Archive for the ‘News and Announcements’ Category
Cappex Launches Virtual Events Platform to Help Higher Ed Institutions Engage with College-Bound Students
CappexConnect™ provides a way for students to experience colleges and universities from their home or school no matter where they live.
Cappex announced today that its new virtual events platform, CappexConnect, is now available to higher ed institutions to help them meet enrollment challenges. The CappexConnect platform allows schools to connect live online with prospective and admitted students. Through the platform, institutions can augment their on-campus engagement and build relationships with students at home or school in their hometowns across the country.
“We know that open houses help colleges and universities convert inquiries to applicants and also have a significant impact on yield, though many students simply do not attend them because of distance, travel costs, and busy schedules,” said Tammy Willis, general manager of CappexConnect. “With CappexConnect Virtual Open Houses, schools can now extend the reach and impact of their campus open houses to students no matter where they live.”
On CappexConnect, students can develop richer impressions of campuses than they can through other online means via live video presentations from faculty members, alumni, and current students. There’s also the opportunity for students to ask questions and get immediate answers through video chat, text-based chat and email.
CappexConnect will also be holding several virtual college fairs for students, parents and high school counselors later in the year focused on college planning, financial aid and scholarships.
For more information on CappexConnect, please email email@example.com.
Before she was born, Nayo’s parents immigrated to the United States from Sierra Leone in West Africa. At that time, the country was engaged in a brutal civil war. In eighth grade, Nayo lead an initiative to adopt a school in Sierra Leone, and helped organize a drive to collect used backpacks and school supplies for the students at that school. In 2009, after the country had stabilized, she had the opportunity to visit Sierra Leone. Her experience there compelled her to start the Change for Teens foundation, whose mission is to cultivate awareness and action in order to address poverty and promote literacy among teens on a community and global level.
Her work with the foundation includes directing projects that involve more than 100 students from four different high schools. The community projects include holding food and clothing drives, holiday events, and tutoring programs for local shelters. The foundation has also conducted a workshop at a veteran’s shelter, where they assisted veterans with creating resumes, applying for jobs online, and conducting mock interviews. Internationally, Nayo conducted a children’s book drive, which raised more than 1,000 books that were donated to two primary schools in West Africa. She also established a scholarship fund, raising more than $2,000 for tuition, books, and uniforms for seven female students in West Africa who would not have had access to basic education. Nayo reflects upon her efforts: “As teens, these experiences of serving others have enriched our lives in a meaningful and purposeful way.” Please visit the website for Nayo’s foundation at ChangeForTeens.org.
Nayo has applied for admission at Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, USC, UC Berkeley, and UCLA. She has already been accepted at UC Riverside and Howard University. She plans to major in human biology and ecology, with the goal of going to medical school and then volunteering with Doctors Without Borders. She would eventually like to work for the World Health Organization. “I am indeed grateful to Cappex for the assistance it provided me in my college search,” Nayo says, “and of course for the opportunity to apply and win a scholarship.”
Please join us in congratulating Nayo!
Colorado State University’s Global Campus announced on September 6, 2012, that it will accept full transfer credits to students who enroll in a free computer-science class offered by Udacity, an online education company.
This is big news for the United States higher education system because it marks the first time that a university here has offered academic credit for a Udacity class. Austria and Germany, for example, already accept the credits.
To receive the transfer credits, which can be applied toward a bachelor’s degree at Colorado State University, students will need to obtain a certificate of accomplishment from Udacity proving they passed the course. Afterward, they will need to pass a proctored exam, which is administered by the Pearson VUE testing group and costs $89.
Colorado State University’s Global Campus is an online university where students can earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The school has a separate accreditation and allows students to transfer in when they have received more than 12 college credit hours. Faculty members in the information technology department reviewed Udacity’s computer science course and assessed its methods of student learning before announcing that the class met CSU standards.
The course, called “Introduction to Computer Science: Building a Search Engine” and taught by Professor David Evans of the University of Virginia, will aim to teach students basic computer science skills by taking them through the steps of building a Web search engine similar to Google. Around 94,000 students took the course when it was initially offered earlier in 2012, and an additional 98,000 signed up for the second class that began in April.
“We have students from well over 100 countries, from 13-year-olds to 80-year-olds, sharing in the experience,” Evans said.
CS101 is the first course that Udacity offered, and includes guest lectures by Sebastian Thrun, the company’s founder.
Thrun was a computer science professor at Stanford University who shocked his peers when he left his tenured position at one of the best universities in the country to create a start up that offered low-cost online classes. He experienced the potential of digital education at Stanford and got hooked, which led to the groundbreaking idea.
“I feel like there’s a red pill and a blue pill,” Thrun said. “And you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I’ve taken the red pill and I’ve seen Wonderland,” The Chronicle reported.
