higher education

JESHOOTS-com/Pixabay

"Go to college, you'll get a good job."  Generations of Americans heard that urge to action and believed it.  And it was true for a long time, but now it's a bit harder to make the case that college will pay off, especially now that it costs to much more to attend. 

Paul Tough, who writes about education, parenting, poverty, and politics, picks up the story in his book The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us

He questions whether college has become a tool for protecting the privileged, or whether it provides a real opportunity for people to move up the income ladder. 

Eethove Jeffrey Maiten, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6799026

Education may be a key to getting out of poverty, but it's not a magic key.  Even college students report instability in their housing situations, forcing them to car-camp or couch-surf or look for alternative places to sleep. 

College of the Redwoods in Eureka took several steps in the last academic year to find quarters for COR students.  We get an update on how well those programs worked and what COR envisions for the coming academic year. 

Oregon colleges and universities are set to receive a funding boost after a key legislative budget panel approved a spending plan Tuesday.

greymatters/Pixabay

More people need higher education in today's workforce, and higher education is expensive.  Those two issues get little to no argument, but what now? 

Getting the different kinds of higher education working more closely together might help.  That's the thinking behind a new alliance of educational institutions in Oregon. 

Southern Oregon University, Rogue Community College, Oregon Institute of Technology, and Klamath Community College are exploring new ways to combine their talents, and potentially their students, to be of more service. 

0TheFool/Pixabay

If you read much about the federal budget, a trillion and a half dollars may not phase you. 

But that's not the federal debt, it's the total student debt held by millions of current and former college students in the country.  $1.5 Trillion dollars. 

A new report from The Roosevelt Institute notices some problems beyond the dollar figure: more education does not mean more earning power, student debt is a huge individual as well as collective burden, and the burden falls more heavily on people of color. 

Kit from Pittsburgh, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2031786

College is necessary, college is expensive.  Both of those things are true for many young people today. 

And making college more accessible is the driving force behind "promise" programs, which offer incentives--like free or reduced tuition--to students who meet certain benchmarks. 

Ben Cannon administers the Oregon Promise program at the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.    

U of California

Latinos are California's largest single minority group.  But Latinos can be hard to find among the faculty and administration of California's public colleges, both two- and four-year. 

And that's not the only group under-represented.  69% of students are diverse, but 60% of college faculty and senior leadership are white. 

The Campaign for College Opportunity documents the trends in a recent report

Ajay Tallam, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12180487

Enrollment is at record levels in the California State University system, which includes Humboldt State.  But CSU is considering raising tuition for the next academic year, as is the University of California. 

UC trustees recently put off a decision until May, in the hope that the governor and legislature will deliver more money and make higher tuition unnecessary. 

Meanwhile, the University of Oregon is considering a 3% tuition hike for next school year.

We delve into the cost of higher education and the ability (or not) of students to pay it, with several guests. 

Dr. Lucie Lapovsky is an economist who focuses on higher education; Dr. Richard Fossey is an expert on the student debt crisis.  And Maxwell Lubin represents Rise, a movement to make college tuition free. 

Smallbones, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10961773

Through triumph and ridicule, the "Greek system" of fraternities and sororities survives on many university campuses.  But the pressure on the system may be greater now than at any time in history. 

Excessive hazing, binge drinking, sexual assault, and racism have all been blamed on Greek houses in recent years. 

In True Gentlemen, John Hechinger investigates one particular fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE).  He points to SAE's strong ties to Wall Street and major political figures, and widens the scope to question the future of the Greek system. 

Bald Futurist Facebook page

Just imagine the anxieties of college students these days.  They are training for careers that may, and probably will, change drastically over their working careers. 

Steven Brown has seen such changes in his work in high tech, including at Intel. 

Now as a speaker, "The Bald Futurist," he speaks to students about facing and embracing the future. 

Kit from Pittsburgh, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2031786

What do you remember most about college (the educational part)?  Large-room lectures where a professor talked and talked and you took notes?  Or smaller settings where teacher and students could really engage on subjects and issues? 

