Higher Education News
In our eighth annual survey, 86 colleges were recognized. Explore the sortable results to see if yours made the list.
Administrators must find ways to follow government rules without reducing counseling time with students.
Members of the University of South Florida’s history department are finding new ways to get their jobs done after budget cuts.
It’s useful to remember that faculty work has always been challenging, that student indifference is not new, and that teaching and research have always existed in tension.
It’s nothing personal, just that search-committee members have too much to do and too few hands to do it.
Enrollment competition, increased oversight, growing use of assessments, and tighter budgets weigh heavily on higher-education managers.
In an era when people are increasingly "lawyering up," campus legal officials strive to keep minor disagreements from escalating into major courtroom battles.
Drowning in commitments, female professors who want a balanced life need to practice ways of avoiding yet more.
Como padre de dos niños en las escuelas públicas, aprecio que las escuelas me informan con frecuencia sobre el progreso de mis hijos — a menudo hasta una vez por semana. Pero aun así a veces me pregunto cuál es el nivel de mis hijos en comparación con otros niños de su edad en el distrito, estado y país. Y aun como empleado del Departamento de Educación, no siempre sé cuáles preguntas debo hacer.
Por esta razón estoy contento por la nueva guía para padres que hoy lanzamos en colaboración con America Achieves, el Consejo Nacional de La Raza, National PTA, y el United Negro College Fund. La guía incluye preguntas que los padres deben hacer y recursos que pueden utilizar los padres y cuidadores para asegurar que sus niños reciban la educación que merecen. La guía sugiere preguntas importantes que hacer, consejos para el éxito educativo y recursos para obtener más información.
La guía complementa el conjunto de derechos que el Departamento publicó recientemente, donde se expone lo que las familias deben esperar de la educación de sus hijos. Los derechos se aplican a toda la trayectoria educativa y cubren todos los niveles educativos, incluido el acceso a una educación preescolar de calidad; escuelas primarias y secundarias seguras, con buenos recursos y normas altas de rendimiento para los estudiantes; y acceso a una educación universitaria de calidad a un precio asequible.
La guía sugiere las siguientes “preguntas básicas” que los padres deben plantear a los educadores de sus hijos, incluyendo:
Calidad: ¿Recibe mi hijo una buena educación?
- ¿Cómo me mantendrán ustedes regularmente informado sobre el progreso de mi hijo? ¿Cómo podemos colaborar juntos si mi hijo se retrasa?
- ¿Está mi hijo a nivel de grado y en camino de preparación para la universidad y el trabajo? ¿Cómo lo sabré?
Listos para el éxito: ¿Estará mi hijo preparado para triunfar en el futuro?
- ¿Cómo se medirá el progreso y la capacidad de mi hijo en materias como lectura, matemática, ciencia, artes, desarrollo social y emocional, y otras actividades y materias?
- ¿Cuánto tiempo pasará mi hijo preparándose y tomando pruebas del estado y del distrito? ¿Cómo sabré yo y el maestro de mi hijo cómo utilizar los resultados para ayudar a mi hijo a avanzar?
Seguros y saludables: ¿Se cuida y mantiene seguro a mi hijo en la escuela?
- ¿Qué programas existen para que la escuela sea un entorno seguro, enriquecedor y positivo? ¿Cuáles son las políticas de la escuela sobre la disciplina y para evitar el acoso en la escuela?
- ¿Son saludables las comidas y meriendas proporcionadas en la escuela? ¿Cuánto tiempo se dedica al recreo o el ejercicio?
Buenos maestros: ¿Participa y aprende mi hijo en la escuela cada día?
- ¿Cómo sabré si los maestros de mi hijo son eficaces?
- ¿Cuánto tiempo pasan los maestros colaborando entre sí?
- ¿Qué tipo de desarrollo profesional hay para los maestros aquí?
Equidad y justicia: ¿Tienen mi hijo y los demás niños de la escuela o programa, la misma oportunidad de triunfar y de ser tratados justamente?
