Renascence School Education News - private school

Sunday, April 26, 2015

When To Pay For Education-Related Financial Help

Forbes – Robert Farrington

“There is a booming industry forming to help people with education financial assistance. There are companies and services that can help with FAFSA and Financial Aid, finding scholarships, financial planning for college, and help with your student loans after graduation. The topic of “how to pay for college” is one of the fastest growing areas in financial services, but consumers need to know when they should and when they shouldn’t pay for help. Because in any area that is booming, there are bound to be companies prowling for victims and scamming student loan borrowers.”(more)

What If Students Could Fire Their Professors?

NPR – Anya Kamenetz

“A bill circulating in the Iowa state Senate would rate professors’ performance based on student evaluations. Just student evaluations. Low-rated professors would be automatically fired — no tenure, no appeals. The bill’s author, state Sen. Mark Chelgren, a Republican, argues that too many students are taking on student loan debt but not getting their money’s worth in the classroom. “Professors need to understand that their customers are those students,” Chelgren told the Chronicle of Higher Education.”(more)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The College Education Game Just Got Changed

Time – Sabrina Toppa

“Arizona State now offers online pay-as-you-pass freshman years with no required SAT. Arizona State University (ASU) is partnering with the education nonprofit edX to offer students around the world the opportunity to take freshman year courses online — without a required SAT score or high school transcripts. The earned credits enable students to finish their degrees at Arizona’s campus or that of any university campus accepting the courses.”(more)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Millennials Are Failing Because We Are Failing Them: The STEM Gap

Forbes – Neale Godfrey

“Many of today’s Millennial students lack the skills necessary to fill the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) positions of tomorrow. Furthermore, a majority of U.S. students from low-income and minority households have an even greater gap when it comes to STEM knowledge. These shortages in STEM talent have broad implications, not only for our current and future workforce, but also for the burgeoning middle class we hope to foster. Why is this important? According to the United States Department of Commerce Economics & Statistics Administration, STEM creates a nation of innovation and global competitiveness because it drives the generation of ideas and propels the creation of new industries. Moreover, growth in STEM jobs is three times faster than in other jobs; STEM occupations are projected to grow by more than 17 percent. As such, we should not sit idly as the U.S. unemployment numbers start to decline. There are some great opportunities lurking in a variety of STEM fields and we can almost be assured of another “downturn” if the right talent is not prepared to take those job opportunities.”(more)

Why Getting a Liberal Education Matters

The Huffington Post – Taylor Dibbert

“In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria is a short and smart book. Zakaria notes that in the United States, “a liberal education is out of favor.” He then tells us that “An open-ended exploration of knowledge is seen as a road to nowhere.” The reality is that earning a degree in a subject such as English literature is no longer viewed in an overwhelmingly positive light and far fewer students are pursuing liberal arts degrees than they were decades ago. Currently, students are more interested in pursuing degrees in subjects that they believe will lead directly to employment, such as business or accounting. Zakaria views this trend as problematic and persuasively explains why. Crucially, getting a liberal education fosters critical thinking and writing skills. “Whatever you do in life, the ability to write clearly, cleanly and reasonably well will prove to be an invaluable skill.” The second key benefit is that it “teaches you how to speak.” Third, students are taught “how to learn” and pursue knowledge independently, long after their college careers.”(more)

Two-year degrees can really pay off

Reuters – Liz Weston

“Steven Polasck of Corpus Christi, Texas, liked math and science in high school. He considered attending a four-year college but ultimately decided to use his strengths to get a two-year degree in instrumentation from Texas State Technical College. He has not looked back. “I went to work on the Monday after graduation,” said Polasck, 27, who monitors and fixes systems at a Valero Energy Corp refinery. “The first year I made almost $80,000.” An associate’s degree has long been considered an inferior alternative to a bachelor’s degree. Now that more states are tracking their graduates’ incomes, however, it is becoming apparent that some two-year degrees offer much higher earnings than the typical four-year degree – at a fraction of the cost. Making more students and parents aware of these better-paying options could help ease the college affordability crisis, which has so far led to more than $1 trillion in student loan debt.”(more)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

How Colleges are Squeezing Students on Financial Aid

Time – Timothy Pratt

“Dalia Garcia breathed a sigh of relief when she found out that she had been given enough financial aid to nearly cover the cost of tuition for her first year at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. Because her father earned less than $20,000 a year as a janitor, college would have been out of reach without the help. The aid meant “having a sense of security,” she recalled. And as a high school valedictorian with a high grade-point average, Garcia was able to add several scholarships to her bounty.”(more)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mexico and U.S. join in educating students ‘to compete with the world’

The Dallas Morning News – Alfredo Corchado and Jasmine Aguilera

“Inside a cafeteria at the University of North Texas, Erwin Guillermo Fernández downs a turkey sandwich before class, talking excitedly about how his education here will open doors back in his native Mexico. At least that’s the plan. “My goal is to finish here this year, return to Mexico and try to make a difference,” said Fernández, 32, a graduate student in computer science. “This university has helped guide me toward that dream.” Fernández is one of about 14,800 Mexican students studying in the U.S. They are part of a widening effort by the U.S. and Mexico to share educational resources to push an increasingly integrated North America to be even more competitive. The task of educational institutions is to train a new workforce on both sides of the border to meet growing demands in energy, telecommunications, technological innovation and other areas. There is an emphasis on the so-called STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — and many of the Mexican students attending North Texas universities are on scholarships from the Mexican government to study in related fields.”(more)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Accepted to every Ivy League school: How did this teenager reach his goal? (+video)

The Christian Science Monitor – Samantha Laine

“Harold Ekeh of Long Island, New York, just accomplished the Ivy League sweep. He received acceptance letters from all eight schools. Coming to New York from Nigeria at 8-years-old, Mr. Ekeh has become a prime example of what it takes to get into the Ivy League: passion. Ekeh applied to the eight Ivy League schools – Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania – with the dream of becoming a neurosurgeon. His interest began when he was 11-years-old, when his grandmother experienced memory loss. Thus sparked a career pursuit that led to his success.”(more)

College Preparedness Over the Years, According to NAEP

Education Next – Michael J. Petrilli and Chester E. Finn, Jr.

“For almost a decade, the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, studied whether and how NAEP could “plausibly estimate” the percentage of U.S. students who “possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities in reading and mathematics that would make them academically prepared for college.” After much analysis and deliberation, the board settled on cut scores on NAEP’s twelfth-grade assessments that indicated that students were truly prepared—163 for math (on a three-hundred-point scale) and 302 for reading (on a five-hundred-point point scale). The math cut scores fell between NAEP’s basic (141) and proficient (176) achievement levels; for reading, NAGB set the preparedness bar right at proficient (302). When the 2013 test results came out last year, NAGB reported the results against these benchmarks for the first time, finding that 39 percent of students in the twelfth-grade assessment sample met the preparedness standard for math and 38 percent did so for reading. These preparedness levels remain controversial. (Among other concerns is the fact that the NAEP is a zero-stakes test for students, so there’s reason to wonder how many high school seniors do their best on it.) But NAEP might in fact be our best measure of college preparedness because, unlike the ACT, SAT ACCUPLACER, or Compass, it is given to a representative sample of high school students (at least those who make it to the twelfth grade). That doesn’t make it perfect, but it’s more revealing than the alternatives with regard to the population as a whole.”(more)