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Some Colleges and Universities Considering Three-Year Degrees in Attempt to Increase Access while Reducing Costs

Questions of access and affordability have plagued higher education for many years.  Coupled with the implications of the recent global economic downturn, these issues have received even greater consideration in the last several years.  As college administrators attempt to tackle the problems associated with providing greater access and affordability, creative ideas are being formulated.

One such idea recently gaining attention is scaling back the length of time it takes to receive a bachelors degree from the traditional four years to three. 

Characteristics of the Class of 2020

Whenever I can find a good book or research paper on the topic of distance education, I will usually obtain a copy in order to see if there’s a trend or idea that is worth noting or pursuing.  For a few weeks, I had noted the ad in The Chronicle of Higher Education touting their new report, “The College of 2020:  Students.” 

Department of Education Study Finds that Online Education is Beneficial to Student Learning

The U.S. Department of Education released the findings of a meta-analysis conducted by its Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development on Friday that confirm what online educators have known for years: “on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” 

Online education has gained tremendous momentum in the last several years. 

The Cost of College

It is hard to have a day go by where there is not at least one article in the major media about the high cost of college. With the recession and its impact on state and local budgets, tuitions are being increased at many public colleges and universities and some institutions are reducing the number of students attending in order to cut costs for next year.

The Shortfalls of the American Financial Aid System: Pell Grants

The Pell Grant, originally known as the Basic Education Opportunity Act, was created in 1972 to support the postsecondary educational needs of the country’s least advantaged students.  The original maximum amount for Pell Grant recipients was $452.  In 1980, the program was renamed the Pell Grant in honor of Senator Claiborne Pell and his initiatives in creating the program. 

The Evolving Nature of Teaching Pedagogies

Ed Strong was one of my grad school professors at Tulane.  On one of my early postings on this blog, I mentioned his name with a list of professors who I found notable for their teaching abilities when I was in college.  Ed found that posting and sent me a note.  We have remained in touch off and on through email and Facebook. 

Response to an Article in Consumers’ Digest

There are very good reasons why more than 620,000 students are currently enrolled with regionally accredited online higher education institutions: their high-quality bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are affordable, convenient, and lead to both personal and professional enrichment. Some of the best universities leverage the power of the internet to help advance students’ knowledge, critical thinking skills and exposure to diverse ideas and people required for success in today’s complex, digitally-connected world.

President Obama’s Address to the Nation

Last night, President Obama delivered an address to the nation.  He focused on the state of the economy and his administration’s plans for the economic future of our country focusing on energy, healthcare, and education.  I thought I would examine his plans for education as it relates to higher education and compare them to the public policy initiatives and thought pieces that have previously been published.

New Realities in Higher Education

With the number of articles about the financial difficulties in higher education increasing in frequency, it was bound to happen that someone would create a blog to track some of those articles.  Ray Schroeder, Director of COLRS/OTEL and a Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois  has done that.

New Realities in Higher Education is the name of his blog (and you can find it at http://www.recessionreality.blogspot.com/). 

Squeeze Play 2009

Public Agenda and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (NCPPHE) recently issued their report entitled Squeeze Play 2009: The Public’s Views on College Costs Today.  Given the state of the economy, Public Agenda and the NCPPHE decided to conduct a survey in December 2008 that they had conducted two years previously for their Squeeze Play 2007 report.