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Monday, December 10, 2012

Diverse Issues in Higher Education: Experts Say More Minority STEM Programs are Vital to National Growth

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

December 4, 2012


Experts Say More Minority STEM Programs are Vital to National Growth

by Cherise Lesesne

The need to enhance minority targeted STEM programs is not just on the radar for education administrators, but also has been a priority for several government officials, especially members of President Barack Obama’s cabinet. According to a recent report released by the President’s Council of Advisory on Science and Technology (PCAST), investing resources in secondary and postsecondary science education could be a key ingredient for rebuilding a nation as technologically advanced as China’s.

“Science and technology are foundational to this nation and are of more than passing importance to the American economy, which most measures suggest more than half of its growth is due to science, technology and innovation,” said John Holdren, assistant to the president for science and technology and co-chair of PCAST.

Since scientific and technological innovations are critical contributors to the nation’s economic growth, education for STEM programs is likewise seen as an imperative agenda for a healthy economy. As a result, technology companies are creating partnerships with research universities for the sole purpose of luring top young engineers and scientists to their field and, in many cases, their companies. In particular, recruiting top engineers from minority groups has become a priority due to the demographic shift of a stronger represented minority group.

According to Holdren, the substantial number of minority and foreign students at American colleges is plenty reason to make minorities a target market for STEM education programs. As revealed in the report, the increase in foreign students at American colleges makes up about 28 percent of U.S. graduates studying science or engineering. The quarter of college, minority graduates pursuing scientific fields, have become a “rich source of talent for the United States and its industries and also a conduit for further global leveling of the scientific playing field,” Holdren commented.

With countries like China that have contributed many scientific discoveries to the U.S., the reliance on international intelligence has become vital to the economy’s survival. Yet, the same practice of relying heavily on other countries’ technological advances also presents high stakes in regards to global competition. The worry among many officials is that the U.S. is not creating enough around its own scientific contributions. Hence, the demand for rebuilding a strong STEM program within American colleges and secondary schools is an effort that will ultimately create an unmatched group of valued workers, a group that could re-instill the idea of global competition.

“A loss of global competitiveness can be avoided by increasing the efficiency of U.S. researchers and by positioning the Nation’s great research universities and National Laboratories as central engines of innovation and geographical anchors of the U.S. science and technology enterprise,” noted Eric Lander, president of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and co-chair of PCAST.

Lander continued to point out, “An even worse outcome would be if other countries, acting in their self-interests without U.S. leadership, make the same mistake. This could lead to a zero-sum world in which no country invests in the long-term basic research for the future, while all scramble to compete over the diminishing returns from past investments.”

In achieving global competition, the idea is restructuring an adequate educational system that has immense resources in scientific and technological innovation. Already, American colleges have started to implement global competitiveness by allocating resources to augment STEM programs, particularly among minorities. Florida International University (FIU), for instance, has created several programs for STEM research among minorities. As the largest traditional institution to serve a majority of minorities, the need for graduating students in science fields is relatively stronger than in most schools.

FIU President Mark Rosenberg claimed, “Our geography—we’re located in Miami—is our destiny.”

As a result of its location, FIU has gained 61 percent of a Hispanic student body. The demand with many of FIU’s minorities is a peer learning system, which Rosenberg summarizes as the “learning assistant approach.” The program has helped to graduate several of its minorities in science fields, as it nominated undergraduates to become learning assistants.

“I’m going to recommend the learning assistant approach because essentially its great peer based learning; it creates a changed dynamic among the students that is going to be very salutary in the long term for this country,” Rosenberg said.

Although, there are still pressing issues in accommodating many of these minorities. The challenge for serving Hispanic and Black students at FIU is in ensuring that they master such difficult subject areas as mathematics. Among the Hispanic and Black student body, many are first generation students with inadequate exposure to science and mathematics. FIU’s minorities have had low passage rates among its math courses. Yet, the 16 percent growth of both technical and scientific jobs will begin to require mathematics, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The point is that, if we don’t get underrepresented minorities involved, we’re not going to get where we need to get,” Rosenberg remarked.

