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Posts Tagged ‘students’

Are America’s Students ‘Racing to Nowhere’ or ‘Waiting For Superman?’

December 29, 2010 2 comments

This year’s ACT college readiness test results revealed that many graduating high school students are unprepared for college. In fact, as pressure on schools increases to improve their graduation rates, more and more are passing students who don’t even meet graduation requirements. The documentary Waiting for Superman investigates how schools are failing to intellectually stimulate, challenge, and adequately prepare students for the real world. Meanwhile, the documentary Race to Nowhere tells a different story in which students grapple with curricula so vigorous, schedules so tightly packed, and pressure from parents so intense that their creativity, physical and mental health, and, in some cases, their very lives, are at stake. Should parents and faculty be pushing students harder or easing up? Read more…

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New Instructional Technology: Big Brother or Beneficial?

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

An increasing number of professors at universities and colleges around the country are taking advantage of “clickers”–wireless, hand-held devices students use to indicate they are present and on time, paying attention by answering questions the teacher poses on a projector, and whether or not they understand a concept in the lecture.

There are certainly upsides and downsides to the technology. Many schools require students to pay for the devices themselves. Read more…

Student Atheletes Graduating in Strong Numbers

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Often times, schools have been pressured to focus more on academics and less on sports, or vice-versa. Athletic students have often been stereotyped as being less academically engaged or successful. So one might be surprised to learn that at University of North Carolina – Asheville (UNC-A) and New Mexico State (NMSU), student athletes are more likely to graduate than any other students. NCU-A takes pride in the fact that its student athletes, who have a 98% graudation rate, have been surpassing the national average since 2001. Jason Groves, in his article for the La Cruces Sun News, notes that the establishment of the Graduation Success Rate and APR (Academic Progress Rate ), has played a major role in this phenomenon. Not only are coaches being hired based on their team’s successes, but on how well their athletes perform academically, as, according to NMSU’s Associate Athletic Director, a school’s “president can look back and see what [a coach’s] APR score was at their old school,” and “It can be the difference between if they hire you or the next person.”

UNC-A stresses, its coaches’ and other faculty’s focus on ensuring athletes’ academic success. “The athletic department and the university work with student athletes who need another semester or more to graduate,” Janet Cone, athletics director at UNC-A states.Other staff note that UNC-A’s unique “academic atmosphere” is a major ingredient in the school’s recipe for success. In the end, it seems, that separating sports from academics is no longer an option with measurements like the GSR and APR allowing prospective students and parents to see, for a particular school, an athlete’s likelihood of graduating. “We are all trying to improve graduation rates,” Cone said. “We’re trying to recruit students first and athletes second.”

Paying For College

September 1, 2010 1 comment

SallieMae.com, a resource for college students and their parents for financial planning and paying for college, teamed up with Gallup to conduct its annual “How America Pays for College” study. Beckie Supiano of The Chronicle discussed the study in this article, pointing to a large increase in college spending (an average of $24,097, 24% more than last year). The data also showed parental income and savings was the largest source of money for college at 47%, with Scholarships and grants following in second at 23%.

The study also found a higher incidence of students and parents ruling out schools early on because they were too expensive (63% this year opposed to 50% last year). Read more…