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With a Degree, Diverging From a Well-Worn Path

Chronicle of Higher Education - 6 hours 59 min ago
How one student’s journey from community college to a career focused on physics shows a slice of life in southwest Louisiana.
Categories: Higher Education News

Purdue Faculty and Students React Warily to Kaplan Deal

Chronicle of Higher Education - 6 hours 59 min ago
While some student leaders said the transaction would strengthen the university’s national presence, several professors said faculty members should have been involved.
Categories: Higher Education News

Purdue’s Purchase of Kaplan Is a Big Bet — and a Sign of the Times

Chronicle of Higher Education - 6 hours 59 min ago
By acquiring the for-profit-education giant, the public university is taking cues from the fast pace of online growth at other nonprofit institutions.
Categories: Higher Education News

Advocates for HBCUs Aim to Keep Pressure on Lawmakers

Chronicle of Higher Education - 7 hours 4 min ago
Students, alumni, and supporters of historically black colleges traveled to Washington on Thursday to press their cause, as increased aid from the Trump administration seems less likely.
Categories: Higher Education News

In Trump’s First 100 Days, Higher Ed Sees More Shadow Than Substance

Chronicle of Higher Education - 7 hours 9 min ago
The president and his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, have said little about their higher-education priorities so far. But that doesn’t mean their stewardship hasn’t been felt.
Categories: Higher Education News

Sociology Chair Resigns at Colorado-Boulder After Alleged Harassment in Department

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 27, 2017 - 3:58pm
Don Grant said his resignation is unrelated to the allegations coming from a Colorado worker's union, and calls them a "tactic" to unionize faculty
Categories: Higher Education News

Embattled Community-College President Retires Ahead of Board Vote

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 27, 2017 - 12:17pm
The president of Niagara County Community College, in New York, stepped down following news of a recording in which he appeared to blame the victim of a campus sexual assault.
Categories: Higher Education News

Purdue U. Buys Mega For-Profit Kaplan U., Plans to Turn It Into a 'Public University'

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 27, 2017 - 7:37am
Purdue University's board made the deal official on Thursday morning.
Categories: Higher Education News

Speaking Out in Troubled Times

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 27, 2017 - 2:55am
F. King Alexander, president of Louisiana State University, says he will continue to speak out for public higher education and against politicians who undermine it. But he sometimes wonders where the voices of his peers are.
Categories: Higher Education News

A White Student’s Protest Art Focuses Attention on UNC’s Racial History

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 27, 2017 - 2:55am
When an authentic-looking plaque appeared on a building at the center of Chapel Hill’s debate over its racial history, activists were giddy. It was the work of this student.
Categories: Higher Education News

At Berkeley, a Speaker's Cancellation Spurs New Battles Over Free Speech

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 27, 2017 - 2:52am
The conservative commentator Ann Coulter canceled her speech planned for Thursday, prompting a new round of recriminations at on a campus known as the birthplace of the free-speech movement.
Categories: Higher Education News

What's a Tenure-Track Professor Dress Like? The Gap Takes a Guess at the Look for Women

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 26, 2017 - 12:37pm
Academics react to a fashion ad that features an outfit for the women on the tenure track.
Categories: Higher Education News

Ann Coulter Cancels Talk at Berkeley, Calling It 'a Sad Day for Free Speech'

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 26, 2017 - 11:51am
The conservative commentator's decision came after the groups hosting her said the university had failed to provide “assurances for protections from foreseeable violence from unrestrained leftist agitators.”
Categories: Higher Education News

New York Community-College President May Be Ousted After Victim-Blaming Remarks

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 26, 2017 - 9:52am
Pressure from faculty, students, and the governor has prompted a special meeting of the college's Board of Trustees.
Categories: Higher Education News

OLC and WCET Ask: “What Keeps You Up at Night?” – Part 2

WCET Frontiers Blog - April 26, 2017 - 9:10am

This is the second in a two-part series on a partnership between the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and WCET (the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) to obtain feedback from some of our members. Part 1 focused on the outcome of that general question at two sessions last fall. Part 2 is the results of a more targeted discussion at a recent OLC Innovate session. The participants were small groups who attended our conferences. Now we would like to open the conversation and hear from you.