As STEM programs for minorities have become heavily broadcast as a national agenda, American schools have more of an urge to educate underrepresented groups in science-related fields.


AAUPNews: Call for Papers: Academic Freedom and Globalization

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The AAUP’s Journal of Academic Freedom( seeks scholarly articles relating to the topic of academic freedom and globalization. How is the expansion of US higher education around the world and the increasing international integration of academia affecting academic freedom? In what ways, conversely, is the globalization of higher education transforming academia within the United States, shifting and impinging upon traditional notions of academic freedom?
Some of the topics that might be germane to this discussion include:
  • Academic freedom at satellite campuses such as NYU-Abu Dhabi and Yale-Singapore. How does the expansion of the liberal university into such authoritarian states affect its mission and the forms of academic freedom enjoyed by scholars at such institutions?
  • From the Occupy movement in the US to the uprisings in Chile, the last year or so has seen a wave of student protest. These protests have often targeted the increasingly privatized, corporate character of education around the globe. In what ways have these protests highlighted issues relating to academic freedom? How, for example, has faculty control of curriculum been inflected by these apparently economically driven protests?
  • The Palestinian Boycott Divest Sanctions (BDS) Movement picked up steam and generated significant controversy in recent years in the US and Britain. The AAUP rejects this campaign, largely on the grounds of academic freedom. Can a case be made for endorsing the campaign without infringing academic freedom? How might the previous history of academic boycotts inform our perspectives on this issue?
  •  Around the globe, austerity is being imposed on academia in the wake of the Great Recession. What is the impact of specific austerity measures on academic freedom? Where can we look to see how things might be done differently?
  •  During the last year, so-called Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) have exploded in popularity, with large international student subscriptions to both for-profit and not-for-profit online courses offered by elite US private institutions such as MIT and Stanford. What is the impact of such MOOCs on education and academic freedom in developing nations?
The due date for papers on the topic of academia and globalization is January 31, 2013.
In addition to accepting scholarly papers relating to this topic, theJournal of Academic Freedom continues to welcome submissions on eclectic topics.
Electronic submissions should go to and must include an abstract of about 150 words. The journal uses the sixteenth edition of the Chicago Manual of Style and authors should anticipate that if their article is accepted for publication, it will need to be put into Chicago style.
Ashley Dawson, Editor, Journal of Academic Freedom
The AAUP Online is an electronic newsletter of the American Association of University Professors.  Learn more about the AAUP. Visit us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.


CHEA 2013 Annual Conference and CIQG Annual Meeting

Council for Higher
Education Accreditation

One Dupont Circle NW
Suite 510
Washington, DC 20036
(tel) 202-955-6126
(fax) 202-955-6129


January 28-31, 2013

CHEA 2013 Annual Conference
Accreditation, Higher Education and the
Innovation Environment: Moving Beyond the Present
CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG)
Annual Meeting

Washington Marriott Hotel - Washington, DC

The CHEA 2013 Annual Conference and the inaugural CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG) 2013 Annual Meeting will take place next month in Washington, DC. Speakers and responders from higher education institutions and programs, accrediting organiations, government, higher education associations and foundations will address a range of vital issues for accreditation and quality assurance in the United States and around the world. Don't miss the opportunity to be a part of the conversation on accreditation and its future!
Confirmed speakers at the CHEA 2013 Annual Conference and the CIQG 2013 Annual Meeting include:
  • Richard Arum, Professor of Sociology and Education, New York University, and author of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses
  • Barbara Brittingham, President/Director of the Commission, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • Kai-ming Cheng, Chair of Education, University of Hong Kong
  • Sir John Daniel, Education Master, Beijing DeTao Masters Academy
  • Fabrice Henard, Analyst, Institutional Management in Higher Education, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Amy Laitinen, Deputy Director for Higher Education, New America Foundation
  • Catherine Ngugi, Project Director, OER Africa
  • Sunny Lee, Project Lead, Open Badges, Mozilla Foundation
  • Andy Rosen, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Kaplan, Inc.
  • Lesley Wilson, Secretary General, European University Association
Click on the Preliminary Programs for the CHEA 2013 Annual Conference and the CIQG 2013 Annual Meeting for more information. Then click here  to register. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!
Institutions and organizations that join the CIQG by December 31, 2012 will receive a special new member rate for CIQG Annual Meeting and CHEA Annual Conference registrations.
A national advocate and institutional voice for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations.


