Tag Archives: College Admission

More kids taking both ACT and SAT

10 Aug

Moi has written about both the SAT and ACT college entrance tests. In College Board to redesign SAT test, moi wrote:

Whether or not students choose college or vocational training at the end of their high school career, our goal as a society should be that children should be “college ready.” David T. Conley writes in the ASCD article, What Makes a Student College Ready?http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/What-Makes-a-Student-College-Ready%C2%A2.aspx https://drwilda.com/2012/10/06/many-not-ready-for-higher-education/
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/14/college-readiness-what-are-soft-skills/

There are two primary tests which access student preparedness for college, the ACT and the SAT. The SAT is owned by the College Board which has announced they will be redesigning the test. The ACT has overtaken the ACT as the primary test assessment. https://drwilda.com/2013/03/03/college-board-to-redesign-sat-test/
See, College Board Announces Sweeping SAT Redesign http://www.educationnews.org/higher-education/college-board-announces-sweeping-sat-redesign/
Apparently, more students are taking both the ACT and SAT.

Tamar Lewin reported in the New York Times article, Testing More Students Are Taking Both the ACT and SAT:

Admissions officers worry that test prep has become the main junior-year extracurricular activity. Preparing for both tests, they say, may be overkill. They point to parents as the ones cranking up the testing pressure.
“I think the dramatic increase over the last five years in the number of ACT scores we receive comes in conjunction with the increased selectivity,” said Eric J. Furda, dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania. “More and more parents think they can’t just stick with the regular road map for getting into college but need to consider every option that might help them show their child in the best possible light.”
At Shaker Heights High School in Ohio, Eileen Blattner, chairwoman of the guidance department, said that all but seven of the top 10 percent of the graduating class took both the ACT and SAT, and then took their better test once or twice more.
“I say, all the time, ‘Don’t go crazy,’ but particularly for parents who use it as a ring on their finger if their kids get into a high-status school, they’re going to have their kids take and take and take the tests.”
If it were up to Robert Schaeffer, public education director of FairTest, an advocacy group critical of standardized testing, neither test would be required. (His organization compiles a list of hundreds of colleges that are test-optional.) But he does see one positive aspect in the rise of the ACT as a state-mandated test.
“In 2013, there were proposals in a number of states to integrate a college admissions test into the state system, and as states come out of the recession, we may see more,” Mr. Schaeffer said. “Using a college admissions test as the state’s high school test cuts out one test, which responds to growing pressure from teachers that enough is enough.”
Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming require students to take the test, and Arkansas pays for the ACT if districts want to offer it. The SAT has only Delaware, Idaho and Maine.
There are clear differences between the tests. The ACT has four long sections, the SAT 10 shorter ones. The ACT has a science section and covers more advanced math, including trigonometry.
“A third of SAT reading is vocabulary, so for students with limited vocabulary, the ACT is better,” said Sasha DeWind, director at Tutor Associates, based in New York. “The questions are passage-based, and if you understand the passage, you’ll probably get the answer right. And even though the ACT covers harder math, it’s more similar to what students have done in school. The SAT is about getting the students to understand what they’re being asked.”
Speed is more of an issue on the ACT, she said, with many students finding that they do not have enough time to work through all the questions (the ACT allows only 45 minutes for 75 English questions and 35 minutes for 40 reading questions, while the SAT gives 70 minutes for 67 reading questions and 35 minutes for 49 writing questions).
“Students with learning disabilities who qualify for extra time usually do better taking the ACT, where the extra time really matters,” she said. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/education/edlife/more-students-are-taking-both-the-act-and-sat.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0

There are pros and cons of both the SAT and ACT.

According to Allen Grove who wrote the article, SAT Score Choice at About.com:

1. SAT Score Choice Can Reduce Exam Time Stress
At most colleges, the SAT (or ACT) is an important part of the application. A lot rides on the exam, so it’s easy to start panicking during the test if you don’t think it’s going well. With SAT Score Choice, at least you have the comfort of knowing that you can take the exam again and not report a set a bad scores (but see #5 for exceptions).
2. Score Choice Allows for Freshman and Sophomore Year Trial Runs
While I don’t encourage high school freshman and sophomores to take the SAT, Score Choice makes doing so carry fewer consequences. With the new policy, if students who are in their first years of high school want to take a trial run at the exam, they can do so with less worry that a low score will undermine their applications. Getting a set of scores early on can let students know how much test preparation might be necessary to get into their top choice colleges.
3. SAT Score Choice Can Cost You Money
Obviously if you take the SAT multiple times, you will need to pay for the exam each time. You will also find that the cost of reporting scores to colleges and scholarship programs goes up. When you take the SAT, you have nine days to select four recipients who will receive score reports at no cost to you. However, scores aren’t released until about 2 1/2 weeks after the exam. Thus, if you are going to hold back scores to take advantage of the SAT Score Choice option, you will lose your four free score reports.
4. At Some Colleges, SAT Score Choice Will Weaken Your Application
SAT Score Choice allows you to send all the scores from a single exam sitting. Let’s say you take the SAT twice with these results:
• May: 570 Reading; 620 Math; 550 Writing (for 1740 combined)
• Oct: 540 Reading; 650 Math; 580 Writing (for 1770 combined)
With Score Choice, you would send the October scores to colleges since they are 30 points higher than May. You would have a 1770 SAT score.
Many colleges, however, don’t look at your best test day, but your best individual scores. In the example above, the best scores span both exams: 570 Reading (May), 650 Math (October) and 580 Writing (October). A school that counts just your highest individual scores would give you a 1800 SAT score. Your application is stronger without Score Choice.
5. Some Colleges Require All Scores Despite Score Choice
Many selective colleges and universities aren’t fond of SAT Score Choice. They don’t want to see a scenario in which students who can afford to do so take the SAT a dozen times. Thus, many top colleges and universities are requiring students to report scores from all test sittings even with the new SAT Score Choice option.
6. SAT Score Choice Disadvantages Low-Income Students
The cost of the SAT exam isn’t extravagant ($45 in 2009), but for many students from families with modest incomes, the cost is a barrier to taking the exam multiple times. The SAT and ACT have always worked to the advantage of students who can afford tutoring and test prep courses, and SAT Score Choice is likely to widen the financial divide. (Low income students should note, however, that fee waivers may be available through their schools. Fee waivers will cover two exam sittings.)
7. SAT Score Choice Complicates the Common Application
The beauty of the Common Application is that you can prepare a single application for multiple colleges. SAT Score Choice complicates the process. Three schools could have three different policies: one might respect Score Choice, one might be test-optional, and one might require you to report all scores. Thus, you might need to create three separate Common Applications to have the strongest application at each school. This can be done, but it opens the door for mistakes, especially if your high school is submitting records and recommendations electronically through The Common Application. http://collegeapps.about.com/od/sat/tp/sat-score-choice.htm

Hally Z. writes at College Toolkit.com in the article SAT Vs. ACT: Which Test Should I Take?

Composition
The SAT is made up of 10 sections composed of three critical reading, three math and three writing sections, which are scored, and one experimental section, which is not scored. The ACT consists of four sections composed of English, math, reading and science. There is also an optional writing test included with both exams.
Scoring
The SAT has a total score range of 600 to 2400 based on the sum of the three subject scores, each of which range from 200 to 800. The writing essay receives a score of 0 to 12 and is computed into the SAT final score. The ACT has a composite score of 1 to 36 based on the average of the four test sections. Each section is also separately scored from 1 to 36. The optional writing test for the ACT is scored from 0 to 12, and its score is not included in the ACT composite score.
Wrong Answer Penalty
The SAT deducts ¼ of a point for every wrong answer, except for math grids. With the ACT, wrong answers are not penalized.
Score History
For both the SAT and ACT, you decide which scores are sent to the college or university.
Philosophy
The SAT assesses your critical thinking and test-taking skills. Problems are worded to be intentionally confusing. Your innate ability to dissect a problem and solve it is tested more than your knowledge of actual subject matters. In contrast, the ACT focuses more on assessing your knowledge of specific subject matters such as biology, chemistry and geometry.
Test Preparation
SAT study materials attempt to improve your critical thinking and test-taking skills. ACT study materials try to improve your breadth and depth of knowledge on specific school subjects.
Which Test Is Better for Me?
Based on the above information, you may be wondering which test is more difficult to take. The answer depends on your style of thinking and study. If you excel at accumulating information about classroom subjects, solving equations using set formulae and reading literature, then the ACT may be better for you. If you enjoy semantics and picking apart a problem, or analyzing mathematical or scientific principles, then the SAT would be better suited to you.
When deciding whether to take the SAT or ACT, first find out which test is demanded by the colleges or universities of your choice. Many schools prefer one exam over the other. Other schools accept either exam (e.g., Yale University). In some cases, even though a school states that it “accepts” a particular exam, this does not imply that it will take one exam in lieu of another — it means only that the school will take additional test scores into consideration. If you are unsure about a particular school’s exact test requirements, contact its admissions office.
If time and money permit, you could benefit from taking both exams. You will be able to choose from your higher scored exam should the school not have a preference about accepting the SAT or ACT standardized test.
Alternatively, you might consider taking a practice SAT and a practice ACT. You can see which one you score better on and then focus your test prep efforts on that standardized test.
http://colleges.collegetoolkit.com/guides/test_prep/ACT_vs_SAT_Which_Test_Should_I_Take.aspx

In Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person, moi said:
There is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the state of education in America. A lot of that dissatisfaction comes from the belief that the education system fails to actually educate children and to teach them critical thinking skills. The University of Maine at Augusta defines an educated person:

An educated person exhibits knowledge and wisdom; recognizes and respects the diversity of nature and society; demonstrates problem solving skills; engages in planning and managing practices; navigates the on-line world; writes and speaks well; acts with integrity; and appreciates the traditions of art, culture, and ideas. Developing these abilities is a life-long process. http://www.uma.edu/educatedperson.html

Essential to this definition is the development of critical thinking skills.

