college in the news

Conn. bill eliminate remedial college courses - Boston.com: "Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, said the proposed legislation would do away with remedial college courses, replacing them with those offering extra support such as labs in addition to regular class hours or online programs. She said colleges would have flexibility under the bill to choose an approved remediation model.

"What I'm trying to do with the bill is set up a policy where colleges can innovate," Bye said. "They know there's a problem.""      via Blog this'

How Your College Is Selling Out to Big Ag | Mother Jones: The most remarkable thing about all of this is that it isn't remarkable at all. A few weeks ago, I pointed to a great Chronicle of Higher Education article documenting how university animal-health research has become dominated by the pharmaceutical industryand how the products that emerge from that process are much re about pharmaceutical industry profits than animal health. Now there's this eye-opening new report from Food & Water Watch (FWW) that documents in painstaking detail how the food and agrichemical industries have transformed our national public agricultural research infrastructure into essentially an R& D and marketing apparatus for their industry. (Similar trends hold for other areas of science research, most prominently medicine.)  



Occupy the Farm: Democracy for Land Grant Universities? : Indybay: "The occupiers demand UC Berkeley halt plans for further sale and private development of what was once the site of its renowned International Center for Biological Control. Instead, they propose an urban farm center to serve the research, training and development needs of the growing urban farm population in the San Francisco Bay Area's underserved communities. To demonstrate their point, they cleared the farm's weeds by hand and planted over two acres of vegetables. They set up an encampment and an information center and started holding community workshops on urban farming, community food security and food sovereignty. There are families, children and day care."

More on the Case for the Public University as a Public Option | Next New Deal: "Unfortunately, consumers do not have the necessary incentives to impose cost discipline in the market. The perceived necessity of a college degree to find a middle-class job gives students few options but to pay up...State legislatures, too, should put pressure on public colleges and universities not to increase staffing relative to student populations, and to respond to budgetary strains with cost control instead of tuition hikes or reductions in enrollment...Colleges and universities should take greater advantage of technological advances that could finally improve productivity in the education sector, such as distance learning and video instruction..."   



Jailbreaking the Degree?
Jailbreaking the Degree | TechCrunch: "But education isn’t all-or-nothing. College and its primary credential, the degree, needn’t be either. The benefit of modern, online education is that the burden of logistics and infrastructure are greatly reduced, allowing for the potential of a fluid, lifelong education model. The problem, to date, is that formal, online education is still being packaged in all-or-nothing degree programs, falsely constraining education innovation. The New Republic writes, “Online for-profit colleges haven’t disrupted the industry because while their business methods are different, their product—traditional credentials in the form of a degree—is not.”" ...

"Clayton Christensen** predicts, “I bet what happens as [higher education] becomes more modular is that accreditation occurs at the level of the course, not the university; so they can then offer degrees as collection of the best courses taught in the world. A barrier that historically kept people out of university [is] blown away by the modularization and the change in [course-by-course] accreditation.” 'via Blog this'

** The link is to this talk, below, by Christensen. From the metadata: 
For example, Christensen explains how the current model of education is integrated from top to bottom, meaning if you want to change one part of the model, you have to change the other parts of the model to fit. Using technology, education can move to a modular model in which a student can take a particular course, taught by the best professor in the world, and get credit for that course. Instead of accrediting only institutions, accreditation organizations would accredit individual courses. The student thereby receives the best, most appropriate education without the limitations and burdensome requirements of a linear, integrated education. 
Christensen encourages higher ed institutions to become hybrids, offering both on-campus and online courses, noting that this move would "extend their runway" and help them to enhance their effectiveness and maintain their competitiveness in an increasingly open and à la carte education environment. Increasingly, the focus will be, as it should, on helping students meet their individual needs instead of requiring students to follow a rigid factory model.






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