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- Joshua Kim
3 Questions for Kelly Heuer, VP of Learning Experience at edX (a 2U Company)
Blog: Learning Innovation

Kelly Heuer and I have been collaborating in the context of my college’s portfolio of online programs on the edX platform. In our work together, I’ve been impressed with Kelly’s understanding of academic culture paired with her deep expertise in learning science. Kelly graciouslyKelly Heuer, a light-skinned young woman with short brown hair wearing a blazer. agreed to answer my questions about her alternative-academic journey from philosophy to ed tech.

Q: Your Ph.D. is in philosophy. How did you end up at edX?

A: I studied philosophy at Harvard and Georgetown University, with every intention of becoming a lifelong academic. But my first academic position—a postdoctoral fellowship at Georgetown—put me on a direct collision course with the world of ed tech. My fellowship was focused on helping to design and launch a MOOC on edX (Introduction to Bioethics). The project was fast-paced, experience driven and impact focused. It was a real contrast with some of my previous academic work, and I absolutely loved it.

I will never forget what it was like to connect with professionals around the globe, learning from their unique perspectives and hearing how our course had helped them grapple with moral problems in their local communities. It was an opportunity to learn with and from folks who hadn’t already made it through the gates of the ivory tower. It was the kind of impact I had always wanted to have.

I spent a few more years at Georgetown doing work I’m really proud of, including helping to co-found Ethics Lab, a social impact lab focused on real-world moral problems. But when I had the opportunity to pivot from academia into learning design full-time, I took the leap. I’ve been working in this field and at edX ever since.

Q: Can you help us understand what a VP of learning experience does? How did your graduate training prepare you (or not) for the role?

A: I lead a small team of learning designers and product strategists focused on online learning innovation. Our focus is research and development: serving as a kind of center of excellence whose white papers, learning experience pilots and ethnographic research can help guide others both at edX and in the broader online learning community.

This is obviously quite different from my first experiences at Georgetown, where I was part of the academic team who helped create the course materials and teach the students. My team’s responsibility is much more hands-off and consultative, and our expertise sits at the intersection of the cognitive science of learning and emerging trends in digital technology. My graduate training did not prepare me for the rapid pace or highly collaborative nature of this work. However, on the whole, it gave me so many capabilities, values and beliefs that I use every day and try to impart to my team. Skills in research, analysis, evaluation and synthesis are a part of graduate training in most fields and are an obvious benefit in this work.

I also feel incredibly fortunate to have learned from the instructional design experts at Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship. More than anything, those folks helped open my eyes to the complexity of learning science and the beauty of experiential learning. That part of my graduate learning played a huge role in sparking my curiosity about how people learn.

Q: What advice do you have for doctoral students or early career academics (or even mid-career Ph.D.s looking for a change) about building a career in ed tech?

A: My biggest message is not advice but pure encouragement: you can do it! If you have begun to build an academic life or career, I already know you have so many competencies and areas of contextual knowledge that can be incredibly valuable in ed tech.

Your research skills and ability to ask big questions would suit you well to a job like mine, in R&D. Your experience teaching students—or just being an advanced learner yourself—means you might enjoy working as a curriculum manager or learning designer in higher education or adult continuing education. Your curiosity and commitment to learning tell me that you might find other, more varied ed-tech jobs rewarding: from K-12 learning product researcher to learning technologist to conference facilitator.

My advice would be to reflect on the parts of your current work you find the most exciting or perplexing. Make a list and boil it down to some general statements about the type of responsibilities, values or context you feel most excited about. (For me, that list looked something like: I love user experience design and learning science research, I enjoy doing independent work as well as leading teams, and I’m most interested in the higher education space.) Use that list to orient yourself toward particular roles (for example: researcher, product developer, relationship manager, instructor) or parts of the ed-tech industry (for example: K-12 learning, higher education, alternative credentials, corporate L&D). Once you’re exploring specific options, make sure to convert your CV to a résumé format that highlights skills from your academic past that align with the specific roles you’re pursuing.

Most of all, welcome to the crew! I never thought I’d be on an alt-ac journey, but I absolutely love the view.

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- Steven Mintz
Blog: Higher Ed Gamma

Nothing goes out of date faster than a scholarly history book.

This is, of course, a terrible shame. It not only leads junior scholars to disregard earlier scholarship and attempt to reinvent the wheel, but it means that alternate methodologies, sources and conceptual and interpretive frameworks are often considered out-of-date and are therefore overlooked.