Dillard University Library RTLL Mellon Interns Fall 2012 Final Exam LibraryPalooza!/photo.php?fbid=10151208424148791&set=o.307120669365323&type=1&theater


HBCU Legacy At Risk: Alumnae Share Reservations About Promoting Black College Experience For Future Generations

From Dr. Kimbrough...
A follow-up article related to our discussions on recruitment of students.

HBCU Legacy At Risk: Alumnae Share Reservations About Promoting Black College Experience For Future Generations

Posted: 12/06/2012 4:11 pm EST Updated: 12/06/2012 6:07 pm EST

By Jarrett L. Carter, HBCU Digest


The mid-1990s ushered in a cultural renaissance for historically black colleges and universities. “A Different World,” the sitcom spinoff of the wildly popular “Cosby Show,” was a sign of a second golden age for HBCUs, a period of increased attendance, broad cultural recognition, competitive athletics and community buy-in beyond the gates of the black ivory tower.


Dr. Jerainne Johnson-Heywood and Dr. Scherise Mitchell-Jordan came to Morgan State University as freshmen in the ‘90s, and following stellar undergraduate careers, went on to earn doctorates from the University of Southern California and the University of Maryland – College Park, respectively.


Both were recruited from their native Jamaica to join other high-achieving students in what is now known as Morgan’s School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and talk fondly of their college experiences, expressing appreciation for the training they received at their HBCU.


But with those positive reflections come strong reservations about their children following in their footsteps and attending a black college.


“People at Morgan were very interested and very helpful in moving me towards what I wanted to do,” says Johnson-Heywood, a Materials-Chemical engineer in Erie, PA. “But one of the things I didn’t necessarily like, and I’ve found this to be true at other HBCUs, is that there are certain freedoms that aren’t given at HBCUs that are afforded at predominately white institutions. It seems that administrations at many HBCUs has a mindset that was developed eons ago, and is not applicable to today’s culture.”


Among those freedoms: Alcohol and visitation leniency, with many HBCUs employing campus restrictions on visitation and alcohol consumption, even for residential students over the age of 21. While designed to encourage moral behavior among students, it is among the hot topics of high school seniors and freshmen in home-for-the-holidays talk on the positives and negatives of the HBCU experience. When compared to co-ed living facilities and visitation policies at larger, predominantly white institutions (PWI), it is almost always a negative point of emphasis among reasons to avoid attending an HBCU.


“The policies are draconian in nature and insult the intelligence of the students,” says Morgan senior Robert Chittams. “HBCUs must make policies comparable to those at a PWI if they truly want to compete.”


Johnson-Heywood specifically cites a lack of study abroad opportunities at HBCUs as a major deterrent to attracting today’s students and instilling confidence in parents of high achievers.


Morgan State, a national leader among HBCUs in the production of Fulbright Scholars, is one of a handful of the nation’s 105 HBCUs encouraging international learning experiences for undergraduates, and potential careers in the Foreign Service. But many HBCUs do not actively field or promote study abroad programs for students, and in a shrinking global marketplace, Johnson-Heywood believes that a lack of international opportunities deprives black students of the invaluable experience necessary to be competitive with Ivy League and internationally-trained counterparts.


For Mitchell-Jordan, now a scientist at a California PWI, a lack of direction into graduate education and professional development has her worried about the future direction of HBCUs.


