Cenero, Wharton & Cisco Build Telepresence Classroom of Tomorrow

Contact: Megan York Parker
MYP Communication for Cenero
meganyorkparker@gmail.com

Cenero, Wharton & Cisco Build Telepresence Classroom of Tomorrow

Malvern, PA – March 18, 2013 – The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania recently unveiled a new classroom that combines life-size visual communication via telepresence with collaboration technologies that allow for faculty, students and alumni to interact regardless of location.

The new Cisco Connected Classroom, designed by audio visual (AV) experts Cenero, connects Wharton’s Philadelphia and San Francisco classrooms so seamlessly that students and faculty feel as if they are in the same room as one another. A floor-to-ceiling screen at the front of the room, along with 80-inch LED monitors on the side walls and large projection screens in the rear all create an immersive experience that makes students on the other coast appear to be seated in rows directly behind local students. Students in the remote classroom can view the professor in life-size high definition on the large floor-to-ceiling screen. The technology virtually connects the two classrooms, creating one multi-presence experience.

The solution allows for leading experts from around the world to teach and directly interact with students from any location, reducing the need for travel and offering access to classes that would normally be unavailable to remote students. Students can also join lectures from PCs and mobile devices and the sessions can be recorded and viewed later.

“Over the years, Cenero has successfully designed and deployed many immersive environments, but Wharton’s classroom is truly unique in that it creates a ‘multi-presence’ variable by allowing instructors the ability to simultaneously interact with local students, far end classroom participants and remote attendees,” said Rob Gilfillan, President of Cenero.

“Cenero has been a tremendously valuable partner to Wharton for almost seven years and we appreciate the partnership of innovation they bring to us as we look to explore how education continues to change with the implementation of technology,” said Dan Alig, Chief Information Officer of Wharton. “Especially in this case, where we were working collaboratively with Cisco to invent something that didn’t exist before in this space we feel Cenero brought a great deal of critical thinking and application to the process in helping us build something new and different.”

“Cenero played an integral part in helping develop this truly collaborative experience,” said Inder Sidhu, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Planning, Worldwide Operations, Cisco. “With their assistance on the design, programming and installation of the rooms, we were able to create interactive classrooms that leverage Cisco TelePresence technology to enhance the way faculty, students and alumni interact.”

About Cenero
Cenero is a service focused audio visual and conferencing solutions provider. With extensive knowledge of the most advanced collaboration and audio visual technologies, the company’s goal is to deliver programs that improve communication and drive efficiency throughout an organization. Cenero provides systems design installation, managed services, cloud-based video solutions and event services for companies throughout North America.

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Top universities will help train STEM teachers

A group of Tier 1 research universities — the Stanfords, Harvards and MITs of the world – will join the White House-led effort to train 100,000 new math and science teachers by the year 2022, Scientific American reports. A $22.5 million gift from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), announced by the White House Monday morning, will make it possible to expand a successful teacher-training program called UTeach to 10 top research schools over the next five years. “Historically, Tier 1 universities have not been focused on turning out teachers through their science and math departments,” said Tom Luce, the founding CEO and chairman of the National Math and Science Initiative, the group that is leading the expansion effort, in an interview following Monday morning’s announcement. They are focused on turning out PhD students, and they will continue to do so, he said, but the gift will help emphasize that educating new teachers is a mission that all universities “need to embrace if we’re going to reach our goal.”

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Skip college, grab a hammer

Recent arguments in favor of skipping college have focused on billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, who both famously dropped out of their universities to launch successful companies, the Huffington Post reports. But now with student debt growing and a mismatch between unemployed Americans’ skills and the required expertise for available jobs, vocational education could be gaining steam, and high schools are rethinking whether they should usher students toward something other than traditional colleges. Occupations like brickmasonary, construction, pipelaying and plumbing are all projected to be among the 10 fastest-growing occupations over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — and none of them require a bachelor’s degree…

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New report reveals surprising facts about LGBTQ college athletes

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning (LGBQ) student athletes are two times more likely to experience harassment than their heterosexual teammates, a new report has found, the Huffington Post reports. Campus Pride’s 2012 LGBTQ National College Athlete Report, which was produced in conjunction with the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, revealed a number of other eyebrow-raising statistics. The poll, which surveyed the experiences of 394 individuals who identified as LGBQ, also found that only 18 percent of LGBQ student athletes competed in a featured collegiate sport (as defined by each campus) compared to 27 percent of heterosexual athletes. One in four LGBQ student athletes said they were pressured to be silent about their sexual identity among teammates, while 21 percent said they were the target of derogatory remarks via email, Facebook, social media and other electronic means — almost double that of their heterosexual counterparts, according to the report…

