5 questions for the cross-examination of higher ed

Higher education in 2014 is paying the price of having been a law unto itself for too long

higher-education-costHigher education is in the dock in 2014. The questions are flying. Why does it cost so much? Why does it cost more each year? Why do so many students not finish? Why can’t they get good jobs? Why is it not equally accessible to all?

Why is it not doing a better job training teachers for K-12? What do we have to show for the trillion dollars in student loan debt? Who will repay it? And why do some universities seem to be living in luxury on accumulated endowment while still charging exorbitant tuition?

These are fair questions. Shame on higher education that we have not been more proactive in explaining ourselves. Shame on higher education that we have not stewarded more cautiously the public funding that has been readily available over the past several decades.…Read More

4 questions every institution needs to answer

New report on scarcity of “useful” postsecondary data details what questions higher-ed institutions should answer

questions, institutions, dataAccording to a new report, there are basic questions institutions, with access to internal data, need to be able to answer—for themselves and for prospective students and the community. It’s up to institutions, notes the report, to help combat rising college costs and stagnating rates of completion through better collection and dissemination of data.

The report, “Mapping the Postsecondary Data Domain: Problems and Possibilities,”produced by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, says that while seemingly straightforward questions, such as “Which students have access to which colleges,” can’t easily be answered with current data available.

“A careful mapping of federal data systems against these questions shows that while we have a solid base of understanding in some areas, we fall far short in others,” notes the report.…Read More