Monthly Archives: September 2011
|September 16, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Education, Technology||
Whether you are 21 or 61 years of age, odds are good that you or someone you know has taken an online class. Technological advances and improvements in digital learning have made higher education more accessible for both adult learners and residential students alike. Yet even with the added value of convenience, are online courses viewed as truly comparable to those held in ye olde lecture hall?
According to the report, The Digital Revolution and Higher Education, the prevalence of digital learning continues to increase, with 77 percent of college and university presidents surveyed confirming that such courses were offered through their institutions. Public four-year institutions were more likely (89 percent) to offer such courses than private (60 percent) institutions of higher education. Community colleges were most likely to offer online courses (82 percent), with research universities (79 percent) and liberal arts colleges (61 percent) less likely to have that option. One might infer from this data that the more exclusive the school, the lower the likelihood they offered any form of digital learning experience – although the reason or reasons why are not stated in the report.
Less than 1/3 (29 percent) of the adults polled felt online courses were equal in value to their more traditional brick and mortar counterparts, compared to over half (51 percent) of the college presidents, who found their value equal. In addition, approximately half of the college presidents expect robust growth in online learning over the next decade.
Do you feel online courses in higher education are equal in value to those taught in a classroom setting? What has been your experience with digital learning?
|September 13, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Education, Program Model, Research||
Yesterday, The Pittsburgh Foundation announced that early analysis from an on-going RAND study of The Pittsburgh Promise indicates the project is off to a “solid start” and has played a beneficial role within the community.
The Pittsburgh Promise is a scholarship program for students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. The program advocates for improvements to the quality of education within the system, while promoting college readiness and working to increase preparedness among the region’s workforce. Some of the positive impacts related to the program’s operation include,
- Students and their families reported feeling motivated by the scholarship program to attain the requisite GPA, maintain regular attendance in school and explore higher education opportunities.
- Pittsburgh Public Schools enrollment has leveled off, rather than continue its prior downward trend.
- Since the inception of the program, there has been an increase in college enrollment of graduates of the schools eligible for the program funds.
The full report, including recommendations from RAND to The Pittsburgh Promise on how to continue their beneficial impact, as well as a video summary of the study to date from the lead researcher Dr. Gabriella Gonzalez, are available at the RAND website.
|September 12, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Federal Government||
According to a United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) statement regarding the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the number of families receiving benefits dropped by nearly half (approximately 50 percent) between 1997 and 2008, while the proportion of cases of child-only benefits increased (from 35 percent to almost half of all TANF cases). The GAO analyzed data from all states and surveyed TANF administrators to identify changes in the caseload amounts and demographics (if any) since the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) which reauthorized TANF while implementing changes to the employment standards required of TANF participants.
The research, TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES:Update on Families Served and Work Participation: A Statement of Kay E. Brown, Director Education, Workforce, and Income Security, includes the report that approximately 33 percent of families receiving TANF assistance in the country meet the work requirements.
The report concludes with the opinion that the current data collection system does not allow for a totality of understanding regarding the persons served by, or the benefits of, the TANF program nationally. This may be due in part to reporting standards only requiring data on the cash assistance piece of the program. So, it appears that there is scant empiric measurement around how TANF services assist welfare reform aims – an unfortunate conclusion as knowledge of what programs accomplish, and whom they benefit, should be a basic requirement of their continuation.