- Cómo asegura la escuela que todos los estudiantes reciban un trato justo? (Por ejemplo, ¿existen diferencias en las tasas de suspensión o expulsión por raza o sexo?).
- ¿Ofrece la escuela a todos los estudiantes acceso a las clases que necesitan para prepararse para el éxito, incluidos los estudiantes de inglés y los estudiantes con necesidades especiales (por ejemplo, Álgebra I y II, clases para dotados y talentosos, laboratorios de ciencia, clases AP o IB, arte, y música)?
Cameron Brenchley es subsecretario adjunto de comunicaciones en el Departamento de Educación de EE.UU.
As a parent of two children in public schools, I appreciate how often I get updates on how they’re doing in school—sometimes as often as once a week! But it often leaves me wondering how my kids are stacking up against other kids their age in the district, state and country. And even as an employee at the Department of Education, I’m not always sure what questions I should be asking.
This is why I’m excited about a new parent checklist we’re releasing today in collaboration with America Achieves, National Council of La Raza, National PTA, and the United Negro College Fund. The parent checklist includes questions and resources that parents and caregivers can use to help ensure their children are getting the education they deserve. The checklist suggests key questions, tips for educational success and resources for more information.
The checklist follows the set of rights that the Department recently released outlining what families should be able to expect for their children’s education. The rights follow the educational journey of a student—from access to quality preschool; to engagement in safe, well-resourced elementary and secondary schools that hold all students to high standards; to access to an affordable, quality college degree.
The checklist suggests these “key questions” that parents should pose to their child’s educators, including:
Quality: Is my child getting a great education?
- How will you keep me informed about how my child is doing on a regular basis? How can we work together if my child falls behind?
- Is my child on grade level, and on track to be ready for college and a career? How do I know?
Ready for Success: Will my child be prepared to succeed in whatever comes next?
- How will you measure my child’s progress and ability in subjects including reading, math, science, the arts, social and emotional development, and other activities?
- How much time will my child spend preparing for and taking state and district tests? How will my child’s teacher and I know how to use the results to help my child make progress?
Safe and Healthy: Is my child safe and cared for at school?
- What programs are in place to ensure that the school is a safe, nurturing and positive environment? What are the discipline and bullying policies at the school?
- Are the meals and snacks provided healthy? How much time is there for recess and/or exercise?
Great Teachers: Is my child engaged and learning every day?
- How do I know my child’s teachers are effective?
- How much time do teachers get to collaborate with one another?
- What kind of professional development is available to teachers here?
Equity and Fairness: Does my child, and every child at my child’s school or program, have the opportunity to succeed and be treated fairly?
- How does the school make sure that all students are treated fairly? (For example, are there any differences in suspension/expulsion rates by race or gender?)
- Does the school offer all students access to the classes they need to prepare them for success, including English language learners and students with special needs (for example, Algebra I and II, gifted and talented classes, science labs, AP or IB classes, art, music)?
Cameron Brenchley is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications at the U.S. Department of Education
A new study identifies three medical professors who have repeatedly testified in support of tobacco companies at civil trials.
A lesson for admissions professionals in the arts of engagement across the campus, enlisting support and making allies everywhere, but chiefly at the top.
Many colleges offer such programs. But it’s tricky to tell whether they improve students’ decisions, now or in the future.
The students say the university didn’t do enough to protect them, and their education suffered as a result.
Social media is important, but applicants might not use it as you think. As for brochures, don’t waste the trees.
Much is changing in higher education.
Most fundamentally, students themselves are changing. After long decades of exclusion, college access has expanded opportunities for minority students, first-generation students, and low-income students. In 2015, students are more likely to attend community college than any other postsecondary option, and more likely to be older, living away from campus, and may be attending part-time while balancing work and family.The iconic picture of an 18-year-old high school graduate walking across a leafy campus toward her dorm room no longer reflects the reality of today’s college student.
