Colleges say federal cuts could cause brain drain

Automatic federal budget cuts could reduce government funding for research done at educational institutions—spending that totaled about $33.3 billion in 2010.

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, faculty fret about the future of the school’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center. Thirty miles away, administrators at the state university campus in Lowell worry that research aimed at designing better body armor for soldiers could suffer.

The concerns have emerged because of automatic federal budget cuts that could reduce government funding for research done at educational institutions, spending that totaled about $33.3 billion in 2010, Department of Education statistics show. And the possible cuts add to another anxiety at those schools and others across the country: brain drain.

President Barack Obama and lawmakers failed to agree on a plan to reduce the nation’s deficit that would have avoided the automatic spending cuts, which began to roll out this month. Included in the cuts are 5 percent of the money for programs that fund education research, a Department of Education spokesman said March 15. But because negotiations over how to balance the budget are ongoing, the timing and size of many cuts to be made by government agencies remain unclear.

“One of the questions we don’t know is if agencies will elect to cut funding by not making new grants or cutting back on old grants,” said Terry Hartle, a senior vice president at American Council on Education.

In the meantime, professors are left wondering how many young scientists will become discouraged by domestic funding challenges and either leave for careers abroad or change fields.

At MIT, doctoral candidate Nikolai Begg said he’s lucky the research he’s working on now has corporate sponsorship.

“It’s kind of scary to be hearing that a lot of that support is going away,” he said of government cuts. “How do we keep America technologically relevant has been a question on everybody’s mind. And the sequester only makes that harder.”

(Next page: A closer look at the impact of the sequester on research)

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ACHS Launches Three New Five-Week 1-Credit Courses

American College of Healthcare Sciences Launches Three New 5-Week, 1-Credit Research, Writing, and Critical Thinking Courses for Complementary Alternative Medicine Students

Portland, Oregon—March 14, 2013—American College of Healthcare Sciences is proud to announce that it will offer three new five-week, 1-credit courses in time for Summer Semester starting May 20, 2013. The new courses include LIB 101 Online Research Literacy, WR 101 Writing Skills, and CT 101 Critical Thinking, which are specifically designed to help complementary alternative medicine (CAM) students to refine their research, writing, and critical thinking skills in the field. All three courses grant credit towards the College’s Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine (AASCAM) degree program.

“Critical thinking and application, including research and writing, are essential skills for complementary alternative medicine students,” says ACHS President Dorene Petersen. “CAM students—and professionals—need to be able to accurately analyze current research and information on best practices to ensure a consistent, high-quality of knowledge and expertise in the field and to best serve the needs of their clients.”

“Plus, many graduates go on to publish books, articles, and blogs, and to present teleconferences and webinars. These new five-week courses are fun, engaging, and vital for building students’ confidence and career skills and so that they can appropriately represent the field in which they work,” adds ACHS CIO Erika Yigzaw.

LIB 101 Online Research Literacy guides students through traditional and developing online research tools. WR 101 Writing Skills employs a series of engaging exercises to help students fine-tune the basic writing skills needed to succeed in school and in professional communications. CT 101 Critical Thinking is an introductory-level critical thinking course. Each online module guides students through specific strategies to help them refine their analysis and evaluation skills.

You can learn more about these five-week, 1-credit courses, and all Summer Semester courses starting May 20, 2013, on the ACHS website at www.achs.edu. For more information, contact ACHS Admissions at (800) 487-8839 or email admissions@achs.edu.

About ACHS
American College of Healthcare Sciences is an accredited member of the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), and is one of the only accredited holistic health colleges offering fully online graduate and undergraduate degrees, diplomas, career-training certificates, and continuing education courses in alternative medicine fields such as herbal medicine, aromatherapy, holistic nutrition, and wellness coaching. Founded in 1978, ACHS is committed to exceptional online education and is recognized as an industry leader in innovative and affordable holistic health education. ACHS has helped many students and graduates worldwide to change their lives and advance their skills in holistic health fields such as: Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, Certified Aromatherapist, Master Herbalist, and Holistic Health Practitioner. For more information about accredited ACHS programs and community wellness events, visit www.achs.edu, call (800) 487-8839, or visit us on campus at 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland, OR 97239.

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California bill aims to be ‘turning point’ for college courses online

California State Sen. Darrell Steinberg wants to bridge two universes in education – the traditional campus and the realm of innovative online courses, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The leader of the California Senate unveiled legislation Wednesday that would pave the way for up to 50 online courses, in subjects that are traditionally oversubscribed, to be offered statewide for credit. Such a partnership between California’s public university systems and various online providers would “break the bottleneck that prevents students from completing courses,” he said in a web-streamed announcement. As the first such legislative proposal, “it certainly is going to spark a national dialogue … [and may mark] a turning point in instructional program delivery in this country,” says Dan Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities…

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Iowa college students seek support from lawmakers

About 20 student leaders at Iowa’s state universities lobbied lawmakers Wednesday, imploring them to approve a tuition freeze backed by the Board of Regents, the Associated Press reports. Students from all three universities met with legislators for “Regents Day,” where they said holding the line on tuition was the most important issue to students. In February, the Board of Regents told lawmakers if they approved a 2.6 percent increase in state funding, the board would freeze tuition for in-state students beginning in August. Gov. Terry Branstad’s budget proposal includes the funding increase, which could allow for the first tuition freeze at the schools in 30 years. Nic Pottebaum, the University of Iowa undergraduate student body president, said 12,000 UI students would benefit from the freeze in the next school year…

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UCI OpenChem aims to promote STEM education

UC Irvine’s new UCI OpenChem offers comprehensive chemistry curriculum to the masses.

The University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) has launched a free online chemistry curriculum that offers videos to students and self-learners.

