New Report from Oracle Shows that Investment in Student Services Will Significantly Enhance the Educational Experience for College Students

News Facts
• Today Oracle announced the results of its “Making the Grade: Optimizing the Higher Education Student Experience” report, which surveyed more than 1,000 undergraduate students and 180 higher education administrators to examine where student services stand today, the impact those services have on overall student satisfaction and how higher education institutions can improve services and address opportunities like social media and mobile apps.
• Oracle will host a Webcast on Wednesday, September 19 at 2 p.m. ET to discuss the study’s findings and provide real-world examples of how technology can improve student services. Panelists will include Bill Carter, vice chancellor of information technology, Houston Community College, and Cole Clark, global vice president, education and research industry, Oracle. To register for the Webcast, click here.

Key Findings
• Student Services Matter: Sixty-six percent of students say the service they receive has a direct impact on their overall satisfaction with their school. Students who are satisfied with their school’s student services are significantly more likely than those who are not to recommend their school to other potential students and donate following graduation.
• Lagging Behind the Top of the Class: Only 60 percent of students say their school meets their customer service expectations and 57 percent say their school treats them as valued customers.
• Missing a Birds-Eye View: Only 19 percent of administrators feel they have a 360 degree view of their students. A majority of administrative respondents note they either have multiple views of students and have to piece that information together (31 percent), or have multiple views of students and find the information conflicting (20 percent).
• Expanding Communication Frontier: New forms of communication offer additional avenues for schools to engage students. Currently, only 39 percent of students and 27 percent of administrators rank their student services’ mobile access as very good. In addition, just 15 percent of students and 10 percent of administrators say their school is very successful at leveraging social media to keep students informed.
• Fundamental Focus: When asked which areas their school should focus on to improve services, 54 percent of students and 61 percent of administrators noted their schools should make it easier to determine where to go for answers. Other top responses included provide consistent information (24 percent of students and 49 percent of administrators) and improve response times (37 percent of students and 27 percent of administrators).
• To access the full report – which highlights the importance of services on a student’s educational experience and how institutions can use technology to enhance those services – visit here.

Supporting Quotes
• “While administering class registration or processing financial aid isn’t as headline grabbing as constructing a new building, the student services a school provides have a significant impact on a student’s educational experience. This report demonstrates that investments in student services’ technology pay long-term dividends. Schools that focus on the basics – such as ensuring information accessibility, providing multiple contact points for students and delivering consistent processes – and leverage mobile and social media platforms to engage students, will provide an unforgettable positive educational experience, and in turn, make institutions more competitive,” said Cole Clark, global vice president, education and research industry, Oracle.

Supporting Resources
• Oracle in Higher Education
• “Making the Grade: Optimizing the Higher Education Student Experience”
• Optimizing the Higher Education Student Experience Webcast
• Oracle Higher Education on Facebook

About Oracle
Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), visit

About Oracle in Industries
Oracle industry solutions leverage the company’s best-in-class portfolio of products to address complex business processes relevant to the education and research industry, helping speed time to market, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge.

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Katie Barron Janice Clayton
Oracle O’Keeffe & Company
+1.202.904.1138 +1.443.759.8151


Op-Ed: College students can give great schools ‘glass hallways’

Everyone knows that college can be a “melting pot” of ideas and perspectives. And at the start of my freshman year at Princeton, I was particularly excited to meet students from across the country with a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, says a contributor to I expected traditional forms of diversity—geographic, racial, ethnic, religious, gender and sexuality—but one form that surprised me was the diverse educational background of members of our freshman class. Despite our relative enlightenment about political issues, foreign affairs, and—of course—pop culture, most of us attended high school without any idea of the quality of high schools down the street or across the state. I met students hailing from urban, suburban, and rural schools with vastly different experiences, and some with remarkably similar ones: students from elite prep schools complaining about a focus on AP test prep juxtaposed with students from struggling district schools plagued by daily test prep…

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The 10 smartest people in the world alive today

Judging how smart a person is can be a very subjective matter. Does their IQ score make them the smartest? Or is it more about accomplishments? The debate over this likely will never cease, the Huffington Post reports. However, took a look at 10 people (in no particular order) nobody would deny are worthy of being called some of the smartest people alive today. Fifty percent of people have IQ scores between 90 and 110, 2.5 percent of people are mentally deficient/impaired (under 70 IQ), 0.5 percent of people are near genius or genius (over 140,) 2.5 percent of people are very superior in intelligence (over 130)…

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Apple calls for several Samsung devices to be banned following court victory

