Archive for the ‘News & Op/Ed’ 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.com, 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.
This morning I read an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal written by a high school senior addressing all the colleges that rejected her. You’ve read it too, right? If not you can read it here. Recently it’s been hard to read a paper, magazine, or my favorite blog without coming across a headline reading “Gen Y: Is there anything good?” or “Gen Y: Entitled, Lazy, and Can’t Pay Attention.” As a recent college grad (just off the job-search I might add) I can’t help but find these statements offensive, and I think to myself “Where are they getting these stereotypes?” Well, thanks to Suzy Lee Weiss, I think we know now…
Really, I understand how frustrating college applications are. I even understand what it’s like to be rejected from your #1 school. Even your #2 or #3…or #5 school…especially in the face of some unquantifiable trait like “diversity.” But as a graduate from UIC, a school that boasts “diversity” before “top research institution,” I can tell you that few of the people I knew would have fit into the profile you’re describing, Ms. Weiss. And when “they” tell you to “be yourself,” they’re not kidding. Colleges need to know who you are, what you’re all about, and that you would be a good fit for their school. Not only the other way around.
So I tell you, Ms. Weiss, and all other seniors both accepted and rejected from your dream schools, be yourself. But not only that, be proud of yourself and be accountable for yourself. Keep in mind what sets you apart from everyone else. Diversity isn’t only about your race or religion or extracurricular activities – it’s about what makes you different from the other 10,000 students who applied to your college program, internship, or job. It’s not only colleges that will tell you to “be yourself.” This is a theme that you will experience for the rest of your life – I can tell you it will also be part of your job search – so get used to it.
In the meantime, I beg you, fellow Gen-Yers, to do some serious introspection before you go sending articles off to the Wall Street Journal on behalf of the rest of us.
Vicki Jurkowski is a proud member of Gen-Y and Online Marketing Analyst at Cappex. Her passions include abstract algebra, west coast swing, and reassuring Baby-Boomers that Millennials can be trusted to take over the world one day. She graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago in December 2012 with her Bachelors of Science in Mathematics.
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.
It’s a well known fact at this point that colleges are made up of more women than men, but a new study indicates that out of high school students interviewed, women are also more likely to want to go to college! According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, 96% of female high school seniors wanted to go to college, and only 90% of men said they did. In addition, 80% of female high school seniors spent time researching the college of their choice, while only 68% of male students indicated the same. In all racial and ethnic groups, women were also more likely to graduate college.
The reasons behind this data are unclear, but it has certainly generated some discussion on the comments board. One individual pointed out that it’s been proven time and time again that women mature at a faster rate than men. Women may just be more interested in jumping back into the books immediately after high school and setting forth on the roads that take them to their careers, where men may not be so hasty.
Another idea was that education as a whole is feminine, noting that K-12 education has predominantly been taught by women, and that until there’s a noticeable increase in male teachers, the education system will be a turn-off to men. Men simply don’t have enough positive male role models in school growing up to keep them around. This is an interesting point. For hundreds of years, colleges remained male-only institutions. Can thirteen years of being taught predominantly by women really be enough to feminize something that had been masculine for so long?
Another individual pointed out that with college no longer guaranteeing a job, and with thousands of dollars being placed in student debt, men can’t really justify going to college anymore. This has become a more popular mindset in the past few years as the economy struggles, but it’s arguable as to whether men in particular are more likely to have this point of view.
The article also mentions that women are more likely to receive financial aid. This brought up questions of male discrimination in higher education.
While it has not been mentioned in the discussion, it’s safe to say that women have more pressure than ever to succeed. Women studies often point out that in addition to the old stereotypes that called for women to take pride in their appearance, their families, and their household, women now have to live up to the men’s stereotypes of being independent and financially successful as well. This leads to a whole generation of high school and college women who see their perfect future as fitting in a size 2, with a loving family, beautiful house, and a wicked-awesome job that scores them the big bucks! It’s a lot to live up to, and could contribute to why so many women are so invested in their academic futures.
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.
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