National Trends in Grade Inflation, American Colleges and Universities
Of all the mysteries in graduate school, the greatest may be the dissertation committee.
When it works well, it offers academics an opportunity to shape both burgeoning scholars and future research in the field. Unfortunately, for many academics, the allure of serving on a doctoral committee — also called a thesis committee — fades quickly.
Any committee assignment comes with its share of challenges, of course, but the dynamic of a dissertation committee accentuates some of the more subtle and nuanced ways in which faculty members exercise privilege, not only over students but over other committee members.
How should colleges cater to professors nearing retirement? With 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day the population of tenured faculty is growing older—at some prestigious universities, one in three academics are 60 or older. Between 1995 and 2015, the number of post-secondary aged 65 or older tripled, shooting from 4.4 percent to 11.6 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (figures include teachers at trade schools as well as colleges). This demographic shift may allow universities to retain the deep knowledge base of older faculty, but also open up a wealth of questions: about the need for adequate positions for younger faculty; and about planning for this older cohort as they edge towards retirement.[
How can we make assessment more meaningful?
Rigorous assessment is central to education. It tells us whether our students are mastering essential skills and knowledge and whether our teaching is effective.
But grading also provokes much grousing.
Many students complain that grading is arbitrary, inconsistent, and unfair, while many instructors grumble about grade inflation, the excessive amount of time devoted to grading, and the many complaints that grading prompts.
There’s plenty of good research on study strategies that promote learning. It’s also well-documented that students don’t always use them. As most of us are well aware, procrastination gets in the way of learning. Cramming ends up being mostly a shovelling
exercise—digging up details and dropping them into short term-memory. But there’s also evidence that students don’t know that some strategies do more for learning than others. And guess what? Neither do some faculty.
Experts from within and outside of academia expound on what role universities can play to further the innovation
The buzzword “innovation” might perk you up – or make your eyes roll. Regardless of how the term sits with you, innovation is clearly on the federal government’s agenda and of big interest to universities as they try to keep pace with rapid changes in society and the economy, while staying responsive to government funding priorities and continuing to meet the needs of their students, faculty and the wider community. With the federal government grappling with weak economic growth and working on crafting a new “ innovation agenda,” (PDF) we asked six experts inside and outside the academy what role they think universities should play in fostering greater innovation in Canada. Their innovation definitions differ in their wording, but are variations on the theme that innovation is not about inventions, per se, but about the novel use of inventions and technologies that lead to transformative new or improved services, products and processes. Universities already make substantial
contributions through their teaching, learning and research functions, and have at least some role to play in the innovation ecosystem, they agree, but how far that should go and in which ways yielded intriguing ideas from each of them.
I’ve been receiving an unprecedented number of calls from presidents across the country asking me to “talk [them] off the ledge.” Most of those conversations have been with presidents whom I judge to be effective and emotionally grounded. Yet each person has been distressed in ways that I didn’t find common during my earlier years in higher education.
There’s only one first day of class. Here are some ideas for taking advantage of opportunities that are not available in the same way on any other day of the course.
In this study, the authors examined the findings and implications of the research on trust in leadership that has been conducted during the past 4 decades. First, the study provides estimates of the primary relationships between trust in leadership and key outcomes, antecedents, and correlates (k 106). Second, the study explores how specifying the construct with alternative leadership referents (direct leaders vs. organizational leadership) and definitions (types of trust) results in systematically different relationships between trust in leadership and outcomes and antecedents. Direct leaders (e.g., supervisors) appear to be a particularly important referent of trust. Last, a theoretical framework is offered to provide parsimony to the expansive literature and to clarify the different perspectives on the construct of trust in leadership and its operation.
Higher education communications professionals need to understand and apply digital marketing as part of their toolkit in order to stay relevant in a highly competitive marketplace.
Digital marketing refers to the many ways you can reach and market to your target audiences through digital channels and devices, including social media, email, digital advertising, and landing page/form strategies.
OTTAWA — Federal officials, as part of the government’s latest efforts to crack down on bad debts, are trying to figure out why graduates from private career colleges are more likely to have problems repaying their student loans.
Roughly nine per cent of the almost half-million students who receive federal assistance each year through the Canada Student Loans program go to private schools, including career colleges
A decade ago, few universities thought strategically about their brand. Now, as the market for academic talent, funding, and recognition heats up, the need has become acute. Universities recognize the necessity of building appreciation for what makes them unique. Yet while some universities may be regarded as “great” brands, most aren’t. And it may be because of the ways in which higher education approaches branding.
If we believe in the active-learning classroom — that the only way to bring about real learning is to engage students in ways that help them revise and broaden their thinking — then student participation is a non-negotiable part of the equation. Learning does not happen without the student actively taking part.
