College Needs Corner has read a few articles and a book related to college education. Following are some excerpts from these articles and some of my thoughts.

  • College Presidents Are Bullish on Online Education but Face a Skeptical Public
    published by Jeffrey R. Young in The Chronicle of Higher Education.”Delivering courses in cyberclassrooms has gained broad acceptance among top college leaders, but the general public is far less convinced of online education’s quality, according to new survey data released this week by the Pew Research Center, in association with The Chronicle.”They queried 1,055 college presidents and 2,142 adult Americans, but they don’t say how many students were among those 2,142 adults.

    I believe good online courses have some advantages over classroom courses, but probably not every course is appropriately taught online.

  • The Worrisome Ascendance of Business in Higher Educationpublished in the same Chronicle by William W. Keep, dean of the School of Business at the College of New Jersey.”Though colleges can learn many things from the ways businesses operate, treating a college strictly like a business would be a mistake.”Certainly, I believe that education is not business and it should not be conducted as business.

    “…the student-as-customer model fits poorly.”

    “What we need is to learn the discipline of business without the short-term orientation.”

  • New book can help college students succeed:
    Title: How to Succeed in College (While Really Trying): A Professor’s Inside Advice
    Author: Jon B. Gould
    Publisher: University of Chicago Press, Chicago
    ISBN: 0226304663, Pages: 160, Year: 2012

    “Academic life should not be a mystery, and yet too many students come to college either not recognizing what will be expected of them or unprepared to meet the new challenges awaiting them.”

  • Rethinking Community College Placement Tests published by Catherine Groux in U.S. News University Directory.College placement tests place too many students in remedial courses. “…various colleges and organizations feel too many students are being placed into remedial courses they do not need…” because they lack test-taking skills.

    If they lack test-taking skills then it means that in high school they did not take enough tests. It is unthinkable that a high school graduate lacks test-taking skills!

    A valid alternative (already used by California’s Long Beach City College) is to evaluate students based on their high school grades.

  • STEM Fields And The Gender Gap: Where Are The Women? published by Heather R. Huhman in Forbes.”The STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—have always had a woman problem. Men tend to dominate in the tech industry, and for women, the numbers aren’t growing. A 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce found only one in seven engineers is female. Additionally, women have seen no employment growth in STEM jobs since 2000.”

    The article continues to propose three ways to promote female advancement in the STEM fields:

    1. Create programs that will encourage women to study tech.
    2. Rework the K-12 curriculum.
    3. Combat stereotypes.

    These are all good points. I just want to mention that there are and have always been women scientists. Here are just a few examples I know about: Grace Hooper, Sheila Greibach, Shafi Goldwasser, Margo Seltzer in Computer Science; Marie Curie and Irene Joliot-Curie in Chemistry and Physics, Ada Lovelace and Sophia Kovalevskaya in Mathematics, Ileana Streinu in Mathematics and Computer Science… Read about them and others in Wikipedia.

Filed under: College needs

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