UC affirmative action discussion is back on the table

Although the upcoming Supreme Court case on the University of Texas’ race-conscious admissions policy will be largely irrelevant in the Golden State, the University of California and others have filed briefs to emphasize that if the nation goes the way of California, then diversity – and the educational benefits that come with it – will suffer, the California Watch reports. The UC president and chancellors, the state of California, the California Institute of Technology and a group of student organizations at UC campuses are among at least 69 organizations that have filed amicus – or friend of the court – briefs in support of the University of Texas at Austin. At least 15 groups filed amicus briefs in support of Abigail Fisher, who filed the original lawsuit against University of Texas after she was denied undergraduate admission in 2008…

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Universities to students, fans: Don’t recruit athletes via social media

Colleges have asked students to stop making Facebook pages for potential recruits.

Brigham Young University (BYU) last week became the latest school to plead with its students and supporters to avoid Twitter and Facebook recruitment of high school athletes more than two years after the NCAA first warned against the practice.

BYU’s compliance office dispatched a tweet Aug. 16 asking campus sports fans to extricate themselves from the recruitment process.

“Boosters/Fans: Please do not use @”insert prospect twitter handle” to encourage enrollment at BYU. Leave the recruiting to the coaches!”

The university’s message had been re-tweeted 21 times as of press time, many by Twitter accounts at least somewhat related to BYU or BYU sports teams. Chad Gwilliam, the university’s director of compliance, was not available for an interview with eCampus News before deadline.

NCAA officials for years have discouraged social media activism on the part of college sports fans pleading with recruits to choose their college or university over other vying for their attention.

The first national attention to the social media-based recruitment efforts involved Taylor Moseley, a North Carolina State freshman who expressed a common-enough opinion on campus in April 2009 when he started the Facebook group called “John Wall PLEASE come to NC STATE!!!!”

More than 700 people signed up for the group encouraging Wall — a local standout and the nation’s No. 1 basketball recruit — to pick the Wolfpack by national signing day. Moseley got a cease and desist letter from N.C. State’s compliance director, Michelle Lee, warning of “further action” if he failed to comply.

NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said after the N.C. State Facebook page warnings that the group considers its rules “technology neutral.” A Facebook page is simply a high-tech way to try to influence recruits, he said.

The NCAA’s concern is “intrusions into a high school student’s life when they’re trying to decide where to go to college,” he said. He said the NCAA is keeping up with technology, noting new rules on text-messaging from coaches.

Notre Dame athletic officials posted a YouTube video in July highlighting what fans can and can’t do while the school is pursuing unsigned athletes. In the video, which has more than 14,000 views, Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey tells students and fans of the Fighting Irish to try to persuade athletes through Facebook or Twitter.

The school’s video features two jersey-wearing Notre Dame fans discussing the latest recruiting news when one fan says he created a Facebook page specifically to recruit a high school basketball star.


Emory U: False data sent to rankings groups

Emory officials have investigated the rankings data since May.

Prestigious Emory University intentionally misreported student data to rankings magazines for more than a decade, the Atlanta school disclosed Friday, adding its high-profile name to a growing list of institutions caught up in scandals over rankings pressure.

As far back as 2000, Emory’s admissions and institutional research offices overstated SAT and ACT scores by reporting the higher average tallies of admitted students, rather than those enrolled, as is required, president Jim Wagner announced in a letter to the university community.

Those figures were reported to organizations including college rankers, the most prominent of which is US News & World Report.

The investigation also found similar misrepresentations related to students’ class rank. Emory may also have excluded scores from the bottom 10 percent of students.

“It’s very unfortunate that leaders at educational institutions have to succumb to these kinds of pressures to improve rank,” said Lloyd Thacker, executive director of the Education Conservancy, a group that works to reduce competitive pressures in admissions. “They don’t need to do this. It baffles me. We expect integrity from our higher educational institutions. If we can’t trust them then who can we trust?”

Wagner said two unidentified former Emory admissions deans and the leadership of its institutional research office were aware of the practices. The university began investigating in May after John Latting, who was named dean of admission last year after serving at Johns Hopkins University, noticed discrepancies.

None of those involved in the misreporting still work at Emory, but citing personnel matters, the university declined to name them or say if any had been fired.

The report found no involvement by Wagner or other deans. Emory launched an internal investigation with help from an outside law firm and announced a series of new internal controls over data reporting.

“Emory has not been well-served by representatives of the university in this history of misreporting,” Wagner said. “I am deeply disappointed. Indeed, anyone who cares about Emory’s reputation for excellence in all things must regret this news.”


