New Research on the Marginal Impact of Classroom Time

A study by five researchers from the City University of New York (Ted Joyce, Baruch College; Sean Crockett, Baruch College; David A. Jaeger, CUNY Graduate Center; Onur Altindag, CUNY Graduate Center; and, Stephen D. O'Connell, CUNY Graduate Center) revealed that a once-per-week lecture format would result in only a small adverse impact on student performance. The researchers suggested that the results may provide “a cost effective alternative to traditional lectures.”

The study involved 725...

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The ROI on Higher Education

As 2013 draws to a close, there has been much debate about the value higher education offers, its costs, and promises of new federal metrics to evaluate institutions of higher education. Not surprisingly, The Yahoo! Finance blog featured an interview with former Secretary of Education William Bennett on the value of higher education as one of its “favorite” stories of 2013.

The piece notes that former Secretary Bennett evaluated colleges and universities based on their return on investment...

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An End of Semester Note to my Students

At the end of each semester, I provide my students with a closing note about the course. That note seeks to place the course, its content, and its requirements into a larger context. I do so, because I believe it is helpful for students to have one last opportunity to understand why they took the course and perhaps better identify what they gained from the course. Such understanding can perhaps reinforce learning for the long-term.

Below is the note to my fall 2013 students:

With the semester...

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2013 Periodic Review Report Outcomes

Today marks the second day of the three-day MSCHE Annual Conference being held in Philadelphia. Already, the initial plenary session discussed higher education in the context of a more demanding environment, though attendance was suppressed by a snowstorm.

The snowstorm obscured most of Philadelphia's landmarks, including the iconic Independence Hall. By day's end, a daily record of 8.6" had accumulated (the old record, for those keeping track, was 3.5" in 1989). This was also Philadelphia's...

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Risk- and Needs-Based Assessment

Last Wednesday, I made a presentation at the “Enhancing Excellence in Assessment: Institutional Effectiveness and Learning Analytics” conference held at Stony Brook University.  At that conference, my presentation noted that institutional assessment needs are shaped by the combination of the characteristics of the Higher Education environment, the Accreditation environment (in part a reflection of the Higher Education environment), and institutional strengths, weaknesses, and needs. All of...

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Study Indicates College Quality Matters for Graduation Rates

On September 12, the CUNY Office of Policy Research’s Higher Education Policy Seminar Series featured Harvard University Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Joshua Goodman. He is co-author with Sarah Cohodes, a doctoral student at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, of a study that revealed that college quality is an important factor when it comes to timely college completion.

The study focused on Massachusetts, where an Adams Scholarship was made available to qualifying high school...

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President Aims to Link Financial Aid to College Performance

In a speech at the State University of New York in Buffalo, President Obama pledged to link financial aid to college performance. In that address, he declared that the nation is in the midst of “a crisis in terms of college affordability and student debt.” He pointed out that the average graduate who borrows to fund his or her college education owes more than $26,000 upon graduation.

No specific proposal was introduced. Nevertheless, the President outlined a conceptual approach that will...

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2013-14 Academic Year Message: Reject Temptations to Postpone Your Studies

The sun is rising on a new academic year. Fall classes will commence on August 28. With that, the Lehman College campus will again come to life in a way that is only possible when it is bustling with academic and student life activities.

As is an annual ritual of fall, a new cohort of students will be entering the campus. At the same time, those from earlier cohorts will be returning.

Unfortunately, some from earlier cohorts will not be returning, even as they have not yet earned their degree....

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President Obama Signals Higher Education Initiatives, Highlights Early College Effort

As part of a national speaking tour focused on Middle Class jobs, President Obama told audiences that he would be unveiling higher education-related initiatives over the coming months. At the same time, he singled out early college initiatives as the kind of innovation that could be effective in improving college graduation rates and reducing student costs.

At Knox College on July 24, the President pledgedthat “in the coming months, I will lay out an aggressive strategy to shake up the system,...

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Finding Publicly Available High-Level Data for Higher Education

Publicly-available data on higher education can be useful throughout a college or university. For example, such data can better inform strategic planning (providing insight into the context in which a college or university operates and allow schools to more effectively link programs/student learning goals with employment market developments), enhance the activities of Career Services offices (comparing industry employment trends with projections in the Occupational Outlook Handbook and better...