The Critical Thinking Community has several great articles about critical thinking at their site. In the section, Defining Critical Thinking:

A Definition
Critical thinking is that mode of thinking – about any subject, content, or problem – in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them.
The Result
A well cultivated critical thinker:
o raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and
precisely;
o gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to
interpret it effectively comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;
o thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought,
recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and
o communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism. (Taken from Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Foundation for Critical Thinking Press, 2008).http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766

The question is how to teach critical thinking skills. David Carnes wrote the excellent Livestrong article, How to Build Critical Thinking Skills in Children.http://www.livestrong.com/article/167563-how-to-build-critical-thinking-skills-in-children/#ixzz1kB28AgFS

Related:

What , if anything, do education tests mean?
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/what-if-anything-do-education-tests-mean/

Complete College America report: The failure of remediation
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/complete-college-america-report-the-failure-of-remediation/

What the ACT college readiness assessment means
https://drwilda.com/2012/08/25/what-the-act-college-readiness-assessment-means/

The importance of the National Assessment of Educational Progress
https://drwilda.com/2012/09/12/the-importance-of-the-national-assessment-of-educational-progress/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©
Blogs by Dr. Wilda:
COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

National Center on Education and the Economy report: High schools are not preparing students for community college

14 May

Moi wrote in Many NOT ready for higher education:

Whether or not students choose college or vocational training at the end of their high school career, our goal as a society should be that children should be “college ready.” David T. Conley writes in the ASCD article, What Makes a Student College Ready?

The Big Four

A comprehensive college preparation program must address four distinct dimensions of college readiness: cognitive strategies, content knowledge, self-management skills, and knowledge about postsecondary education.

Key Cognitive Strategies

Colleges expect their students to think about what they learn. Students entering college are more likely to succeed if they can formulate, investigate, and propose solutions to nonroutine problems; understand and analyze conflicting explanations of phenomena or events; evaluate the credibility and utility of source material and then integrate sources into a paper or project appropriately; think analytically and logically, comparing and contrasting differing philosophies, methods, and positions to understand an issue or concept; and exercise precision and accuracy as they apply their methods and develop their products.

Key Content Knowledge

Several independently conducted research and development efforts help us identify the key knowledge and skills students should master to take full advantage of college. Standards for Success (Conley, 2003) systematically polled university faculty members and analyzed their course documents to determine what these teachers expected of students in entry-level courses. The American Diploma Project (2004) consulted representatives of the business community and postsecondary faculty to define standards in math and English. More recently, both ACT (2008) and the College Board (2006) have released college readiness standards in English and math. Finally, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (2008), under mandate of state law, developed one of the first and most comprehensive sets of state-level college readiness standards….

Key Self-Management Skills

In college, students must keep track of massive amounts of information and organize themselves to meet competing deadlines and priorities. They must plan their time carefully to complete these tasks. They must be able to study independently and in informal and formal study groups. They must know when to seek help from academic support services and when to cut their losses and drop a course. These tasks require self-management, a skill that individuals must develop over time, with considerable practice and trial-and-error.

Key Knowledge About Postsecondary Education

Choosing a college, applying, securing financial aid, and then adjusting to college life require a tremendous amount of specialized knowledge. This knowledge includes matching personal interests with college majors and programs; understanding federal and individual college financial aid programs and how and when to complete appropriate forms; registering for, preparing for, and taking required admissions exams; applying to college on time and submitting all necessary information; and, perhaps most important, understanding how the culture of college is different from that of high school….

Students who would be the first in their family to attend college, students from immigrant families, students who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups traditionally underrepresented in college, and students from low-income families are much more easily thrown off the path to college if they have deficiencies in any of the four dimensions. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/What-Makes-a-Student-College-Ready%C2%A2.aspx

The difficult question is whether current testing accurately measures whether students are prepared for college. https://drwilda.com/2012/10/06/many-not-ready-for-higher-education/

Katherine Mangan reports in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, High Schools Set Up Community-College Students to Fail, Report Says:

Community colleges’ academic expectations are “shockingly low,” but students still struggle to meet them, in part because high-school graduation standards are too lax in English and too rigid in mathematics, according to a study released on Tuesday by the National Center on Education and the Economy.

Students entering community colleges have poor reading and writing skills and a shaky grasp of advanced math concepts that most of them will never need, the study found…. http://chronicle.com/article/High-Schools-Set-Up/139105/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Here is the press report from the National Center on Education and the Economy:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Emily Kingsland

May 7, 2013

(202) 379 -1800

ekingsland@ncee.org

High Schools Fail to Teach What Graduates Need to Succeed in Community Colleges, Instead Teaching What They Don’t Need

New report from the National Center on Education and the Economy is first to look at the literacy levels actually required for success in nation’s community colleges

WASHINGTON, DC — Students are failing to learn the basic math and English skills and concepts needed for success in community colleges, according to a new report from the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) entitled, What Does It Really Mean to Be College and Work Ready: The English and Mathematics Required by First Year Community College Students That’s the surprising and discouragingcentral conclusion of a groundbreaking two year study, which examined the skills and knowledge in mathematics and English literacy that high school graduates need to succeed in the first year of their community college programs.

We were surprised how little math is used in first year community college courses, and what is used is mostly middle school math,” said Phil Daro, co-chair of the study’s Mathematics Panel and co-director in the development of the Common Core State Standards for mathematics. “Our system makes no sense for these students: even though so many students have a shaky understanding of the middle school mathematics they really need, high school courses spend most of these students’ time on topics not needed for their college programs.”

The reading skills of our high school graduates are so low that most community college instructors do not expect their students to be able to read at the level of their textbooks,” said Catherine Snow, co-chair of the study’s English Panel and Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Their writing skills are so low that instructors rarely ask their students to write very much outside of their English composition classes, and, when they do, the writing they are asked to do is not very demanding.”

These are just a few of the key findings from the first study ever done that actually examines the level of mathematics and English literacy needed to succeed in the first year of study at our nation’s community colleges.

Roughly 45 percent of our nation’s undergraduates are attending community colleges, according to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). About half of those students are training to go directly into the workforce and enter popular fields such as nursing, law enforcement, auto mechanics or education, while others are working to complete the first two years of a four year degree program. The report concludes that students who cannot succeed in the first year of a community college program are surely not ready for success in college or the workplace.

Most studies of course requirements in our colleges simply ask instructors what students need to know to be successful in their institutions, but that method is notoriously unreliable, because instructors typically respond to such surveys by telling the interviewer what they would like students to know, not what they actually need to know.

This study was conducted by NCEE in collaboration with a team of leading scholars and community college leaders. It analyzed the textbooks, papers and projects students are assigned; the tests they are given; and the grades they get on both. These materials were gathered from a set of nine popular and diverse career oriented programs in randomly selected community colleges across seven diverse states.

AACC urged educators at the secondary and post -secondary levels to read carefully the specific findings of the report and reevaluate their courses and materials to ensure they are meeting students’ needs at every stage of their educational paths. “This study emphasizes the critical importance of better aligning the entire pipeline to ensure all students are adequately prepared for college and careers in the 21st century,” said Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of AACC. Achieve President Michael Cohen pointed out that this report’s findings constitute a powerful argument for implementing the new Common Core State Standards for literacy in mathematics and English. “This very important report underscores the urgent need for states to implement the Common Core State Standards. If the CCSS were properly implemented, students would have the kind of mastery of middle school mathematics skills identified in this report as the most important math skills needed in the first year of community college. Similarly, the report makes it crystal clear why the CCSS English literacy standards stressed the need for great improvements in students’ ability to do non-fiction reading and writing.”

The reports’ authors concentrate their recommendations on the steps schools must take to enable more of their graduates to succeed in our community colleges, but also touch on what community colleges can do. Among the recommendations are the following:

! Make Algebra II a key course on just one of several mathematics paths to a high school diploma, eliminatingthe mandatory status it has in some states.

! Have most students spend more time on middle school mathematics rather than rushing toward Algebra I.

! Reconceive community college placement tests to align them with the mathematics students actually need to succeed in their first credit-bearing programmatic courses.

! Increase writing assignments across all high school courses, especially those that require the presentation of a logical argument and evidence to support claims.

! Have high school students read texts of greater complexity.

Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy said, “This report shows that our community colleges have shockingly low expectations of the students entering their institutions, because many perhaps most of our future nurses, EMT’s and auto mechanics haven’t mastered middle school mathematics and cannot read much of the material in their first year college textbooks even though they are only written at the 11th and 12th grade levels and a large fraction of our future four year college students have a very hard time

Citation:

NCEE has just released What Does It Really Mean to Be College and Work Ready?, a study of the English Literacy and Mathematics required for success in the first year of community college. On May 7th, during a day-long meeting, key education and policy leaders joined NCEE to discuss the results of the study and its implications for community college reform, school reform, teacher education, the common core state standards, and vocational education and the workplace.

Click here to watch the video of the event.

Helpful Links:

Download the Executive Summary

Download the Math Report

Download the English Report

Agenda

Speaker Biographies

Q&As

Summary of Findings

InCritical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person, moi said:

There is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the state of education in America. A lot of that dissatisfaction comes from the belief that the education system fails to actually educate children and to teach them critical thinking skills. The University of Maine at Augusta defines an educated person:

An educated person exhibits knowledge and wisdom; recognizes and respects the diversity of nature and society; demonstrates problem solving skills; engages in planning and managing practices; navigates the on-line world; writes and speaks well; acts with integrity; and appreciates the traditions of art, culture, and ideas. Developing these abilities is a life-long process. http://www.uma.edu/educatedperson.html

Essential to this definition is the development of critical thinking skills.