Either way, higher education is slow to change, despite its ever-spiraling costs. 

Cathy Davidson works in higher ed at the City University of New York, and she has plenty of ideas for changing the system in The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux.  The book is something of a tour of classrooms where teachers have thrown out old ideas about higher learning and are trying new approaches. 

Ferencz Thuroczy, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15433941

Discussions of higher education tend to focus on one VERY big issue: the high cost of tuition, and how much it puts students deep into debt. 

There's another angle Jacques Berlinerblau wants people to consider: who's actually doing the teaching.  At many schools, the day-to-day classroom duties are handled by underpaid and overworked "adjunct" faculty. 

In his book Campus Confidential: How College Works, or Doesn’t, for Professors, Parents, and Students, Berlinerblau lays out some details of the arrangement, and how all involved can make the best of it. 

sou.edu

Even if there's an institution of higher learning in your town, you may not visit it much.

Southern Oregon University aims to remedy that situation, at least once a year, with its SOAR program. 

SOAR stands for Southern Oregon Arts & Research, a showcase for the projects students are churning out as they are learning. 

Wikimedia

Conservatives have complained for decades that college campuses are hotbeds of liberal, even radical, thought.

The conservative group Turning Point USA decided to take action.  It started up a web entity called "Professor Watchlist," so that the public can peruse news stories about various university professors with "demonstrated liberal biases." 

Turning Point USA has a chapter at the University of Oregon; student organizer Jacob Vandever gives his view of the effort and how the watchlist is developed. 

Sociology professor John Bellamy Foster is the first UO professor on the list. 

Wctmcollegegurgaon/Wikimedia

If a student comes up with an invention as part of a college class, who owns the rights to the invention, student?  University?  Both? 

It's a sticky subject that has already come up several times, because there's potentially a lot of money on the line. 

The tension led to the creation of Students For Intellectual Property, which advocates for the student rights to the things they create for college work. 

Jackson County: Voters Approve RVTD Levy & RCC Bond

May 17, 2016
Nicholas Blah/Flickr

Voters gave increased bus operations in Jackson County the green light in Tuesday's primary. Measure 15-141, for the Rogue Valley Transportation District, led with 62 percent of votes as of 8pm. 

A bond measure to pay for $20 million in facilities improvements at Rogue Community College also won approval from Jackson and Josephine County voters. Initial counts had Measure 17-69 passing with 36,587 yes votes and 30,944 no votes between the two counties. The contribution of property owners in both counties will be 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. 

U of California Boss Visits Redding

Apr 27, 2016
University of California

    One of these days, Janet Napolitano might take on an easy job (don't count on it). 

Napolitano has been governor of Arizona and Homeland Security Secretary, among other jobs.  And for three years she has been president of the University of California system, which faces funding and other issues, along with many state schools. 

Napolitano visits Redding for a speech at Shasta College

Getting Through SOU In Three Years

Apr 4, 2016
Southern Oregon University

College has become so expensive, students look for a variety of ways to bring down the bill... including spending time at community college before transferring to a four-year school. 

Southern Oregon University wants those students on its own campus, so SOU just introduced a three-year program for students from Jackson and Josephine Counties. 

The "Pledge Program" offers support, assistance, and a faster (and presumably cheaper) track to a degree. 

College Students "Sentenced To Debt"

Feb 2, 2016
Oregon Action

College got more expensive, and real wages stayed flat over the last few decades.  Even people who flunked economics know that means students pay more for higher education, and borrow more to pay tuition. 

Oregon Action and The Alliance for a Just Society surveyed students at Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College for the report "Sentenced to Debt: The Hidden Costs of Unaffordable Education." 

The issue of how to make college affordable tops our shout-out list on this VENTSday.  If college-level education is seen as necessary to so many jobs, how do we make it affordable to more people? 

Answer our survey to get the ball rolling, and join us on VENTSday to hear the responses or put your two cents in there. 

Our OTHER topic this week: Why Iowa and New Hampshire?  Are there better states to start the process of winnowing presidential candidates?

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