A quarter century ago, Harvey J. Graff, a leading historian of literacy, published a fascinating study of the trajectories that American youth in four distinct historical eras navigated as they made the tangled transition to adulthood.

Conflicting Paths, which drew upon some 500 published and unpublished autobiographies, diaries, memoirs and personal letters to capture the subjective experience of young people as they matured, underscored the uncertainties, confusions and challenges the young encountered in their divergent paths to adulthood.

Biases in the extant first-person sources limited what Graff could say about the poor and the working class and nonwhites. Nevertheless, he was able to identify a multiplicity of pathways into adult status as well as how individuals made sense of their personal experience and crafted their distinctive, individual life story.

Especially intriguing were the stark contrasts between the twisted, messy realities of growing up and various culture myths and stereotypes that established certain normative expectations that few young people’s lives actually conformed to.

His overarching historical argument is threefold:

The transition to adulthood has always varied widely along multiple lines; there has never been a uniform process of growing up. Over the past three centuries, social class, more and more, came to shape the journey to adulthood, even as the significance of region, ethnicity and even gender receded. Growing up has never been easy; it has always been filled with uncertainties, reversals and intense psychological stress. To assume that growing up was once linear and seamless is a grossly misleading historical myth.

Today, the path to maturity is at least as diverse and certainly as complex, contradictory and convoluted as it was earlier in American history. Class remains vitally important, but so, too, do the various intersectional identities that color young people’s opportunities, aspirations, expectations and perception of their options, heavily influence their emotions and mindset and define the resources and support structures that they can tap as they make crucial life decisions.

During the last century, the United States, at enormous public expense, constructed a set of educational institutions that were supposed to ease the transition to adulthood, making it more uniform, predictable, well-sequenced and successful.

But as a series of recently released reports reveal:

The nation’s education-to-work pipeline is extremely leaky, especially for those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Those who lack postsecondary education or training and a credential are unlikely to land a good job. The process of securing a stable, well-paying, quality job now takes much longer than in the past and typically doesn’t occur until young adults reach their 30s, delaying marriage and home purchases and increasing the likelihood that various life problems will disrupt the transition to a financially secure adulthood. The rising cost of postsecondary education, limited access to high-quality workplace training and the absence of comprehensive counseling and career navigation services reinforce persistent disparities along lines of gender, ethnicity and race.

A study from the Brookings Institution, entitled “Diverging employment pathways among young adults,” reports that nearly 60 percent of those young people who experienced economic disadvantage in adolescence struggle financially during adulthood, with average annual incomes of $19,000 or less.

Contributors to their problems include very high rates of incarceration, early childbearing and low levels of education. In contrast, military service is strongly associated with upward economic mobility, partly because of the supports and benefits it offers, including job training, subsidized childcare, tuition assistance and health care—suggesting the kinds of support services that might make a big difference in reducing poverty rates.

A series of reports from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce on the uncertain pathway from youth to a good job underscore several essential findings:

That disparities in educational attainment and in access to high-quality training are “calcifying” class divides, restricting upward mobility and contributing to class resentments. That while advanced education matters, field of study, degree or program choice, and college attended also contribute to opportunity, earnings and economic mobility. That while more than six in 10 Asian American men and white men in the labor force succeed in obtaining a secure, decently paying job, the figure among Hispanic women was just 29 percent.

What, then, are the implications of these studies for two- and four-year colleges? Among the center’s recommendations are these:

Improve career counseling and make sure it’s based on timely job market data. Offer credit-bearing courses in education and career planning. More equitably fund educational and training programs. Introduce incremental or stackable credentialing, to allow students to add to their credentials over time. Expand the number of community college applied, career-focused bachelor’s programs. Implement a more seamless transfer process.

There are other steps to take, such as rethinking licensure and certification requirements.

In a recent opinion essay, Ryan Craig, the author of College Disrupted and A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College, speaks out against the excessively aggressive licensing requirements that are all too often used to restrict entry into modestly skilled but decent-paying jobs and that have become major impediments to upward mobility.

The examples he cites are not just the usual suspects, like hair braiding or interior design, but various health-care support roles, like physical therapist assistant, which currently requires five semesters of courses in anatomy, physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology, neuroscience, clinical pathology and behavioral science—even though the assistant role is limited to helping patients exercise and recording their progress. As Craig notes, they can perform those tasks only under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Yet the cost of such a program can exceed $100,000.

Craig’s takeaway: in cases like this one, professional associations and colleges are imposing unnecessary degree requirements not to ensure safety but to feather their own nests.

