Outlook: Held Back
CURRENTS Article A history professor questions the wisdom of policymakers' preferential treatment of science, including a policy to charge science students less tuition than liberal arts students, and warns of the long-term societal effects.
Report Shows "Strong" Relationship between Education, Economic Prosperity
Article Results from a recent research report reveal a strong relationship between education and a region’s economic prosperity, providing a "compelling argument for strategic investments in higher education."
A Case for College
CURRENTS Article A recent study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce provides data about the value of a college education.
CURRENTS Article Dwindling state financial support, demands to improve student performance, and the need to adapt to a fast-changing online educational landscape are putting pressure on public higher education institutions and their leaders. Boards of trustees are concerned about the future of their institutions and are taking on a more active role.
Outlook: Focus on Learning
CURRENTS Article Colleges and universities should be held accountable for student outcomes, but the policy prescriptions for assessing student learning and improving graduation rates being debated are problematic for several reasons, argues the head of a regional higher education accreditation agency.
Facts and Figures
CURRENTS Article Data about trends in giving by millennials and topline findings from a survey about the value of a college degree
Odds and Ends: A Chat About Change
CURRENTS Article Paul Heaton, director of the CASE Center for Community College Advancement, talks to Jeff Selingo, vice president and editorial director at the Chronicle of Higher Education, about the debate over the value of a college degree, the future of higher education, and the death of the press release.
Talking Points: Keeping the Door Open
CURRENTS Article Rising college cost is a complex problem that is not easily solved. However, financial aid remains instrumental in ensuring students who can least afford college can still attend.
Talking Points: The Policy-Privacy Tradeoff
CURRENTS Article Policymakers want to assess how well U.S. institutions are educating students by tracking students' progress from elementary school through college and into the workforce. Despite concerns about how well the sensitive data contained in student educational records will be protected, the policymakers loosened privacy restrictions to make that happen.
Committing to Quality: Guidelines for Assessment and Accountability in Higher Education
New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability
In March 2012, the CASE Board of Trustees endorsed these guidelines, which help institutions gather, use and publicly report evidence of student learning in American undergraduate education.
Talking Points: Making the Grade
CURRENTS Article Policymakers and higher education officials are often focused on college access, cost, and completion rather than the quality of learning taking place at U.S. colleges and universities.
Talking Points: A Measured Response
CURRENTS Article For years, U.S. community college leaders have argued that graduation rates are not a good barometer for measuring community college success. Two efforts are underway to address questions about community college performance with new yardsticks that provide a more accurate assessment.
Odds and Ends: Weird Is Where It’s At
CURRENTS Article In this Q-and-A format interview, Seth Godin jumps into the debate on the value of higher education, talks about his tribes and what makes him "weird," and offers college and university presidents some advice on how they could change the education landscape.
Outlook: The Reality (Show) of Higher Education
CURRENTS Article The University of California, Riverside recently had an opportunity to have its institution and president featured on a popular primetime reality program. Not without its risks, it was an opportunity to tell the institution's story in different way.
CURRENTS Article In anticipation of the increase in U.K. university fees, British parents are saving more for college, and both teenagers and parents are reconsidering higher education.
CURRENTS Article In this article, Caroline E. Mayer reports on the increase in payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) being requested of colleges and universities in light of the budget shortfalls that municipalities are facing as a result of the recession. It explores successful PILOT agreements as well as unsuccessful attempts by local leaders to push for these payments and highlights institutional efforts to better communicate the value and benefits they bring to their community.
Research Shows Growing Link between Education, Employment
Article New analysis by the Brookings Institution shows a growing employment disparity between individuals in the United States with a post-secondary degree and those without one.
Parental Education May Determine Children's College Attendance
Article Two new studies of Canadian youth reveal that a parent's education has a greater positive impact on whether a son or daughter will attend college or university than family income.
Majority Satisfied with U.S. Colleges, Universities
Article Respondents to a nationwide poll give high marks to U.S. colleges and universities, including for-profit institutions, with the majority saying they are happy with the quality of higher education in their states.