After last week’s court ruling against Samsung found that the tech giant had violated Apple’s patents and awarded the latter more than $1 billion in damages, the technology world awaited both companies’ next moves, Tecca reports. Now we know that Apple is seeking to prevent the sale of eight Samsung smartphones in the U.S., according to a document filed today. While it might seem to be another huge blow for Samsung, the devices Apple is seeking to ban — notably the Galaxy S2 — are actually pretty dated at this point. The full list includes the Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 AT&T, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S2 T-Mobile, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge, and Galaxy Prevail. While some of the Galaxy S2 models are still offered by carriers, the selection is already limited, as these devices have already been replaced with newer models. In addition to these devices, Apple is seeking to extend an existing ban on the wifi-only Galaxy Tab 10.1 that went into effect in June to the 4G-enabled version of the tablet

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Coursera looks to curb cheating in free courses

Coursera’s honor code will be used in three classes.

Coursera, the massive online open course (MOOC) site with myriad university partnerships, will require students to sign an honor code statement before they take the free classes.

The honor code was introduced in three Coursera classes – with plans to expand the code to more courses – after media reports detailed rampant plagiarism in the no-charge courses that offer curriculum from Princeton, University of Michigan, Stanford, and Penn, among other schools.

Students already checked a box indicating that they would comply with Coursera’s academic standards. The new policy includes an honor code agreement with every assignment submitted for grading by fellow students.

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“In accordance with the Honor Code, I certify that my answers here are my own work, and that I have appropriately acknowledged all external sources (if any) that were used in this work,” the statement said.

Coursera, which recently eclipsed 1 million students, offers courses from 16 colleges and universities, with plans to add more this year.

Perhaps the rash of MOOC cheating incidents won’t shock higher education officials.

Fifty-five percent of college presidents who responded to a 2011 Pew survey said there has been a noticeable uptick in plagiarism over the past decade. Among those presidents who reported a plagiarism increase, nearly nine in 10 blamed the internet and online classes.

Annie Murphy Paul, author of, “Brilliant: The Science of Smart,” wrote in a blog post that anyone lifting from someone else’s work is, most of all, cheating themselves, especially in free Coursera classes that don’t award college credit.

“Like a thief who steals an empty safe, they make for easy objects of derision,” Murphy Paul wrote. “But while many of us know better than to pass off another person’s work as our own, we think little of engaging in the intellectual equivalent of cutting and pasting.”

Murphy Paul said the extra scrutiny on students taking free online classes purely for intellectual edification should bring attention to the downfalls of cheating, even when the consequence is minor.

“The ethical infraction is minor, but the crime against our intellectual lives is great,” she wrote. “Every time we mentally skim the surface, every time we allow someone else to do thinking, we miss a chance to develop deep knowledge. Even without a grade, it counts.”


Nursing students get hands-on practice with new technology

Bobby — or Bobbie, depending on how the animatronic mannequin is dressed — is the newest member of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s nursing department.

The patient simulator, a SimMan 3G created by medical supply company Laerdal, can talk, cough, sweat, cry, bleed, exhibit illnesses, react to medication and die, just like a flesh-and-bone patient.

It is the latest technology aimed to give nursing students a dose of what they could face in real life.

Nursing programs throughout the region are embracing this kind of technology, expanding beyond the typical “teaching-testing” platform and immersing their students in real-life simulations to meet the needs of the rapidly advancing health care industry.

“As our population gets older, we are living longer, the diseases are becoming more complicated, and technology is advancing, we, as health care providers, have to keep up,” said Dr. Afua Arhin, head of the Fayetteville State University Department of Nursing.

The Institute of Medicine released a report recently that recommended an increase in the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree from 50 percent to 80 percent by 2020 — a suggestion that many hospitals are turning into a requirement, encouraging registered nurses with an associate’s degree to go back to school.

Meanwhile, nearly 1 in 5 nurses in North Carolina is older than 55, an average that continues to rise, according to data from the North Carolina Board of Nursing, and 24 percent of the workforce is expected to retire within 10 years.

According to the North Carolina Center for Nursing and North Carolina Area Health Education Centers, these factors have rippled into an expected shortfall of nurses in the state that will exceed 30,000 by 2020.

On Aug. 14, UNCP opened a $29 million Health Sciences Building, which houses the nursing and social work departments and biology laboratories.

The building’s second story features a 14,500-square-foot Clinical Learning Center, where nursing students will care for Bobby, other computer-enhanced mannequins, and one another in seven laboratories set up to mirror hospital rooms.

“We can really simulate an actual situation the students may face in a hospital setting,” said Dr. Barbara Synowiez, chairwoman of the Nursing Department.

