Commission on the Future of Higher Education

In 2005, Department of Education Secretary Spellings formed an organization called the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, which was designed to research and assess the condition of higher education. The Commission was also charged with developing a detailed strategy for “postsecondary education that would better serve Americans and address the economic and workforce [...]

Steps Towards Improving Higher Education

Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings announced that one of her intentions is “To help make a higher education more affordable and a reality for every American who chooses to pursue it”. Secretary Spellings plans to increase need-based aid, simplify the financial aid process and hold costs in line. Under her leadership, “the U.S. Department [...]

Centralized College Database

As mentioned in an excerpt from the announcement made by the Secretary of the Department of Education, “Secretary Spellings has called for a privacy-protected student-level data system—similar to what currently exists for K-12 students—that would create a higher education information system and provide transparency and ease when students and families shop for colleges. Armed with [...]

Department of Education Challenges States And Schools

Secretary Margaret Spellings announced that, “Believe it or not, we can’t answer the most critical and basic questions about student performance and learning at colleges and that’s unacceptable”. “Information will not only help with decision-making—it will also hold schools accountable for quality. We want to work with Congress, states and institutions to build a system [...]

The Proverbial Carrot is Funding

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings introduced many good ideas for improving the condition of higher education in the United States. One of these ideas is to divert necessary funds to help in the development and reporting of learning outcomes. ““In an effort to increase transparency and accountability, Secretary Spellings plans to provide matching funds to colleges, [...]

Spring Summit Planned

The Department of Education website notes that sometime in the Spring of 2007, “Secretary Spellings will convene a Summit with representatives from the higher education and business communities and student, parent and policy maker groups to address the challenges families face when planning for college and the need for more graduates in the workforce”. This [...]

Department of Education Action Plan Fact Sheet

The Department of Education released a two-page fact sheet in reference to the September 26th announcement made by Secretary Margaret Spellings. The fact sheet is a downloadable document in PDF format. The fact sheet covers the Secretary’s proposals to: Strengthen K-12 preparation and align high school standards with college expectations. Work with Congress to expand [...]

More Fact Sheet Information

The Department of Education fact sheet also clearly displays several existing disparities in higher education in the United States. The Commission on the Future of Higher Education states that, “Access to American higher education is unduly limited by…inadequate preparation, lack of information about college opportunities, and persistent financial barriers.” The fact sheet also points out [...]

Secretary Spellings Proposals

Secretary Spelling’s proposal includes steps to “Simplify the process by partnering with states to use existing income and tax data to help students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in half the time. Notify students of their estimated aid eligibility before spring of their senior year in high school. Work with Congress [...]

Secretary Spellings Observations

The Secretary of Education also makes the following observations about the affordability of obtaining college and university educations for students of all ages, “There is little to no information on why costs are so high and what we’re getting in return. Tuition continues to outpace inflation, health care costs and family income levels. While funding [...]

More Facts and Findings

The final report of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education asserts that, “Too many students are either discouraged from attending college by rising costs, or take on worrisome debt burdens in order to do so.” Furthermore, the Commission’s research revealed the following factors that influence the decisions and outcomes of seeking higher education [...]

Measuring Up 2006

The Measuring Up 2006 National Report Card on Higher Education evaluates, compares, and grades the higher education performance of each U.S. state in six key areas: Preparation for college: How well are young people in high school being prepared to enroll and succeed in college-level work? Participation: Do young people and working-age adults have access [...]

National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, established in 1998, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting improvements and opportunities for Americans to seek, attain and benefit from receiving a high-quality, high-value college education. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education sets itself apart from other agencies because it is “an [...]

United States Trailing Other Countries in Degrees

Based on data collected by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, the United States only ranks as having an average percentage of college students actually attaining their bachelor’s degrees among modern industrialized countries. The top ten countries that lead the pack in this area are: Australia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Norway, [...]

Is There Such a Thing as Sin in Art?

College students can find the answer to this and many other questions regarding the moral content of many works of art by both classical artists and their contemporary peers. The Rhode Island School of Design is offering “The Art of Sin and the Sin of Art”, a class designed to compare the relationship between perceived [...]

On the Road Again at Barnard College

Barnard College is offering and unusual course titled, “The Road Movie” to their college students. This course, CLEN W 3390: Studies in Narrative – The Road Movie, students analyze and discuss the phenomena of the road trip. They cover both literary and film works that have the central theme of a great journey towards discovery [...]

Who Says Crime Doesn’t Pay?

There should be no surprise that the History 395: Comparative History of Organized Crime course is a class that was offered at Williams College located in Massachusetts. This class covered a diverse range of periods and ethnicities and students learned to distinguish and comparatively analyze organized crime and its history in the United States, Italy, [...]

Get Scary Credits

Bowdoin College, located in Brunswick, Maine offers a unique class for their college students. The Bowdoin College English Department has course study for “The Horror Film in Context” where students read and interpret works of horror by such well-known horror icons as from Edgar Allen Poe, Alfred Hitchcock, Wes Craven, Brian De Palma, Sigmund Freud [...]

Have a Vacation, at School

Now the University of Iowa offers a unique class to the college students, The American Vacation. This course encourages students to explore the social and cultural significance of American weekends, holidays and vacations. The course breaks down different aspects of the American vacation including the impact and influence they have on class, race and gender. [...]

How To Pass Class Watching Soaps

Amazingly, the esteemed Wisconsin University also offers a non-traditional course for their students. Interested college students need look no further than Course 350 to earn 3 credits towards their college degree. The course is summarized by the university as, “350 Daytime Serials: Family and Social Roles. Analysis of the themes and characters that populate television’s [...]