Archive for the ‘Admissions’ Category

American higher education must reinvent itself

Here is a guest column by Mohammad Bhuiyan, the 2011-12 ACE Fellow at the University System of Georgia and Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship at Fayetteville State University

By Mohammad Bhuiyan

The American higher-education system is running on an unsustainable business model of raising tuition and fees to cover declining government and private funding. In addition, most of the academic community is in denial about the potential of technology and other emerging factors.

Ten years ago, online classes and degrees were considered low-quality, and most workplaces didn’t even recognize the diplomas. Today, online courses and programs are both important and ubiquitous. According to the Pew Research Center, about half of all college courses are now available online. The new generation of students is in many ways more interested in online classes than traditional classrooms.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that venture capitalists have poured about $500 million over …

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Free for the taking: Elite colleges including Tech put classes online

computer (Medium) A dozen major research universities including Georgia Tech, Princeton, Duke, Johns Hopkins and the University of Virginia announced plans this week to offer 100 free online courses that will enable millions worldwide to take the same classes as students at elite U.S. campuses.

The announcement by Coursera, a year-old company founded by two Stanford professors, represents a giant leap forward in the expanding inventory of what has become known as MOOCs — massive open online courses.

“I think this is the most remarkable social development certainly of the last few years,” said Eric D. Fingerhut at a Brookings Institution webinar Tuesday. The former chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, Fingerhut is vice president of education and STEM learning for the Ohio-based research and development firm Batelle.

“One of America’s greatest products is our higher education system,” said Fingerhut. “And we are opening it up for free to people anywhere in the world. You’d …

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Students spending more, parents spending less on college

An old pal stayed with me this weekend. She lives on the Georgia coast but was in town so her 17-year-old daughter could tour UGA and Georgia Tech. Her daughter is a top student who wants to stay in the South for college, so I suggested that she might add Emory, Duke and Davidson to her list.

But the teen told me that she was concentrating on Georgia public colleges where she would receive the HOPE Scholarship.

Increasingly, families nationwide are factoring cost into school decisions, both due to the exorbitant tab for private schools and the erosion of U.S. household incomes. According to a new survey released today, parents are spending less on their children’s higher education. The students are shouldering most of the costs.

I have to admit that I am talking up UGA and Tech to my twins, who are five years away from college. I had encouraged my older two children to look at other regions of the country.  The result is that I will need that five years to replenish the …

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“In the end, college is not an investment. A college major is.”

Not all these students would be cheering at their college graduation if they understood the potential earning awaiting them depending on their degree.  (AJC/file photo)

Not all these college grads would be cheering if they understood their degree may not pay off. (AJC/file photo)

Happy July 4th.

Here is a thought-provoking essay on the value of  a college degree by James R. Harrigan, a fellow of the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University, and Antony Davies, a professor of economics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and Senior Affiliated Scholar at the Mercatus Center.

By James R. Harrigan and Antony Davies

There is an amazing opportunity just waiting for you, and you can get in on the ground floor for only $120,000. If you act now you will be virtually guaranteed an income for the rest of your working life. There’s one small caveat: We can’t tell you how much you will actually earn in the 50 years or so after you make this investment, because, let’s face it, there are a lot of variables. But hey, it’s only $120,000. And you can’t put a price tag on your future, can you?

Anyone who would make this kind of …

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One in six high school students on overnight stays at prospective colleges drinks alcohol during the visit

Many colleges urge prospective students to make overnight visits to their campuses, even arranging for them to spend the night in the dorms. But a new survey finds that one in six high school students on such overnight visits reports drinking during their stay.

(This may explain why so many high school students have told me over the years that that they somehow missed the official college tour while visiting campuses.)

A survey by the Center for Adolescent Research and Education at Susquehanna University (CARE) and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) found that about 16 percent of surveyed teens who had been on an overnight visit reported drinking alcohol during the visit.

