Archive for the ‘College’ Category

Democrats want to tweak HOPE Scholarship again. Give full HOPE to top 3 percent of class

The Democrats in the Senate are getting busy on education issues.

One of their chief targets is the Zell Miller Scholarship, the top tier HOPE award that goes to high school graduates who perform well in both GPA and SAT. Democrats want to expand the scholarship to students who graduate in the top 3 percent, regardless of their SAT score.

Zell Miller scholars must graduate high school as the valedictorian or salutatorian, or with at least a 3.7 grade-point average and a 1200 on the SAT’s math and reading sections. While in college they must maintain a 3.3 GPA. HOPE scholars must maintain a 3.0. So far, 11,600 Zell Miller scholars receive payments through the program.

Most high school grads in the state don’t meet that higher bar but qualify for HOPE Lite if they have a 3.0 grade point average. HOPE Lite is based on available lottery funds and thus subject to fluctuations. The governor created two tiers of HOPE awards in 2011 to cut down on the scholarship program’s …

Continue reading Democrats want to tweak HOPE Scholarship again. Give full HOPE to top 3 percent of class »

The “Me” Curriculum at the DOE: Why we need to stop telling students “Narrative writing is all about me.”

Dr. Mark Bauerlein

Dr. Mark Bauerlein

Here is a terrific guest column written for the blog by Emory University’s Mark Bauerlein,  the author of  2008 book “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.”

This is a good piece for teachers to discuss.

By Mark Bauerlein

You couldn’t get much farther from the life of a Georgia teenager than the world of Ernest Hemingway’s 1933 short story “A Clean, Well-lighted Place.” There, an old man in a café drinks late into the night while two waiters discuss him. The older waiter goes home with fatalistic thoughts, at one point slipping into the Lord’s Prayer but substituting nada for “Father”— an expression of his atheism whose terrible loneliness he keeps at bay with bright, familiar spaces at home and work.

The irrelevance of that scene to Georgia teens, however, doesn’t prevent the Georgia Department of Education from recommending that 11th Grade teachers issue this writing assignment to English …

Continue reading The “Me” Curriculum at the DOE: Why we need to stop telling students “Narrative writing is all about me.” »

Good advice from educator: Let your kids choose own path, in college and life

downeyart (Medium)Here is a thoughtful guest column by Stan Beiner, head of the Epstein School:

By Stan Beiner

At The Epstein School, a private K-8 program, we prepare students to excel in high school and beyond.  If we do not maintain standards of academic excellence, we would not have the opportunity to fulfill our other mission which is creating well-balanced individuals who will continue in the traditions of our people.

With a deep sigh, we turn our innocent, middle school graduates over to high schools who will prepare them for colleges that don’t exist.  You can translate that as heavy homework loads, AP courses, honors classes, multiple extra-curricular activities, and the stretch for the highest GPA possible.

I have listened to countless teens talk about holding down jobs, staying up endless hours, falling asleep at their desks, padding their resumes, and trying to figure out HOW to get into their preferred STATE school.

Flash forward to the “perils” of university life …

Continue reading Good advice from educator: Let your kids choose own path, in college and life »

Oglethorpe University president: College leaders unite to end silence on gun safety in America

Oglethorpe President Lawrence Schall. (Oglethorpe)

Oglethorpe President Lawrence Schall. (Oglethorpe)

Lawrence Schall, president of Oglethorpe University, shared this letter with me late Thursday night. He wrote the letter for the Chronicle of Higher Education where it was published earlier this week.

In the wake of the Price Middle School shooting, I am sharing Dr. Schall’s letter here this morning:

The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, who served the University of Notre Dame as its president for 35 years, wrote an article in 2001 titled Where are College Presidents’ Voices on Important Public Issues?”

He began this way: “When I was a college president, I often spoke out on national issues, even when they didn’t pertain to academic life. Yet, nowadays, I don’t find many college presidents commenting on such issues.”

I will suggest that the silence has grown even more deafening in the decade since Father Hesburgh penned those words. This month, the silence was broken.