Walden University Introduces Master’s Program in Addiction Counseling

Walden University Introduces Master’s Program in Addiction Counseling
New online master’s degree program prepares professionals to meet growing demand for addiction counselors

Minneapolis—August 16, 2012—As the number of individuals dealing with substance abuse and addictive behavior in the United States continues to grow, the need for qualified addiction counselors is also on the rise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is projected to increase by 27% through 2020. To help meet this growing demand, Walden University’s School of Counseling and Social Service is introducing the M.S. in Addiction Counseling online degree program that can help prepare qualified professionals to treat individuals with these disorders.

“Addiction has many faces and can affect anyone, regardless of occupation, income level, race or gender. In fact, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, one in four Americans will have an alcohol or drug problem at some point in their lives. Many others will face addictive behavior exhibited through activities such as binge eating, pathological gambling and hoarding,” said Dr. Savitri Dixon-Saxon, associate dean of Walden’s School of Counseling and Social Service.

In Walden’s M.S. in Addiction Counseling program, students focus on a range of addiction and behavioral disorders and learn how to provide treatment intervention and develop case management strategies for a broad range of clients. The online program features five specializations: Addictions and Public Health, Child and Adolescent Counseling, Family Studies and Interventions, Forensic Counseling and Trauma and Crisis Counseling. Students in this program can prepare for a career in a wide variety of settings, including community mental health centers, hospitals, employee assistance programs, the juvenile justice system, drug courts and private practice.

Depending on the state in which they intend to practice, students can prepare to become counselors with a specialization in addiction counseling and to qualify to sit for the Examination for Master Addictions Counselors (EMAC).

The new M.S. in Addiction Counseling program joins a suite of related online degree programs in the School of Counseling and Social Service, including the CACREP-accredited M.S. in Mental Health Counseling; the M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling; the M.S. in Career Counseling; and the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision. For more information about Walden’s counseling programs, visit www.WaldenU.edu/counseling.

About Walden University
For more than 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 48,500 students from all 50 states and more than 140 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 60 campus-based and online universities in 29 countries.

Walden offers more than 65 degree programs with more than 330 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration and information technology. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org.


Texas Tech University Reduces Cancellations by Sending Tuition Reminders

School Overview
Texas Tech University is a public university located in the west Texas city of Lubbock. Founded in 1923, it has grown to a student population of more than 30,000. Texas Tech offers 150 undergraduate programs, 100 master level programs and 50 doctoral degrees through 11 academic colleges. Strong with tradition, the Red Raiders are committed to enhancing the cultural and economic development of the state, nation, and world.

Texas Tech University – Student Business Services is a student focused department that concentrates on providing accurate and timely billing of tuition and fees for the University, including processing of waivers and exemptions.

With a growing student population, TTU – Student Business Services needed a way to enhance their communication to the university’s students. “While we use direct email and message board postings, we needed a solution that would allow us to reach a large audience in a short amount of time” said Bradley Martin, Manager of Communications & Collections for Texas Tech – Student Business Services, “while delivering a consistent message.”

Following a referral to Call-Em-All by another Texas university, TTU – Student Business Services began making automated phone calls for the summer semesters of 2012. TTU – Student Business Services was able to quickly create voice broadcasts to notify the students of upcoming payment deadlines and cancellations.

After just a short period of usage, “Call-Em-All has already altered our approach to contacting students,” said Martin. We have seen “cancellation numbers for the summer semesters among the lowest on recent record.”

Call-Em-All’s automated phone broadcasting service allowed TTU – Student Business Services to reach out to a targeted group of students. No longer having to rely on oneto- one direct email or posts to message boards that may or may not get read by students needing to know improtant information.

More Benefits of Text Message Blasts

With the reporting that Call-Em-All features for each voice broadcast, TTU – Student Business Services is able to see who has answered the phone live to listen to the message. Also, they are able to determine if a phone number they have for a student may not be correct. “It has been a breeze to use and we can definitely see results. I wish we would have had it years ago.” said Martin, when speaking to how quickly they are able to contact students.

In the future, Texas Tech University – Student Business Services see potential of additional usages of Call-Em-All’s automated messaging service to reach out to their student body regarding other pertanant information.