The Critical Thinking Community has several great articles about critical thinking at their site. In the section, Defining Critical Thinking:

A Definition
Critical thinking is that mode of thinking – about any subject, content, or problem – in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them.

The Result

A well cultivated critical thinker:

  • raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and
    precisely;

  • gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to
    interpret it effectively comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;

  • thinks open mindedly within alternative systems of thought,
    recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and

  • communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.

Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.  (Taken from Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Foundation for Critical Thinking Press, 2008). http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766

The question is how to teach critical thinking skills. David Carnes wrote the excellent Livestrong article, How to Build Critical Thinking Skills in Children. http://www.livestrong.com/article/167563-how-to-build-critical-thinking-skills-in-children/#ixzz1kB28AgFS

Related:

What the ACT college readiness assessment means                                            https://drwilda.com/2012/08/25/what-the-act-college-readiness-assessment-means/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’                                      https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

ACT to assess college readiness for 3rd-10th Grades                                        https://drwilda.com/2012/07/04/act-to-assess-college-readiness-for-3rd-10th-grades/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                                 Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                             http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©     

Study: Prior criminal behavior does not necessarily predict behavior on campus

27 Apr

As colleges seek to make campuses safer, they are beginning to look at the criminal records of applicants. Kelly Sennott writes in the New Hampshire article, One in 29 college students has a criminal record:

Everyone makes mistakes in high school and college. Some make bigger mistakes than others, potentially affecting their chances of getting accepted into school, getting an internship, or finding a job. This difficulty is not an uncommon problem for college students, as one out of 29 has a criminal record.

 MyBackgroundCheck.com, a supplier of criminal background checks for students and faculty members, recently revealed a study that showed that one out of every 29 college students have some type of criminal record. In the study, which didn’t include juvenile records, 13,859 college students at 125 universities, career colleges, nursing schools, and other educational institutions were surveyed through a website,

 The names of the schools involved in the study were not revealed, but the percentages of convictions were; Driving violations topped the charts at a whopping 60 percent, followed by disorderly conduct (9.5 percent), theft (8.8 percent), drug possession (7.4 percent), sexual abuse (5.2 percent), assault (4 percent), fraud (2.7 percent), and child molestation (2.4 percent)…. http://www.tnhonline.com/one-in-29-college-students-has-a-criminal-record-1.1115304

Colleges debate whether students with criminal backgrounds should be admitted.

Libby Sandler is reporting in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Students’ Prior Criminal Histories Don’t Predict Future Misconduct, Research Finds:

As colleges seek ways to make their campuses safer, many have opted to examine the criminal histories of students before they’re admitted. New research, however, reveals that criminal-background checks and pre-admission screening do not accurately predict whether an incoming student will pose a threat or disruption in college.

Based on an analysis of nearly 7,000 seniors at a large Southern university, a report says that only 3 percent of students who engaged in misconduct on the campus during their college years had reported criminal histories during the admissions process. Of the students who did report a criminal record, meanwhile, just under 9 percent were accused of misconduct during college.

The report, published in the journal Injury Prevention in February, was written by Carol W. Runyan, an epidemiologist at the Colorado School of Public Health, and three other researchers.

For years, colleges and legal experts have wrestled with the question of whether—and how—institutions should attempt to identify incoming students who might present a threat to public safety. The quandary is what to do with any information collected: how to evaluate it fairly and consistently while avoiding discrimination against some students but also protecting against any future incident.

‘Likely Troublemakers’

According to a national survey in 2010, more than 60 percent of colleges consider applicants’ criminal histories in admissions decisions, but only half of those colleges have formal policies on how to do so, and only 38 percent of admissions staffs receive training on interpreting criminal records.

The new research sought to examine if students who were likely to engage in misconduct could be effectively screened during the application process. It also explored whether students with a criminal background upon entering college were more likely to commit crimes while enrolled than were students who started with clean records.

Researchers reviewed students’ responses to application questions about their criminal history, which asked them to say whether they’d been convicted, taken responsibility for a crime, or had charges pending against them at that time. A “yes” to any of those questions meant the students were considered to have criminal histories.

To evaluate students’ behavior in college, the researchers looked at the university’s disciplinary records and kept track of nonacademic misconduct violations, focusing on offenses like assault, robbery, property crimes, driving under the influence, marijuana use, and other drug-related charges. They also included cases that the institution’s honor court had dismissed but that were prosecuted successfully in local court. (The report states that the research was approved by the institutional review board at the University of North Carolina.)

The findings reveal that students who were guilty of misconduct in college were more likely than their classmates to have had pre-college criminal records. But the screening questions often did not identify which students would go on to commit crimes, and most students who did have records before enrolling in college didn’t cause any trouble once there.

In the report, Ms. Runyan points out that the research “raises as many questions as it answers.” Many questions, she says, are practical and ethical: If colleges are going to make smart decisions about pre-admission screening, she writes, they’ll need to think about how past behavior influences future actions. And even if the screening does accurately identify “likely troublemakers,” colleges must decide in which cases to admit them.                                                                                      http://chronicle.com/article/Students-Prior-Criminal/138641/?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

Citation:

Can student-perpetrated college crime be predicted based on precollege misconduct?

  1. 1.    Carol W Runyan1,2,
  2. 2.    Matthew W Pierce3,
  3. 3.    Viswanathan Shankar4,
  4. 4.    Shrikant I Bangdiwala5,6,7

+ Author Affiliations

  1. 1.     1Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  2. 2.     2Pediatric Injury Prevention, Education and Research Program, Colorado School of Public Health and University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  3. 3.     3School of Law, American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC, USA
  4. 4.     4Division of Biostatistics, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA
  5. 5.     5Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  6. 6.     6Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Institute for Social and Health Sciences, University of South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
  7. 7.     7University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  8. Correspondence to Dr Carol W Runyan, Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, Paediatric Injury Prevention, Education and Research (PIPER) Program, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 13001 E. 17th Place, Mail Stop B119, Aurora, CO 80045, USA; carol.runyan@ucdenver.edu

     Received 23 September 2012

     Revised 2 January 2013

     Accepted 16 January 2013

     Published Online First 23 February 2013

Abstract

Objectives Many colleges assess criminal histories during the admissions process, in part, to address violence on campus. This study sought to examine the utility of screening as a means of reducing violence.

Methods Using cohort and case-control analyses, we identified college misconduct through college records and self-reports on a confidential survey of graduating seniors, and examined precollege behaviour as indicated on admissions records, a survey and criminal background checks.

Results One hundred and twenty students met our case definition of college misconduct, with an estimated OR of 5.28 (95% CI 1.92 to 14.48) associated with precollege misconduct revealed on the college application. However, only 3.3% (95% CI 1.0% to 8.0%) of college seniors engaging in college misconduct had reported precollege criminal behaviours on their applications and 8.5% (95% CI 2.4% to 20.4%) of applicants with a criminal history engaged in misconduct during college.

Discussion Though precollege behaviour is a risk factor for college misconduct, screening questions on the application are not adequate to detect which students will engage in college misconduct. This pilot work would benefit from replication to determine the utility of criminal background investigations as part of admissions.

See, College Admission Questions Rarely Identify Criminal Behavior    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130416085433.htm

A 2010 Chronicle of Higher Education article, Experts Debate Fairness of Criminal-Background Checks on Students by Sara Lipka reported that some administrators urge a pragmatic approach:

She recommended not simply considering students’ criminal histories, but establishing policies to evaluate them fairly and consistently. Such policies should specify how to handle sealed juvenile records, news reports of arrests or convictions, and other tricky circumstances like reduced charges; how to disclose admissions decisions to applicants; and how to control access to students’ criminal records, to limit accusations of discrimination and defamation.

Institutions should also consider updating their information with repeated checks, Ms. Dickerson advised. And legal and mental-health experts must regularly train the administrators who make decisions on which students to let in versus keep out, she said. “Just putting background checks in place I’m not really sure is going to do much for campus safety.”                   http://chronicle.com/article/Experts-Debate-Fairness-of/66107/

Unfortunately, this is an issue where colleges will be damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

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More colleges are putting college applicants on mid-year acceptance for enrollment

24 Apr

Moi wrote about the trend of colleges deferring decisions about acceptance of prospective students in More prospective college students getting deferral letters:

Parents and students can meet all the deadlines, complete all the forms, and provide all the supporting documentation required and still not be admitted to the college of their choice. Increasingly, students are being put on deferral lists.

Eli Clarke, Associate Director of counseling, private high school, Washington DC wrote the article, What Does it Mean to be Waitlisted or Deferred?

Being deferred can mean a wide variety of things. In most cases, the college has not completed its review of your file and is “deferring” their decision to a later date. Deferrals typically fall into two categories:

  • You applied under the Early Action or Early Decision plan and have been pushed back into the regular pool. This may be frustrating, but also has an advantage.  If you are accepted into the college/university under regular decision, you are not obligated to attend as you would have been if you were accepted under an Early Decision plan (Early Action is non-binding to begin with). You may feel free to consider offers from other schools.

  • You have applied under a regular decision or rolling admission and the college/university would like to have more information in order to make a decision about your application. In almost every case, a college or university would like to see more grades from the senior year or new test scores. If a school receives the information they want, they could admit you earlier.

Being waitlisted is unlike being deferred; the college has finished reviewing your file and made a decision to put you on a waiting list for admission.

  • Being on a waitlist typically means that you are placed within a “holding pattern” of sorts. The admissions committee may or may not admit students from the waitlist. And unlike a deferral situation, new information does not usually change a waitlist decision.

