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The Enrollments Are In

by Tod Massa 8. January 2016 22:03

Thanks to each of our institutional colleagues in getting the fall headcount, fall cohort, and financial aid files in ad locked. We are resolving a couple of small problems now, so we won't have all the updated reports published until sometime Monday. In the Weekend Update, you will see links to three new pages in the Articles tab. These are basic reports on annual changes in degrees awarded and fall enrollment. I've chosen to publish them in this format because they have limited options for selection and are intended always to only represent the most recently reported values.

I have read some interesting articles of late. As is often the case, they pretty much span a range of interests. There are two I wish to highlight.

I would first like to point to this essay about the thoughts that keep college presidents up at night. It is this paragraph that really grabs me:

In the face of this narrative, higher education leaders must ask ourselves a critical question: is higher education merely an extension of existing privilege or is it a place of opportunity for those who have systematically been denied access? For me, an African-American woman who came from very little means, it was the latter. Like some of our students today (from a variety of demographics), I had been told college was not “for me” and that I should set my sights on a different trajectory. Yet it was a liberal arts education — the very education our current discourse is pushing so many young people away from ― that saved me. It granted access to a world and network that expanded my own and equipped me with the interpersonal, communication, critical and creative thinking, and problem-solving skills needed to not only pursue whatever professional opportunities I’d like, but to be able to envision my current job.

I highlight this not to open a fight about the value of workforce training compared to liberal education, but instead to use it as a reminder that how we talk about things matter. How we express the value of each track, of each option, to students matter. 

This Quora entry about the skills that self-taught programmers lack also strikes a nerve. It is similar to an ongoing discussion between my son and me originating from his readings and opportunities during his Experiential Term at Ferrum. This entry really encapsulates our belief in the implicit debt of honor we have to all who have gone before us to develop knowledge and that is shared across time and space.

After all, didn't all of us programmers - all of us who are even remotely good - actually learn from teachers? The ones who've written the technical books, thoughtful essays, and API documentation that we depend upon to do our jobs?

Finally, I would like to acknowledge/celebrate the Assistant Professor Eric Grollman of the University of Richmond, the blogger behind Conditionally Accepted, will present a featured advice column at InsideHigherEd. I think this is great news.


Categories: Data Collections, General

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