A college lifts a hurdle for illegal immigrants

Monday is the first day of the school year for Metropolitan State University of Denver, a compact, urban campus in the heart of the city’s downtown, the New York Times reports. It also signifies the dawn of a controversial new policy for this institution of 24,000. Among the crowd of students who will show up for class next week are dozens of illegal immigrants who, as part of a specially tailored tuition rate, can now qualify for a reduced fee if they live in Colorado. The new rate, approved by the university’s board of trustees in June, has garnered praise from immigrant rights advocates here who have tried for years to get legislation passed that would allow state colleges to offer discounted tuition to local, illegal immigrant students. But the policy has also drawn the ire of conservatives who are threatening to sue the university to keep the rate from being put in place and have accused Metro State of openly defying Colorado law…

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University of Colorado bans guns in dorms, but…

The University of Colorado has announced a change to students’ housing contracts for the Boulder and Colorado Springs campuses banning guns in undergraduate dorms, the Huffington Post reports.  Students who hold a Colorado concealed-carry permit can no longer keep a handgun in the dorms and may be asked to relocate to a university apartment or be released from their residence hall contract if they do, according to a press release from University of Colorado Boulder. However, the University will also set aside housing for students with concealed-carry permits over the age of 21. Colorado law requires concealed-carry permit holders to be at least 21 years of age, complete an FBI background check and to show proof of a completed a firearms training course or to have had previous police or military experience. The new rule prevents concealed-carry permit holders from bringing a gun to any event at Folsom Field or ticketed performance venue. The university is treating the purchase of a ticket to a CU public performance as an agreement with the university to not carry a concealed weapon, even as a valid permit holder, into the venue…

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STEM majors prove especially profitable for minority students

For college freshmen and sophomores, August means plenty of shopping for dorm room decor and overpriced textbooks. Juniors, however, have a much more crucial task at hand — choosing a major, the Huffington Post reports.  And with studies showing that college degrees still hold their value, despite the economic downturn, choosing a major that yields the right post-graduate rewards is more important than ever. According to a study published in the June issue of Research in Higher Education, majoring in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) proves to be the most profitable for minority students, whether they actually pursue the STEM field professionally or not. The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education, followed more than 1,000 Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino and black students over a period of nine years in an effort to determine the profitability of STEM degrees and help bridge the gap of minorities in those fields…

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McGraw-Hill Education Appoints Harvard Business School CIO and Digital Learning Expert Stephen Laster as Company’s Chief Digital Officer

NEW YORK, (Aug. 16, 2012) — McGraw-Hill Education today announced the appointment of Stephen Laster as the company’s chief digital officer. Laster will lead the company’s digital initiatives, including creating compelling digital learning experiences for students and inspiring creative innovation across all aspects of the organization. The appointment of Laster is the latest representation of McGraw-Hill Education’s transformation from a provider of print-based education materials to a developer of digitally-based products and services.

Laster joins the company from Harvard Business School, where he served as chief information officer since 2006. In that position, he transformed the school’s technology organization and delivered critical new systems and services, while establishing the school’s first educational technology group focused on digital learning product development.

Laster will report to Lloyd G. “Buzz” Waterhouse, McGraw-Hill Education’s president and chief executive officer, as the process continues to establish McGraw-Hill Education as an independent, digital learning and education services company later this year.

“The digitization of education provides our company with a major opportunity to make learning more accessible, engaging and effective,” said Waterhouse. “Stephen is the ideal choice to lead our digital initiatives going forward as we continue to leverage technology innovations and capabilities and create breakthrough teaching and learning experiences.”

Said Laster, “McGraw-Hill Education has extensive expertise and decades of experience with instructional design and has invested substantial resources in the digitization and online delivery of programs and platforms that engage students, help them learn concepts and skills, and study more effectively. I have spent most of my professional career developing and enhancing digital learning programs at virtually all levels of education, and I am very excited to join this world-renowned organization and contribute to such an important endeavor.”

During his time as Harvard Business School’s CIO, Laster also served as president of Intelligent Solutions, a consulting firm he founded, which provides guidance to C-suite executives on IT strategy and digital learning. At the firm, he developed a digital learning product framework and successfully assisted with the rollout of several large-scale digital learning programs. From 1998 to 2006, he held a number of leadership positions at Babson College, including chief technology officer for the school’s digital learning company, and director of curriculum innovation and technology. Laster, a member of the board of directors of the Sloan Consortium of Online Learning, holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a MBA from Babson.


About McGraw-Hill Education
McGraw-Hill Education is a content, software and services-based education company that draws on its more than 100 years of educational expertise to offer solutions, which improve learning outcomes around the world. McGraw-Hill is the adaptive education technology leader with the vision for creating a highly personalized learning experience that prepares students of all ages for the world that awaits. The company has offices across North America, India, China, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions available in more than 65 languages. For additional information, visit www.mheducation.com.