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Ellucian and Nuventive Partner to Offer New Institutional Performance Management Solution for Higher Education Executives

FAIRFAX, Va. – March 15, 2013 – Ellucian™ and Nuventive® today announced a new solution that will help higher education executives engage and align campus leaders around delivering on the institution’s strategic plan. With the new solution, decision makers will have better and faster insight into institutional data and the key performance indicators that best measure ongoing performance and alignment with the institution’s desired outcomes.
Planned for availability later this year, this new solution is being developed for all global Ellucian markets to meet the specific needs of higher education leaders who are seeking to support a collaborative culture of evidence-based performance throughout the institution.
Today, Ellucian’s existing business intelligence offerings, including Banner® Operational Data Store, Banner® Enterprise Data Warehouse, and Colleague® Reporting and Operating Analytics, can work together with Nuventive’s planning, tracking, and outcomes assessment products, TracDat® and the TracDat option for SharePoint® to help institutions intelligently manage strategic planning, and improve academic and administrative outcomes.
The new solution will leverage, automate, and extend the companies’ existing offerings and help customers make the most of their system investments. It will integrate with the Banner® by Ellucian and Colleague® by Ellucian administrative systems, bringing together a wide range of campus data together with collaborative planning, assessment and documentation technologies to help campus leaders more effectively use information to make informed decisions and achieve institutional goals.
“It’s not just about pretty pictures,” said Richard Katz, executive vice president of strategic services, Nuventive. “A real culture of performance requires that we move to a next generation of data usage and analytics that are tied to what really matters—action.”
“Campus executives have asked us to help them unlock their data and streamline a process to help them improve measurement and drive better performance faster and more clearly over the course of weeks, quarters, and even years,” said Toby Williams, senior vice president of corporate development, Ellucian. “Working with Nuventive to respond to this need illustrates our commitment to deliver on our Extensible Ecosystem vision and extend the core administrative systems our customers depend on. Partners play an important part in our XE vision, helping our global customer community continuously evolve their technology environments.”
Ellucian and Nuventive staff will present on this new solution at the Ellucian Live conference in Philadelphia (www.ellucian.com/EllucianLive/).
• Executive Forum: Saturday, April 6 at 2:00 – Ellucian Institutional Performance Management: A Unique and Powerful New Offering
• Ellucian Live: Session 5329 Tuesday, April 9 at 8:30 – Ellucian Institutional Performance Management: A Unique and Powerful New Offering
• Ellucian Live: Session 3941 Wednesday, April 10 at 11:15 – Institutional Performance Management

About Ellucian
Ellucian helps education institutions thrive in an open and dynamic world. We deliver a broad portfolio of technology solutions, developed in collaboration with a global education community, and provide strategic guidance to help education institutions of all kinds navigate change, achieve greater transparency, and drive efficiencies. More than 2,400 institutions in 40 countries around the world look to Ellucian for the ideas and insights that will move education forward, helping people everywhere discover their futures through learning. Visit Ellucian at www.ellucian.com, follow Ellucian on Twitter (@EllucianInc), and like Ellucian on Facebook (/EllucianInc).
About Nuventive
Nuventive provides solutions for students, faculty and administrators to assess, communicate and improve personal and institutional performance. Our software and services support strategic planning, the management of academic and administrative outcomes, and accreditation. Visit Nuventive at www.nuventive.com.
For More Information
Ellucian
Laura Kvinge
Tel: 801.257.4158
laura.kvinge@ellucian.com
Nuventive
Courtney Francis
Tel: 412-847-0280
cfrancis@nuventive.com
Ellucian™, Banner®, and Colleague® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Ellucian Company L.P. or its affiliates. Nuventive, the Nuventive logo, and the marks relating to other Nuventive products and services referenced herein are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Nuventive LLC. SharePoint® is the registered trademark of Microsoft®.

