When I first heard the news that Sweet Briar College would close, I thought it was a mistake. How could this be true? Shuttering this respected, 114-year-old women's liberal arts institution seemed implausible.
I often find myself helping a prospective student or parent understand an award offered by another institution. So, I thought it might be helpful to point out a couple of things that often lead to so-called "a-ha" moments with families. In the last three weeks, I've run across a variety of interesting factors that do not eschew obfuscation.
The key takeaway is that being well-dressed and having a law school diploma isn't enough; you need substantive, actionable qualifications that make you more valuable than other candidates. And being well connected can't hurt either.
Helping student-athletes understand how the brain works should enable them to view the brain as something that can be strengthened and optimized, like the body. Through hard work and training, academic skills can develop in tandem with physical abilities.
A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education supports our knowledge that successful navigation of the changing climate is complex, and we and other institutions must continue on a proactive path in order to succeed.
Well, one day, I was telling a co-worker how I was helping a friend plan her wedding and she said, "Tessa, why don't you just do that full-time? Didn't you work in events before?"
For me, Spelman College is more than an academic institution. It is the place where I first tasted the freedom to be myself without the fear of rejection or judgment. Spelman has become my North Star.
Instead of bracketing off college experience as foolishness, we should take what happens at college more seriously: we should condemn those who act stupidly, and we should aspire to the better world that students imagine as part of a higher education aimed at the public good.
In 1984, as a Malaysian school dropout, the fifth of twelve children, I was humiliated because I couldn't afford milk for my own two children. This caused a very strong sadness in my heart, but that year I learned about positive thinking and mind science.
While in the end every school must be a good steward of its resources, a society in which any college is largely interchangeable with another will be a poorer one, and the closure of schools like Sweet Briar College moves us further in that direction.
For decades Congress has recognized that investment in higher education is the pathway to economic growth and a sustainable, healthy workforce, but last week Republicans in Congress released a budget proposal that includes about $150 billion in cuts to student financial aid.
Application season is rough on everyone. And it flat out sucks when your friends get a bunch of acceptance letters and you don't-even if you applied to completely different schools.
The recent decision by the board of trustees to close Sweet Briar College raises an important question: Is there a better way to coordinate the findings of ratings groups to assist colleges and universities going forward?
It's easy to read this as a higher-ed utopia. That's far from the case. There are bound to be plenty of political battles, turf wars, and arguments about what actually constitutes "best" learning. Many schools we know today will have closed.
Debates are sizzling about the efficacy of American education in preparing students for the global economy. Graduates face escalating competition as millions of recent job entrants hit the market from expanding middle-class economies such as India, China and Brazil.
While many argue the traditional college campus will or should become a thing of the past, I disagree. Only by meeting and sharing our experiences, often in casual conversation, do we see how alike we are and how much strength and wisdom we can share.