“When I started Morgan State, my goal was to attend medical school. Based on the experience of my peers who went to other universities, I don’t think that I was advised enough on the opportunities that were available to me,” she says. “Basic information about graduate school was available, but information about recruitment to graduate schools, I don’t think that information was present there.”


To counter the perspective, many HBCUs have ramped up efforts to improve career advisement and customer service, two historic trouble spots at black colleges nationwide. North Carolina Central University, for example, has received national recognition for its Quality Service Initiative, a metric designed to ensure the best experience possible for students, whom will eventually become tomorrow’s donors.


With alumni giving at HBCUs nationally hovering below 10 percent, and growing questions about the financial future at prestigious historically black institutions like Fisk University and Morehouse College, the need to define black college value is more pressing today than it has ever been in the 150-plus year history of HBCUs. Former NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms recently suggested that diversity is a key element to the sustainability of HBCUs, a sentiment shared by Mitchell-Jordan.


The HBCU environment, she says, may be counterproductive to long-term professional goals of HBCU graduates.


“I’m a big proponent of diversity, so I don’t think that HBCUs are necessary in today’s world,” Mitchell-Jordan said. “We live in a very diverse society, so I don’t think there should be a university for minorities. Personally, after we leave college, there may be some reservation against graduates who attended minority institutions. I think it’s a barrier against us.”


Johnson-Heywood offers a different perspective.


“It is a good environment where professors look like you and share your experience. They have advanced degrees, and you get to see that accomplished black people aren’t just athletes or celebrities. However, there is a stigma of HBCUs that seems to hold graduates back more than it seems to push them forward. It seems that employers, peers in the workplace look down upon you because of your background at an HBCU.”


While both share deep reservations on sending their children or advising others to attend HBCUs, neither says they are absolutely against HBCUs that show marked improvement in academic and professional development areas.


“If I were to see that a minority institution could provide the opportunities that would prepare my daughter for a solid future, I would not hesitate to send her to a minority institution,” says Mitchell-Jordan. “It’s just that after moving on from Morgan, I saw that all of the information I needed -- career counseling, internships, etc. -- I did not receive.”


“HBCUs have made a lot of positive improvements since I graduated,” says Johnson-Heywood, who has a nine-month old daughter. “Many of the things that were not available or made available to me as a student are now in place for today’s students to benefit from. But, when you look at the top 100, 150 institutions in the United States, you don’t see HBCUs on that list. And there’s no reason for that. There’s no excuse for why our institutions cannot provide the education and the opportunities that make them competitive with the best in the country and in the world.”


Cengage Learning eNewsletter December 2012


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Cengage Learning eNewsletter
Cengage Learning eNewsletter
Topic of the Week :

Preparing Your Next Term's Courses

As we round the corner to 2013, we offer a selection of articles with some practical suggestions for how you – and your students – can prepare for the coming term
(and beyond).
Join us at the Blog.
This Week's Featured Topics :

Elements of a Well-Written Syllabus

The syllabus is the blueprint for your course and the contract you are making with each student. Read our contributor's suggestions for crafting it well. Read More »

What Activities Work to Achieve Learning?
Merrill's First Principles

As you approach your courses for next semester, consider incorporating an instructional model on which many instructional designers rely.
Read More »

Aligning Objectives in Online Classes

Watch and listen to a narrated presentation for valuable tips on writing objectives, making sure they're measurable, and aligning them with course activities. Read More »

Moving Your Course Toward the Online Environment

Teaching online doesn't have to be difficult, but you have to start somewhere. Here are some modest first steps for getting your feet wet with online teaching. Read More »

Students: Map Out Your Progress

Here, we share a decision-making process that can help readers further down the path towards success. Read More »
Join Us
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Post-Secondary School customers can find valuable information on pricing, previous editions and alternate
formats by visiting and searching by ISBN #, author, title, or keyword for
materials in your areas of interest.

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20 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002


[COMPLIMENTARY WEBINAR] Students Giving You the Silent Treatment?