He ends his piece with a hope that colleges will become more mission- and civic-minded and not place institutional self-interest ahead of students’ interests. Hear! Hear!

The path to adulthood has never been easy, but as it grows ever longer and more circuitous, it is imperative that colleges reimagine their in loco parentis responsibilities. Too often we think of those supervisory and protective obligations in narrowly legal terms designed to minimize an institution’s potential liability in cases of harm.

But colleges’ duty of care should go well beyond the prevention of harassment, assault, hazing or suicide. Much as directors or officers of a corporation have a fiduciary responsibility to pursue their firm’s best interests, educators have a moral duty to act in their students’ best interests. That means:

Providing a highly supportive learning environment that prioritizes belonging, advising, counseling, mentoring, supplemental learning support services and regular substantive feedback from faculty members. Offering an education that goes beyond today’s gen ed and major requirements but promotes students’ holistic growth, interpersonal, moral and social as well as cognitive and prepares them for a career and the demands and challenges of adult life. Creating an education that gives students opportunities to apply and create knowledge and engage in authentic, real-world tasks by themselves and as members of a team.

During the early post–World War II era, becoming an adult was a one-time, all-at-once, irreversible, once-and-forever event. Today, in contrast, it’s an elongated process, filled with false starts, reversals, setbacks, stumbling blocks and lots of experimentation. It’s a process without a well-defined road map or widely accepted norms. For parents and young people alike, it’s a bewildering, pressure-packed process with lots of chances to fall off the rails.

In this highly ambiguous, uncertain environment, it’s more important than ever that faculty remember the Old English roots of the word “teacher.” That word, tæcan, means to show, point out, warn and persuade—in other words, to support, guide and counsel.

In your research, be an expert, a specialist and a professional. But as an instructor, be a mentor and ensure that your classes are about growth as well as content.

Steven Mintz is professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin.

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- Scott Jaschik

Florida professors at public four-year universities will face posttenure review every five years, under rules adopted Wednesday by the Florida Board of Governors, Florida Phoenix reported.

Each university’s board will now come up with ways to measure faculty members’ “productivity” under the rule.

The change was opposed by American Association of University Professors, the American Psychological Association, the Modern Language Association and the American Historical Association, among others.

“The way that many of our faculty are looking at it is that this is intentionally designed from the ground up to allow bad actors to cull faculty from departments with whom they personally disagree or who have politics that are inconvenient to the institution,” Andrew Gothard, president of United Faculty of Florida, told the Phoenix. “Or, as we’ve seen with the narrative that’s been coming out of Tallahassee, who have politics that disagree with those of the governor,” he added.

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- Safia Abdulahi
From president "designee" to president in three years
Image: Tom Ramage, a white man, and Pamela Lau, an Asian woman, point at the official portraits.

When a college president resigns or retires, the institution’s governing board usually announces the steps it will take to replace the outgoing leader. The Board of Trustees of Parkland College followed that script in 2019 when Thomas Ramage told board members he planned to retire in 2022. But rather than provide an estimated timeline for replacing him, as is sometimes customary, the board president flipped the script and announced that a replacement would not be stepping in any time soon.

Ramage would instead spend the next three years essentially training his successor, Pamela Lau, the college’s chief academic officer. The move was part of an executive transition plan that also involved promoting Lau to executive vice president of the two-year college and informally making her “president designee.”

“Community college trustees from across the country talk about the importance of transition planning and how critical it is to the stability and success of their respective institutions,” Gregory Knott, the board chairman, said in a written statement announcing the plan. “We are taking proactive steps to put it into action here at Parkland College.”

Knott explained that while Ramage’s role would remain unchanged for three years, “he will be bringing Dr. Lau alongside him in the process to learn the complexities of the college presidency.”

In doing so, Knott said, “We have set Parkland up for a seamless transition, and the institution will be stronger because of it.”

Lau and Ramage, both veteran administrators at the institution in Champaign, Ill., and quintessential team players, were used to playing the long game—she has worked at Parkland for 28 years; Ramage worked there for 24 years—but even they questioned the lengthy time frame of the transition period.

Pamela Lau, an Asian woman with dark hair who is wearing glasses and a pearl necklace.“To be frank, looking back, both the outgoing president and I, as the incoming president, said it was kind of long,” Lau said. But she understood the plan was also forward-looking.

“One of the questions that was asked was, do we have somebody from within that would be ready to step in? And so, I was officially appointed and named as president designee.”

Nancy Sutton, vice president for academic services, said others at the college also wondered about the long wait time.

