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John O. Harney, Executive Editor, Connection
Connection Magazine Looks at Initiatives to Break Down Barriers to College; Features Commentaries on Global Warming, Student Activism, Charter Colleges, Charitable Tax Deductions
BOSTON-Innovative college access initiatives are needed to reach out to underserved groups of disadvantaged students, according to articles in Connection: New England’s Journal of Higher Education and Economic Development.
Disadvantaged youth in traditional educational access programs are generally defined as poor, minority, first-generation college-bound students who may also be physically or learning disabled.
Nellie Mae Foundation President Blenda J. Wilson warns that as New England’s population becomes larger and more diverse, academia, government and grantmakers must recognize the effectiveness of nontraditional access programs designed to reach additional disadvantaged students. These include students who are pregnant or parenting, involved with the courts, functionally illiterate, geographically remote, linguistically isolated, transient or homeless, as well as students who have severe behavior or substance abuse problems, are current or former welfare recipients or recent immigrants, victims of abuse or adult learners in need of a second chance.
Connection is the quarterly journal of the nonprofit New England Board of Higher Education (nebhe)-and America’s only regional journal on higher education and the economy. Following is a summary of articles in the new issue of the journal:
Foundations for Access: New Models — Rick Dalton, president of the Vermont-based Foundation for Excellent Schools and former director of enrollment planning at Middlebury College, explains how colleges are working with schools in low-income communities from Pickens County, Georgia, to Bridport, Vt., to raise student performance.
Breaking the Circle that Binds Us: Mainstreaming Nontraditional Access Programs — Nellie Mae Foundation President Blenda J. Wilson explains how the increasing diversity of New England’s population cries out for a change in the way grantmakers, educators and public officials view educational intervention and support.
Dollars … and More Dollars … for Scholars — Community-based scholarships no longer amount to “fancy book money.” New England Dollars for Scholars Executive Director David Duncan explains why it’s time for scholarship organizations to enhance their impact on the college access.
2010: An Education Odyssey — When more than three-quarters of New Englanders surveyed by nebhe and the University of Massachusetts Boston last year said they liked the idea of a regional State University of New England System to share academic resources and reduce administrative costs, UMass pollster Lou DiNatale who worked on the survey quipped: “That’s an idea that wouldn’t get four feet off the ground in any legislative building in New England.” Maybe not. But that doesn’t mean that regional cooperation in higher education is impossible. Wendy Lindsay and Carolyn Morwick of the New England Board of Higher Education explain how the board’s Regional Student Program has saved thousands of New England residents more than $250 million in tuition costs over the past decade alone-and allowed the six states to share academic programs.
Race, Prosperity and the Will to Change — nebhe Senior Fellow and author Nathaniel Bowditch explores access, have and have-nots. “Those still unemployed and underemployed in New England despite the unprecedented economic boom are falling farther behind,” observes Bowditch. “As they do, the quality of life in many New England cities and rural areas is in jeopardy.”
Look What’s Happening Out In the Street — From Cambridge to Seattle, student activism is making a comeback. Recent Boston University graduate and activist Mark Maguire examines “the fine line between being perceived as knowledgeable and credible student activists, and being perceived as high-energy, low-impact “college kids” suffering from “cause of the month” syndrome.”
About the Weather — Global warming and rising sea levels will bring change to New England’s ecosystems, infrastructure and human health-and to critical New England industries such as agriculture, forestry, fishing, tourism and recreation. Lynne M. Carter, a New England scientist with the U.S. Global Change Research Program, explains why the region’s scientists, policymakers and residents need to think about climate change now. They’re starting to. Researchers at Tufts and Boston universities recently were awarded $900,000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study how global warming will affect services and systems in Boston and 100 surrounding cities and towns.
Charter Colleges: Evolution of a Plan — Could public colleges operate more efficiently and produce higher quality educational results if they were freed from the controls imposed by state bureaucracies? The Boston-based Pioneer Institute traces the charter college idea, beginning with the late Chancellor Stanley Koplik’s “Vanguard College” proposal of 1997, running through a major study by University of Maryland scholar Robert O. Berdahl and University of Maine System Chancellor Terrence J. MacTaggart, and ending with a critical letter from one of the study’s peer reviewers, former Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Chair James F. Carlin.
A Reason to Give — Despite the nation’s third highest per-capita income, Massachusetts fares poorly in the average size of itemized charitable contributions. Massachusetts and Connecticut are among just eight states that levy an income tax but do not provide a deduction for charitable contributions. Fundraising expert and Tufts University Senior Fellow Rita Fuerst Adams explains how a proposed Massachusetts state tax deduction for charitable gifts would spark $250 million in increased gifts.
Books — Former Bentley College President Joseph M. Cronin reviews Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, a series of papers on what different types of colleges have done or might do to elevate the priorities of service and citizenship. Connection Executive Editor John O. Harney reviews Miraculously Builded in Our Hearts, a series of essays on Dartmouth College edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe editor David Shribman and Dartmouth’s Dean-Emeritus of Libraries Edward Connery Lathem, as well as The Child and the Machine, Alison Armstrong and Charles Casement’s broadside against computers in education.
To subscribe to Connection, send a check for $20 payable to the New England Board of Higher Education, 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111, call 617.357.9620 or visit Connection at www.nebhe.org. Subscribers receive four issues, including the special annual Facts directory of New England colleges, universities and institutes.