Continuing the Conversation at OLC Innovate

Kathleen Ives (CEO of OLC), Karen Pedersen (Chief Knowledge Officer at OLC), and Russ Poulin (Director, Policy and Analysis at WCET) reviewed the results of your input as outlined in the Part 1 blog post. At OLC Innovate 2017 in New Orleans, we conducted a follow-up session. Based on results from the two Fall conferences, this time we focused strictly on issues surrounding accessibility. It was one area for which there was great concern expressed and for which our organizations could collaborate to better serve our members…and students.

To glean insights from the group assembled at Innovate, we asked “as a leader navigating accessibility issues on your campus, what is the one issue/challenge that keeps you up at night”?  The insights were encapsulated into three primary trends focusing on students, faculty, and systems.

  • Student Focus:
    • Students want more media – things read to them and more students have different needs (e.g., returning veterans).
    • Accessibility is also a moving target – “if you meet one student with Autism Spectrum Disorder, you have only met one”.
    • A focus on building courses and/or changing existing content with accessibility in mind can help all students.
  • Faculty Perspectives:
    • We need faculty change agents or “champions” – work to change culture.
    • Faculty sometimes aren’t sure about the research behind solutions – they need training.
    • Is there an impact on innovation? – Some faculty are afraid to innovate and/or use new teaching strategies or technology because of accessibility concerns.
  • System Insights:
    • We need an expert to help navigate – “I don’t understand the rules and need to know more about what is required or what is enough.”
    • Often accessibility offices are over-taxed.
    • Administratively the institution needs to understand the consequences – but find solutions in collaboration with faculty.

We then did a deeper dive and asked “What resources do you rely on today and what resources would you like to have for tomorrow?”  Excerpts from attendees on this two-part question included:

  • What resources do we rely on today?
    • Lean heavily on W3C Accessibility
    • Consulting companies that do accessibility compliance reviews.
    • Rely on accessibility offices (however, they may not have the awareness of online) who often interface with legal staff.
    • Faculty taking the lead.
    • Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).
  • What resources would you like to have for tomorrow?
    • Rules “cheat sheet” in simple, easy-to-understand language.
    • Decision making flow chart.
    • Simple check for a common standard or minimum viability for accessibility – “you might lose some degree of granularity, but it might help with 80%”.
    • Repository for knowledge and resource sharing – every institution is reinventing the wheel.
    • Content repository of already compliant resources.

More Feedback Wanted. What’s Next?

We greatly appreciate the input from those attending the OLC Innovate session. It was a small group and we would like to expand the conversation.
Do these accessibility topics resonate with you? Please add comments with insights or perspectives you would like to share.

We are in talks now about next steps. We are thinking about better methods to track the “what keeps me up at night” question in the future. We are also talking about shared resources focusing on accessibility issues.


Kathleen Ives
OLC Chief Executive Officer and
Executive Director

Karen Pedersen
OLC Chief Knowledge Officer

Russ Poulin
WCET Director of Policy and Analysis

Berkeley’s Dirks Reflects on Tumultuous Tenure

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 26, 2017 - 2:55am
Nicholas B. Dirks talks about his time as chancellor, public support for higher education, and a developing controversy involving Ann Coulter, a conservative provocateur who plans on Thursday to speak on the campus — even though Berkeley officials say it is not safe to do so.
Categories: Higher Education News

Wake Forest’s Eudaimonia Institute Tries to Turn From Controversy to Scholarship

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 26, 2017 - 2:55am
Before it even got up and running, the institute, which aims to study "human flourishing," drew scrutiny for its largest funding source: the Charles Koch Foundation. At the institute’s first conference, its leader called the event a chance to show scholars that "we’re doing serious work."
Categories: Higher Education News

Should Alice Goffman’s Work Cost Her a Faculty Position?

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 26, 2017 - 2:55am
A group of students and alumni of Pomona College, which named her a visiting professor, argues that it should. Scholars and administrators say that demand treads on dangerous territory.
Categories: Higher Education News

Dozens of Colleges’ Upward Bound Applications Are Denied for Failing to Dot Every I

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 26, 2017 - 2:35am
The program helps prepare low-income high-school students for college. Some members of Congress are urging the Education Department to "apply some common sense" and reconsider the rejected applications, putting more focus on substance than format.
Categories: Higher Education News

Janet Napolitano Disputes Finding That Her Office Held $175 Million in Undisclosed Funds

Chronicle of Higher Education - April 25, 2017 - 12:28pm
A California state audit also asserted that the University of California’s Office of the President had paid excessive salaries.
Categories: Higher Education News


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