Should institutions “nudge” students for graduation success?

In 2010, the British government, looking for innovative solutions to some of their most challenging social problems, formed the Behavioural Insights Team, better known as the Nudge Unit.

The Unit identified places where a combination of data-driven insights and simple interventions can have positive social impacts. For example, to help curb unnecessary antibiotic usage (which saves money and may help fight antibiotic resistance), the Unit sent letters from the country’s chief medical officer to prescription-happy doctors notifying them that 80 percent of their peers prescribed fewer antibiotics than they did.

As a result, the doctors decreased their antibiotic prescriptions by 3.3 percent in a 2016 pilot program – a notable outcome, given England’s goal of decreasing antibiotic prescriptions by 5 percent over five years.…Read More

3 big ways today’s college students are different from just a decade ago

Gen Z, the digital generation, non-traditional students, and potentially many more descriptions have been used to label the current postsecondary body of students, but what may not be so evident is exactly how much their preferences, lifestyles and experiences have radically changed from even a decade ago.

And it’s these large changes that are critical for colleges and universities not just to take notice of now, but also to anticipate what students and their needs may look like in 2027.

1. The “Traditional” 4-Year Experience is Rare for Most…Read More

Promising: Trending college model sees boost in student success

I’ve always considered myself a good student. Ask my parents—I think they’d agree. I would dutifully tote textbooks and color-coded binders with matching dividers around everywhere I went, from home to school, school to after-school practices, practices to my part-time job, and then back home every evening, studying any chance I could.

Oh, how things have changed.

Now students have access to all those learning materials and resources from the touch of a small, light-weight device. They can access what they need from anywhere, regardless of what device they are using. In a world of constant change and continuous improvement, finding paths that will encourage student growth, success, and retention are vital in our educational strategies.…Read More

These are the top 10 workforce skills students will need by 2020

Today’s workforce, as nearly everyone knows, is increasingly global. And with that global nature comes fierce competition–students will need an arsenal of workforce skills in order to stand out from their peers.

According to a recent McGraw-Hill Education survey, just 40 percent of college seniors said they felt their college experience was helpful in preparing for a career. Alarmingly, that percentage plummeted to 19 percent for women answering the same question.

That same survey also found that students in STEM majors were the most likely out of any group to report that they are optimistic about their career prospects (73 percent).…Read More

Could the use of digital course materials be delayed?

Despite a growing push to integrate more digital materials into higher-ed courses, fewer than 20 percent of faculty said they believe digital materials are important or very important for core texts, according to a recent survey.

A survey for the Independent College Bookstore Association (ICBA), conducted by the Campus Computing Project, surveyed 2,900 college and university faculty at 29 two- and four-year colleges and universities to gauge their concerns about instructional benefits around going digital.

The quality and cost of course materials for students are the key factors influencing college faculty when it comes to textbooks and other course materials. Though the movement to digital materials is growing, faculty have expressed concerns alongside their interest in digital materials and adaptive technologies.…Read More

Community colleges celebrate Career and Technical Education Month

The California Community Colleges will join with others this month to celebrate its workforce mission as part of the national Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month®, initiated by the Association for Career and Technical Education. CTE Month, is a public awareness campaign that takes place each February to celebrate the value of career technical education and the achievements and accomplishments of these programs across the country.

“California needs a strong workforce to meet the needs of employers in our many regional economies,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, vice chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development. “Students look to our colleges for guided pathways to current and future jobs.  Career technical education has shown to be effective enabler of social mobility.”

According to a recent EducationDive article, “The system’s Salary Surfer database provides prospective and current students with a median view of earning potential before pursuing a degree, and potential income for two and five years following completion.”…Read More

The top 50 online community colleges

Educators and policymakers emphasize higher education’s role in helping students succeed in the workforce–and community colleges play an important role in helping students access those educational opportunities.

Equity and affordable higher education are now almost constantly in the spotlight, and many states have launched initiatives to connect community college students to free or low tuition. Online community colleges offer flexibility for students who have unusual schedules, work or family obligations.

According to 2016 data from the American Association of Community Colleges, nearly half of all U.S. undergraduate students attend community colleges, and programs are underway to help build capacity for academic and career pathways, to strengthen leadership, and to maximize resources.…Read More

5 ways data analytics education is advancing

Twenty percent of U.S. four-year institutions now offer analytics programs, while just 2 percent of two-year institutions offer such programs, according to new research from data company Tableau.

The increase in programs comes from a push to expand analytics offerings to ensure more students are prepared to work with data in their careers.

The report, The State of Data Education in 2016, notes that universities also are offering interdisciplinary education in analytics by embedding basic data literacy into other fields–a move that reflects data’s growing importance across all industries.…Read More

Looking back on education in 2016: Things to be thankful for

As the semester closes and the year ends, I have time to reflect and appreciate my profession. I am thankful to have opportunities in a variety of roles in education. Each setting offers different challenges, but each stretches me to consider the transformation occurring across at all levels.

My high school setting offers a glimpse of technology’s impact in a very structured system. So much of k-12 education is dictated by factors other than academics. In addition, accountability is heavily weighted on the institution rather than the student. This demands a true understanding of the positives and pitfalls technology programming offers. Experiencing the year-to-year integration of ideas at this level allows me to see impacts and issues that other educators don’t.

My face-to-face classroom work at the community college level exposes me to so many unique individuals. I love the variety of people that I come in contact with and the perspectives they all bring to the classroom. I particularly enjoy helping older adults re-acclimate to the academic setting.  This semester I will be instructing a blended class for the first time. I am a vigorous proponent of this model of coursework, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to lead the class. I’m especially curious to see how the format impacts the relational dynamic between teacher and student.…Read More