Survey: Americans Generally Pleased with Community Colleges
Article The vast majority of respondents to a new survey say the quality of education at community colleges is excellent or good and that it is sometimes better for students to attend community colleges instead of four-year institutions.
U.S. Study: Parents, Students Strongly Agree on Importance of College Degree
Article A national study reveals that families in the United States are digging deeper to invest in a college degree as the economic uncertainty continues.
To the Rescue?
CURRENTS Article Faced with large and continued cuts in state funding, U.S. public postsecondary institutions are looking for new ways to both communicate their needs and garner support. This article discusses how they are calling on long-time supporters, enlisting new allies, developing strategic alliances, and crafting new messages and campaigns, all to underscore the importance of higher education.
Poll: Canadians Say Higher Education Top Concern
Article Nearly eight in 10 Canadians believe a post-secondary education is “more important than ever,” according to results of a new poll.
Talking Points: Assessment for Advancement
CURRENTS Article This column discusses how the National Survey of Student Engagement can fit into the work of advancement in higher education. How can advancement professionals help ensure that their campuses derive maximum benefit from investments in assessment?
Study: End of Recession to Trigger Increased Demand for Higher Education
Article As economies worldwide move out of the recession, demand for a tertiary or higher education will be higher than ever.
Outlook: The Perfect Storm for Reform
CURRENTS Article U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan describes "a historic alignment of interests and events that could lift American education to an entirely new level."
The Culture of Discovery
CURRENTS Article The challenge for advancement professionals serving research institutions is how to communicate all that is being done for the good of the general public in the labs of academia--and how to make the case for greater governmental and private support.
CURRENTS Article Leaders discuss the value of education to society as a whole and the shift from thinking of education as a tool for individual fulfillment to considering it the primary driver of social and economic progress.
Power of Profiling
CURRENTS Article Public four-year colleges and universities have joined a voluntary effort to provide more consistent, comparable, and transparent information on the undergraduate student experience to prospective students and their families. Through the Web reporting template called College Portrait, students now have access to common data on institutional characteristics and campus life.
Springboard for Life
CURRENTS Article This article focuses on public perceptions--and misperceptions--of community colleges and explores how these institutions fit into the overall landscape of higher education in the United States. It also looks at what community colleges are doing to combat some negative images that persist about them.
The Crisis in Public Discourse
CURRENTS Article Dogmatism on campus must be fought if colleges and universities are to be a model for our increasingly polarized society that has little taste for nuanced debate.
Advance Work: Liberal Arts Rules
CURRENTS Article A recent survey shows that U.S. employers recognize the value of a liberal arts education.
Competition Begets Collaboration
CURRENTS Article The “Solutions for Our Future” campaign is a national initiative to establish a dialogue about the critical role colleges and universities play in serving the public, solving pressing societal needs, and preparing people for our country’s future. This initiative is not the first of its kind, though. Similar outreach efforts/public awareness campaigns from groups of institutions exist at all levels. This article examines the Solutions campaign and several other collaborations and consortiums, and explores why these campaigns come together, how they work, and what the results have been.
Spelling It Out
CURRENTS Article No accountability discussion these days would be complete without mentioning the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education. The article examines the nature and wide range of the Commission's work, but in particular looks at the idea of national standards as one way to measure the government’s return on investment and to assess institutional effectiveness. The article suggests that if higher education can succeed in designing and carrying out a comparative system of standards of excellence, it could reclaim the definition of academic excellence long held hostage by commerical rankings.
Closing Remarks: Access Roads
CURRENTS Article This column, adapted from a presentation Stanley O. Ikenberry made at a November 2005 TIAA-CREF Institute conference, discusses the need for a national conversation between higher education and the American public about the possible roles colleges and universities can play in the future. It includes a discussion about the Solutions for Our Future initiative, led by the American Council on Education.
