Posts Tagged by higher education
|February 24, 2013||Posted by M. P. under Education, News, Research||
The topic of college costs is back in the news as demands for increased accountability and transparency are once again catching momentum in Washington and beyond. While the value of a college education may not be adequately measured by economic formula alone, the combination of sticker shock and a slow economy could result in a more cautious, or arduous, decision-making process for families. With the average cost for one year of tuition and fees at a private 4-year university now costing over three times what it did my salad days, researching what you get for your considerable investment is understandable, if not expected, in 2013. The twist is that the actual draw for students may not be at all related to academics.
Beth Akers of the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings Institution asks some interesting questions around increased non-instruction spending in higher education in relation to the rising costs of tuition, board and fees for students in two and four-year institutions. While discussions of the value and accessibility of a college education (without having to take on $50,000+ in loans) may appeal to most with teenage children, Ms. Akers notes that a recently released paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the realities of market demand show that but for the the top tier of students, amenities greatly overshadow academics. Data from the 1990’s through 2004 indicate that students not headed to high-level academic institutions are swayed by and, more importantly, will pay for nicer dorms, gyms and activity centers.
So, the best way to attract the majority of college-bound youth is with a wide range of recreational offerings and top of the line facilities in which to house them. Colleges know this and it would be counter-intuitive for them to stop giving prospective students exactly what they want. My question — what, if any, impact will the recession have on this trend? A study from The Higher Education Research Institute reports that over 2/3rds of freshman entering a college or university in 2012 were significantly influenced by the current economic climate, and nearly 60 percent were not attending their first-choice due to affordability concerns. Further, the impact of the cost of a particular institution on student decision-making was ranked as “very important” by approximately 43 percent of incoming freshmen last year, up from 31 percent in 2004. Is the market changing?
What are your predictions for college recruitment and marketing over the next 10 years?
|October 31, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Behavorial Health, News, Research||
Late last month the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced funding for the Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training Program, an initiative meant to increase the number and availability of social workers and psychologists in rural areas, specifically to assist military veterans and their families. Nearly $10 million in grants were awarded to institutions (including two in eastern Pennsylvania and one in West Virginia) to support study and clinical training in the areas of trauma and abuse, combat-related stress and substance abuse. Although about 28 percent of the 22 million veterans in the United States reside in rural areas, treatment for PTSD and other combat-related conditions remains difficult to find and may lack the required intensity. These grants aim to increase both the availability and intensity of trauma–related mental health care, as well as services to families of persons with chronic illnesses in rural areas.
|July 17, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Budget, News, Policy||
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has released several briefs on the 2012-13 PA budget, including their analysis on the cuts, credits and potential impact of the budget on Pennsylvania residents. Highlights of the budget:
- Final budget total amount is $27.656 billion (an increase of $517 million compared to Governor Corbett’s earlier proposal).
- Overall, General Fund spending was down 1.4 percent from 2010-11. Notable spending cuts include, classroom education (a decrease of 9.6 percent), labor and industry (a decrease of 13.5 percent), community and economic development (a decrease of 18.5 percent) and environment (decrease of 20.4 percent).
- Other areas of major cuts: human services (specifically mental health, homeless assistance), higher education and the end of the General Assistance Program – a program that gave temporary support to over 68,000 Pennsylvanians who were sick or disabled.
- Several tax credits and cuts were implemented or continued, including private school scholarships for youth in low-performing school districts (through the EITC program) and credits for corporations doing business in the Commonwealth.
- The Human Services Development Block Grant did not make it into the final budget, but the legislature passed a bill to enact a Human Services Development Block Grant Pilot Program as law.
Visit The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center website for analysis and commentary on the 2012-13 budget and the latest news on policy in Pennsylvania.
|January 31, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Education, Evaluation, Policy||
The latest findings from an ongoing study of the effectiveness of charter schools on student achievement indicate some are having a positive impact on student graduation rate and college enrollment.
The report Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts, conducted by Mathematica and the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) -University of Washington looked at the effect of charter school management organizations (CMOs) on test scores, graduation and post-secondary education planning. While the data indicate a positive impact on high school graduation statistics (for schools with that data), the overall impact on student academic achievement by school varied considerably.
The study also examined characteristics of CMO schools in relation to positive educational impacts, finding:
- high levels of teacher coaching were associated with positive impacts on academic achievement;
- performance-based teacher pay structure was not statistically associated with student achievement; and
- class size was not statistically associated with student achievement.
Previous reports from National Study of Charter Management Organization (CMO) Effectiveness are available online (as is this newest report) via the Mathematica website.
|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.