Archive for the ‘Admissions’ Category

More HOPE to go around this year because fewer students earned it in the first place. Time to consider need-based HOPE?

AJC reporter Laura Diamond is reporting that the slight rise in HOPE payouts this year is a result of fewer Georgia students receiving the scholarship as a result of state lawmakers making the award harder to earn and harder to keep.

I stand nearly alone on this issue here on the blog, but still contend that Georgia has to consider a need component to HOPE. On a personal level, I would love to see HOPE remain fully merit-based as I have twins who will be college bound in 2017.

But on a public policy level, I understand that Georgia must produce many more college graduates to remain economically competitive. And that means finding ways to prod more teens to consider going to college by making it economically feasible for them. (Research shows that finances play a significant role in preventing qualified kids from attending college.)

As it stands now, HOPE has a greater influence on where kids go to college rather than whether they go. Every economic forecast says that Georgia …

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Georgia earns a C for how well it selects and prepares its teaching force. Colleges are not selective enough.

downeyart0321(3) (Medium)The National Council on Teacher Quality gave Georgia an overall grade of C in its teacher preparation policies, docking the state points for the lack of selectivity in admissions to teacher prep programs and for ridding classrooms of under performing teachers.

Still, Georgia outperforms the rest of the nation. The average grade nationwide was a D plus.

Here is a link to the full 2012 Georgia report.

The report recommends:

Georgia should require programs to use an assessment that demonstrates that candidates are academically competitive with all peers, regardless of their intended profession. Requiring a common test normed to the general college population would allow for the selection of applicants in the top half of their class while also facilitating program comparison.

Requiring only a 2.5 GPA sets a very low bar for the academic performance of the state’s prospective teachers. Georgia should consider using a higher GPA requirement for program admission in combination with …

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Does a STEM degree guarantee a job? Not always.

math (Medium)Does STEM always spell success for college graduates?

Whenever I write about the efforts to bolster U.S. graduates in science, technology, engineering and math, readers send me notes about their problems finding work despite a STEM degree. And that includes math teachers.

(If you are interested in this topic, take a look at this Duke study on which countries produce more engineers and the job prospects for those graduates. The report concludes: Our research shows that companies are not moving abroad because of a deficiency in U.S. education or the quality of U.S. workers. Rather, they are doing what gives them economic and competitive advantage. It is cheaper for them to move certain engineering jobs overseas and to locate their R&D operations closer to growth markets. There are serious deficiencies in engineering graduates from Indian and Chinese schools. Yet the trend is building momentum despite these weaknesses…The calls to graduate more engineers do not focus on any field …

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A Georgia Tech degree ranks in top 20 nationally for lifetime return on investment rate

If you want the most bang for your college buck, go to Georgia Tech. (AJC File)

If you want the most bang for your college buck, go to Georgia Tech. (AJC File)

In doing some research this week, I came across Payscale.com’s annual ranking of what a college costs and the return on that cost as reflected in lifetime earnings.

The rankings came out earlier this year, but I thought they were worth sharing.  The ranking goes all the way from 1 to 1,248 — and a Georgia school landed the last spot.

But let’s start with the happier news first: The biggest payback in Georgia comes from a Georgia Tech undergrad degree, which has a better return on lifetime investment rate than degrees from Brown, Yale, Amherst, Georgetown, UVA, Vanderbilt, Williams or Emory. (Lifetime was defined as a career span of 30 years.)

Georgia Tech ranks 17th on the national list for return on investment rate among  in-state students. (The return is slightly less for out-of-state students who pay higher tuition. Even for those students, Tech is the gift that keeps on giving, ranking 26th …

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AP classes and college: How many are enough?

Over the holiday, I spoke to a friend about the classes her two teenage daughters are taking this year.  The older teen is a senior at a top private school near the family home in New York. The younger is a junior at the local public high school.

What surprised me is how few AP classes they’ve taken. Each teen has only been in one AP course. My friend was not aware of the push — at least here in Georgia — to get more kids into AP.  She was surprised to learn that elite colleges expect to see at least four AP classes on transcripts of applicants, especially if the teens attend high schools with a full roster of AP offerings.