Oddly, however, given its importance, our own definition of “student participation” is often quite limited. In the scholarship on teaching and learning, that term is almost always defined narrowly as the degree to which students take part in class discussions. And while discussion is obviously an important component of an active-learning classroom, it’s not the only component. There are many other ways in which students participate in class: writing, researching, and contributing to small group activities are just a few. If we want to accurately assess and reward participation in our courses, we need to expand our definition to include more than just the amount of times that students raise their hands.
Relax, I'm not calling you stupid. For any millennial readers, I’m just paraphrasing Bill Clinton’s unofficial campaign slogan from 1992: “It's the economy, stupid.” His purpose was not to insult supporters or alienate undecided voters, but rather to constantly remind himself and his staff of what he considered the most important issue in that election.
In much the same way, if you’re planning to apply for a full-time faculty position at a two-year college this fall, I would encourage you to adopt my revised version of Clinton's slogan as your personal motto. Because even though you will probably be required to submit multiple documents
— including a CV and an official employment application —
the single most important one will be your cover letter.
The debate over how universities and colleges should relate to one another has been lively in Ontario for at least two decades.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the commissioning of a province-wide review of the colleges’ mandate whose report recommended greater opportunities for advanced training – defined as “education that combines the strong applied focus of college career-oriented programs with a strong foundation of theory and analytical skills.” The report envisaged that some advanced training would be undertaken by colleges alone, and some would be offered jointly with universities and would lead to a university degree (Vision 2000 Steering Committee 1990, 16-17). A follow-up report in 1993 found that opportunities for advanced training remained “isolated and not part of an integrated and planned system of advanced training, with equitable
student access” (Task Force on Advanced Training 1993, 11-13).
We are often told that we live in a global era, driven in part by technology, globalisation and intensified international commerce. There is a great urgency to cultivate internationally minded and ready citizens. Higher education institutions worldwide are
situated at the epicentre of generating the world’s next legion of global citizens.
In the United States alone, institutions now commonly have study abroad centres or offices of international education and many have established international outposts.
At the core of internationalisation is an ambition for internationalised curricula. Through this, institutions aim to equip students with the tools they need to thrive in the global economy. Yet, despite the momentum surrounding the internationalised curriculum, its substance and benefits are still uncertain.
Several studies suggest that graduate students are at greater risk for mental health issues than those in the general population. This is largely due to social isolation, the often abstract nature of the work and feelings of inadequacy -- not to mention the slim tenure-track job market. But a new study in Nature Biotechnology warns, in no uncertain terms, of a mental health “crisis” in graduate education.
Ah, frosh. The gateway to all the parties university has to offer. It’s a fleeting moment filled with hype and rush. It’s hot and filled with sweaty people experiencing the same things you are.
My frosh happened two years ago and it was anything but dull. However, I remember feeling a tad vulnerable. There was a little voice in my head that kept nagging about how I decided to dress for the week. Don’t bend too much or else your butt will show. Your dress is a little too revealing.
My fellow freshman girls and I wore short shorts during the day. At night, we wore tight dresses or much more revealing tops as we danced the night away. Our fashion made us out as bait to concupiscent freshman boys—those who cannot control their hands from reaching down my thighs or grinding against my body without my permission. It opened my eyes to the on-going battle between what is deemed as “provocative”—and the perceived correlation between fashion and consent.
Student success in post-secondary education is an ongoing concern, however, research has focused on relatively homogeneous university samples. Moreover, Canadian research on predictors of student success is limited. Following
recent trends, we examined non-cognitive, personal qualities, rather than cognitive predictors (e.g., IQ), of student success. Relying on a psychosocial model, we examined age, gender, perceived stress, maternal education, identity style, perseverance, and student engagement as predictors of student success in a multi-site sample of students attending a CEGEP in Quebec (N = 239; Mage = 18.6 years; 68.2% female) and a polytechnic school in Ontario (N = 209; Mage = 20.6 years; 71.3% female). Maternal education and perseverance emerged as significant predictors in both samples. Links between informational identity
and cognitive engagement and student success differed by location. Our findings suggest the need to focus on student perseverance, and to consider identity and cognitive engagement dependent on the educational context.
This summer’s college president departure season is off to a swift start that has largely been marked by little
forewarning from colleges before exits are announced.
Many boards of trustees would consider it best practice to have a quick parting of ways with little surrounding
drama. But it doesn’t always go so smoothly in higher education -- it didn’t last summer -- making the pace and tone
of presidential partings so far this year stand out. Also noteworthy is that many recently announced transitions have
involved leaders who are relatively young or who are early in their tenures.
The president of Washington College on Maryland’s Eastern Shore resigned just a week after word leaked that all
was not well between her and the institution’s board. That president, former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
chair Sheila Bair, was two years into a five-year contract. She cited her family when she departed, but the college
did not go into depth on reasons for her resignation.