Universities are hubs for education and big, new ideas in research and inventions. Many people don’t realize how profitable these inventions can be and how much funding they can bring to the university.
According to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, universities and inventors earned more than $1.8 billion in 2011 by commercializing their academic research, collecting royalties, and forming longstanding arrangements for new products.
“The 157 universities that responded to the annual survey of the Association of University Technology Managers, released on Monday, completed 5,398 licenses and filed for 12,090 new patents,” The Chronicle reported. “They also created 617 start-up companies.”
The number of start up companies has not increased over the past year, but the total revenues from these start ups has increased exponentially. In 2010, 153 colleges and universities were surveyed. Twenty-three reported a licensing income of over $15 million and 22 institutions reported around that much.
By earning more than $191 million in licensing income, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, earned the most of all the universities that took part in the annual study.
One of the most profitable inventions of 2011 was a new strain of wheat invented at the University of Nebraska, which grossed over $16.7 million this year. The collaboration between NUTech Ventures and Bayer Crop Science has helped the university create new varieties of wheat that can be sold in markets, like those found in Europe, where genetically modified crops are illegal.
Researchers at Nebraska are also trying to encourage more students and faculty to contribute to the project. The university is experiencing an invention-disclosure rate of 160 a year, which is up from 60 four years ago.
“With big corporations doing less and less hiring, there is more of an awareness from students and faculty that entrepreneurship is a growing career path, a growing alternative,” said Tony Stanco, executive director of the National Council on Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer.
Licensing inventions and start up ideas are good for higher education institutions because they can collect revenue long after the initial invention takes off. For example, the University of Florida still owns the trademark on the Gatorade brand and receives royalties on Gatorade products even though the invention was made in 1965.
In case you hadn’t noticed, there is an important election happening this fall in the United States. Obama vs. Romney is in full swing and both parties are spouting their views on and plans for higher education. If you are a college student, or will be one soon, the election affects you and your education in a big way!
President Obama and Mitt Romney differ primarily on the role that the private sector – individuals or private groups – should play when it comes to education. A recent Chicago Tribune article outlines Obama’s opposition to and Romney’s advocacy for the private sector playing a large role in funding college tuition.
Private Colleges do not receive money from their state. Their tuition is usually higher because they operate with private funding.
For-Profit Colleges operate more like businesses. The tuition students pay helps the school operate and stay in business. Many of these schools endorse Mitt Romney.
Public Universities receive funding from state and federal governments.
- The President has criticized the higher education industry of failing to deliver on its promises to students; graduates are often left with debt and a degree that fails to help them find rewarding and beneficial employment.
- On a recent college town tour, President Obama declared that a college education “isn’t a luxury, it is an economic necessity that every family should be able to afford.”
- Believes for-profit colleges spur good competition.
- Federal grants and loans are too easily available and actually increase tuition costs.
- Romney’s goal is to strengthen and simplify the current financial aid system by offering students choices instead of determining stiff regulations.
- In June 2012, the current administration froze interest rates on federal student loans, saving each student about $1,000 per year.
- He would create an American Opportunity Tax Credit for students. Under this credit, the first $4,000 of college education would be free for most Americans. Community Colleges would cost nothing for most students to attend. Two thirds (66%) of the average public college or university tuition would be covered by this credit. It is unspecified what is meant by average in this scenario.
- The President also promises to better the opportunities available for college students with disabilities.
- The financial aid application process would be reduced to a simple check mark on a family’s tax form.
- Romney would repeal the freeze on federal student loan interest rates, asserting the need for educational reform over frozen rates.
- His running mate, Paul Ryan, has proposed a budget plan that cuts domestic spending, which includes education. This would also cut the number of students eligible for Pell Grants.
- Federal aid would continue to support private and for-profit colleges, and private banks would take over the federal student loan program.
- Romney would attempt to repeal a law that requires for-profit colleges to receive some funding from students paying full tuition, and not just from federal student loans.
Whether you require financial aid or use federal funding for your higher education, being informed about this year’s Presidential election is incredibly important. Find out about the issues and how they affect you and your family. If you’re 18 or older, get registered and vote your voice this November!
With the technology craze and increased use of tablets in high school classrooms, universities across America have also turned to new-age educational options. A new kind of textbook has been created called an e-book that students can read on the Internet, effectively saving them money and the hassle of carrying around large, heavy books.
Students and teachers at Cornell University, Indiana University at Bloomington, the University of Minnesota, University of Virginia, and University of Wisconsin at Madison took place in a pilot program in the spring of 2012. The study analyzed e-book projects and the commentary of those involved. While inventors expected the technology to take off, it has received mixed reviews during the tests.
