Home Tag "Student Retention"

Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College

Peter Felten and Leo Lambert have worked together for years at Elon University. Dr. Felten is a professor of history at Elon and also serves as the assistant provost for teaching and learning. Dr. Lambert is a professor of education at Elon and is also president emeritus, having served as president from 1999 through 2018. Their beliefs in the value of relationships as part of the undergraduate experience led them to interview nearly 400 students, faculty, and staff at 29 colleges and universities across America to evaluate best practices in building relationships through formal and informal programs. This research eventually led to the creation of the book Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College.

The Comeback Story: Why Adult Learners Return to College

New America, a think tank dedicated to confronting the challenges created by technology and social change and seizing those opportunities, released a report this week titled The Comeback Story. The report, authored by Hadass Sheffer, Iris Palmer, and Annette Mattei addresses the various ways that adults return to school to complete their degrees. The topic interests me a great deal as I spent the past 18 years leading American Public University System (APUS) to collaboratively find ways to improve the success of our working adult students.

Interoperability, Not Third-Party Assessors, Is the Answer: A Response to Creating Seamless Credit Transfer

It’s always a joy and a challenge for me to read the work of Michael Horn and Richard Price coming out of the Christensen Institute. I revel in the creativity of ideas, the diversity of examples and the parallels they make to other industries and times in higher education. And it’s a challenge in the climb-a-mountain-for-a-better-view variety. The document "Creating Seamless Credit Transfer: A parallel higher ed system to support America through and beyond the recession" did not disappoint in the ideals I hold for these scholars’ thinking.

Some College and No Degree

“Over the past 20 years, more than 31 million students have enrolled in college and left without receiving a degree or certificate” is the headline for a recent Strada, Gallup and Lumina Study report. Another recent National Student Clearinghouse report provided an overview of this population by state, noting that a nuanced review of the data is required before making conclusions and recommendations. The researchers pulled Strada-Gallup survey data from more than 42,000 individuals who did not complete college to complement the Clearinghouse study and shared the following key findings.

The Provost Challenge: Driving Innovation to Enhance Student Engagement and Learning Outcomes

Something about a challenge motivates us. Whether it’s the first transatlantic flight, landing on the moon, or taking on one of numerous YouTube challenges going viral on smartphones everywhere, there is something about challenges that creates energy, creativity, and innovation. Even the U.S. government has harnessed the power of challenges, from using RFID to locate items on the International Space Station, launching payloads into space within a matter of days, or helping to prevent opioid misuse in expectant and new mothers. Challenges with cash prizes are available from various agencies on Challenge.gov, which reports awarding over $250 million in prizes to creative individuals, small business owners and academic researchers.

One of the wonderful aspects of the challenge process is that you don’t have to do the challenge to participate; you can learn from the process itself and even assist in judging entries for which you have expertise and interest. However, if you have a unique approach or an innovative idea, you can join the students, entrepreneurs, technology-inclined, and academic researchers in the challenge to be the first and best.

Higher Ed: For Students, the Sum of the Parts May Be Greater than the Whole

It’s common knowledge among those of us researching student retention in online higher education that swirling (attendance by a student at multiple institutions) is much more prevalent with online, than on-ground, programs.  Some of the explanations offered include that it’s easier to switch from one online program to another and there’s less social integration among online students so less social stigma in leaving. Others posit that online students are much more savvy about reviewing courses at multiple institutions to enable them to build a richer collection of courses. Lastly, some note that the more frequent semester starts offered by online institutions makes it more conducive for students switching schools to accommodate their personal and work schedules, and to finish their program sooner. 

Leading with Coaching Competencies to Inspire Teaching Excellence

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.

Nature and Needs of Higher Education

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.