Her teen attending public school is a strong math and science student, scoring 700 0n the PSAT in math. Yet, as a junior, she hasn’t taken an AP math or science course. She has taken honors classes, but those seem to have fallen out of favor with colleges because every high school sets its own standards for what constitutes “honors.” In many high schools, …

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Former college prof and AP teacher: Advanced Placement is “one of the great frauds” in high school today

The Atlantic offers a provocative essay maintaining that AP classes are a scam and over hyped.

The piece is by John T. Tierney, a former college professor who also taught AP classes at a high school. (According to his bio, he received his Ph.D from Harvard and B.A. from Johns Hopkins. He retired from Boston College in 2000 and later taught American government and American history at an independent high school.)

There is research that students who take AP classes and AP exams perform better in college. However, increasingly, college professor complain to me that AP classes are not the equivalent of college courses, which this author also contends. (I hear that complaint most often from Georgia Tech math professors.)

However, I also hear from high school students in dual enrollment programs that the AP classes at their high schools are much tougher than the intro classes at their local colleges.

There is no doubt that AP is being promoted to high school students as a necessary …

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College board: Students who take core curriculum score higher

Here is an op-ed  by Kathryn Juric of the College Board on the coursework that students ought to be taking in high school. Juric is vice president of the College Board’s SAT Program and leads global program strategy for the SAT, which is administered annually to nearly three million students worldwide.

By Kathryn Juric

When it comes to education policy in the United States today, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: coursework matters.

As states move to implement the Common Core State Standards, the positive impact core course work and advanced study can have on college readiness is already evident in the SAT performance of recent high school graduates throughout Georgia and the nation.

According to the College Board’s 2012 SAT Report on College and Career Readiness, which was released this month, students who completed a core curriculum in high school did significantly better on the SAT than those who did not. A core curriculum is defined as four or more years of …

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Affirmative action in college admissions: Are admissions ever fair, given the range of exceptions?

This week, the AJC ran an op-ed by Kansas City Star columnist Mary Sanchez on the affirmative action case now before the U.S. Supreme Court. The court will hear arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin next week.

The Sanchez column prompted Mark Bauerlein of Emory University to offer up a counter view. Both are below.

The Supreme Court last addressed race in the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision. In a 5-4 vote, the court upheld the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School, saying that the Constitution “does not prohibit the law school’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.”

In Fisher v. Texas, the court is considering the claim of a white student who said she lost a seat at the University of Texas at Austin because of her race. Under the “Talented 10″ policy in Texas, students in the …

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Students shouldn’t air their “digital dirty laundry” as more college admissions officers are looking

Facebook.0607 (Medium)I am surprised how many teens post photos of themselves drinking or carousing on Facebook or fill their blog postings with expletives and tales of excess.

I understand that privacy controls are improved on most social media platforms, but I would still not post stuff online that I would not want my great aunt to see.

And this is why. From Kaplan Test Prep, which has some good tips for college applicants on social media usage.

Results from Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 survey of college admissions officers show that schools are increasingly discovering information on Facebook and Google that negatively impact applicants’ acceptance chances.

While the percentage of admissions officers who took to Google (27%) and checked Facebook (26%) as part of the applicant review process increased slightly (20% for Google and 26% for Facebook in 2011) from last year, the percentage that said they discovered something that negatively impacted an applicant’s chances of getting into the school nearly …

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Two Georgia Gwinnett College administrators cite higher purpose of their campus

In a “Get Schooled” post last week,  Robert Maranto, the 21st Century Chair in Leadership at the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, said that higher education lacks a higher purpose.

Take a look if you missed the column as it was a great piece. If you did read it, you may want to look at it again to better understand this response piece by two officials from Georgia Gwinnett College.

(By the way, Dr. Maranto sent me a note about how much he enjoyed your comments. He wrote, “The readers left unusually thoughtful comments, both pro and con.”)

In response to the column, Dr. Jim Fatzinger, associate vice president for Student Affairs, and Dr. Anita Vorreyer, director of New Student Connections, sent me this letter:

By Jim Fatzinger and Anita Vorreyer

Thanks to the AJC for sharing Robert Maranto’s suggestion that “Higher education is missing a critical element: A higher purpose” as it provided the opportunity for reflection on how Georgia Gwinnett …

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