Federal Financial Aid: 3 Part Documentary Available

Looking Back to Move Forward: A History of Federal Student Aid

The Lumina Foundation has posted a three part documentary on the policy and the political origins of U.S. federal financial aid programs. These resources are a great background training for student affairs professionals, academic leaders, and enrollment management professionals.

In addition to the three videos below, you may wish to explore:

How Did We Get Here: Growth of Federal Student Loans (Part 1)

Where Financial Aid Began: Partnering with Campuses and States (Part 2)

Pell Grant: Building Block of Student-Based Aid (Part 3)

Lumina ReportDownload the companion PDF to the series.

OECD Report: Success of global education reforms threatened by lack of oversight.

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Released January 19, 2015 – Governments around the world are under growing pressure to improve their education systems. Rising spending is increasingly being matched by reforms to help disadvantaged children, invest in teachers and improve vocational training. But a widespread lack of evaluation of the impact of these reforms could hinder their effectiveness and hurt educational outcomes, according to a new OECD report.

Education Policy Outlook 2015: Making Reforms Happen finds that once new policies are adopted, there is little follow-up. Only around one in 10 of the 450 different reforms put in place between 2008 and 2014 were evaluated for their impact by governments between their launch and the publication of this report.

Measuring policy impact more rigorously and consistently will prove more cost-effective in the long-run, says the OECD. It will also ensure that future reforms are built on policies proven to work over a timeframe independent of political cycles or pressures.

“Too many education reforms are failing to measure success or failure in the classroom,” said Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director for Education and Skills, at the launch of the report at the Education World Forum in London. “While it is encouraging to see a greater focus on outcomes, rather than simply increasing spending, it’s crucial that reforms are given the time to work and their impact is analyzed.”

“Education represents 12.9% of government spending, with total expenditure across the OECD exceeding 2.5 trillion dollars a year, equivalent to the GDP of the United Kingdom,” he added. “This valuable investment must be deployed in the most effective way. Reforms on paper need to translate into better education in our schools and classrooms.”

The report finds a trend of reform priorities converging across the OECD. Of the reforms analyzed, most focused on: supporting disadvantaged children and early childhood care; reforming vocational education systems and building links with employers; improving training and professional development for teachers; and strengthening school evaluation and assessment.

2014 Global Digital Learning Ecosystem

Global Digital Account Penetration Defines Learner Access and Learning Markets

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The foundation of the emerging new learning ecosystem is the global digital infrastructure and the level of access to it. This post is one element in the equation, the evidence of access to the digital realm and the utilization of communications systems that reside in it.

Global Distribution of Internet Users

Internet Users in the World (Chart)

Understanding the emergence of the Global Digital Learning Ecosystem is the first step in understanding the implications of this paradigm shift for education and learning.

Additional Resources

Use the following resources to explore digital learning environments a little deeper.

“University of the Future” a Global Survey of Students

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Laureate International Universities is the world’s largest network of higher education institutions with 75 members located in 29 countries and enrolling more than 850,000 students worldwide. In an effort to look forward and develop a vision for the future of their members over the next 15 years they commissioned a large scale survey of their students.

They commissioned Zogby Analytics to survey their students and 20,876 learners responded. The survey asked students about their vision of the optimum university  model 15 years in the future.

  • 52 percent of students who participated said most courses would be offered any time of day or night and 44 percent said most courses would have no fixed schedule
  • 41 percent of respondents said students would be able to earn specialized certificates to allow them to manage the pace of their academic career, rather than concentrating it into a two- or four-year span with a degree at the end
  • 54 percent said that collaborative courses focused on group projects will be offered, and 61 percent said that most courses will be designed by industry experts
  • 64 percent said courses will be offered in multiple languages Students will be able to access personalized instruction or tutoring online, according to 43 percent of those surveyed
  • 71 percent of survey respondents told researchers they think “career-oriented skills (not just subject matter) will be taught in future universities,” according to a summary of the findings
  • 43 percent of surveyed students said “their courses will include free content on the Internet to unlimited numbers of students,” according to the survey summary. That number increased slightly among students aged 18-24 and those in developing countries, to 45 and 44 percent, respectively
  • 55 percent saying that changes to how students take courses will benefit them, Asian students were both the most likely to tell researchers that future universities will be dominated by online content, and to say they think that’s a good thing
  • 44 percent of respondents said they think future instructors will be “part-time industry experts instead of full-time instructors,” according to the summary
  • 21 of respondents said they believe that grades will be based purely on academic performance and 64 percent said they would reflect a combination of academic performance and how much students contributed to teams

This is a must read. The study can be retrieved here.

