Posts Categorized: Analysis

NEBHE Bites Into the Core

The federal No Child Left Behind law of 2002 left it to states to establish their own academic standards and assessment systems. Those standards vary across the country in rigor and quality. Yet as former Maine Commissioner of Education Susan A. Gendron noted in March 2010: "What is different about mathematics in Maine from California? ... I don't believe there is a difference."The National Govern...

Book Review: Looking Backwards

Liberal Education for a Land of Colleges: Yale’s Reports of 1828, David B. Potts, Palgrave MacMillan, 2010.Liberal Education for a Land of Colleges: Yale’s Reports of 1828, is, in a sense, three small books under one cover. David Potts, an academic residing in the Pacific Northwest, was originally introduced to the documents more than 40 years ago as part of a graduate-level study of t...

Book Review: Moral Victories?

Moral Problems in Higher Education, Steven Cahn, editor, Temple University Press, 2011.“Few philosophers have shown much interest in examining the moral problems …” in academe, their own bailiwick, complains Steven Cahn, a philosopher and former president of The Graduate School and University Center at the City University of New York (CUNY).Cahn initiated a course in academic et...

Holistic Support that Promotes Student Learning

For decades. the cost of serving college students, from community colleges to Ivy League institutions, has been a barrier that has blocked access for many who want an education. With a recent massification effort aimed at producing more college graduates for the workplace, the enrollment numbers have increased and student debt load has become a real concern. Tuition costs are often perceived as th...

Bootstraps: Federal Trio Programs, if Funded, Could Help Close Income Gap

I realized how poor my family was when I was a high school senior. While filling out a financial aid form to go to college, I looked at my mom’s tax return to see how much she made. I asked her if it was a mistake. It wasn’t. She made $11,000 a year to support a family of four. Today I make four times as much as my mom did mainly because of one reason. Not dogged ingenuity or self-dete...

Do We Have a Retention Problem … Or Do We Have a Problem About Retention?

This paper, like many being written these days, deals with the “problem” of student retention in higher education. But unlike most, this paper focuses not on the problem of retention per se but rather on how institutional leaders think about student retention, completion, and success–how the way they frame their concerns about retention can give rise to a different sort of problem. Something...

Time to Turn Attention to a Different Debt Limit: Downsize Federal Student Loan Programs

I have spent much of my working life studying and promoting student loans. As a good liberal Democrat, I spent years arguing for the expansion of the old Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) which had its roots in Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. My professional life included stints working for one of the nonprofit FFELP agencies and being a co-founder of an entirely private nonprofit, ...

What Gives? Perspectives on Philanthropy and Higher Education

Late last month, NEBHE senior fellow and Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Chair Charles Desmond and I launched a series of interviews with key leaders in New England philanthropy. Our goal was to paint a picture of what philanthropies see as the key issues and challenges facing higher education and how potential funders can have the most meaningful impacts on education in New England. Our ...

DC Shuttle: College Affordability Lists, DREAM Act … and Other Higher Ed News from Washington

The Education Department released College Affordability and Transparency Lists on Thursday. The 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act requires the Education Department to produce six lists, with three examining tuition and fees and three examining each institution's average price of attendance minus grants and scholarships. The lists are also divided by type of institution (public/private, two-yea...

Trends & Indicators 2011: Demography, Part II

Is demography really destiny? The makeup of the population and the perceived value of education are changing. So this year following the decennial census, we're presenting our demography figures a few ways. (We also presented a set in January.) The universities of the Connecticut State University System (CSUS) attracted more than 7,000 students of color this year—a 35% increase since 200...