To create Open Chemistry (UCI OpenChem), UC Irvine partnered with OpenCourseWare, a 10-year-old project that aims to make higher education more accessible to the masses.

Currently, UCI OpenChem provides open videos that encompass UC Irvine’s entire undergraduate chemistry curriculum, with the exception of required lab courses. In total, UCI OpenChem includes 15 quarter-length videos, some of which include graduate course information.

UC Irvine representatives said they hope that UCI OpenChem will help to progress students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, and better educate anyone who wishes to learn.

“Making knowledge open to the entire world is a wonderful result of the World Wide Web,” said Marshall S. Smith, under secretary of education for former President Bill Clinton and a recent senior counselor to current U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “UCI has taken the next big step in this direction by presenting their entire undergraduate chemistry curriculum in an open format. This is a wonderful gift from a superb institution in the world’s greatest university system.”

UC Irvine has worked with OpenCourseWare since 2006, and has delivered 90 complete courses’ worth of material and hundreds of video lectures online for free during that time.

(Next page: Reaction to the open chemistry curriculum—and its potential impact)

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Datamark’s New Lead Confidence Toolkit Helps Institutions Reach Higher Quality Leads and Meet Compliance Standards

Bundled Solution Safeguards School’s Interactive Leads and Digital Media Efforts

Salt Lake City, UT – March 13, 2013 – Datamark, the leader in data-driven enrollment marketing, has bundled its sophisticated lead quality and compliance solutions into its new Lead Confidence Toolkit, giving institutions a more complete and cost effective way to safeguard online leads. Datamark’s Lead Confidence Toolkit, the most comprehensive lead quality solution of its kind, is designed to improve conversion rates for qualified prospective students and protect schools from regulatory risk.

“We see a lot of schools spending time and money on interactive inquiries that have no intention of ever becoming students,” said Tom Dearden, CEO of Datamark. “We act as an unbiased third party to help our customer institutions replace those kinds of leads with higher-quality, high-intent leads that meet their needs and standards.”

Dearden continued, “The result allows schools to free up marketing budgets for higher converting sources while balancing their lead volume and conversion, and increasing ROI.”

Datamark believes in the power of partnering with best-in-class companies to provide leading digital media solutions to its clients. The Toolkit solution includes LeadBin, the company’s lead management tool that scrubs leads on nearly 40 different parameters; Lead Audit, a solution powered by LeadiD to track the history of a lead so schools know how and where it was generated; Lead Verification, powered by Neustar®, which eliminates leads that do not provide valid contact information; and Lead Scoring, which determines how closely inquiries align with the school’s ideal student base.

Additionally, Datamark’s Lead Confidence Toolkit incorporates strict compliance monitoring and management. Datamark has partnered with PerformMatch™ to provide real-time technology that crawls the Internet to detect potential regulatory violations, and then Datamark’s Compliance Team works directly with lead vendors to resolve any issues.

Datamark’s bundled solution helps schools improve the quality of their CPL media buys and gives them peace of mind that they are spending their media mix budget appropriately. For more information on how the Lead Confidence Toolkit can produce the highest quality interactive media mix and meet compliance standards, please read Introducing Our New Lead Confidence Toolkit.

About Datamark
Since 1987, Datamark (www.datamark.com) has delivered innovative, data-driven marketing exclusively to higher education. The company provides marketing advisory research services, full-service lead generation and management, and conversion marketing solutions designed to reach, engage and motivate prospective students. Focusing on performance and visibility into the student enrollment cycle, Datamark helps schools drive higher return on their marketing investment.
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GRADUWAY ENTERS STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP WITH LINKEDIN

Graduway, the start-up company that is revolutionizing alumni networking, announced it is entering into a strategic relationship with LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet.

Graduway, which launched last month, already powers alumni networking platforms across 14 countries and recently closed a round of seed funding through BTG Pactual, Gigi Levy and RSL Ventures.

For Graduway, the strategic relationship with LinkedIn will provide its clients with the opportunity to connect their alumni networking platforms to LinkedIn through use of a private application programming interface.

As Daniel Cohen, Co-founder of Graduway explains, ‘’We believe our clients will be among the first in the market to harness the full power of LinkedIn. This is not just about making it easier for alumni by avoiding duplication of their login details, professional profiles or contact lists. It is about truly leveraging the tremendous potential LinkedIn has to offer as a connecting tool, within and beyond the school’s exclusive network.’’

Cohen adds, ‘’This strategic relationship with LinkedIn will help our clients not only to stay in touch with their alumni by not physically losing contact. But critically their alumni will stay emotionally engaged.’’

For further information: Please contact press@graduway.com or visit www.graduway.com or dial +1 978 522 4335

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College may sue Obama administration over new student loan rules

Historically black colleges and universities are not ruling out a lawsuit against the Obama administration over new federal financial aid policies that disproportionately affect their students, the Washington Times reports. New underwriting standards enacted in October 2011 to PLUS loans made it tougher for parents with lackluster credit to borrow money from the federal government for their child’s college expenses. Families of students at HBCUs were twice as likely to use the program, according to the Associated Press, but previous borrowers were not grandfathered in with the old standards. The change meant borrowers who currently hold loans would have their credit evaluated retroactively to cover the previous five years, rather than the previous 90 days, Inside Higher Ed reports. With the policies now in effect and forcing some students out of college, HBCUs are considering legal action over the new rules…

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Harvard (sort of) apologizes for secret email probe following cheating scandal

Harvard University apologized for a subject-line search of administrators’ emails on Monday, according to CNN. An email sent from Deans Michael D. Smith and Evelynn M. Hammonds explained that the search was necessary to catch who had leaked a confidential email related to Harvard’s cheating scandal. The deans said the search was successful, limited to administrators’ email accounts and was limited to messages’ subject lines, meaning no emails were opened or read…

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