  • If you are placed on a waitlist, you can usually find out if the school has gone to their wait list in the past and if so, how many students they admitted from the waitlist. In some cases, your chances of eventually getting in are very good; at other colleges, waitlisted applicants are almost never admitted.

  • It is always wise to deposit to another institution and ensure that you have a place somewhere. Do not pin your hopes on a waitlisted college; this is the time to make plans with one of your backup schools.

Whether you are deferred or waitlisted, avoid the temptation to begin a flood of recommendation letters and phone calls to the admissions department. In almost every case, this can have an adverse affect on your chances for admission. Some institutions even state in the letters that they do not take any additional letters of recommendation or phone calls on the student’s behalf.  If the admissions office does need more materials, they are generally interested in concrete information (test scores, grades, etc.) rather than personal testimony or recommendations.

http://www.collegesofdistinction.com/component/k2/item/158-what-does-it-mean-to-be-waitlisted-or-deferred?.html

A deferral letter is not a “no” and it may provide the opportunity to look at other options for college. In Like Me.Com has excellent advice which was posted in the article, How to Handle a College Admissions Deferral http://www.inlikeme.com/advice/how-handle-college-admissions-deferral.html

https://drwilda.com/2012/02/25/more-prospective-college-students-getting-deferral-letters/

Now, there is a new type of deferred action which a prospective student is admitted to a college, BUT for either fall or winter.

Ariel Kaminer writes in the New York Times article, More College Applicants Aren’t Welcome Till Winter:

Exact numbers are not available, but according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, over the last few years more and more colleges have been sending out a new kind of acceptance letter, inviting some applicants to wait until the new year before showing up.

Back in 2001, when U.S.C. started doing it, Timothy Brunold, the director of admissions, said he assumed the university was a pioneer. Now the list includes, among others, Skidmore College, Hamilton College, Brandeis University, the University of Miami, Northeastern University, Elon University in North Carolina and Middlebury College (which actually beat U.S.C. to the punch by a few decades).

They all have their own variation on the theme. Some, like Middlebury, in Vermont, allow students to request second-semester admissions; some make the decision for the students. Hamilton, in Clinton, N.Y., does not enroll students until they arrive on campus in the spring; Skidmore, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Northeastern, in Boston, enroll them right away but direct them to spend their fall semester at a designated program abroad.

But all are motivated by the same basic arithmetic: between freshman-year attrition and junior-year abroad programs, campus populations drop off after the first few months of college each year. “With the economy the way it is, they need to be doing what they can to get tuition income,” said Scott G. Chrysler Jr., a college counselor in Louisiana who is active in the national group’s admissions practices committee. “An empty seat is not generating any income.”

The arrangement may not be profitable for everyone, warns Tom Weede, chairman of the committee. “Often the letter says, ‘We encourage you to enroll in another school and take core-related classes,’ ” he said. “Well, at the other school, if you want financial aid you have to be a full-time student. The school that takes you doesn’t know you’re just going to be there for a semester. So it creates a built-in retention problem at a moment we’re calling for more accountability and more numbers about outcomes like retention.”

As fast as the practice may be growing, it is still unknown to most college applicants, and even to many guidance counselors. At Brandeis University, which now enrolls 100 or so students for midyear arrival, the dean of admissions, Mark Spencer, said some applicants were so rattled by the offer that they begged to be placed on the fall waiting list instead. “I say, ‘Wait, you want me to un-admit you?’ ” Mr. Spencer said.

To address students’ concerns, many of these colleges set up special midyear open houses, or enlist former midyear arrivals to call their potential successors and talk about how it all works. And when that spring semester rolls around, these colleges generally offer midyear orientations, modeled on the welcome-to-campus events that greet most first-year students. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/17/education/more-college-applicants-dont-get-in-until-winter.html?ref=education&_r=0

It is difficult for parents and prospective students to decide whether to wait or choose another college. See, Is a ‘gap year’ a good option for some students? https://drwilda.com/2012/10/08/is-a-gap-year-a-good-option-for-some-students/

College Parents of America posted the article, Students May Be Accepted To College, But For Spring Admission at their site about what prospective college students can do while waiting to enroll in their top school:

Your student may have several things to consider if he is a spring admit.  It may be difficult for him to think about staying at home while his friends head off to college in the fall.  It is frustrating if he is ready to begin.  However, he may want to consider several options. 

  • He might get a job and have an opportunity to save up some money before beginning college – either to have a head start on tuition or so that he won’t need to work during the school year. 

  • He may take some courses at a local community college so that he will not lose a semester but will be on a par with his classmates when he begins in January. 

  • This may provide your student with a welcome break from academics for a semester – but with the assurance of a place in January.  He may return to the classroom with renewed energy. 

  • If the college is close enough, he might be able to take some classes through an extension division or continuing education evening division and not lose any time.

  • Although he may not have chosen it at first, this might provide your student with an interesting gap semester during which he might travel or gain experience through an internship or community service endeavor.

One advantage, for some students, of beginning their college career in January is that they can avoid all of the confusion that surrounds the arrival of many first-year students in the fall.  By the time that your student arrives on campus, life will have settled down.  However, for some students, this may be a danger.  Although there will also be other new arrivals in January, less attention may be paid to helping these students get oriented, some friendships will already have been made, key positions in clubs or on teams may have been filled, and housing choices may be more limited.  All of these are factors that your student will need to weigh.

Beginning college mid-year will not be the right choice for every student.  However, for some students it can provide a welcome break – and the assurance that they have been accepted by their first choice college.  As a college parent, you can help your student consider the pros and cons of the situation and make an informed choice with which she is comfortable. http://www.collegeparents.org/members/resources/articles/students-may-be-accepted-college-spring-admission

Students and parents should research schools before applying.

Moi wrote in Choosing the right college for you:

Danielle Moss Lee, president and chief executive officer of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund offers some great advice in the Washington Post article, Top 5 factors to weigh when picking a college (by May 1st deadline):

Here are the top five factors students across the country should be considering when making this critical decision:

1. Size. When it comes to choosing a college, it isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are significant differences between large and small colleges, and students need to decide what matters to them. Factors to consider include class size, teacher-to-student ratio, name recognition and what options are available on campus – research centers, sporting events, internship opportunities, clubs and organizations, course choices, faculty members and more.

2. Location. Part of the value of college is learning to live on your own, away from your family, and in a city you choose. Students should push themselves to learn how to be successful in a new environment but also still need a support system. Students should consider how far away they can be and still feel comfortable – for some it’s a short car or bus ride, for others it can be a cross-country flight.

3. Finances. Students and their families need to think carefully about the financial impact of their choices. With student loan debt above $1 trillion (surpassing credit card and auto-loan debt) students — especially those from low-income families like many students at the Harlem Educational Activities Fund — need to figure out what the numbers really mean. How much is need-based grant aid and how much is loan-based aid? What will it cost to travel to campus? What incidentals will be required? Will my mother or father need a second job? How many hours will I be allowed to work on campus?

4. Academic focus. Not every student knows what they “want to be when they grow up” and you don’t need to pick a major to pick a college. However, students should consider the variety of courses, curriculum and majors available.

5. ‘Expert’ opinion. Get some insight. Use your family and friends as a resource. Talk to the people you admire personally and professionally, as well as recent graduates who you might know, to find out what they consider the most important aspect of the college experience. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/top-5-factors-to-weigh-when-picking-a-college-by-may-1st-deadline/2012/04/13/gIQAOAH4FT_blog.html

https://drwilda.com/2012/04/15/choosing-the-right-college-for-you/

The best advice to parents and students is to develop a Plan “B” and even Plan “C” as part of the college application process.

Resources:

Colleges deferring more students                           http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/story/2012-02-21/college-university-defer-more-students/53193738/1#.T0iIuEB39Bo.email

You Got Deferred. Now What?                               http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/defer/?emc=eta1

Harvard, Princeton return to early admission by Daniel de Vise http://voices.washingtonpost.com/college-inc/2011/02/harvard_returns_to_early_actio.html

The College Board’s Early Decision & Early Action The benefits and drawbacks of applying early http://professionals.collegeboard.com/portal/site/Professionals/menuitem.b6b1a9bc0c5615493883234011a161ca/?vgnextoid=eb6ccf9a10494110vcm-02000000aaa514acRCRD&vgnextchannel=7c72247eb2814110VgnVCM200000121a16acRCRD&vgnextfmt=print

Debating Legacy Admissions at Yale, and Elsewhere by Jenny Anderson                                                             http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/29/legacy-2/

Related:

More prospective college students getting deferral letters https://drwilda.com/2012/02/25/more-prospective-college-students-getting-deferral-letters/

Many U.S. colleges use the ‘Common Application’                  https://drwilda.com/tag/college-cost/

Is a woman’s college the right college for you?                         https://drwilda.com/2012/08/20/is-a-womans-college-the-right-college-for-you/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                               Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

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The digital divide affects the college application process

8 Dec

Moi wrote in The digital divide in classrooms:

One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has agood bibliography, go toPoverty and Education, Overview As technology becomes more prevalent in society and increasingly is used in schools, there is talk of a “digital divide” between the haves and have-nots. Laurence Wolff and Soledad MacKinnon define the “digital divide” in their article, What is the Digital Divide?

The “digital divide,” inequalities in access to and utilization of information and communication technologies (ICT), is immense. http://info.worldbank.org/etools/docs/library/57449/digitaldivide.pdf

Access to information technology varies within societies and it varies between countries. The focus of this article is the digital divide in education. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/the-digital-divide-in-classrooms/

Nora Fleming has written the provocative Education Week article, Digital Divide Hits College-Admissions Process: Some students lack hardware, savvy:

But while technology is changing the face of college admissions, not all students are reaping the benefits of this virtual access to resources and information. For disadvantaged students lacking awareness or the digital-connection capabilities, entry into college may become harder to obtain than ever before.