AdvanceWork: Measure for Measure
CURRENTS Article A Carnegie Communications report on college rankings found that students measure institutional quality far differently than U.S. News & World Report--one of several publications that conducts rankings. When presented with a list of 10 factors U.S. News uses to rate campuses, students selected student-to-faculty ratio as the best indicator of an institution’s quality. U.S. News, on the other hand, barely recognizes the factor in its rankings.
Talking Points: Quality Time
CURRENTS Article Often described as a better way to measure quality than popular media rankings, the National Survey of Student Engagement is a gaining attention and credibility. The project's directors describe what NSSE is, how it works, why it was developed, why it's important, what its goals are, and how best to use it.
Checks and Balances
CURRENTS Article Determing the value of higher education worldwide is the kind of analysis that keeps policy makers, education leaders, and politicians occupied for years. Answers require reflecting on the interrelated issues of funding, accountability, access and demand, and who benefits. This article provides an overview of these topics as they affect campuses in Europe, Mexico, Canada, and Australia; offers insights from economists, institution chief executives, political leaders, and analysts; and features research from a variety of government-sponsored reports on education quality and reform initatives.
A Balancing Act
CURRENTS Article Numerous studies have shown that independent school students tend to enjoy more personal and professional success than their public school peers. But an independent school education comes at an extraordinarily high price. These schools aren’t accessible to many lower- and middle-class families, and they can “cherry pick,” to some extent, whom they educate--two facts that perpetuate the idea that independent schools are nothing more than “elitist institutions that exist to perpetuate a well-connected ruling class.” Whether the myriad benefits students who attend independent schools reap from their experiences nullify the social implications of the increasingly limited access to such benefits by the general public is a broad question that might have no definitive answer. Part of the issue focus on valuing education.
A Precarious Position
CURRENTS Article The United States is approaching a crisis in public higher education. Colleges and universities are facing rising costs and public funding cuts. Forced to increase tuition, they are becoming less affordable for low- and middle-income families at the same time that federal student aid has dropped in value and greatly shifted from grants to loans. Critics say that too many public institutions have lost sight of their missions in attempts to become more prestigious--or that they're not providing good value for the education dollar. Is the solution to seek a greater public investment in higher education, or to further privatize and let market forces prevail?
CURRENTS Article Private higher education has a classic “wicked problem,” in which several interrelated factors are at play and for which there is no easy solution. Affordability, access, demand, and accountability are just some of the sector's most pressing issues. This article, part of a special issue on valuing education, presents an in-depth discussion of rising costs, tuition discounting, the value of a liberal arts education, increased expectations about quality, and unconventional solutions.
The Value Proposition
CURRENTS Article As the education environment grows more complex, one twist is the cost/value dilemma. Education costs too much, say critics and friends, yet enrollment is at record-breaking levels. The reason for high cost and high demand, as every advancement officer knows, is that education has high value. Education’s value is a keystone of the profession. Advancement officers persuade others that the general purpose of education and specific missions of institutions are worthy of support. This article introduces a special issue of CURRENTS on valuing education.
AdvanceWork: What's Wrong?
CURRENTS Article An Education Testing Service survey reveals that, when asked what's the biggest problem facing higher education, more of the public names rising tuition and other costs than names decreased government funding.
Fair Market Value
CURRENTS Article Has higher education become a commodity? Where does that leave the lofty pursuit of knowledge that once drove college admissions? Four higher education observers and advancement practitioners weigh in on the public's evolving perceptions of higher education. Part of the issue focus on five forces shaping advancement.
CURRENTS Article To communicate to varied audiences about the complex effects of tough economic times on college and universities, public relations officers need to do four things: explain the benefits from and the needs of higher education; anticipate and manage difficult issues; devise coordinated communications and lobbying efforts; and connect with institutional friends, alumni, and taxpayers. A short accompanying article lists cost-saving measures. This article is of interest to advancement managers and managers of media relations and public relations programs.
Closing Remarks: Barring Trust
CURRENTS Article Michaelson, a veteran of two decades of higher education law, explains that recent actions by Congress, state agencies, and the courts are diminishing higher education's authority. He says that, in gauging why higher education is less trusted, campus officials should reflect on persistent gaps in the academy's self-regulation.