“Students praised the e-books for helping them save money but didn’t like reading on electronic devices. Many of them complained that the e-book platform was hard to navigate. In addition, most professors who responded said that they didn’t use the e-books’ collaborative features, which include the ability to share notes or create links within the text,” according to an article in The Chronicle.
However, Bradley C. Wheeler, the vice president for information technology for Indiana University and the e-books’ creator, is optimistic that the attitude toward the technology will change with time.
“With technology, many things change with repeated use,” Wheeler said. “People have lots of early first impressions as they experience new things, and over time you will start to see things become more mainstream, as the technology improves and skills and even attitudes toward use improve.”
When asked, students reported that e-books did not help them improve interactions with professors or other classmates because they did not utilize the technology’s collaborative features.
The pilot program had six major findings:
- Only 12 percent of users chose to buy a hard copy of the e-book
- Lower cost and portability were considered the most important variables affecting students’ decision of whether or not to purchase eTexts in the future
- Students frequently mentioned devices’ functionality and the difficulties they had reading the text
- Faculty did not report using the enhanced features and voiced a need for more training to increase the potential for student-student or student-teacher collaboration
- Students voiced concerns about the inability to access the e-texts without an Internet connection.
The pilot program will continue to grow in the fall with twenty-four new universities joining the roster for testing.
In the midst of a bad economy, you may be wondering, “Is a college degree worth it? It is that important?” Rest assured, experts still assert that a college degree is your best asset when trying to join the workforce. While students with college degrees are often having trouble finding jobs, let alone jobs pertaining to their university major, people who do not have college degrees are having an even harder time.
According to a new research study published by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the majority of jobs lost in the recession were held by workers who did not have a college degree (.pdf).
“The recession hit those with less schooling disproportionately hard—nearly four out of five jobs lost were held by those with no formal education beyond high school,” the introduction to the report said. “At the other end of the spectrum, workers who had completed a four-year college degree or higher were largely protected against job losses during the recession and some high-education fields even had job gains. The job recovery has only increased the divide between the less-educated and more-educated.”
With rising tuition costs and high unemployment rates across the country, many people began to question whether or not a college degree is really important. The study found that graduating from college remains an individual’s best ally in the job market.
Since the economy began a recovery phase, 3.4 million jobs have been added to the workforce. The study reports that all of the gains made were found in individuals who had received at least some level of college education. Students who had received a Bachelor’s degree found 2 million new jobs, and 91 percent of individuals who have an Associate’s degree have recovered the jobs they had before the recession.
Other factors of employment were also discussed, such as gender disparity and post-recession job gains.
“Although women still outnumber men among students enrolled in four-year colleges and graduate programs, the rate of men enrolling in college increased significantly during and after the recession. Though the differences between enrollment growth rates for men and women are marginal, the changes were taking place in the right direction. As a result, instead of a widening gap of college enrollment between men and women, enrollment levels of men and women are expected to parallel each other in the future,” the study said.
Although times may be tough, the benefits of education are indisputable, and experts urge high school seniors to attend college after graduation and attain the highest degree possible. This will ensure that students are well-equipped to find a job and become contributing members of society.
Researchers at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government have recently completed a study that tested the connection between institutional quality of a school and the completion rate of students who attend.
By analyzing the educational outcomes of students in Massachusetts public colleges, researchers found that there is a huge correlation between the two factors. Test subjects were students who were enrolled in a scholarship program that waives tuition fees for students with test scores above a specified level, and students in the program whose scores were below the specified level.
The scholarship program has been very successful in keeping smarter students in Massachusetts rather than attending another public or private university school out-of-state, but has not been very beneficial to those students who may be better suited for a higher-quality university. Many of them did not graduate in the standard four-year period.
“Choosing a lower-quality college significantly lowers on-time completion rates, a result driven by high-skilled students who would otherwise have attended higher-quality colleges,” the researchers explained. “For the marginal student, enrolling at an in-state public college lowered the probability of graduating on time by more than 40 percent.”
This study is important in the field of educational research because it is the first time that the evidence of the importance of university quality has been shown. Many high-achieving students are driven to attend universities they may be over-qualified for because of other considerations like tuition costs and distance away from home. In the college decision process, many families feel that quality is not the most important factor in picking a school.
Another important finding that the study noted was that students are extremely willing to not accept a spot at high-quality university if they are offered even a little bit of money from a lower-quality school.
It is definitely possible to get a good education anywhere in the United States, but for students just beginning the college search, it is important to set your sights on the best schools you can get into. If you love where you study and feel both mentally stimulated and happy with the social scene, you are likely to be that much more dedicated and driven to succeed. You only get to go to college once—make it count, and get the best education that you’re capable of!
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