Higher Education

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In his state of the union address in February, President Obama asked for legislative help in making higher education more accessible to American students.

“So tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. And tomorrow, my administration will release a new “College Scorecard” that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria -- where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.”

The President’s calls for reform come at a time when an estimated 40 million Americans want to go further with their education. Beyond the rhetoric, Obama’s 2013 budget outlined plans to overcome common barriers to getting a degree, including access, affordability, and completion. An initiative from Southern New Hampshire University is looking to change that.

via indiebound.org

Alex Kudera published Fight for Your Long Day, in 2010, but it’s still gaining traction because of its unflinching look at the swelling academic underclass that is adjunct faculty, recently getting notice from the chronicle of higher education. We spoke with him about the book and the perception of adjuncts in higher education today.

SNHU Responds To Military Students Hit By Sequester

Mar 14, 2013
Military Police Practice Medical Evacuations
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Until about two weeks ago, active duty armed service members could count on $4,500 a year to help pay for college tuition.  But with the military suspending the benefit because of sequestration, Southern New Hampshire University is trying to bridge that gap.

angelamaphone via flickr Creative Commons

In his first term, President Obama boosted Pell grants and reformed federal financial aid in hopes of increasing college access for low-income students.  Despite these efforts, there is another problem preventing the less privileged from getting an education – a disconnect between poor families, and the arcane bureaucracy surrounding the admissions process.

Sarah Carr is author of the new book Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America’s Children.”  An excerpt from that book featured in The Atlantic tells the story of one New Orleans high school’s efforts to bridge the admissions process gap.

New Hampshire’s University system has faced huge cuts in recent years, a story repeated nationwide to the point where some suggest these institutions consider privatizing or loosening ties with government. Others argue though that public centers of higher learning are a vital public good. We’ll look at the debate here and new national research.

Guests:

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As more and more students head to American colleges and universities to advance their education and economic prospects, there is dwindling faith in the quality of a four-year degree, especially given the high price tag. Meanwhile, a whole new model of learning is quickly gaining ground. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) offer education to anybody with a reliable internet connection, often for free.  MOOCs are attracting massive amounts of students, investment capital, and accolades.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Higher Education officials and Business leaders gathered for a forum today on how to increase the number of New Hampshire STEM graduates – that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. But while it was Community Colleges and Universities talking about the issue today, the lack of interest in STEM is a problem at every level of the American education system.

Flikr Creative Commons / Herkie

In the last budget, one of lawmakers’ most controversial decisions was to cut the state’s contribution to New Hampshire’s public universities by 48 percent. Restoring those cuts has emerged as a big issue in the governor’s campaign. But how that will happen is a question politicians have yet to answer.

The people who don’t approve of the cuts that the New Hampshire legislature made to the university system – like UNH president Mark Huddleston – describe those them in a certain way.

NH DOE

The New Hampshire Department of Education says that in the past decade there has been a 6 percent increase in the number of high school graduates continuing on to college, but also a five percent increase in the number of high schoolers leaving the state for college.

Photo be Clark Gregor, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

An increasingly common anxiety for freshly-minted undergraduates is finding a job in their field with a decent enough salary to pay off their student loans. For those with new advanced degrees, the stakes are even higher...  2008 figures from The Center for College Affordability and Productivity estimate that 16% of those qualified to be college professors, lawyers, and doctors are working jobs at the high school graduate level. Helping wayward professionals put their highly-trained brains to work, is Jon F.

Flickr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

The New Hampshire Attorney General is looking into claims that the trustees of Dartmouth College are funneling money for the investment of the school’s endowment into their own pockets.

An anonymous letter written three months ago sparked the Attorney General’s review. A group of Dartmouth faculty claims to have written it. 

Sam Evans-Brown

Students and Faculty at Chester College are demanding the resignation of college President and former Manchester Mayor Bob Baines.

(photo: Sheryl Rich-Kern)

Rivier College in Nashua may be getting a makeover.

Last year when Andrew Ng, a computer science professor at Stanford University, put his machine-learning class online and opened enrollment to the world, more than 100,000 students signed up.

"I think all of us were surprised," he says.

Ng had posted lectures online before, but this class was different.

"This was actually a class where you can participate as a student and get homework and assessments," he said.

Most people agree that good teachers help students succeed.
But how do good teachers learn to be effective?

One D.C.-based, private nonprofit is asking just that. They want colleges to participate in a study that ranks teacher preparation programs.

Looking at media rankings of companies–“Most Innovative,” “Fastest-Growing,” or other roundups of various firms–we aren’t often surprised.  Take the magazine Fast Company.  For this month’s issue, they’ve listed “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.”  Dominating the Top 4 are the perennial occupants of the corporate Cool Kids’ Table: Apple,

College and university presidents are wringing their hands over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to revisit the issue of affirmative action next fall. Critics of racial preferences are thrilled because the court could significantly restrict the use of race in admissions, but proponents of affirmative action say this would be a huge setback for institutions struggling to diversify their student body.

The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will revisit the divisive issue of affirmative action in higher education. The court agreed to hear arguments next fall in a case that challenges the affirmative action program at the University of Texas. By re-entering the fray after more than 30 years of settled law on the issue, the newly energized conservative court majority has signaled that it may be willing to unsettle much of that law.

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