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Better colleges failing to lure talented poor

Most low-income students who have top test scores and grades do not even apply to the nation’s best colleges, according to a new analysis of every high school student who took the SAT in a recent year, the New York Times reports. The pattern contributes to widening economic inequality and low levels of mobility in this country, economists say, because college graduates earn so much more on average than nongraduates do. Low-income students who excel in high school often do not graduate from the less selective colleges they attend. Only 34 percent of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom fourth of income distribution attended any one of the country’s 238 most selective colleges, according to the analysis, conducted by Caroline M. Hoxby of Stanford and Christopher Avery of Harvard, two longtime education researchers. Among top students in the highest income quartile, that figure was 78 percent…

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U-Va. Board of Visitors blasted by American Association of University Professors

The nation’s leading association of university professors released a scathing report on Thursday that criticized the University of Virginia Board of Visitors, especially its leader, for ousting U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan last summer for reasons that were “procedurally and substantively arbitrary,” the Washington Post reports. Given the national attention generated by the ouster and later reinstatement of Sullivan, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) authorized a formal investigation that would examine U-Va. governance and “vital issues aired by the crisis at UVA that confront all our major universities.” The investigative committee, composed of professors from other universities, concluded that the board failed to engage with Sullivan regarding their concerns about the university and should have consulted faculty members before taking action. The report frequently singles out U-Va. Rector Helen Dragas, who has been credited with leading the ouster and accused of not fully involving all board members in her decisions…

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Student who got kicked out of college over ‘Hot for Teacher’ essay sues for $2.2 million

A former student at Oakland University in the suburbs of Detroit is suing the school for over $2.2 million after he was kicked out in September 2011 for penning a salacious essay entitled “Hot for Teacher,” the Daily Caller reports. Joseph Corlett, 57, a builder who now resides in Florida, filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, reports the Detroit Free Press. He claims the public university violated his First Amendment right to freedom of expression. He says he also suffered mental anguish and humiliation when he was forced to leave the school. The suit names the school’s board of trustees and two high-ranking officials as defendants. When Corlett wrote the essay, he was majoring in writing and rhetoric and working toward a bachelor’s degree. The class at issue was English 380: Advanced Critical Writing. The comely blond instructor was Pamela Mitzelfeld…

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Colleges track former students to boost completion rates

Project Win-Win has helped colleges find hundreds of ex-students who have earned enough credits to receive an associate degree or are just a few classes shy of getting one.

Carmen Ricotta knows being a college graduate could mean higher pay and better job opportunities, and it’s not like St. Louis Community College hasn’t been practically begging her to wrap up her two-year degree.

The school has been calling and emailing the 28-year-old electrician’s apprentice to get her to return and complete her final assignment: an exit exam. But life has gotten in the way and Ricotta has been too busy to make the 30-minute trip from her suburban home near Fenton, Mo., to the downtown St. Louis campus.

St. Louis Community College is among 60-plus schools in nine states taking what seems like an obvious but little-used step to boost college completion rates: scouring campus databases to track down former students who unknowingly qualify for degrees.

That effort, known as Project Win-Win, has helped community colleges and four-year schools in Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin find hundreds of ex-students who have either earned enough credits to receive associate degrees or are just a few classes shy of getting them.

Backed by financial support from the Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation for Education, the pilot project began several years ago with 35 colleges in six states. As it winds down, some participating schools plan to continue the effort on their own.

Ricotta said at this point, she’s not sure if getting her two-year degree is all that necessary.

“It’s a pain,” she said. “I don’t feel like going down to the college to take a test I don’t need. Yeah, I don’t have the degree, but I still took all the classes.”

Her seeming indifference to retroactively obtaining her degree points to just one of the challenges facing two-year schools in particular as they strive to fulfill President Barack Obama’s challenge of raising college completion rates to 60 percent by 2020: convincing not just the public, but even some of their students, of the value of an associate’s degree.

At central Missouri’s Columbia College, the hunt for students on the verge of graduating worked so well that the school plans to broaden its efforts to find bachelor’s degree candidates who are just one class shy of donning the cap and gown. The private liberal arts college has already awarded nearly 300 retroactive degrees, including one given posthumously to the mother of a deceased former student. Another two dozen students returned to campus to finish up after hearing from the school.

“If this was being done nationwide, it could make a difference,” said Tery Donelson, Columbia College’s assistant vice president for enrollment management.

Like his counterparts in St. Louis, Donelson and his team of transcript detectives also encountered skepticism, if not outright disbelief, from some of the prospective degree awardees.

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