Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Half of Grads Underemployed

The Boston Globe claims that "1 in 2 of new graduates are jobless or underemployed," which is very discouraging.  According to the article: "Young adults with bachelor's degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs -- waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example -- and that's confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans."  A Rutgers University study titled "Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy" supports this finding and offers a host of interesting statistics on this population.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Community College Crisis

I think Kevin Carey is my new favorite author.  His article "Why Are Community Colleges Being Treated Worst When They Are Needed Most?" (The New Republic, April 17, 2012) seems so timely.  It is clear that the defunding of higher education is only going to get worse, so that the underlying problems with the two-year schools -- including the general lack of uniform transfer standards (something NJ addressed years ago with the articulation agreements presented at NJ Transfer), the high drop-out rate, lax standards, and insufficient course availability -- will only get worse, driving more and more students into the arms of private for-profit institutions.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Republicans Deregulate For Profit Colleges

Andrew Leonard's "A Huge Student Loan Scam" at tells how Republican lawmakers are pushing to deregulate for-profit colleges, potentially with disastrous consequences for the nation, which is already seeing record student loan debt and high drop-out rates at for-profits.  I think anyone who saw College, Inc., would agree that this sector of the economy needs more and not less regulation right now.  But as those who control these colleges get rich, they also become politically powerful.  Look for this to be just the beginning of scandals associated with the for-profit colleges.

Tent State "Mimics" Social Movements

For the tenth year in a row, Rutgers Tent State returns like an annual rite of spring, as the Targum describes today in "Students occupy University for 10th Tent State."  Whether or not the protesters have an impact on anyone but themselves is an open question, and you have to wonder when a protest leader is quoted as saying that "the event mimics how real social movements work."  So, does that mean that Tent State is just a pretend social movement?  That the students are just going through the motions, pretending that they might have an impact?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"We Don't Need No Stinking Degrees!"

In "A Future Full of Badges" (Chronicle, April 13, 2012), Kevin Carey continues to explore the way "badges" are already growing into an important form of alternative certification that could eventually challenge the supremacy of the college degree.  Not only are badges cheaper, they may very well be better in some ways, since they certify real skills and competencies in very consistent and universal ways -- something that cannot be said of the typical college degree.  See also "MITx Expands Access to Higher Education" for more thoughts on Carey's argument. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Barchi Represents a 'Hybrid' Approach

Robert L. Barchi, M.D., Ph.D., will be taking on the role of Rutgers president come September 1st, and his vision of a "public-private hybrid" seems about right for our increasingly privatized future.  His medical background also makes a great fit with the very likely merger with the medical school, which is another "hybrid" that creates opportunities for new funding sources.  He seems a good choice for exactly this moment.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Responsible Drinking Happy Hour

The great Cook / SEBS tradition of "Responsible Drinking Happy Hour" is documented in today's Targum in an article titled "Programs at U. Teach Students to Drink Responsibly."  One of my students two years ago used this program as his "case" to help argue that there are ways to help students drink responsibly as an alternative to "prohibition," which we all know is not effective.  In fact, as that student showed, without proper acculturation to drinking, students tend to drink more and binge more often as they near age 21, with alcohol use and abuse simply tracking age and access.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Samantha's Glog

The posters and glogs have begun rolling in.  Keep 'em coming.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

College a Good Investment

Derek Thompson's article "What's More Expensive than College?  Not Going to College" in The Atlantic offers some useful statistics on the continuing value of a college degree, despite the rising expense.  Especially when compared with other investments -- and with not going to college -- going to college is a very sound investment.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Useful Links for Poster and Presentation

We are going to discuss the Presentation and the Poster today.  Here are some useful links to materials I will refer to in class:

Poster - due April 10
You need to design a poster for display that is 22 x 28 inches in horizontal display.  The best posters from the class will be put on display at the Poster Fair on April 18 and 19.
Google Images - great tool for finding images for your poster
Glogster - a useful online poster creation tool, easy enough for kids to use
Posterazor - downloadable software for dividing large docs into 8.5x11 sheets for printing

Presentation - due April 17
You are allowed to use any tool you want, but I want you to submit your slides by April 17.
Five Ways to Reduce PowerPoint Overload - remember that less is more!
Google Presentations - you are welcome to submit your presentation on Google Docs
Prezi - a great presentation software tool alternative