Lbrn SM


Posts tagged with "higher education"

Feb 8

Anger from a student


It’s students’ voices like this that makes my work even more important. All students should feel supported!

Concise and moving piece from a first gen student attending an exclusive college.

…No one told me about the anger I’d feel when 90% of my class raises their hand when the professor asks who has visited country x, y, and z when I’ve never left the country.  Or how frustrating it feels to have to check my bank account before every purchase while my classmates receive money week after week from parents’ seemingly bottomless bank accounts.  The anger that springs up when I’m searching for a summer internship because they’re all unpaid and I don’t have enough experience for the paid ones because I spend my summers working… 

Feb 7


Oh Portlandia. Thanks for making fun of helicopter parents for me. 

Feb 7

Why Pay for Intro Textbooks?

"…soon, introductory physics texts will have a new competitor, developed at Rice University. A free online physics book, peer-reviewed and designed to compete with major publishers’ offerings, will debut next month through the non-profit publisher OpenStax College.

Using Rice’s Connexions platform, OpenStax will offer free course materials for five common introductory classes. The textbooks are open to classes anywhere and organizers believe the programs could save students $90 million in the next five years if the books capture 10 percent of the national market. OpenStax is funded by grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the 20 Million Minds Foundation and the Maxfield Foundation.”

from Inside Higher Ed

Feb 2

Study: How College Students Manage Technology While in the Library during Crunch Time

Alumni Adrift


Arum and Roksa surveyed 1,000 students from the Academically Adrift cohort, who began entering college in fall 2005. Seven percent of all those who were not enrolled full-time in graduate school were unemployed, and nearly a quarter reported living at home with parents or relatives. Sixty-five percent said they had student loans, owing an average of $27,200 (15 percent owed more than $50,000), and nearly three of four were still receiving financial assistance from parents. Forty-six percent reported having credit card debt, owing an average of $1,800.

“As a whole, they’re struggling,” Arum said. “If they find jobs, they’re often part-time. And even if they’re [working] full time, they’re often not providing the income that is able for them to really assume adult responsibilities in terms of paying off their loans and living independently.” Among those who did find jobs, the average pay is $34,900.

In what Arum calls a “really stunning” finding, graduates who were among the 20 percent of lowest-performing students on the CLA were three times likelier to be unemployed in spring 2011 than were those who performed in the top quintile (9.6 percent of the former were in search of a job, compared to 3.1 percent of the latter).

Furthermore, compared to graduates who scored in the top quintile on the CLA, those who scored in the bottom quintile were twice as likely to be living at home (35 percent as opposed to 18 percent) and had “significantly more” credit card debt (51 percent vs. 37 percent).

» via Inside Higher Ed

Jan 9

The commentators excoriating today’s students for studying the wrong subjects are pursuing certainty where none exists. Like the health fanatics convinced that every case of cancer must be caused by smoking or a bad diet, they want to believe that good people, people like them, will always have good jobs and that today’s unemployed college grads are suffering because they were self-indulgent or stupid. But plenty of organic chemists can testify that the mere fact that you pursued a technical career that was practical two or three decades ago doesn’t mean you have job security today.

I was lucky to graduate from high school in the late 1970s, when the best research said that going to college was an economically losing proposition. You would be better off just getting a job out of high school — or so it appeared at the time. Such studies are always backward-looking.

I thus entered college to pursue learning for its own sake. As an English major determined not to be a lawyer, I also made sure I graduated with not one but two practical trades —neither learned in the college classroom. At the depths of the previous worst recession since the Great Depression, I had no problem getting a job as a rookie journalist and, as an emergency backup, I knew I could always fall back on my excellent typing skills. Three decades later, nobody needs typists, and journalists are almost as obsolete.

The skills that still matter are the habits of mind I honed in the classroom: how to analyze texts carefully, how to craft and evaluate arguments, and how to apply microeconomic reasoning, along with basic literacy in accounting and statistics. My biggest regret isn’t that I didn’t learn Fortran, but that I didn’t study Dante.

The most valuable skill anyone can learn in college is how to learn efficiently — how to figure out what you don’t know and build on what you do know to adapt to new situations and new problems.

- Virginia Postrel (via ayjay)


Student Debt in the United States. 


Student Debt in the United States. 


Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants his state to stop spending so much darned money on liberal arts programs at its state universities. We’ve charted it out for you.


Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants his state to stop spending so much darned money on liberal arts programs at its state universities. We’ve charted it out for you.