“Our first-generation college students, even if they have computers with high-speed Internet, still struggle through the college-application process because they do not have the same frame of reference and knowledge base when it comes to things like college-search websites,” said Darrell Sampson, a guidance counselor with the 182,000-student Fairfax County school district in Virginia.

“If you do not know what it is you are supposed to be looking for, or how the process is supposed to work,” he said, “you are probably not going to be accessing the wealth of information available through technology meant to assist you.”

Online Growth

Those same challenges to accessing college admissions—such as seeking out digital resources and determining credibility of information—follow students when they enter college, educators say, where digital resources, and the expectation to use them, abound.

In 1998, the Common Application, a standard admissions application accepted at colleges and universities in place of their own, was made available online for the first time.

Today, the application, supported by a nonprofit organization of the same name, is accepted by more than 488 higher education institutions, and similar application sites, like XAP and the Universal College Application, have also emerged, dramatically changing the college-admissions process. The Common Application received 2.78 million applications last year from 663,000 students, as a student can now fill out one form and submit it to many colleges at once.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling, based in Arlington, Va., reports that the proportion of virtual applications increased from 56.5 percent in 2004 to 85 percent in 2011 of all those received at four-year institutions. Given the ease of applying, the applications in total at each institution have also substantially increased, while the acceptance rate has declined, stiffening competition.

Virtual portals also enable students to track the status of their applications.

But the application is not the only facet of college admissions that has become virtual. Students can now use a whole host of websites, such as Naviance, Cappex, Zinch, and College Confidential to search for and get matched with potential schools, receive step-by-step guidance on admissions, take virtual tours, and practice for the SAT and the ACT.

Bob Patterson, the director of college outreach at Zinch, a website where students create a profile to get matched with colleges and scholarship money, says such sites help reach students through familiar, digital communication tools. That reduces stress in the admissions process, he said, particularly in high schools where the student-to-counselor ratio is very high.

According to NACAC, the national average is 421-to-1.

“The idea of instant feedback, online searches, and connecting with students in real time is the way higher education institutions will need to engage with the student of the future,” said Mr. Patterson, who worked as an admissions counselor for 15 years at Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, among other universities, before going to Zinch.

Web-Based Help

Cappex: Provides college reviews, admissions games, searchable information on colleges including video, and college and scholarship matching. www.cappex.com

College Board: Provides SAT registration with free sample questions, study guides, and information on local courses; guidance on how to find colleges, pay for them, and plan academic work to make student applications stronger. www.collegeboard.com

College Connection: Helps students find schools based on career goals, courses offered, and location; includes online degrees. www.collegeconnection.com

Common Application: Allows students to fill out a standard application and submit it electronically to as many member institutions (of 488) as desired; includes charts detailing deadlines and additional requirements of each member school. www.commonapp.org

Naviance: Helps students, their families, and their school counselors organize the admissions process through goal-setting and application management; also provides long-range-planning advice for students’ careers based on self-designed profiles and assessments. www.naviance.com

Princeton Review: Offers SAT, ACT, and PSAT preparation guidelines including free practice tests and free events, along with registration for paid courses; includes other college-search advice and general guidance. www.princetonreview.com

Zinch: Students create a profile and are matched with colleges, graduate schools, and scholarship money; students can connect with other students going through the admissions process for advice. www.zinch.com

SOURCE: Education Week

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/12/05/13digital.h32.html?tkn=XRPFs4cKjuDxKn8Oi8b07%2Bbadpo3TxPX9Sek&cmp=clp-edweek

See, Schools Must Bridge the Digital Divide http://www.abpc21.org/digitaldivide.html

Moi wrote about college access in College Board’s ‘Big Future’: Helping low-income kids apply to college:

The College Board announce the “Big Future” program:

College Board Introduces BigFuture.org, a Free Comprehensive College Planning Resource

See, Admissions 101: Will new tool help low-income students tackle admissions?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/class-struggle/post/admissions-101-will-new-tool-help-low-income-students-tackle-admissions/2012/04/18/gIQAVGl8QT_blog.html

Education Week had this take on “Big Future” in the article, College Board Launches New Web Resource for Students by Caralee Adams:

The material was developed in collaboration with an advisory group of educators and Education Conservancy, a nonprofit based in Portland, Ore., focused on improving the admissions process.

This idea was to create an interactive, user-friendly resource in response to concerns that the college-admissions process is becoming increasingly complex and access to expert counseling is unequal. “All students deserve access to good guidance information and top-notch online information,” says Ben-Yoseph. “The goal to make the college process more accessible, simple, and easier to navigate.”

Students can get to much of the information on BigFuture without signing up, but to create a plan or save your work, users do need to create an account. Those with College Board accounts can use their existing user names and passwords. (College Board’s privacy policy states that it does not sell student names or their related information, except through the optional Student Search Service program.)

Rather than being static and listing 10 things to do each year in high school, BigFuture starts the process by asking the user some questions and tailoring the action to the individual’s interests.

When searching for colleges that match a student’s interest on BigFuture, the user can sort by filters such as location, majors, sports, diversity, and cost and give each a weight of importance on a sliding scale. College-profile information of nearly 4,000 institutions is collected by the College Board in its Annual Survey of Colleges. Note: The price includes tuition and fees, but not room and board.

Information throughout the site is provided in nugget-sized tips and one-minute videos with student stories such as how they decided about going to school in a city, what role extracurricular activities played in deciding a major, and putting together a financial-aid plan for college. There are also videos from experts addressing topics of college planning.

College Board envisions the audience for BigFuture to be as young as 8th graders. The content can be applicable for students of any age interested in higher education, said Ben-Yoseph. The hope is that the tool will be engaging enough that it is used across a student’s entire high school career and by school guidance counselors. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/college_bound/2012/03/college_board_launches_new_web_resource_for_students.html

The best way to eliminate poverty is job creation, job growth, and job retention. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has a good bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview  There will not be a good quality of life for most citizens without a strong education system. One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education, we are the next third world country. https://drwilda.com/2012/04/19/college-boards-big-future-helping-low-income-kids-apply-to-college/

Resources:

College Preparation Checklist

College Preparation Checklist Brochure

Funding Education Beyond High School

Related:

Translating digital learning into K-12 education               https://drwilda.com/2012/11/18/translating-digital-learning-into-k-12-education/

Rural schools and the digital divide                                       https://drwilda.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-and-the-digital-divide/

Many U.S. colleges use the ‘Common Application’                    https://drwilda.com/2012/05/15/many-u-s-colleges-use-the-common-application/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                    Dr. Wilda.com

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Is a woman’s college the right college for you?

20 Aug

In Choosing the right college for you, moi said:

Now that many students are receiving letters of acceptance from colleges, they are deciding which college is the best fit for them. Given the tight economy, cost is a major consideration. Beckie Supiano and Elyse Ashburn have written With New Lists, Federal Government Moves to Help Consumers and Prod Colleges to Limit Price Increases in the Chronicle of HigherEducation about the Department of Education’s new site about college costs. The College Affordability and Transparency Center is useful for students who are applying to college. It allows parents and students to calculate the costs of various college options. Once the costs of various college options are considered, then other considerations come into the decision.

Danielle Moss Lee, president and chief executive officer of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund offers some great advice in the Washington Post article, Top 5 factors to weigh when picking a college (by May 1st deadline). http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/top-5-factors-to-weigh-when-picking-a-college-by-may-1st-deadline/2012/04/13/gIQAOAH4FT_blog.html

Many students apply to several colleges in order to improve their chances of being admitted to college. For some students, a woman’s college might be right for them. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/choosing-the-right-college-for-you/

Lorraine Ash and Alesha Williams Boyd write in the USA Today article, Women’s colleges struggle to keep identity and enrollment:

 “Less than 2% of the women going to college nationwide want a single-sex institution,” said Sister Rosemary Jeffries, president of Georgian Court.

The decision highlights how women’s colleges are changing — to meet the needs of a new generation of women, and, in some cases, to make ends meet. The number of women’s colleges in the U.S. dropped from more than 200 in 1960 to 83 in 1993, according to a U.S. Department of Education report. Today, the Women’s College Coalition lists 47 member colleges.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, collective national enrollment at women’s colleges fell from about 113,000 in 1998 to 86,000 in 2010.

“Women’s colleges had to shift, but they haven’t shifted entirely. The mission is still to educate women and develop them for leadership, service and excellence,” said Jacquelyn Litt, dean at Douglass College, which in 2007 went from being its own women’s college to a college that enrolls female undergraduates from any of the academic schools at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Jersey.

Started in the mid-19th century, women’s colleges in the U.S. opened to level the educational playing field for women who couldn’t otherwise get a college education. Recent Census figures show that more women have undergraduate and advanced degrees than men. So, is the mission accomplished?

Not so, says Susan Lennon of the Connecticut-based Women’s College Coalition. Women’s colleges still serve a purpose, she says.

“Women continue to remain underrepresented in key leadership positions and the STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” Lennon said. “Even though women have been the majority on college campuses for more than two decades, they’re underrepresented on coed campuses in such leadership positions as the student government association, preferring to do other kinds of things.”

Still, women’s colleges’ numbers continue to drop, after closings and controversial shifts to coeducation.

Women’s colleges that have gone coed

Colleges and universities that have gone from all-women to coed in the past decade include:

Hood College, Frederick, Md., 2002

Seton Hill University, Greensburg, Pa., 2002

Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, 2003

Wells College, Aurora, N.Y., 2005

Immaculata University, Immaculata, Pa., 2005

Lesley College, Cambridge, Mass., 2005

Regis College, Weston, Mass., 2007

Randolph College, Ashland, Va., 2007

William Peace University, Raleigh, N.C., 2012

Georgian Court University, Lakewood, N.J., will go in 2013

Source: College and university information offices and web sites.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/story/2012-08-01/womens-colleges-enrollment/57103700/1

There are many myths about women who choose to go to a women’s college.