Faculty members, such as Martha Hepler, director of the center, will monitor the students from control rooms, where they can talk for the mannequins and control their functions. Cameras will record the students’ actions, which can be used to correct mistakes after the lesson is complete.

About 30 juniors began classes in the simulation clinics this week.


Higher education becomes Nevada campaign issue for Obama

Nevada students taking the ACT college entrance exam have a slight college readiness edge over the national average, the Associated Press reports. Whereas the national average score is 21.1, Nevada college entrants score on average 21.3. Affording a higher education is of great concern to voters in this presidential battleground state. President Barack Obama actively seeks out contact with college- and college-ready students in the Silver State. As noted by the New York Times, the president visited Reno’s Truckee Meadows Community College campaign rally yesterday and spoke to a Las Vegas high school audience at Canyon Springs High School today. The Obama campaign highlights that an enacted Republican budget would lead to severe cuts in education. Mr. Obama outlines that Mitt Romney’s best advice to college-bound students is little more than asking parents for loans — or finding the cheapest colleges to attend. Concurrently, the Obama campaign must take on the charge of the Romney campaign, which has painted college students as a “lost generation” heavily burdened by increasing tuition costs that the Obama administration has failed to curtail. Another talking point the Obama campaign must tackle is Nevada’s high unemployment rate, which affects recent college graduates with high student loan debts…

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Chicago City Colleges launches new careers program

City Colleges of Chicago is launching a “College to Careers” program to ready students for fast-growing fields, the Associated Press reports. The system announced nine new or enhanced degree programs Thursday. The programs prepare students for jobs in health care, transportation and related fields. The college system, city officials and industry leaders worked together for months to design the program, dubbed “C2C.” Courses range from a basic certificate in medical billing and coding to an advanced certificate in supply chain management…

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Apple to unveil mini iPad in October

Apple will unveil a new, smaller version of its wildly popular iPad in October after the release of the latest version of its iPhone next month, the All Things Digital website reported Sunday.

“First comes the latest iteration of the tech giant’s hugely popular smartphone, which will be unveiled at an as yet unannounced event on September 12,” the website said.

“Only after the next-generation iPhone is out the door and on sale will Apple announce the smaller iPad it’s been working on,” it said.

“That device, which is expected to have a display of less than eight inches (20 centimeters), will be uncrated at a second special event, which sources say is currently scheduled for October.”

The 10-inch iPad has long dominated the tablet market, but faces a growing challenge from smaller models like Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the Google Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy…

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Apple’s $1 billion patent verdict a blow to Android phones

Many analysts said the decision could spell danger for competitors who, like Samsung, use Google’s Android operating system to power their cell phones.

It was the $1 billion question that campus technology leaders were asking Aug. 25: What does Apple’s victory in an epic patent dispute over its fiercest rival mean for the U.S. smart-phone industry?

Analysts from Wall Street to Hong Kong debated whether a jury’s decision that Samsung Electronics Co. ripped off Apple technology would help Apple corner the U.S. smart-phone market over Android rivals, or amount to one more step in a protracted legal battle over smart-phone technology.

Many analysts said the decision could spell danger for competitors who, like Samsung, use Google Inc.’s Android operating system to power their cell phones.

“I am sure this is going to put a damper on Android’s growth,” New York-based Isi Group analyst Brian Marshall said. “It hurts the franchise.”

The Silicon Valley jury found that some of Samsung’s products illegally copied features and designs exclusive to Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The verdict was narrowly tailored only to Samsung, which sold more than 22 million smart phones and tablets that Apple claimed used its technology, including the “bounce-back” feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.

But most other Apple competitors have used the Android system to produce similar technology, which could limit the features offered on all non-Apple phones, analysts said.

“The other makers are now scrambling” to find alternatives, said Rob Enderle, a leading technology analyst based in San Jose.

Seo Won-seok, a Seoul-based analyst at Korea Investment, said the popular zooming and bounce-back functions the jury said Samsung stole from Apple will be hard to replicate.

The companies could opt to pay Apple licensing fees for access to the technology or develop smarter technology to create similar features that don’t violate the patent—at a cost likely to be passed onto consumers.

Apple lawyers are planning to ask that the two dozen Samsung devices found to have infringed its patents be barred from the U.S. market. Most of those devices are “legacy” products with almost nonexistent new sales in the United States. Apple lawyers also will ask that the judge triple the damage award to $3 billion, because the jury found Samsung “willfully” copied Apple’s patents.

A loss to the Android-based market would represent a big hit for Google as well.