An interview with John Zogby, Pollster and Founder, Zogby Analytics; Jonathan Zogby, President and CEO, Zogby Analytics; and Doug Becker, Chairman and CEO, Laureate Education, Inc. (Washington, DC June 9, 2014).

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The Future of For Profit Higher Education: Scrutiny

For-ProfitThe for profit sector of higher education is experiencing significant increases in scrutiny. Given the current debt crisis facing U.S. students and the significant attention profits from the For-Profit-Sector gain in the press it is unlikely to subside soon. Below are a rash of current actions.

Education Department Names Seasoned Team to Monitor Corinthian Colleges

Former Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald Will Lead Oversight of Company’s Sale and Wind-Down

The press release stated

…the U.S. Department of Education took additional steps to ensure Corinthian Colleges’ students and the American taxpayer are protected by announcing that Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates, under the leadership of former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, has been selected to take on the role of monitoring various aspects of the career college company. As part of an operating agreement reached earlier this month with Corinthian, the Department required that an independent monitor oversee Corinthian’s actions moving forward as the company begins to sell and wind down its campuses over the coming months.

DeVry under investigation by New York State

DeVry Education Group Inc. said in a corporate filing on Friday that it was under investigation by New York’s attorney general for possible “false advertising and deceptive practices” in its television ads and website marketing. A letter from the state office requested “relevant information from January 1, 2011, to the present,” the company said.

University of Phoenix under review by the U.S. Department of Education

The Apollo Education Group, parent company of the University of Phoenix, disclosed in a corporate filing on Monday that the U.S. Education Department would conduct an “ordinary course program review” of the university’s financial-aid administration and other areas. From the filing, with the Securities and Exchange Commission:

The review, which is scheduled to commence August 4, 2014, initially will cover federal financial aid years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, as well as compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and related regulations.

National College, Kentucky fined for refusal to comply

A Kentucky judge this week affirmed a $147,000 fine against National College, a for-profit institution, over its refusal to comply with a subpoena from the state’s attorney general, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

ITT May Face Financial Restrictions

ITT Educational Services Inc. said in a corporate filing on Wednesday that it may face financial restrictions over its failure to file a set of documents with the U.S. Department of Education. A set of financial statements was due to the department by June 30 but was not sent, according to the filing.

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eLearning Fact vs Fiction

The following resources are great places to begin sorting out the facts about Digital Learning Environments and the development, evolution and effectiveness of eLearning. Understanding the effectiveness, design, efficiencies, and operation of digital learning environments is a process that takes longer than a five minute web flyby. But these flybys should get a first round of questions raised and framed.

The first, a quick read, is a post titled 30 Criticisms Of eLearning That Just Might Be Myths.  It appeared in the te@chthought.com blog on January 13 2013.

The second is an excellent read (a bit older but very timely) posted by Marc Rosenberg October 11, 2011 in a two part article in Learning Solutions Magazine titled eLearning Myths Part1 and Part 2. Marc outlines and frames 11 items as candidates for eLearning myth.

While we are at it why don’t we begin to explore other education myths. As a jumping off point the 18 Myths of Education Infographic posted November 22, 2013 on eLearninginfographics.com  should serve to queue up some questions.

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25% of China’s population with the highest IQ’s…

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That 25% of China’s population with the highest IQ’s … is greater than the total population of the United States.

Startling? Not really. It has certainly made the rounds on the internet and been posted, shared and featured in numerous YouTube videos. This seemingly profound revelation is no more than a sensational view of basic demographics. The population of China is over 1.3 billion. The population of the United States is 330 million. Since the population of the U.S. is less than 1/4 the population of China the statement can be technically true for any comparison of this nature.

What the statement does not do is compare the IQ’s or the distribution of IQ’s between China and the U.S. In fact it makes no qualitative statement concerning the brain power of the respective countries at all.

So now you know a really great trick of sensationalizing basic information.

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