Krista Evans discusses the myths about women’s colleges in the USA Today article, The top 10 myths about all women’s colleges:

Here are the top 10 myths most women face:

1. We are all major feminists who are concerned with women’s issues

While some women at women’s colleges do fit this description, not everyone on campus is exactly like this. We all vary based on our backgrounds, experiences, etc.

2. Boys cannot come in our rooms or sleep over

False. We are not a seminary or school for women who want to become nuns. We can have guys over to study, watch movies, spend the night, or just to hangout. We are treated like adults and are allowed these privileges unless we abuse or take advantage of them.

3. For fun, we have late night pillow fights in our underwear

Again, false. Sorry men, but that is still just a fantasy dream or something you see in the movies.

4. We eat too much and do not dress up because there is no one to impress

While yes, we do have our bad days when we want to just pig out and eat Ben & Jerry’s, we do dress up for class and watch what we eat. We are just lucky to have the option of not having to dress up because we have no boys to impress in class and dressing a certain way does not have an influence on how we are graded. Teachers want us in class to learn, not for a fashion show.

5. We are all lesbians

No, of course we aren’t all lesbians. We like boys and some like girls, just like every other college campus in the United States.

6. We were not smart enough for coed schools

Super false. If anything all women’s colleges are more competitive because they only accept women.

7. We are all either boy deprived or never meet boys

Nope, many of us have boyfriends or go out on the weekends to meet boys. It is not like the college refuses to let us meet or ever see them. Back in the old days, the all women’s colleges used to set up mixers with the coed schools and host dances and invite boys only so the women could meet men.

8. We have a harder time getting jobs

Most people think we are socially deprived and will not be able to succeed in the “real” world because we have only been surrounded by women for our entire college experience. Actually, women who graduate from all women’s colleges are more successful and do very well in the “real” world.

9. We are all wealthy

The myth that we are all wealthy is completely false. Many students take out loans, have financial aid, scholarships, etc. to help them get through college. The exact same as if they were going to a co-ed college.

10. It is just a modern day finishing school, where we are getting our MRS degree

While some women do attend all women’s colleges to get the so called “MRS” degree, not everyone in attendance is there for that exact reason. Majority of women who graduate from women’s colleges go on to get law degrees, PhD’s, MBA’s, become doctors, etc. http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/campuslife/the-top-10-myths-about-all-womens-colleges

In Georgetown University study: Even in a depression, college grads enjoy advantage, moi said:

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano is reporting in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s Whether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/georgetown-university-study-even-in-a-depression-college-grads-enjoy-advantage/

Resources:

“You go to a Women’s College?!” What It’s Like to Go to a Single-Sex School                                                      http://www.hercampus.com/high-school/you-go-women%E2%80%99s-college-what-its-go-single-sex-school

College isn’t about the boys: Why women’s colleges still matter http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/toolbox/college-isnt-about-the-boys-why-womens-colleges-still-matter

Is a Women’s College Right for Your Daughter? http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Womens_Colleges/

Five Ways to Cut the Cost of College                                          http://www.cnbc.com/id/41626500/Five_Ways_to_Cut_the_Cost_of_College

Secrets to paying for college                                                                       http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/27/pf/college/tuition-costs.moneymag/index.htm

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Will a three year B.A. help more students afford college?

24 Jun

In 3rd world America: College increasingly out of reach, moi said:

Moi really doesn’t know what to make of the idea of privatizing state universities.  In the recent past, government had the goal of raising the standard of living and producing the economic conditions that fostered livable wage jobs. The goal of most politicians was to create the conditions that promoted and fostered a strong middle class. Particularly, after WWII and the Korean War, with the G.I Bill, one part of that equation was the wide availability of a college education. This push produced an educated workforce and a college education was within reach, no matter one’s class or social status. This educated workforce helped drive this country’s prosperity. Now, have we lost the goal of providing educational opportunity the widest number of people possible, no matter their class or social status? This question causes moi to wonder about privatizing state universities.

Sam Dillion was writing about the prospect of privatizing public universities in the New York Times in 2005. See, At Public Universities, Warnings of Privatization In 2004, William Symonds wrote an opinion piece in Business Week about the role of public universities

Justin Pope, AP Education Writer details just how fast college costs are rising all over the country in the article, College prices up again as states slash budgets:

Average in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose an additional $631 this fall, or 8.3 percent, compared with a year ago.

Nationally, the cost of a full credit load has passed $8,000, an all-time high. Throw in room and board, and the average list price for a state school now runs more than $17,000 a year, according to the twin annual reports on college costs and student aid published Wednesday by the College Board.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2097835,00.html

Prospective students and families will not only have to worry about getting into college, but finding a way to pay for college. So, it comes as no surprise that reducing the time it takes to get a B.A.  is an idea that is being floated.  https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/3rd-world-america-college-increasingly-out-of-reach/

Mary Beth Marklein writes in the USA TODAY article, Cut college tuition by getting 4-year degree in 3 years:

Yet for all its pocketbook appeal, the three-year concept hasn’t taken off, particularly at public universities. Legislation in Rhode Island in 2009 and Washington last year encourages public universities to develop three-year options, but no programs have been proposed to date, officials in both states say. State budget challenges have pushed a University of California committee’s recommendation to a back burner, says system spokesman Steve Montiel.

At Ohio State University, which must phase in three-year degrees beginning this fall, provost Joe Alutto says a three-year degree may be “misdirected for an institution such as ours.” He told legislators last year that students who earned college credit in high school tend to add a minor or second major rather than graduate early.

Some skeptics worry about quality. “It’s as if they put students on a conveyer belt and just speed them up and spray them with a fire hose and the students catch what they can,” Southern New Hampshire University professor Marty Bradley says of models that compress four years into three. He pioneered a three-year degree on his campus in 1997 that required an overhaul of the curriculum.

Some education groups argue that resources, particularly at public institutions, should focus on students who are most at risk of dropping out. A study of 33 states by the non-profit Complete College America found that just 26% of students enrolled at public institutions earn a bachelor’s in four years; 54.3% take six years. About 2% of students earning a bachelor’s in 2007-08 did so in three years, federal data show. Hartwick’s four-year graduation rate in recent years averages about 46%.  http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/college/story/2012-06-18/three-year-college-degrees/55746696/1#.T-U7ubWwBmE.email

For many students, a three year program will result in a huge savings, but there are risks for other students.

Mandee Heller Adler, Founder and Principal of International College Counselors writes in the article, 3-Year college degrees can save time and money, but is it worth it?

Some of the pros and the cons of the 3-year plan include:

PROS

• Three years give a boost for ambitious students who know what they want to study.

• It will be easier for families to afford college

• Students enter the workforce quicker and/or go on sooner for graduate study.

CONS

•  An undergraduate’s social experience could be compromised.

•  College would tilt more toward job training and away from the broad-based education that many U.S. schools offer.

• Employers may then insist on a master’s before they employ anyone and this will increase the cost to students of the future.

• Parents will pressure their students to enter a 3 year program and then students will have a miserable time, taking an overload of courses, and missing the experience of college.

•  Students should enjoy these four years of freedom.  They have the rest of their lives to work.

From my experience as a college advisor, my thought is, if you’re smart and dedicated enough to graduate in 3 years, you can figure out how to do it on your own.   AP credits, summer courses, and college credits gained during high school can be used to reach this goal.  I work with a few high school freshmen now who are accumulating college credit. Their life goals may change in the next two years but the college credit can work favorable for them no matter what college or major they enter. I know more than a few students, including my sister, who graduated in three years or less without their colleges having to create a special program.

If you have any other college admissions questions for a college counselor, I’d be happy to answer them.  Please write me here or at my personal email which can be found on my International College Counselors college counseling website.

http://internationalcollegecounselors.com/blog/?page_id=81

For the article that served as a basis for these college counselor thoughts, see:                                                   http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/22/AR2009052203681_Comments.html#

There are also concerns that a three year program might not be appropriate for at-risk students.

Christina Couch  writes at Bankrate.com in the article, Pros and cons of accelerated degree programs:

Greater risk to the at-risk

The economic reasons for shortening college tenure are strong. Not only knocking out a year of tuition, room and board — a value of anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 — they also reduce student loan interest and help students get a jump on paying their student loans back. The problem, says Karen Gross, president of Southern Vermont College in Bennington, Vt., is that the students most economically motivated to reduce their college costs are frequently the ones who need a four-year program the most.

“Many students come into college with certain academic deficiencies. There’s a fair amount of work that has to be done just to catch them up,” she says. “There are a subgroup of students from elite high schools for whom a three-year degree would be just fine. But that’s a very small percentage.”

Certain populations of students are more at-risk than others. Students from low-income, English as a second language and first-generation college backgrounds are less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree than other students.

“If you fit into any of these vulnerable populations, it doesn’t mean that you can’t graduate,” says Gross. “It just means that you are statistically at greater risk. You need to consider that.”
Trend on campus: three-year college degrees http://www.bankrate.com/finance/college-finance/pros-and-cons-of-accelerated-degree-programs-1.aspx#ixzz1yaNmMMdQ

Increasingly, the question is whether colleges are using the resources available to them effectively.

A principal reason for the rush toward three year programs is the cost of college. Robin Wilson wrote in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Colleges Spend Far Less on Educating Students Than They Claim, Report Says:

While universities routinely maintain that it costs them more to educate students than what students pay, a new report says exactly the opposite is true.

