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Thoughts from the Field: Close or Use Online Courses?

In the face of unprecedented closures in the nation and in the California Community College System (CCC), college administrators rally to keep instruction alive by generating hundreds of online class sessions from current on-ground traditional classes. The world as we know it in online education will likely never be the same. What resources are we pulling together, and what will we learn from this experience? It is up to us to collaborate at a previously unimagined level to figure this out.

Resources for Building Online Courses in an Emergency

Many traditional colleges and universities have cancelled regular classes for the time being and are preparing their faculty and students for online classes in order to complete the spring semester. For institutions with a substantial online presence, this is likely not a big issue. But for those institutions with little online experience, this could be problematic. Adding to the drama or chaos, depending on your perspective, is the fact that the online courses have to be ready by the end of the extended spring breaks imposed by these colleges and universities.

A Simple Way to Equalize the Ivies?

In this week’s New York Times, Dana Goldstein and Anemona Hartocollis write about the difference in enrollments at the Ivy Plus (eight Ivy League universities plus Duke, Stanford, M.I.T., and the University of Chicago) institutions when students’ family incomes are considered. The source of the data for these reporters is a paper co-authored by economists Raj Chetty, John Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, and Danny Yagan, Income Segregation and Intergenerational Mobility Across Colleges in the United States. The paper follows their 2017 research paper, Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility.

The Overlooked Value of Certificates and Associate Degrees

When I read that Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce had issued another report about the value of certificates and associate degrees, I assumed that the research related to the database utilized to generate its analysis about the ROI of a college degree, which I critiqued in an initial, and follow-up, post. I was surprised when the paper revealed a different research basis.

Seeking Stories…From Liberal Arts Graduates

I recently wrote about the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce’s new report, the ROI of Liberal Arts Colleges, which was generated from the database created for their broader report, A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges. Despite experiencing a liberal arts education through my undergraduate history major at Duke University, something about the report bothered me. Ultimately, I understood what was causing my consternation.

ROI of Liberal Arts Colleges

The researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently released a report, the ROI of Liberal Arts Colleges. Anthony Carnevale, Ban Cheah, and Martin Van Der Werf used the findings from their broader study, A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges, to create a report focused specifically on liberal arts colleges. Since I previously wrote about the methodology behind the latter report, I will only reiterate those thoughts I deem relevant to the new one.

Reimagining the Public University

In the Winter 2020 issue of National Affairs, James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley write about the past, present, and future of state flagship universities. Can these schools remain financially solvent while educating residents at the low tuition rates that were common in past decades? Based on a recent Washington Post survey of 50 such institutions, the authors answer “no.” While not all of these findings are news, the authors astutely assess negative changes in public higher education and recommend the true reforms needed.