Over 330 college and university presidents signed a letter, …

Continue reading Oglethorpe University president: College leaders unite to end silence on gun safety in America »

Emory president introduces new provost and explains why it’s wiser to be in the online pack rather than leading it



Emory President Jim Wagner (Emory)
Emory President Jim Wagner (Emory)

Emory President James Wagner visited the AJC on Tuesday to introduce new provost Claire E. Sterk. Among the topics on the table: Emory’s ventures into the online world.

Emory is participating in Coursera, a consortium of universities offering free MOOCs or massive open online course.  But closer to home, it’s launching Semester Online, which Sterk and Wagner described as “the modern-day version of a semester abroad.”

Launching in a year, Semester Online will offer far smaller classes than MOOCs and likely be limited to students from Emory and other top-tier schools, such as Duke, Northwestern and Tufts. Undergrads will earn credits for their courses, which is not the case with the free MOOCs.  Semester Online will cover the same information and be taught by the same faculty at the brick-and-mortar colleges.

And students will pay the same tuition, which surprised me. Isn’t lower costs one of the chief selling …

Continue reading Emory president introduces new provost and explains why it’s wiser to be in the online pack rather than leading it »

One finalist for UGA president: Jere Morehead

Jere Morehead will be the new president of UGA pending Regents approval. He already works for UGA.

Jere Morehead will be the new president of UGA pending Regents approval. He already works for UGA.

Sounds like the University of Georgia has a new president:

From the Board of Regents:

Board of Regents Chair “Dink” Nesmith and University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby have announced the name of the finalist for the University of Georgia presidency, Jere Morehead.

Morehead is currently the senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost at UGA. He previously served as UGA’s vice president for Instruction, vice provost for Academic Affairs, director of the Honors Program, and acting executive director of Legal Affairs.

In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Morehead is the Meigs Professor of Legal Studies in the Terry College of Business where he has had a faculty appointment since 1986.

In his current position, the deans of the various schools and colleges report to Morehead, as well as several vice presidents. Several other campus units report to …

Continue reading One finalist for UGA president: Jere Morehead »

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 …

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

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 …

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

College grads in the workplace. Quick with answers but not always looking beyond computer screen

computer (Medium)Another interesting study to mull over today: College graduates understand and excel at Internet grazing, but are less comfortable or familiar with more traditional research methodology, including calling and talking to people, reading annual reports and scouring databases.

This gap is becoming apparent to employers who are impressed with their young hires’ online skills, but also concerned about their lack of more standard research competencies.

According to the “Learning Curve” Project Information Literacy Research Report:

In a world where technology abounds, social networks buzz, and connectivity is as commonplace as electricity, graduates may post their resume on Monster, apply for a few coveted internships they have found on Vault, and hook up with some new housemates on Craigslist. As dating options diminish after college, they may find themselves browsing profiles on Okcupid.com. But once they settle into a new job, many of today’s graduates soon discover that the …

Continue reading College grads in the workplace. Quick with answers but not always looking beyond computer screen »

College students post lower grades when parents pay more toward their educations

Less can add up to more, at least in terms on parental financial support and college grades, according to a new study. (AJC file photo)

Less can add up to more, at least in terms of parental financial support and college grades, according to a new study. (AJC file photo)

I had a conversation Monday night with a friend who, along with paying tuition, provided her daughter with $1,300 a month for living expenses in college. That money went to rent, meals and extras.

I felt Scrooge-like as I only gave my two older children $400 a month to cover rent once they left the college dorms and moved into shared off-campus rental apartments where they were responsible for their meals.

I didn’t pay anything else toward their related living expenses. My kids held part-time jobs so I assumed they could cover their own groceries. (One worked in a restaurant and ate there a lot, while the other made a lot of Ramen noodles, They  both graduated college in less than four years, probably because they were starving. )

Turns out that my miserly ways could have had some value.

There is a fascinating new study in the American …

Continue reading College students post lower grades when parents pay more toward their educations »