The report was released today by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, which is directed by Richard K. Vedder, an economist who is also an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a Chronicle blogger. It says student tuition payments actually subsidize university spending on things that are unrelated to classroom instruction, like research, and that universities unfairly inflate the stated cost of providing an education by counting unrelated spending into the mix of what it costs them to educate students.

“The authors find that many colleges and universities are paid more to provide an education than they spend providing one,” says a news release on the report, “Who Subsidizes Whom?”

The report’s authors used data from the U.S. Education Department’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or Ipeds, to conclude that more than half of students attend institutions that take in more per student in tuition payments than what it actually costs them to deliver an education.

The chief reason universities inflate the figures on what they spend to educate students, says the report, is that institutions include all of their spending—whether it is directly related to instruction or not—when calculating what it costs them to provide an education. In reality, says the report, depending on the type of institution, it can cost universities much less to educate students than what the institutions bring in through tuition charges.

“This study finds that education and related spending is only a portion of many institutions’ budgets,” says a news release on the study, “and that many schools spend large amounts on things unrelated to educating students.”      http://chronicle.com/article/Colleges-Spend-Far-Less-on/127040/

The question lawmakers should be asking themselves is why society developed public universities and do those reasons still exist? In the rush to get past this moment in time lawmakers may be destroying the very economic engine, which would drive this country out of the economic famine that currently exists. While tuition is increased for students, the pay of college administrators remains hefty. Administrators are in effect pigs at the trough and should come under some scrutiny. Of course, if the current public universities were privatized, we wouldn’t have to worry about pigs still at the trough or would we? In a totally privatized university environment, administrators could be paid what the market will allow or the regents can go wink, wink at. Wait, wasn’t unfettered pay one element in the U.S. financial meltdown?

Related:

Choosing the right college for you                                                                  https://drwilda.wordpress.com/tag/the-college-affordability-and-transparency-center/

Many U.S. colleges use the ‘Common Application’                                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/many-u-s-colleges-use-the-common-application/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Many U.S. colleges use the ‘Common Application’

15 May

Many students are preparing to apply to college and they will be using the the “Common Application” which is used by over 450 universities including some international schools. According to the “Common Application” site:

GENERAL QUESTIONS

WHAT IS THE COMMON APPLICATION?
The Common Application is a not-for-profit organization that serves students and member institutions by providing an admission application – online and in print – that students may submit to any of our 456 members.

The Common App Online Demo for Students (Flash Movi

WHY USE IT?
Once completed online or in print, copies of the Application for Undergraduate Admission can be sent to any number of participating colleges. The same is true of the School Report, Optional Report, Midyear Report, Final Report and Teacher Evaluation forms. This allows you to spend less time on the busywork of applying for admission, and more time on what’s really important: college research, visits, essay writing, and senior year coursework.

IS IT WIDELY USED?
Absolutely! Millions of Common Applications are printed and accepted by our members each year. In addition, last year almost 2.5 million applications were submitted via the Common App Online.

IS IT TREATED FAIRLY?
YES! Our college and university members have worked together over the past 35 years to develop the application. All members fully support its use, and all give equal consideration to the Common Application and the college’s own form. Many of our members use the Common Application as their only undergraduate admission application.

CAN ALL COLLEGES PARTICIPATE?
Membership is limited to colleges and universities that evaluate students using a holistic selection process. A holistic process includes subjective as well as objective criteria, including at least one recommendation form, at least one untimed essay, and broader campus diversity considerations. The vast majority of colleges and universities in the US use only objective criteria – grades and test scores – and therefore are not eligible to join. If a college or university is not listed on this website, they are not members of the consortium. Sending the Common Application to non-members is prohibited.

WHAT IS THE COMMON APP ONLINE SCHOOL FORMS SYSTEM?
As part of the application process, schools require a variety of information to be provided by teachers and guidance counselors who have interacted with you in the high school environment. Until last year, those forms were only available as PDF files that could be printed, copied, and mailed to the appropriate colleges. Now each teacher and counselor will have the option to complete the forms online via the Common App Online School Forms system if they desire. There is no cost to you or high schools, and using the online system is completely optional for your teachers and counselor.

When you create an account on the Common App Online, you must first indicate what high school you attend. Once this information has been saved, you can access a ‘School Forms’ section of the Common App where teachers and counselors can be identified. By adding a teacher or counselor to the list of school officials, an email is triggered to the teacher or counselor with information about how to log into the Online School Forms system or how to opt for the “offline” or paper process. You are then able to track the progress of your various teachers and counselors via a screen within the Common App Online.

The Common App Online School Forms System Demo (Flash Movie) Camera

WHAT IF I’M A TRANSFER STUDENT?
There’s a Common Application for Transfer Admission as well as First-Year Admission. The Transfer Application is available primarily for online submission; however, the form can be downloaded in PDF format from our Download Forms page.

https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/FAQ.aspx

In addition to U.S. colleges, colleges in England, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland use the “Common Application.” For a good synopsis of the pros and cons of using the application, go to Should I Use The Common Application? http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-experts/2011/09/07/should-i-use-the-common-application

Valerie Strauss writes in the Washington Post article:

When the Common Application was developed in 1975, officials hoped it would reduce the number of separate applications and essays a student applying to numerous colleges would have to complete. Actually, many colleges still require additional information, including more essays. So students, beware: There’s a lot of work to do.

So what are the undergraduate application essays? They are pretty much the same as last year, and the year before. Here are the instructions:

Please write an essay of 250-500 words on a topic of your choice or on one of the options listed below, and attach it to your application before submission. Please indicate your topic by checking the appropriate box. This personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as a person and student, apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself. NOTE: Your Common Application essay should be the same for all colleges. Do not customize it in any way for individual colleges. Colleges that want customized essay responses will ask for them on a supplement form.

* Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

* Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.

* Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

* Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music or science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.

* A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

* Topic of your choice.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/2012-13-common-application-previews-available/2012/05/15/gIQAnQ79PU_blog.html

Applying to a college is just the first step. Students and families also have to consider the cost of particular college options.

Beckie Supiano and Elyse Ashburn have written the article, With New Lists, Federal Government Moves to Help Consumers and Prod Colleges to Limit Price Increases in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the Department of Education’s new site about college costs.

Resources:

College Preparation Checklist

College Preparation Checklist Brochure

Federal Student Aid At A Glance 2011 – 2012

Funding Education Beyond High School

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

College Board’s ‘Big Future’: Helping low-income kids apply to college

19 Apr

In 3rd world America: The economy affects the society of the future, moi said:

One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education in this country, we are the next third world country. All over the country plans are being floated to cut back the school year or eliminate programs which help the most disadvantaged. Alexander Eichler reports in the Huffington Post article, Middle-Class Jobs Disappearing As Workforce Shifts To High-Skill, Low-Skill: Study:

America is increasingly becoming a place of high- and low-skill jobs, with less room available for a middle class.

A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that over the past 30 years, the U.S. workforce has shifted toward high-paying jobs that require a great deal of education — jobs in the legal, engineering or technology industries, for example — and toward low-paying jobs that require little schooling, like food preparation, maintenance and personal care.

What haven’t fared so well are the industries in the middle, like sales, teaching, construction, repair, entertainment, transportation and business — the ones where a majority of Americans end up working.

In 1980, these middle-level jobs accounted for 75 percent of the workforce. By 2009, that number had fallen to 68 percent. In the same span of time, low- and high-skill jobs had each grown as a percentage of the workforce.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/21/middle-class-jobs_n_1105502.html?ref=email_share

So what future have the Goldman Sucks, cash sluts, and credit crunch weasels along with we don’t care, we don’t have to Washington Georgetown and Chevy Chase set – you know, the the “masters of the universe” left those on a race to get through college? Lila Shapiro has the excellent post, Trading Down: Laid-Off Americans Taking Pay Cuts and Increasingly Kissing Their Old Lives Goodbye at Huffington Post:

This government, both parties, has failed to promote the kind of economic development AND policy which creates liveable wage jobs. That is why Mc Donalds is popular for more than its dollar menu. They are hiring people.

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/3rd-world-america-the-economy-affects-the-society-of-the-future/

The College Board announce the “Big Future” program:

College Board Introduces BigFuture.org, a Free Comprehensive College Planning Resource

The Education Conservancy, Educators and Students Collaborated in Effort to Help Overcome Obstacles to College

NEW YORK, April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — On April 10, the College Board introduced BigFuture, its new free comprehensive college planning Web resource, at a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. The site was created with the Education Conservancy and in consultation with students and educators to help make the college planning process simpler and more accessible. At the “Big Future™: Narrowing the Gap Between College Aspiration and Enrollment” panel,education, government and not-for-profit thought leaders discussed ways to help students, especially those from low-income backgrounds or who are the first in their families to aspire to college,overcome obstacles to higher education.

BigFuture is a major investment by the College Board to help improve the college planning process for students and families, and to provide more equal access to expert guidance,” said Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board. “Through our advocacy work to increase college completion rates in the United States, we have identified providing better college information and planning services to all students, with a special focus on low-income students, as one of 10 key recommendations for success. We’re excited about this collaboration with the Education Conservancy because it combines trusted guidance and reliable data with innovative and engaging technology.”

Lloyd Thacker, director of the Education Conservancy, moderated the panel, which included Zakiya Smith, senior advisor for education at the White House Domestic Policy Council; Daniel Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators; Brian Sponsler, associate director of research and evaluation for the Institute for Higher Education Policy; Laura Schifter, senior education and disability advisor on the Committee on Education and the Workforce; Rep. George Miller (D-CA); and Pat Martin, assistant vice president of the College Board’s National Office of School Counselor Advocacy. The event was hosted by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center.

