Thursday, May 28, 2015

Articles for May 28, 2015

Deciding to Go to College (New America Foundation) [PDF]
The first brief in the series on results from the College Decisions Survey, this article covers why students choose to go to college, the factors they use to apply to a specific college, and how financial concerns play into those decisions. Unlike other similar coverage, these data will include traditional and non-traditional students.

What's interesting is that the first figure shows the top reported reasons to go to college, with the top three--"to improve my employment opportunities," "to make more money," and "to get a good job"--centered around expanding financial horizons. Put that beside the second figure that show the top reported factors in deciding a specific college, and you won't find "how many graduates find full-time employment in the field within six months" until #5 on the list; others centered around graduation and ROI are in the same chunk of the ranking. Instead, the highest percentages go to those questions related to more immediate concerns: "the majors/programs that are offered," "availability of financial aid," "how much it costs," and "where it is located."

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Articles for May 27, 2015

Can we really prepare kids for both college and career? (
This article might say more about the state of industry than the state of education. California's linked-learning curriculum includes college-prep academic courses and on-the-job training; in my opinion, this should be the norm, not the exception, for a high school experience. To balance this idealism, Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, makes a more realistic point: preparing students for both is unrealistic because the requirements of college and the requirements of a career are vastly different. Perhaps it is not only education that we need to consider reforming. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Articles for May 26, 2015

A New College for Old Credits (
College Unbound, a degree-completion program turned private non-profit college in Rhode Island, will be allowed to award undergraduate degrees to students who fall into the "some college, no degree" category. The article reports that the program uses personalized curriculum, a form of competency-based education, and even a student's current job to form classes and earn credits. So, it appears, this single program includes just about everything that scares the current system of higher education.