Notes in the Margins: Night owls, dropouts and grade inflation

College night owls get chances to hit books Wondering if students would be more enthusiastic and alert in the classroom after dark, Mansfield University professor Jonathan Rothermel scheduled an hour plus-long class next semester at a time fit for night owls: twice weekly at 9:45 p.m. Mansfield is one of a number of institutions that have recently started testing the popularity of holding class at a time of the night a typical student might be cramming anyway … or partying. (Boston Globe)

Colleg dropouts strain families, economy Dropping out of college has a cost — mostly to the students whose careers might be in jeopardy but also to taxpayers who help fund college education. (

A Master’s for Science Professionals Sweeps U.S. Schools A curiosity tucked away in a handful of university catalogs a decade ago, the professional science master’s degree is emerging from the shadows at a number of college campuses. (The New York Times)

Chapel Hill Campus Takes On Grade Inflation As part of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill’s long effort to clarify what grades really mean, Chapel Hill sociologist Andrew Perrin now leads a committee that is working with the registrar on plans to add extra information — probably median grades, and perhaps more — to transcripts. In addition, they expect to post further statistics providing context online and give instructors data on how their grading compares with their colleagues’. (The New York Times)

For-profit schools challenged on recruiting of veterans A wide-ranging examination of for-profit colleges by the U.S. Senate has homed in on how the schools recruit and educate veterans — a lucrative source of federal funds for Downtown-based Education Management Corp. The spark was the 2008 passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which gives most service members who served since Sept. 11, 2001, up to 36 months of tuition payments — and help for their spouses as well. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)