The success of the BigFuture project reflects the special value collaboration can deliver to improving education,” said Thacker. “At its best, college admission is an interactive, educational process. Students learn about college; colleges learn about students; successful matches are made; college education in America becomes a reality for all who aspire to it. This site represents a significant step forward in establishing an admission system that exemplifies the best that education has to offer.”

BigFuture.org is a new Web experience that leverages new technologies to engage students online in the way they want to be engaged. This new resource combines guidance, tools and information to make college planning easier to navigate and help students overcome barriers that make college seem out of reach. BigFuture features interactive tools and content, including real student video stories and personalized action plans.

BigFuture replaces the College Board’s previous college planning website, which was a trusted resource and one of the most highly trafficked college planning websites available, used by more than six million students and parents each month. “This launch represents a new phase in the College Board’s service to students, building on more than 100 years of work aimed at expanding access to higher education,” Caperton said.

About the College Board
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org.

About the Education Conservancy
The Education Conservancy (EC) is a not-for-profit organization committed to improving college admission in the public interest. Established in 2003, the EC directs national attention to the harmful effects of college rankings and other commercial influences in college admission, highlights the educational importance of college admission, orchestrates collaboration among colleges to serve the needs of students, and develops college planning resources for students, families and counselors. The EC’s work has been made possible through the generous support of philanthropic organizations and hundreds of schools, colleges and individuals. For more information, visit www.educationconservancy.org.

###

Contact:
College Board Communications Department
212-713-8052
communications@collegeboard.org

See, Admissions 101: Will new tool help low-income students tackle admissions?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/class-struggle/post/admissions-101-will-new-tool-help-low-income-students-tackle-admissions/2012/04/18/gIQAVGl8QT_blog.html

Education Week had this take on “Big Future” in the article, College Board Launches New Web Resource for Students by Caralee Adams:

The material was developed in collaboration with an advisory group of educators and Education Conservancy, a nonprofit based in Portland, Ore., focused on improving the admissions process.

This idea was to create an interactive, user-friendly resource in response to concerns that the college-admissions process is becoming increasingly complex and access to expert counseling is unequal. “All students deserve access to good guidance information and top-notch online information,” says Ben-Yoseph. “The goal to make the college process more accessible, simple, and easier to navigate.”

Students can get to much of the information on BigFuture without signing up, but to create a plan or save your work, users do need to create an account. Those with College Board accounts can use their existing user names and passwords. (College Board’s privacy policy states that it does not sell student names or their related information, except through the optional Student Search Service program.)

Rather than being static and listing 10 things to do each year in high school, BigFuture starts the process by asking the user some questions and tailoring the action to the individual’s interests.

When searching for colleges that match a student’s interest on BigFuture, the user can sort by filters such as location, majors, sports, diversity, and cost and give each a weight of importance on a sliding scale. College-profile information of nearly 4,000 institutions is collected by the College Board in its Annual Survey of Colleges. Note: The price includes tuition and fees, but not room and board.

Information throughout the site is provided in nugget-sized tips and one-minute videos with student stories such as how they decided about going to school in a city, what role extracurricular activities played in deciding a major, and putting together a financial-aid plan for college. There are also videos from experts addressing topics of college planning.

College Board envisions the audience for BigFuture to be as young as 8th graders. The content can be applicable for students of any age interested in higher education, said Ben-Yoseph. The hope is that the tool will be engaging enough that it is used across a student’s entire high school career and by school guidance counselors.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/college_bound/2012/03/college_board_launches_new_web_resource_for_students.html

The best way to eliminate poverty is job creation, job growth, and job retention. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has a good bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview  There will not be a good quality of life for most citizens without a strong education system. One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education, we are the next third world country.

Related:

Choosing the right college for you https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/choosing-the-right-college-for-you/

Producing employable liberal arts grads https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/producing-employable-liberal-arts-grads/

Remedial education in college https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/remedial-education-in-college/

Why go to college? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Choosing the right college for you

15 Apr

Now that many students are receiving letters of acceptance from colleges, they are deciding which college is the best fit for them. Given the tight economy, cost is a major consideration. Beckie Supiano and Elyse Ashburn have written With New Lists, Federal Government Moves to Help Consumers and Prod Colleges to Limit Price Increases in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the Department of Education’s new site about college costs. The College Affordability and Transparency Center is useful for students who are applying to college. It allows parents and students to calculate the costs of various college options. Once the costs of various college options are considered, then other considerations come into the decision.

Danielle Moss Lee, president and chief executive officer of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund offers some great advice in the Washington Post article, Top 5 factors to weigh when picking a college (by May 1st deadline):

Here are the top five factors students across the country should be considering when making this critical decision:

1. Size. When it comes to choosing a college, it isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are significant differences between large and small colleges, and students need to decide what matters to them. Factors to consider include class size, teacher-to-student ratio, name recognition and what options are available on campus – research centers, sporting events, internship opportunities, clubs and organizations, course choices, faculty members and more.

2. Location. Part of the value of college is learning to live on your own, away from your family, and in a city you choose. Students should push themselves to learn how to be successful in a new environment but also still need a support system. Students should consider how far away they can be and still feel comfortable – for some it’s a short car or bus ride, for others it can be a cross-country flight.

3. Finances. Students and their families need to think carefully about the financial impact of their choices. With student loan debt above $1 trillion (surpassing credit card and auto-loan debt) students — especially those from low-income families like many students at the Harlem Educational Activities Fund — need to figure out what the numbers really mean. How much is need-based grant aid and how much is loan-based aid? What will it cost to travel to campus? What incidentals will be required? Will my mother or father need a second job? How many hours will I be allowed to work on campus?

4. Academic focus. Not every student knows what they “want to be when they grow up” and you don’t need to pick a major to pick a college. However, students should consider the variety of courses, curriculum and majors available.

5. ‘Expert’ opinion. Get some insight. Use your family and friends as a resource. Talk to the people you admire personally and professionally, as well as recent graduates who you might know, to find out what they consider the most important aspect of the college experience.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/top-5-factors-to-weigh-when-picking-a-college-by-may-1st-deadline/2012/04/13/gIQAOAH4FT_blog.html

Once the decision is made to attend a particular college, the thought turns to how to cut the costs of college.

One way to cut the cost of college is to save on textbooks. Fin Aid’s article, Cutting the Cost of College Textbooks makes some useful suggestions.

There are several methods of saving money on textbook costs. These methods can typically save as much as half the cost of buying new textbooks from the college bookstore.

  • Buy used textbooks. The used textbooks may have notes in the margins, but sometimes this can be beneficial. Used textbooks often cost half the price of a new textbook.
  • Buy new textbooks and sell the textbooks back to the college bookstore at the end of the semester. The savings range from a quarter to half the cost of a new textbook. You will get more for your used textbook if you keep it in good condition. Your ability to sell the textbooks back to the bookstore depends on whether the same textbook will be used the next time the class is offered. The main drawback from reselling the textbook is that you won’t be able to keep the textbook.
  • Rent the textbook. Like selling the book back to the bookstore, this doesn’t let you keep the textbook. Usually this costs more than the net cost of buying a new textbook and selling it at the end of the semester.
  • Shop around for the best price on the textbook. Often you can buy the book online for a significant discount. The ISBN number listed in the course syllabi and class schedules help you find the same edition online. (If the syllabus doesn’t list the ISBNs for the books, you can find them on the publisher’s web site. Also look on the publisher’s web site for alternate formats that are less expensive, such as softcover editions and ebooks.) Many online bookstores that sell textbooks will deliver the textbooks in one or two days for free. Online bookstores and comparison tools are listed below.
  • Compare the latest edition of a textbook with the older edition. Sometimes the changes aren’t significant enough that you need to get the new edition, and older editions are often much less expensive on the used market. The main drawback is sometimes the page numbering is different in the latest edition, making it more difficult to identify the reading assignments.
  • Buy the ebook version of the textbook. Ebooks will save you some money over the cost of a print textbook, although not as much as you might expect. Ebooks also aren’t a perfect solution. Page numbers are different and more fluid than in the print versions of a textbook. Ebook readers like the Kindle DX are just as readable as print textbooks, especially outdoors, but currently can’t display color diagrams. The Apple iPad can display color diagrams, but the backlighting can cause eyestrain and is more difficult to read outdoors. Taking notes on an ebook is more difficult than writing a note in the margin on a print textbook or highlighting a passage. On the other hand, you can carry all of your ebooks on a single lightweight device.
  • Buy a re-imported international edition of the textbook. Publishers sell their textbooks at a much lower cost in other countries. However, the bindings are usually much flimsier and the page numbering may differ from the US editions.

http://www.finaid.org/questions/textbooks.phtml

Jenny L. Phipps of Bankrate.Com offers additional suggestions in Cutting the Cost of College Incidentals:

18 ways to cut the cost of college incidentals

1.

Read the bill carefully.

2.

Don’t get caught in a feeing frenzy.

3.

Beware too much health care.

4.

Go on a dorm-dining diet.

5.

Pay on time.

6.

Know the financial aid bottom line.

7.

Vet the class schedule.

8.

Look for ways to get ahead.

9.

Consider cheaper alternatives.
10. Transfer advance-placement credits.
11. Buy smart.
12. Decorate creatively.
13. Forget the phone.
14. Eat at home.
15. Buy used books.
16. Look for cheap travel.
17. Devise a money delivery system.
18. Be sure the price is worth it.

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/college/cfguide/misc-costs1.asp

Congratulations on your acceptance into college. Now the real work begins.

Related:

Five Ways to Cut the Cost of College                                          http://www.cnbc.com/id/41626500/Five_Ways_to_Cut_the_Cost_of_College

Secrets to paying for college                                      http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/27/pf/college/tuition-costs.moneymag/index.htm

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©