“When it was initially announced, everyone thought that a three-year transition period seemed like a very long time,” she said. “But from my standpoint, it always made a lot of sense because there’s so much that goes from one position to another.”

While it’s common for colleges and universities to have detailed executive transition plans, Parkland’s process is unusual. Community colleges tend to have fewer layers of executive positions and don’t typically need as much lead time for transitions of top leaders.

“I have not heard of other colleges that have taken this approach, but I do know that succession planning is something that leaders and board members discuss frequently,” Martha Parham, senior vice president of public relations at the American Association of Community Colleges, said in an email. “That said, most search processes are open to applicants from across the country.”

But doing things differently is not necessarily a bad thing.

“Each college and its community is unique, and leaders and board members are best qualified to determine the best way to transition to a new CEO,” Parham said.

Lau, who became Parkland’s sixth president in January, now believes the transition period allowed her to see all the ins and outs of managing an institution with 8,533 students and 886 employees—especially during a global pandemic that hit colleges and universities particularly hard. The pandemic gave new meaning to the concept of on-the-job training.

“Watching how Dr. Ramage handled the crisis and sort of sitting right by him and being in all of those conversations was the lesson I think neither of us thought that we would experience,” she said. “There was great upheaval with the pandemic so, in that sense, I was able to learn in a different way, and that was a valuable thing.”

Other benefits of the long lag time from designee to successor became more apparent over the years.

“The president of a college these days is very much an outward-looking position, where you have to know the leaders in your community,” Lau said. “So it actually gave me an opportunity to be introduced, after the pandemic, to a lot of different people in the community. So when I actually assumed office in January of this year, it was no surprise to anyone.”

Lau joined Parkland’s faculty in 1995 as an instructor in the college’s developmental reading program and became director of the program in 2003. Two years later she led a task force that coordinated the institution’s academic support services into a one-stop Center for Academic Success, serving as its founding director and later becoming dean of academic services and then vice president for academic services. She won an Emerging Chief Academic Officer Award from the National Council of Instructional Administrators in 2017.

Lau said becoming president was not a long-term goal.

“I am actually not a very ambitious person. I would just take up meaningful opportunities and work hard,” she said. “I didn’t start out by thinking that this is where I want to be. I was actually quite content at every point in my career. I’m one of those few people who never had it on my radar to say, that’s what I am aiming for.”

Sutton has worked with Lau since 2005 and started working more closely with her in 2010, when Lau was dean of academic services and Sutton was chair of fine and applied arts. They also attended Ferris State University together and both received doctorate degrees in education from the local institution.

Sutton attributes a new “level of energy and excitement among the faculty and the staff” to Lau and believes her professional background will enhance her ability to lead the institution.

“One thing about Pam is she learns and listens from everything she does, and I think that’s the way she taught her students as well in the developmental reading classes,” Sutton said. “And her background simply benefits her in her ability to listen to what people need and to develop ideas and clearly explain the vision going forward.”

Sutton believes developing leaders from within can make for a “very strong institution.” Lau agrees.

“At Parkland, we have a very long tradition of raising leaders from within,” she said. “We look for ways to encourage people to grow as leaders, and I’m a product of that.”

Ramage is also part of that tradition. He applied for the president’s job in 2005 but was turned down because board members believed he lacked sufficient senior leadership experience. They chose an outside candidate who left the job less than a year later. Ramage applied again and was named president in 2007.

“I think the parallel is that back in 2007, when I got hired, some of the board members were the same when Dr. Lau’s time came up,” he said. “So they remembered that a national search isn’t always the best thing to do.”

There’s also a large pool of longtime employees at the college. Administrators, faculty and staff members tend to stay at the institution and work their way up, according to Lau. And Parkland’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning provides them support “in the creation and upkeep of their professional development plans,” according to the center’s website.

“We have a leadership development program that works at all levels of the college—faculty, staff, administration—and encourages people wherever they start at the institution … to look at what their next steps might be,” Ramage said.

Just three months into her presidency, Lau is still mapping out next steps for where she wants to take the college. She plans to focus on three main themes: expanding access to more students, helping students get and stay on guided pathways to degree completion, and encouraging students to value their time at Parkland.

She also plans to incorporate the lessons learned during the last three years into her management of the university: “Build a good team.” “Build a network of partnerships.” “It’s not about me.” “Value and affirm the team.” And, perhaps most importantly, “Find my own shoes.”