Students Giving You the Silent Treatment?
A webinar event unveils how one University of Michigan professor increased class participation by 66% through the power of active learning.

December 13, 2012 at 2 PM EST (US)

Picture this...a large lecture hall where one professor stands in front of hundreds of students lecturing. Most of the students are looking at laptops or mobile devices. At first glance, it appears that they aren’t paying attention.

This lecture hall is at the University of Michigan and the professor is Dr. Perry Samson, founder of LectureTools, the newest addition to the Echo360 Active Learning Platform. And while the students appear to be distracted by technology, they are actually doing something not quite visible to the naked eye. They are participating.

In the age of active learning, interaction is the name of the game. According to Dr. Samson, “if you give students the opportunity to participate they will”.
Join us for this complimentary event to learn how the Active Learning Platform:
Engages and energizes today’s social student by leveraging mobile devices to ask confidential questions during class, take personal notes, and collaborate with other students
Provides instructors and teaching assistants with the opportunity to respond globally to popular questions during class
Measures learning as it happens and provides insights into student comprehension
Enables the 12 benefits of Active Learning like the flipped classroom, distance learning and MOOCs
Who Should Attend:  Instructional Technologists and Designers, Faculty, Deans and Academic Administrators, and CIOs.

What do you think?  Collaborate before, during and after the event on Twitter, using the live event tweet #activelearning
1.877.ECHO360 | 1.703.667.7500 | © Copyright Echo360 2012
21000 Atlantic Boulevard, 6th Floor, Dulles, VA 20166


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All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. | Call us: 877.ECHO360


The VIA® Institute on Character

you're reading...
faculty development

The VIA® Institute on Character

A thread on the VIA Strength Assessment Tool came across my POD listserv this morning – a tool used in consulting with individual faculty on teaching issues. The VIA® Institute on Character was established as a non-profit organization in 2001. They have an interesting mission – to advance both the science and the practice of character and fill the world with greater virtue (more wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence). The free VIA Survey they offer has been taken by over 1.3 million people in over 40 countries and 17 languages.
VIA advocates their program for people who wish to use their strengths to improve their personal lives and to build better workplaces, schools and teams – with a support approach that includes coaches, therapists, educators, managers, consultants, health care professionals and others, and providing in-depth reports, specialized training, free speaker series, and resources such as videos, articles, and best practices.
Have any of you used this tool? I’d be interested in hearing about your experiences – and I am going to do some more research on this Institute and its work.


Presenting the new TCU Koehler Center Sites!

New post on Koehler Center for Teaching Excellence


Presenting the new TCU Koehler Center Sites

As mentioned in our blog, last week, we have the new and improved TCU Koehler Center blog, the "Teaching Toolbox."   Along with this new name and goals, we are unifying our department's online presence.  We realize that name changing in social media is a little taboo, but we hope it won't be too disruptive for the user experience and that you will benefit from our expanded coverage of teaching topics!

Why the change, y'all?

Our social media accounts had been set up just for the elearning side of the house, but the reality is that we are one team.  We are the Koehler Center.
As our mission statement says, "We support teaching and learning and help faculty implement meaningful learning opportunities for their students."  We wanted to better represent ourselves as the Koehler Center, involved with fostering professional development, active learning, teaching strategies, and educational technology, among other great topics!

Out with the old...

All of this being said, we are trading in our old blog url, twitter name, and facebook URL, and moving to a new simple name for all.

Connect with us

Please bookmark, subscribe, like and follow to our new sites!  Click the icons below to connect with us.
Connect with the TCU Koehler Center
TCU Koehler Center Blog: Teaching Toolbox
Subscribe to the Koehler Center blog RSS feed
Facebook: TCU Koehler Center
Facebook: TCU Koehler Center (Please "Like" us!)
Twitter: Follow @KoehlerCenter
Follow @KoehlerCenter
Our best to you - -
The TCU Koehler Center team
Kerrie Conover | December 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Tags: announcement, blog, facebook, Koehler Center, social media, twitter | Categories: regular | URL: