel Greenstein | Posted 06.29.2015 | Education
Daniel Greenstein

Education changes lives and puts the American Dream within reach for millions of people. We see this every day at City Colleges of Chicago, a system of seven community colleges that has set a high bar for the success of every student, and accepts no excuses for failure.

Creating a Culture of Respect

Gary A. Olson | Posted 06.16.2015 | College
Gary A. Olson

Back when I was new to the profession, I witnessed a senior professor shouting loudly at a departmental secretary in a busy hallway. The professor, a rather large man, stood face to face as he barked at the petite woman.

Teaching Is Easy, Learning Is Hard

Dan Butin | Posted 06.12.2015 | College
Dan Butin

If I was going to summarize the fundamental problem in higher education in one phrase, I'd say that teaching is easy, but learning is hard. We by no...

When a 'Good Enough' Higher Education Isn't Good Enough

Dan Butin | Posted 05.21.2015 | College
Dan Butin

Technology offers us the chance to provide a "good enough" education. While the new and shiny model of online learning is incredibly powerful for the transmission model of education, it stinks at the transformational model of education.

Message to My Freshman Students

Keith M. Parsons | Posted 05.26.2015 | College
Keith M. Parsons

First, I am your professor, not your teacher. There is a difference.

How to Understand the High Cost of College

Gary A. Olson | Posted 06.14.2015 | College
Gary A. Olson

Is it true that the cost of a college education is high? Absolutely. But it is not because colleges are gouging students or spending their resources wastefully. It is because college tuition today buys vastly more -- qualitatively and quantitatively -- than it used to.

Faculty vs. Staff: The Cage Match From Which No One Emerges Victorious

Ken Schneck, PhD | Posted 05.06.2015 | College
Ken Schneck, PhD

I'm all for creating a sense of urgency to inspire meaningful change. And certainly there is crucial work to be done to address adjunct pay inequities. But to do it in such a way that further deepens an already-felt divide between faculty and staff/administrators seems to be counterproductive.

K-12, Higher Education Worlds Must Collide to Improve Student Outcomes

Douglas D. Baker | Posted 04.26.2015 | College
Douglas D. Baker

We believe that budget discussions should consider the growing role that institutions like ours play in educating our young people, long before freshmen check into their residence hall rooms for fall semester.

From a University of Texas Graduate Student: Our University Business Model Is Killing Our Education

Travis Knoll | Posted 04.23.2015 | College
Travis Knoll

Without popular pressures, administrators at UT dare not raise their voices too loudly to ask why in a state recently "flush" with cash has insisted on privatizing and decreasing aid to a vital state institution.

Measuring the Unmeasurable in Higher Education: Taking a Page From Health Care

Dr. Ricardo Azziz | Posted 04.05.2015 | College
Dr. Ricardo Azziz

I was challenged by a member of our humanities faculty, who argued that we can improve conditions for the better without being able to measure them. He gave critical thinking and civic engagement as examples.

4 Reasons You Should Not Send Your Child to College

Adam Rico | Posted 03.28.2015 | Parents
Adam Rico

Creating an enjoyable career has much more to do with looking inward than it does with chasing high income levels. Understanding your child's personality, strengths and interests will help you influence their post-high school choices.

Deflate This! On Footballs and Higher Education

Dan Butin | Posted 03.25.2015 | College
Dan Butin

We must begin to offload the transfer of information to other means and embrace our role as helping students to transform knowledge. And this transformation, in turn, may actually help us to do all those other things we claim to do.

Populism and Higher Education for the Age of the Smart Machine

Harry Boyte | Posted 03.16.2015 | College
Harry Boyte

Real populism does not mean simply railing against banks, as liberals pining for an Elizabeth Warren presidential bid assume. Genuine populism is a vision of democratic renaissance based on cross-partisan civic empowerment.

Memory Against Power: The Potential of Adjunct Faculty

Harry Boyte | Posted 03.11.2015 | College
Harry Boyte

There is an overlooked resource for helping to reverse amnesia: part-time or adjunct faculty who make up more than one half of all teachers in America's public and private colleges and universities.

How Not to Reinvent the Wheel in College Accountability

Gary A. Olson | Posted 02.27.2015 | College
Gary A. Olson

At a well-publicized speech in Buffalo, New York on August 22, 2013, President Barack Obama announced that he would create a plan for sweeping reform of higher education. The details were sketchy, but the projected plan would institute a rating system of colleges and universities nationwide.

5 Essential Provisions for the Higher Education Act to Alleviate Student Debt Today

Equal Justice Works | Posted 02.21.2015 | College
Equal Justice Works

With the Higher Education Act (HEA) currently up for reauthorization, the best way to fix this is for Congress to pass new provisions easing the student debt burdens of all borrowers. Here are 5 key elements of the Student Loan Fairness Act (H.R. 1330), sponsored by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Congress should adopt.

Is Medical School a Million Dollar Mistake?

Dan Lambert | Posted 02.14.2015 | Education
Dan Lambert

The path to being a doctor is not only expensive, it also requires dedication as well as the sacrifice of time, deferring a high quality of life to many, many, years after most other professions.

Students Are Not Customers

Keith M. Parsons | Posted 02.10.2015 | Education
Keith M. Parsons

What is wrong with the "business model" for higher education? Business models are great -- for businesses. However, educating human beings is not like manufacturing and marketing widgets.

Revisions to Higher Ed Act Could Cost Taxpayers More

Wendy B. Libby | Posted 02.08.2015 | College
Wendy B. Libby

As students and families continue to financially recover from the lingering economic downturn, federal student aid remains key to providing access to higher education for low- and middle-income students.

Renewing Higher Education's Mission of Democracy

Alan D. Solomont | Posted 01.13.2015 | Education
Alan D. Solomont

Let's begin by rekindling a public appreciation for democratic education, and let's make education for democracy central to the function of a 21st century college or university, not just an option for especially enthusiastic students.

US Colleges and Universities Earn a Poor Grade for Civic Engagement

Drew Stelljes | Posted 01.10.2015 | Education
Drew Stelljes

Colleges and universities should linger in the hard work of community development, where engagement means, over the long --term graduating students who, by their example, help to fix the system that created our national conundrum.

Why I Am a Better Teacher Than a Computer

Keith M. Parsons | Posted 12.30.2014 | Education
Keith M. Parsons

You remember the great teachers because they touched something inside you. They opened vistas and cleared new pathways. They made your world larger and richer. Can you get that same experience from a computer?

The Compelling Need to Improve the Higher Education Value Equation

Frank Islam | Posted 12.20.2014 | Education
Frank Islam

In the middle 90's, "value" was the hot new word and every business was trying to improve its value equation -- which we operationally define as "outcomes divided by cost."

Engagement Needs to Be a Watchword for the 21st Century University

Douglas D. Baker | Posted 12.08.2014 | College
Douglas D. Baker

As a president of a major public university, I'm a strong advocate of the value of a four-year bachelor's degree, and studies do bear out the proposition that those who have that degree fare better in life than those who don't.

Musings on the Purpose of Higher Education

Frank Islam | Posted 12.08.2014 | Books
Frank Islam

While summer reading is normally light or frothy stuff for the beach, one of the more widely reviewed books of this past summer, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to A Meaningful Life, was nothing of the sort.