Here are four items that might be of interest.
2 Kinds of Part-Time Students
by Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed
June 28, 2007
“A report released Wednesday by the U.S. Education Department provides a detailed look at the characteristics of part-time college students – and most of the results won’t surprise those who work with these students. Compared to full-time students, part timers are more likely to be older, female, Hispanic, financially independent of their parents, first-generation college students, and to lag in graduation and retention rates.”
“But if those findings won’t shock anyone, the department statistics also presented data that may challenge assumptions about part-time students.”
“About 25 percent of part-time students can be identified as those who “looked like typical full-time students” – and by looked like, the report was talking about demographics, not appearance. The characteristics: they are 23 or younger, they are financially dependent on their parents and receive parental help with college costs, and they received regular high school diplomas. Compared to other part-time students, this group is more likely to be white, to come from wealthy families, and to expect to eventually earn an advanced degree. Compared to full-time students, this group is more likely to be Hispanic, less likely to be black, and more likely to come from families with college degrees.”
“In terms of enrollment patterns, part-time students are much more likely than full-time students to attend community colleges – and to not ever receive a degree. Those in the “looked like full-time student” category are in the middle in terms of where they enroll.” . . .
Web 2.0 and Your Own Learning and Development
by Stephen Downes
June 18, 2007
In this 22-minute video, Stephen Downes discusses how one can create one’s own learning network using simple social tools. Looks at three principles: interaction (e-mail, Weblogs, instant messaging, Skype, online forums), usability and relevance.
Education Dept. to Use FIPSE Budget to Finance Assessment of Student Learning
by Kelly Field
June 20, 2007, Chronicle of Higher Education
“The U.S. Department of Education has announced that it will set aside $2.5-million in the budget for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, or FIPSE, for a focused competition on student-learning assessment.”
“The money, which will finance at least one grant, will help in developing methods to “measure, assess, and report student achievement and institutional performance at the postsecondary level,” according to a notice that appeared today in the Federal Register.”
“Word of the set-aside came a little over a month after the department announced, in another Federal Register notice, that it would reserve $500,000 of the FIPSE budget for an international competition supporting collaboration with Russia . The combined set-asides will consume almost half of FIPSE’s 2007 budget, leaving the Comprehensive Program with only $3.4-million, enough to make 16 to 18 awards. Last year, it made three times as many awards.”
“In a letter sent to potential applicants this month, the department said the assessment competition was a response to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, which wrote in its final report last year that a lack of “useful data and accountability” in higher education “hinders policy makers and the public from making informed decisions and prevents higher education from demonstrating its contribution to the public good.” “
“However, in that same report, the commission also recommended that that FIPSE “be revitalized” and its “original mission of promoting improvement and innovation in higher education” be “re-energized.” “
ALA Files Comments to FCC on Three Telecom Issues
American Library Association
June 20, 2007
On May 16 the American Library Association (ALA) shared the perspective of the library community on deployment of broadband to public libraries with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). ALA stated that “public libraries need more affordable high-speed broadband connections;” the FCC’s “definitions of broadband capabilities are inadequate;” the FCC “must collect more detailed data reflecting the deployment and availability of broadband facilities on a more localized basis;” the FCC “should consider asking broadband providers to offer discounted prices for organizations, such as public libraries, whose mission is to serve the local community;” and, the FCC “should coordinate with other government agencies to speed the deployment of affordable broadband services to rural and tribal areas.” For more information, click here.
Several libraries filed reply comments with the FCC to share their own perspective. (search for proceeding number “07-45”)
The FCC collects data on subscriptions to broadband services. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC sought comment on how to collect better data. You can view the ALA ‘s response. Comments from other organizations can be found at ECFS by searching for proceeding number “07-38.”
The ALA also filed comments regarding net neutrality issue – the FCC should ensure that the Internet remains an open environment. “The American Library Association supports common sense action by the Commission that preserves open, nondiscriminatory access to the Internet for both creators and providers of content. Libraries, and indeed all consumers, need to be assured that they will be able to access legitimate Internet content, or use Internet services or applications without fear or concerns that such access or use will be blocked or degraded by any entity with the means and control to do so.”