The results don’t surprise me as going to college parties is often a highlight of a campus overnight, especially during informal visits where two high school juniors bunk in the dorm room of an older sibling or cousin. I would love to see this survey extended to find out whether the teens drank …

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A senior’s music video plea gets him off University of Michigan wait list and into college and our hearts

Another one of those YouTube videos that lights up your day. And, yes, Lawrence Yong, a high school senior at Granada Hills Charter High School in Los Angeles, is now going to the University of Michigan. (This might fuel a whole new genre of music video college applications.)

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Condition of public high schools: More math, science. More kids going to college. And, in the South, more kids.

There is a wealth of detail about public high schools in the Condition of Education 2012 report issued a few weeks ago by the National Center for Education Statistics.

This year’s report looked at high school trends over the last 20 years. Among the interesting statistics: There has been a doubling of students taking math and science courses.

Of local interest, the statistical snapshot found that public high school enrollment increased by 35 percent in the South between 1989 and 2010, from 4 million students to 5.4 million.

Other striking stats: The number of high school students 16 and older holding jobs dropped from 32 percent to 16 percent between 1990 and 2010. Distance/online education is growing, from 222,000 students in 2002-03 to more than 1.3 million in 2009-10.

High school grads are more likely to go directly to college. In 1975,  51 percent of teens went off to a two- or four-year college in the fall after their high school graduation. In 2009-2010,  70 percent …

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Pro/con views on ranking students as No. 1: A valedictorian and headmaster disagree

no. 1The print AJC op-ed page has a great pro/con package today on whether schools should name valedictorians.

The pro piece was written by my AJC colleague Shane Blatt, who was his Key West high school’s No. 1 graduate. The con was written by Paul Bianchi, who is headmaster of a school that does not name a valedictorian, the Paideia School.

Here is Shane Blatt’s reasons for keeping the tradition of naming a valedictorian:

This month marks the 20th anniversary since I delivered my valedictory speech before more than 1,000 students, faculty and parents. Under the stadium spotlights on that sweltering night in June ,1992, I touched on themes of personal responsibility and self-sacrifice, of pushing boundaries and never giving up.

Such themes would resonate in today’s troubling times, and if I were the valedictorian of a high school in 2012, perhaps I would deliver the same speech. Only I might not get the chance.

That’s because a small but growing number of schools across the …

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Dealing with college rejection: Students can get over not getting in

The standard college rejection letter announces, “While you are a qualified applicant, we regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you admission.”

However, the rejected student often reads a subtext into the letter: “You are not good enough. You are not getting into this amazing college that would have changed your life.”

Allison Singh, 37, understands that reaction. That is how she felt when Princeton rejected her 20 years ago. She nursed her wounds until she realized that she ultimately benefited from the loss.

So, when a high school friend asked her to help her boss’ daughter deal with a rejection by her dream college, Singh composed a long email that began, “I was crushed when I wasn’t accepted to my first-choice college. I felt like a failure and was angry that all of my hard work hadn’t been enough for admission.”

But Singh ended the email with, “But slowly, I gave my school and my classmates a chance, and gave myself a break…I came out of …

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Triplets and four sets of twins take the very top honors at their Georgia high schools.

UPDATED a 11:45 a.m with news that Luella High in Henry also has twins in the top slots.

UPDATED at 2 p.m with news that triplets took the top three slots at Upson-Lee High School.

UPDATED at 3:34 p.m. with news that twins took the top honors at Franklin High School.

Bill Maddox of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education pointed me to these two news story, which he thought were worth noting. I agree. The valedictorians and salutatorians at Grovetown High School in Columbia County and at Clarke Central High in Athens are twins.

In addition, I am awaiting details from Henry County where twin brothers are the valedictorian and salutatorian at Luella High School. Sheldon C. Scoggins  is valedictorian; his brother Brennan M. Scoggins is salutatorian.

I just confirmed a twin valedictorian/salutatorian at Franklin High School. According to principal Wayne Randall, Scout Josey is valedictorian and her sister Kate is salutatorian. They are the twin daughters of Ricky …

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