Public strongly backs affirmative action programs on campus Americans say by roughly two-to-one (63% to 30%) that affirmative action programs designed to increase the number of black and minority students on college campuses is a “good thing,” according to a survey conducted Feb. 27-Mar. 16. This was almost the same result Pew Research found in 2003. Behind those overall numbers is a racial and partisan divide. (Pew Research Center)
How much are college students learning? This failure to examine systematically what is, after all, the core mission of colleges is a big problem for U.S. higher education. We’re awash in efforts to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of our colleges. But without a better base of comparative evidence, we won’t really know how these reforms affect learning. (CNN via NAICU)
The new SAT: Aptitude testing for college admissions falls out of favor There’s a reason the College Board scrubbed “aptitude” from the name of its big admission test two decades ago. The idea of a Scholastic Aptitude Test left the organization open to criticism that it believed some people were born to go to college and some weren’t. (The Washington Post)
Student Loans Can Suddenly Come Due When Co-Signers Die, a Report Finds Rohit Chopra, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s student loan ombudsman, said that he did not know how common the practice was, but that a steady stream of consumer complaints indicated it was becoming more frequent. He also said companies appeared to be doing it more or less automatically, combing public records of deaths and bankruptcies, comparing them to loan records and generating repayment demands and default notices. (The New York Times)
CEO Howard Root of Vascular Solutions writes in the Star Tribune how disappointed he was in many of the transcripts submitted by recent University of Minnesota graduates applying to his company’s MedDevice Associate program.
Too many, Root writes, had courses that appeared to him to be easy A’s. And the “lack of substantive learning” among many college grads, he says, might be a factor behind the high underemployment of recent grads.
The solution is for the university to return to the traditions of a liberal arts education with a required undergraduate curriculum of substantive courses in science, math, literature, composition and speech that requires a student to learn how to learn. That curriculum would prepare its graduates with the skills necessary to qualify for college-degree-required jobs like Vascular Solutions’ and begin to earn a financial return on their expensive college education.
The Worst Trends in Higher Education The real threat to higher education today is ideological: the expectation that universities will become instruments of society’s will, legislators’ will, governors’ will, that they will be required to produce specific quantifiable results, particularly economic, and to cease researching and teaching certain subjects that do not fit the utilitarian model. Read more →
The real meaning of diversity (beyond the Benetton ads) My personal background led me to question even the most basic assumptions, affording me the opportunity to examine history through a unique lens. And that is power of diversity — not that you are more colorful, but that you look at things differently, that you can push Read more →
Virginia Tech pays fine for failure to warn campus during 2007 mass shooting Virginia Tech has paid $32,500 to satisfy federal fines lodged by the U.S. Department of Education, which charged that the university did not adequately warn its campus community at the beginning of a 2007 rampage that became one of the deadliest mass Read more →
I had no idea balloons went that high. Fun clip: A team of students from the University of Minnesota sent their mascot, Goldy the Gopher, up to nearly 100,000 feet on a high altitude balloon mission. Goldy reached the edge of space along with experiments designed by the team of mostly Aerospace Engineering students. (Don’t Read more →
Despite the National Labor Relations Board Ruling, We Might Never Pay College Athletes Colleges could avoid having to worry about unions at all by just not offering scholarships to students. (Washington Monthly) ‘Dean of the College Media Business’ to Student Journalists: Stop Dropping Print! Don’t abandon it — at least not yet. And mess around Read more →
You may have just learned that fired football coach Todd Hoffner will return to his job at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Here’s the university’s reaction in an emailed announcement: “We have learned that Mr. Hoffner intends to return to Minnesota State Mankato tomorrow and we welcome him back to his position as head football coach. This Read more →
Jessica Medearis, associate director of the Minnesota State College Student Association, says how almost 20 years of work at MnSCU hasn’t been enough to make transferring schools within the system easy: “Our students are confused by the complexity of the system, and they’re really frustrated.” Read the full story here.