Institutions of higher education are responding to these changes, in part by making course delivery more flexible. Technology has made this even more possible, introducing teaching and learning that is less constrained by time and place. Technology is also making new kinds of embedded assessment and adaptive curriculum possible, allowing instructors and students to discern with greater accuracy a student’s mastery of material or skills.
The demand for higher education is increasing, well beyond the capacity of traditional institutions. It’s easy to see why. As President Obama has said, the time when a high school diploma could lead to a good middle class job is gone. In today’s economy and tomorrow’s, some kind of postsecondary degree or credential is essential. That’s why we are committed to policies that increase access to high-quality programs, to keeping those programs affordable for all, and to ensuring quality outcomes for students.
Outside of the traditional colleges and universities, a vibrant marketplace for learning is emerging, whether through stand-alone MOOCS, “boot camps” that focus on training students for particular skills like computer coding, online skills courses, and institutional experimentation with competency-based programs and degrees. We applaud this wave of innovation and believe that the innovators are leading the way to a system of higher education that is more open, often less costly, more customizable to the needs of students, and more transparent in terms of its outcomes.
Many of the programs now offered outside of traditional higher education are of high quality and many earn learners access to new knowledge, new skills, and new opportunities. Some, however, are not. That’s not the problem, though. The problem is that we have few tools to differentiate the high-quality programs from the poor-quality ones. The normal mechanism we use to assess quality in higher education, accreditation, was not built to assess these kinds of providers. Moreover, even if they were, even the best programs and those serving low-income students would not, under current rules, be certified to receive federal financial aid because they are “programs” or “courses,” and not “institutions.”
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is interested in accelerating and focusing the ongoing conversations about what quality assurance might look like in the era of rapidly expanding educational options that are not traditional institutions of higher education. We are particularly interested in thinking about quality assurance through the lens of measurable student outcomes and competencies. We have no stake in supporting one or another specific set of learning outcomes. Rather, we are interested in the fact that outcomes matter and ought to be the centerpiece of any kind of quality assurance. Outcomes, in this vision of the future, are clear claims for student learning, move beyond mere statements of knowledge to what students can do with that knowledge, and are measurable.
Join a Conversation
Over the coming weeks and months, we seek to engage broadly with the field to help deepen our understanding of how to recognize high-quality non-traditional programs. We think that a new set of quality assurance questions will need to be developed to ask hard, important questions about student learning and outcomes. These questions will help students, taxpayers, and those evaluating educational programs separate programs that are high-quality from those that do not meet the bar. Such a quality assurance process will rely much less on inputs, where the emphasis of much accreditation still rests, and will instead focus on outputs and evidence.
Based on some preliminary input we have received, we have identified several general categories in which questions should be asked:
- Claims: What are the measurable claims that a provider is making about student learning? Do those individual claims combine into a coherent program of study? Are they relevant and do they have value; how do we know?
- Assessments: How is it clear that the student has achieved the learning outcomes? Are the assessments reliable and valid? Do the assessments measure what students can do with what they have learned?
- Outcomes: What outcomes do program completers achieve, both in terms of academic transfer or employment and salary, where relevant? What are other outcomes we should ask about?
These quality assurance questions are designed to focus on student learning and other critical outcomes at a much more granular level. We welcome feedback and sustained dialogue on how to foster and improve quality assurance, particularly in this moment of tremendous innovation and change. We seek to convene, participate in, and hear the results of many conversations with diverse stakeholders. To join those conversations, please fill out the form below, or send us your thoughts, questions, and ideas for engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.[contact-form-7]
Ted Mitchell is U.S. Under Secretary of Education
To recruit service members, colleges must first get on their radar, and for-profit institutions seem to have an advantage.
Grace College and Seminary, in Indiana, hopes its affordability program will be a hit with prospective freshmen.
The Russian Parliament is considering a ban on some foreign scientists and groups that run academic exchanges.