Opinion: Have big-time sports distorted higher education?

New to teaching, I was proudly gazing at a sign on my office door proclaiming “Assistant Professor Grossman,” when the department secretary knocked.

“Would you like seasons tickets for the faculty cheering section in the football stadium?” she asked.

“No thank you,” I said, effectively ending my social life at the University of Nebraska, says Ron Grossman, a Chicago Tribune reporter and former history professor. I didn’t realize it wasn’t a question but an imperative. Faculty members were expected to wear sweaters with the school colors and hold up colored pieces of cardboard to spell out, in giant letters, eternal verities like: “Hold That Line!”…Read More

Groupon offered discount on college tuition

Higher education just got cheaper—for one course, reports the Chicago Tribune. National Louis University on Tuesday offered a Groupon for a graduate-level introduction to teaching course, officials said. With the Groupon, prospective students can save nearly 60 percent on tuition for the single, three-credit course and earn credit toward a graduate degree, said Jocelyn Zivin, the vice president of marketing and communications for the Chicago-based, private university…

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Public high school grads struggle at college

New data show GPAs decline markedly, raising questions about whether students are prepared for demands of higher education, the Chicago Tribune reports. Ariana Taylor thought she was ready for college after taking Advanced Placement physics and English at her Chicago public high school and graduating with a 3.2 GPA. Instead, at Illinois State University, she was overwhelmed by her course load and the demands of college. Her GPA freshman year dropped to 2.7—and that was significantly better than other graduates from Morgan Park High School, who averaged a 1.75 at Illinois State…

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Briefings sent to court back U. of I. in records dispute

The U.S. Department of Justice and a group of higher education organizations each filed briefs in federal court Wednesday arguing that the University of Illinois was prohibited by a federal privacy law from releasing information about hundreds of well-connected college applicants, reports the Chicago Tribune. The briefs back the university’s position in an ongoing legal dispute with the Chicago Tribune over student records stemming from the newspaper’s 2009 “Clout Goes to College” investigation…

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Shared grant helps five schools prepare special education teachers

With more children being diagnosed with disabilities and the goal of inclusive classrooms firmly in place, the special education landscape continues to progress, reports the Chicago Tribune. So how do universities prepare future special education teachers for such diverse classrooms and needs? And how do they prepare them for a field so demanding both physically and emotionally? Several area colleges are part of a grant program working to overhaul their curriculums to meet these needs. Associated Colleges of Illinois has given a five-year $500,000 U.S. Department of Education grant to five member institutions including University of St. Francis in Joliet, Lewis University in Romeoville, Dominican University in River Forest and Eureka College, Eureka, Ill. The Transforming Curriculum in Special Education (T-SPED) grant is in its third year…

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MSU starts online ed technology doctorate option

Michigan State University is starting an online option in its Ph.D. program in educational technology, the Chicago Tribune reports. The program is designed for working professionals. The school says the online track in its Educational Psychology and Educational Technology will take four to five years, combining online coursework with summer classes on campus. Michigan State says the system is designed for people who wish to continue working while pursuing their doctorates. It says the students will come from those working in schools, universities and research institutions. The College of Education is accepting applications for the first students, with classes set to start in June…

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