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Southern Vermont College

Commencement Still Something to Cheer About, Especially at this Small College

Susan Amberg Biggs | Posted 05.23.2016 | College
Susan Amberg Biggs

Despite today's many challenges in higher education--in the world for that matter--I know I can count on the feel-good energy that comes from the sentiment served up at graduation. Even a reporter told me, amid the clapping and cheering, "SVC's Commencement is my favorite." Somehow, I feel that we are all the better for it, because it reminds us of what we're here for.

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

Karen Gross | Posted 01.19.2015 | College
Karen Gross

The idea that graduates' collegiate mentors should remain in touch hardly seems shocking; speaking personally, both of us have had mentors who have stayed in touch decades after we first met them.

Making Connections Throughout the Educational Pipeline: Valuable Lessons Learned

Karen Gross | Posted 01.10.2015 | Education
Karen Gross

How different are the needs and challenges across the educational pipeline? In September, my two colleagues and I decided to swap places for the day, leading each other's institutions.

The Student Loan Problem: The KISS Solution

Karen Gross | Posted 08.13.2014 | College
Karen Gross

The student loan business has gotten vastly too complex. The federal government loan and repayment options are hard to explain and understand; even experts struggle to determine which among the myriad of repayment options are best for which students.

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

Karen Gross | Posted 08.09.2014 | College
Karen Gross

These are the students of today and tomorrow, whom we want and need to attract to higher education. It is these individuals who will help us to become, once again, the most educated nation in the world.

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

Karen Gross | Posted 07.28.2014 | College
Karen Gross

The national focus on elite and other selective post-secondary institutions obscures the enormity of the positive work other institutions provide and undermines the valuable information they can share about successful strategies for first-generation college students.

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

Karen Gross | Posted 05.24.2014 | College
Karen Gross

the success of our institutions and our students requires that we bring our best selves to the table each and every day. And, like Lapointe observed related to his playing, we have a responsibility to 'step it up'

When Silence Stopped Being Golden

Karen Gross | Posted 05.19.2014 | Women
Karen Gross

Many women of my generation grew up learning to be quiet. We were told when we were young that children were meant to be seen, not heard. Then, with the start of the Vietnam War and the Women's Movement, we started to see the value of having a voice and having that voice heard.

Google Gives Information; Knowledge Promotes Empowerment

Karen Gross | Posted 02.05.2014 | Education
Karen Gross

Having recently spent a year working for the federal government in Washington and having been a Voter Advocate during the 2012 Presidential election, it seemed apt to talk to the students about voting rights -- from the time of the Ancient Greeks to today and into tomorrow.

The Power of Small -- In Education and in Medicine

Karen Gross | Posted 02.03.2014 | College
Karen Gross

There are remarkable benefits for students who enroll at small colleges. The attention they get is personalized. Faculty and staff know them by name and know many of their strengths and weaknesses.

When the Buzzer Sounds: Basketball, Giving and Thanks

Karen Gross | Posted 01.26.2014 | College
Karen Gross

There is another important aspect to this partnership. Vermont, a largely white state, has many students who have not lived or worked with minority populations. That is a handicap in a world that is increasingly diverse.

Health Care and Education Reform: Double Trouble

Karen Gross | Posted 01.23.2014 | College
Karen Gross

With all the linkages, there are two similarities between health care and education that have not received as much attention: a largely intractable problem, poverty, and a cautionary message about technology.

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

Karen Gross | Posted 01.23.2014 | College
Karen Gross

This is a teachable moment for students across our nation. The current shutdown of government violates our notions of fair play and fair dealing; it produces inequities that adversely affect our most vulnerable citizens.

Re-Thinking Orientation for Veteran Students on our Campuses

Karen Gross | Posted 11.12.2013 | College
Karen Gross

As we see these new students enrolling at our campuses, we need to pause and reflect on how to help them more successfully "crosswalk" from war to work, from military life to a residential campus.

The Educational Pipeline: Improving the Transition to College

Karen Gross | Posted 10.13.2013 | College
Karen Gross

First, we need to create a new cultural norm: being smart is a good thing. Then, we need to focus more on what are oft-termed the non-cognitive skills -- despite the fact that these skills are deeply cognitive and undeserving of pejorative connotations.

Cognitive Biases and Vulnerable Student Success

Karen Gross | Posted 09.23.2013 | College
Karen Gross

Our cognitive bias impacts others but also our perception of ourselves. When we become better aware, we can reduce the error rates in thinking about colleges/universities, our current and prospective students and ourselves -- for the betterment of individuals, institutions and the public good.

The Right Fit: Low-income Students and College Success

Karen Gross | Posted 09.16.2013 | College
Karen Gross

The bottom line is that determining fit is costly. It is not like stepping into a dressing room at a mall. Imagine the monies spent by wealthier families to hire college advisers and then visit campuses, often with overnight stays and plane trips, not to speak of days taken off from work.