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OECD Releases Annual “Education At A Glance” Report

On June 25, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its annual report, Education at a Glance 2013. This report discusses the state of education in 37 OECD member and partner countries. This report provides information that includes data on finances, enrollment, and graduation rates.

Major findings related to U.S. Higher Education are as follows:

  • Approximately 42% of American adults aged 25 to 64 have a tertiary degree. That ranks fifth highest in the...
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Lumina Foundation’s Progress Report on Higher Education Provides Insights

When it comes to integrated planning, budgeting, and assessment processes—the kind of linkage Middle States seeks under Standards 2 and 7, strategic plans are viewed not as static documents, but dynamic and continually evolving ones. For such documents to be dynamic, institutions of higher education need to continually scan the environment, review and test scenarios and contingencies, and make adjustments to strategies, resource allocation, or even strategic goals/objectives, as necessary or...

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Six Years Since Graduating From Lehman

I attended Lehman College from 2003 to 2007. I still cannot believe it has been 6 years since I sat on the Lehman baseball field, sweating from the intense heat in a black cap and gown decorated in honor cords and medals. That was one of my proudest moments and a day I'd never forget.

When I walked into the halls of Lehman's Gillet Hall as a freshman straight out of Stevenson High School in the Bronx, I wasn't sure where I would be or what I would become in four years. Upon my first class, I...

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A Gift of Lehman's Emphasis on Liberal Arts

With Thursday’s commencement now another milestone in Lehman College’s lengthening history, not to mention in the lives of all its graduates, it is a good time to reflect on the common experience for all those graduates. No matter the path that brought them to Lehman College, nor their field of study, they all share a rich exposure to the Liberal Arts.

Liberal Arts teaches students to address challenges and opportunities from many different perspectives. It helps them raise the questions that...

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Student Use of the Library: Spring 2013 Survey

Last fall, I conducted a survey to learn about how my students were using the library. I wanted to compare the outcomes with those of a national survey. This semester, I repeated the survey in search of persistent themes.

The major findings from my survey included:

  • 86% of students who used the library said that they would be "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to use the library again (83% in fall 2012).
  • 86% of students who used the library during the current semester visited the library on at...
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Facilitating Diversity at Lehman College

In an announcement distributed to Lehman College’s faculty on November 29, Provost Dr. Anny Morrobel-Sosa announced the creation of a new Diversity Steering Council to be comprised of faculty, staff, and administrators. The Council’s first project would be the development of a Strategic Plan for Faculty Diversity by spring 2013.

This project is a logical strategic step consistent with Lehman College’s fundamental commitment to diversity. Lehman College has committed itself to diversity in its miss...

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Post Formal Education

After leaving Lehman College in 1993, I assumed I would move on to a teaching career for which my Masters degree was supposed to prepare me. While that was true to some extent, things didn't quite turn out as I had hoped. Teaching at La Guardia High School for a year after graduation was a real eye opener. I found that classes were oversized and some students weren't as serious about their art/music studies as I would have hoped. Of course, I'm speaking generally and not referring to those...

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The Mid-Term as a Diagnostic Tool

October is a month in which summer’s fading warming sometimes lingers a little longer, approaching winter’s first frost nips fragile blossoms and lush blades of grass, the leaves erupt in a growing explosion of color, and a sweet harvest of gourds—and Candy Corn for children—ends the month. It is also a month when Mid-Term Examinations can provide early but robust insight into student learning progress.

In my classes, the Mid-Term serves four purposes: (1) it is a diagnostic tool for assessing...

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5 Years and Off

I have spent 9 semesters at Lehman, and I AM FINALLY GOING GRADUATE!  But I am glad that I ended up at Lehman. My experiences have been great. As a freshman, I knew I wanted to go into political science and save the world, but joining Student Government actually got me working. It helped me realize that networking has the word "work" in it for a reason. Since I was able to get to know so many people and organizations, I was able to create my own major, study abroad on a full scholarship, and...

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