“Dr. Ramage was an excellent leader in so many ways. I initially felt the proverbial angst of having to fill his big shoes,” Lau wrote in an email. “I learned that a president has to walk the leadership journey in their own shoes, the ones that fit their feet. I must find and develop my own leadership personality and articulate my vision for Parkland College in my own voice.”

Lau earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Singapore, where she was born and raised. She immigrated to Illinois along with her husband and attended the University of Chicago, from which she received a master’s degree in philosophy in 1983.

“When I came to the United States, there was a possibility that, when I finished my graduate degree, I would go back to the university in Singapore to teach philosophy,” she said. “Then the paths of life changed and I didn’t go back. I stayed here.”

Lau didn’t set out to work at a community college and didn’t know much about them while living in Singapore, but she liked the mission of American two-year institutions.

“I was very drawn to the much more egalitarian approach that even if you didn’t do well, or you didn’t get the highest score in terms of grades but want the opportunity for higher education in the United States, there are community colleges that open that door for you,” she said. “I like that a lot, and it resonated deep within me, even though that was not how I grew up.”

Three years as president designee might seem a bit excessive to an outsider, but for an insider like Lau, it was just part of the arc of her nearly three-decade career at Parkland.

“So I always tell people, ‘I drank the Kool Aid,’” she said. “I’ve been at Parkland all these years, and I’ve had the opportunity to take responsibilities over the years, and that’s how I got where I am.”

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- Ashley Mowreader
Housing scholarship aids underrepresented students
Image: Seven Fordham University students pose for a photo on campus.

Residential students benefit from on-campus resources and connection opportunities in a way their peers who commute do not. Through the Fordham Housing Fund, selected upper-level commuter students at the university have the chance to experience on-campus living—for free.

What’s the need: The Fordham Housing Fund is specifically for students in the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). The program is funded by the New York State Education Department and supports underrepresented students pursuing careers in health sciences and STEM, Fordham’s CSTEP director, Mike Molina, explains.

CSTEP has existed at Fordham for 37 years and provides participants with academic support, enrichment and a pre–freshman year summer program, among other services, Molina says.

Many of Fordham’s CSTEP students commute to campus, impeding their ability to stay engaged on campus and improve academically.

“An opportunity to live on campus completely reconfigures an entire student’s experience,” CSTEP associate director Renaldo Alba explains. “It begins to change how someone thinks about their academic career, how they take on leadership opportunities on campus and how they take on relationships with other students.”

When students travel to and from campus for classes, they worry about commute times, rush hour, weather conditions, Alba adds. Many students take public transportation as well, which can be unreliable.

Eliminating those factors allows for more socializing with peers, leadership experiences, faculty mentorship and academic excellence.

What it is: The Fordham Housing Fund began in 2011 as a gift from Fordham graduates Kathy and Brian MacLean. The couple created a $350,000 endowment initially, enough to support two commuter students’ on-campus room and board costs for two years. Through additional donor gifts, the fund has grown and now supports nine students annually.

Housing at Fordham for upperclassmen costs between $14,000 and $23,000 for the year, depending on the campus and a student’s occupancy selection. Meal plans run between $3,500 and $4,000 on top of that.

The housing fund also provides students with a move-in care package with some additional goodies, including twin XL sheets to fit the dorm bed.

All of Fordham’s eligible commuter students can receive a renewable $10,000 metro grant to support their travel, and Housing Fund recipients don’t lose that money when they move on-campus.

How it works: Each year, rising juniors in CSTEP apply for a scholarship from the fund. Between 30 and 40 students complete applications, Molina says.

The application asks students why they would benefit from on-campus living and about their current housing situation. Some students are sharing a room with multiple family members at home or commuting for hours to attend classes at Fordham, Alba explains.

Around half of the applicants move on to an interview round, during which students meet with CSTEP staff to discuss their goals and hopes for residential living. After, CSTEP staff select the nine scholarship recipients for the upcoming academic year.

Those recipients are placed in the Martyrs’ Court Jogues Residential College in the Science Integrated Learning Community at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus. The learning community has three live-in tutors from the prehealth or science programs.

The impact: The housing fund has directly contributed to student retention, persistence and stress reduction, Alba says.

Students who move on campus because of the fund are more involved in campus activities, utilize more campus facilities like the library and more often take on leadership roles in student organizations.

“The spirit of the scholarship is to enrich the student experience,” Alba says. “It just so happens that a lot of them become student leaders.”

Students create deeper relationships with their peers as a result, as well.

“We know that college is not just academics,” Molina says. “With the availability and with the time, students will find their tribe.”

