Archive for Education

What Concerns Do Student Affairs Officials Have?

This 2020 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Student Affairs Officers highlights the multitudinous concerns that govern these administrators’ days. From student mental health to homelessness on campus to fraternities/sororities, the scope and depth of the issues confronting both students and those who assist them is quite revealing. And in light of the impact that COVID-19 has had in disrupting students’ lives, this survey proves its value.

Among the findings:

Nearly all student affairs officers say they spent significant time in the past year responding to matters related to student mental health (94 percent) and student well-being (91 percent). Fifty-five percent of all student affairs officers, including 73 percent of those at public colleges, spent considerable time addressing student hunger and homelessness. Half of student affairs officers report they spent time addressing race relations on campus.

Student affairs officers were less likely to say they spent a lot of time on substance abuse, interpersonal violence, free expression on campus, and Greek life, but majorities of those working at public doctoral colleges indicate they spent a lot of time on the last three of those issues.

By 49 percent to 25 percent, student affairs officers agree rather than disagree that the needs of residential students dominate their agenda. The level of agreement is much higher among those at colleges with a high proportion of undergraduates living on campus.

Fifty-eight percent of student affairs officers agree their college’s president is familiar enough with student affairs issues that when he or she makes a decision on such matters, it is the right one.(6)



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College Presidents’ Response to the COVID-19 Crisis.

A timely survey conducted by Inside Higher Ed and sponsored by Wiley  garnered almost two hundred responses from college and university presidents. Concerns centered around such topics as: near-term vs long-term issues, maintaining the mental and physical well-being of students and staff, continuing student engagement, instructing faculty in online teaching, and resumption of in-person classes.

A lot of data is presented in fourteen pages.

4-27-20 Update: A new survey of an additional 178 college and university presidents has just been released.

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How New Jersey College Admissions Processes Have Changed in Light of COVID -19

How are New Jersey colleges navigating the uncertain waters of college admissions/campus tours/open houses during this time of stay-at-home orders and suggested travel restrictions? This NJ Spotlight piece sheds some light on what measures colleges are employing.

Many usefully relevant resources can be found at the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

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Tips for Online Teaching

The American Historical Association has published articles that introduce the world of online teaching, offering practical guidance as well as  pertinent examples of what can be accomplished in the virtual environment. Links abound leading you to additional resources.

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Free Resources for K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Crisis

Many educational tools, software, videos, texts are now freely available.

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Publishers Providing Free Access to Their Materials During COVID-19 Crisis

Publishers and aggregators are unlocking their previously subscription-based sites and making them accessible to all. Here is an initial listing of what is now available.

Additional sites include:

The American Psychologicaren l Association is allowing access to its publications manuals and other resources.

Audible is making selected works, primarily aimed at children, freely available as long as schools are closed.

Booklist is now freely open.

EBSCO is allowing upgrades to numerous ebooks from single user to multiple concurrent users.

The Internet Archive presents the National Emergency Library containing over one million volumes freely available without waitlisting. These are primarily books with U.S. imprints for the 20th century.

JoVE, a database containing thousands of science videos, is now open.

JSTOR, while having an open access subset of materials, is in the process of expanding these offerings.

Library Journal offers free access to its content.

LibraryThing is now free!

Project Muse is opening up its offerings during this crisis.

RedShelf is offering up to seven free eBooks (really textbooks) from such major publishers as McGraw-Hill, Taylor and Francis, and Routledge.

Vital Source is providing hundreds of etexts for both students and faculty; NJCU is a participating institution.

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What Are College/University Presidents Thinking About?

Obviously a lot, according to the 2020 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Presidents.

Some of the concerns are apparent from the snapshot of findings:

■ Sixty-nine percent of college presidents are confident their institution will be financially stable over the next five years, a new high in the Inside Higher Ed survey. The 57 percent who are confident in their institution’s finances over the next 10 years ties last year’s percentage as the highest to date.
■ Nearly two-thirds of chief executives believe their college is better prepared to handle the next economic downturn than it was in 2008. Nevertheless, a majority says they are worried about the impact the next economic downturn will have on their institution.
■ Most presidents, 69 percent, strongly agree or agree their college needs to make fundamental changes to its business model, programming or other operations. Presidents at public and private, two-year and four-year colleges are about equally likely to express this view.
■ Presidents believe senior administrators and trustees understand the challenges their institution faces and the need to adapt. But by a 2-1 margin, they disagree rather than agree that faculty members do.
■ More presidents (54 percent) think their college has the right mindset to adapt to needed change than think it has the right tools and processes to do so (45 percent). Presidents at four-year public colleges are less likely than those at other types of colleges to think their college has the right mindset, as well as tools and processes,
to effect change.
■ One in six presidents say their college has had serious internal discussions in the past year about merging with another college. Twenty-nine percent of these presidents believe it is very or somewhat likely their college will merge with another within the next five years.
■ Three in 10 presidents say their campus’s leaders have had serious discussions about consolidating operations or programs with another college.
■ Presidents widely expect additional colleges to close or merge this year, with 72 percent predicting more than five colleges will close, 49 percent thinking more than five private colleges will merge and 19 percent saying more than five public colleges will merge.
■ Nine percent of presidents say they could see their own college closing or merging in the next five years. This is down from 14 percent a year ago. (7)

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