This week, May 16-22, 2016, the APUS Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) celebrates International Coaching Week (ICW). According to the International Coach Federation, “ICW educates the public about the value of working with a professional coach and acknowledges the results and progress made through the coaching process.” To this end, American Public University System (APUS) developed a comprehensive coaching and mentoring initiative.
Susan Dynarski’s June 2 article in The New York Times elicited more than a few tweets. Dr. Dynarski, a professor of education, public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, wrote about a project called the Education Longitudinal Study that began tracking 15,000 high school sophomores in 2002. Last month, the researchers updated their educational attainment data for those sophomores and issued a report.
In many research papers reporting on the persistence of adult students, authors cite a Department of Education Study that reports several risk factors that may influence a non-traditional student’s persistence in college. The study, commissioned by the Department of Education and entitled Profile of Undergraduates in U.S. Postsecondary Institutions: 1992-1993, was authored by Laura Horn and Mark D.
The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy: The Revolution in Higher Education by Charles Hugh Smith
My three greatest interests in higher education are (in order): affordability, student persistence, and technology-enabled education. Given the size of the sector, researchers or authors usually write about one of those topics in a focused or nuanced paper/book. Having read a reference to the above book that appeared to focus on affordability and technology-enabled education, I ordered a copy.
When reading research reports, I have a habit of noting specific citations if they interest me. Whether I subsequently access the original source depends on how much time I have and whether the topic is relevant to an article or paper that I am writing. I don’t retrieve older source documents as often as newer ones, since much of my writing involves online learning, a field that is evolving almost as quickly as the technology that supports it changes.
Pilot Program Forces Discussion of Online Learning, MOOCs, Student Retention, and the Future of Higher Education
Earlier this week, the California State University System (CSU) announced an online pilot program with Udacity, a for-profit provider of MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses). Udacity will provide a remedial algebra course, a college level algebra course, and a statistics course as part of the pilot that will initially be limited to 300 students at San Jose State University and several local community colleges.
Ithaka S+R recently published a report funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and titled, “Barriers to Adoption of Online Learning Systems in U.S. Higher Education.” I have written extensively on this blog about the economic constraints facing institutions of higher education, issues of student persistence and retention, and the litany of other issues daunting the American higher education system today.
Vincent Tinto’s research related to student retention is well known among academicians. His 1975 paper in the Review of Educational Research creating a theoretical construct of the major factors leading to student retention has been cited in hundreds, if not thousands of papers and publications. Additionally, Tinto’s sociological construct of the college dropout influenced future researchers toward examining the cause of dropouts instead of blaming the victim.