Posts Categorized: Commentary

United We Stand

This is a uniquely defining moment in American history. In our collective lifetime, few of us have seen or could possibly imagine anything approaching the events we are witnessing on the streets of Boston, across New England, and in states and countries across the globe. What began as low-simmering protests in Minnesota has metastasized and sparked massive demonstrations, public unrest, civil diso...

Practitioner Perspectives: Corcoran on NOLO—No-Cost & Low-Cost Course Designators

The rising cost of college textbooks has been well-documented over the past few years. Reports indicate that textbook prices have risen by over 800%—three times the inflation rate over the past 50 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A study from the Florida Virtual Campus documented the academic impact that textbook costs had on student success. The study detailed that 47...

Will the Scarring Show? Graduating in the Time of COVID-19

2020 will forever be remembered as the year of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. This year, the term “social distancing” became part of our vocabulary, and virtual proms and online commencement ceremonies became commonplace. According to Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of HIS Markit Forecast Summary of May 2020, on the economic front, 2...

Practitioner Perspectives: A NEBHE Q&A with Thomas Edwards on Helping Students Save Money on Textbooks

In the following Q&A, NEBHE’s Fellow for Open Education Lindsey Gumb asks Thomas College Provost Thomas Edwards about the Waterville, Maine, college's plans to use a new grant from the Davis Education Foundation. The college’s focus on melding access and affordability through OER (Open Educational Resources) is especially relevant in the current shift to online learning at many campuses. ...

COVID-19 Shutdowns Are Hitting Low-Income Workers Especially Hard

Our recent NEJHE piece revealed  that labor market impacts of COVID-19 shutdowns have been very unequal across industries, occupations and levels of educational attainment. Job losses in the month since the beginning of the shutdowns (between mid-March and mid-April) were concentrated in industries that primarily employ individuals with lower levels of education—industries such as leisure and h...

How To Bring Back Higher Education This Fall: A Guide for 2020 Reopeners

Whether and how campuses will reopen in fall 2020 has emerged as the key story in higher education. On Wednesday, Trump administration officials spoke via teleconference with higher education leaders on how to get students back to campus this fall. During a pandemic, we need to recognize that the risk assessment and risk tolerance among individuals and organizations varies dramatically. Those d...

Disastrous Job Loss Must Prompt Creative Measures to Protect Workers and Consumers

Friday May 8 saw the release of the most disastrous monthly jobs report in American economic history. In its monthly Employment Situation released last Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported: Payroll employment levels declined by 20.5 million between mid-March when the COVID-19 lockdowns began in earnest and mid-April—a decline that is more than two orders of magnitude greater...

Reframing the Humanities: COVID-19 May Flip the Script on Overshadowed Human Experiences

The emphasis on humanities has swung like a pendulum through the years, particularly in the world of higher education. Many perceive it as a discipline of the elite that attempts to connect us to distant places from times long ago that are mythical, historical or hypothetical, and somehow more important than today. Simply stated, humanities has the connotative power to scare people away from i...

Practitioner Perspectives: A NEBHE Q&A with Heather Miceli on How OER Promotes Hands-On Learning While Saving Students Money

In the following Q&A, NEBHE’s Fellow for Open Education Lindsey Gumb asks Heather Miceli, an adjunct professor at Roger Williams University (RWU) and Johnson & Wales University (JWU), about her integration of OER-enabled pedagogy in her general education science course, which has helped push the narrative of Open Educational Resources (OER) beyond cost savings to include more engaged and...

As COVID-19 Batters Higher Education, a Proposal to Move Online Fast

The opening of brick-and-mortar colleges and universities in fall 2020 will present a challenge due to the absence of a vaccine for COVID-19. Healthcare professionals and politicians have been warning us to get used to a new normal based on COVID-19 being with us for quite some time until an effective vaccine is introduced. In the meantime, all governments can do is slow the pace of infection t...