The fund also diversifies the demographic of who’s living in the dorms. The majority of Fordham’s residential students are white, and the scholarships create diversity in experience, culture and ideas throughout the residence halls, which is a critical part of the college experience, Molina says.

On a practical level, the fund addresses basic needs like housing and food insecurity, which can also be a detriment to a student’s academic life.

Both Molina and Alba would love to provide more students with on-campus housing opportunities—the primary challenge is funding.

What is a creative way your institution is helping students with basic needs challenges? Tell us about it.

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- Sara Weissman
An inaugural trip for Black and Jewish Adelphi students
Image: David Machlis, an Adelphi University professor, gesticulates at a podium to a room full of seated students at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Small groups of students recently walked through a hallway of portraits at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., quietly staring up at the rows of framed faces that seemed to stare back at them.

A guide encouraged students to focus on one victim and think about whom that person might have been before they were killed in a mass shooting by Nazi forces. One student fixated on a photo of a couple. Two other students stopped to scan the room, and one pointed out the large number of young victims in the portraits.

“This is heartbreaking,” he said. “Look at the children.”

The next day, a student stood for a long moment in front of another portrait, this time at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The photo was of Rhoda Phillips, a Black woman who had been enslaved in Nashville for over 30 years. Students milled around the museum, pausing to reflect on artifacts, from slave owners’ whips and shackles to Harriet Tubman’s hymnal.

The students from Adelphi University in Long Island, N.Y., visited the two Washington museums earlier this month to learn about their own histories, and each other’s, as a part of an inaugural trip for Black and Jewish students. The two-day trip was emotionally packed, with multihour visits to the two museums, a meeting with a Holocaust survivor and talks by historians and other experts.

David Machlis, an associate professor of finance and economics, said he organized the trip to help students look deeper into the painful histories that help contextualize bigotry against Black Americans and Jews today. He believes students will be newly inspired to combat an “epidemic in hatred”—a rise in racist and antisemitic incidents on college campuses and elsewhere across the country.Adelphi University students in yellow shirts walk through a hallway of portraits of people killed in the Holocaust at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The most recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows hate crimes skyrocketed 11.6 percent nationwide between 2020 and 2021. The majority of victims, 65.4 percent, were targeted because of their race or ethnicity, and Black Americans were targeted more than any other group in the report. The latest report from the Anti-Defamation League, an organization tracking antisemitism since 1979, also found antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high in 2022, a 36 percent increase over the prior year. On college campuses, antisemitic incidents rose 41 percent.

Machlis, an octogenarian with a shock of gray hair and a thick Brooklyn accent, has no shortage of idealism about the impact his students could have on these troubling trends. He’s co-founder and vice chairman of International March of the Living, an educational program that takes participants, including high school students and others, to Poland and Israel to learn about the Holocaust.

“This is the most important program I’ve ever developed,” he said. “These are our future leaders.”

“I want to motivate students to all use their platform and stand up to combat racism, intolerance and antisemitism together,” he said. “Antisemitism is not just a Jewish issue, nor should combating racism be just a Black issue.”

Sentwali Bakari, vice president of student affairs at Adelphi, who was part of the group that visited the Washington museums, spoke passionately about how he wants student leaders to learn new lessons about how to work collaboratively in diverse environments, how to “recognize and appreciate and value the differences and simultaneously recognize so much we share.”

Adelphi is home to a fairly diverse student body that’s 9 percent Black, 21 percent Hispanic, 14 percent Asian and Pacific Islander, and 46 percent white.

“Colleges and universities are not immune from what’s going on in the big world,” Bakari said. “Right now, we see racial strife. We see so many things that are not healthy for our country. Whether it’s antisemitism or anti-Black, it’s happening in the country … We can’t be in a bubble.”

He expects when the students see news about antisemitism or anti-Black racism, they’ll now feel compelled to address it.

“This little, small trip could make a difference and spark a thirst for more research, more education, paying a little bit more attention to what’s going on in the world,” he said. “When they see things happening nationally, it might trigger something in them to take, at whatever level they can, their own active efforts to make a difference somehow.”

Two Museums, Two Histories

The group of 18 students—plus the campus Chabad rabbi and a handful of Adelphi administrators, staff and faculty members—arrived at the Holocaust museum after a roughly five-hour bus ride. They poured out of the bus in matching yellow “Two Museums Program” T-shirts and chatted lightly as they were shepherded through security to a classroom, where they heard some introductory remarks from Machlis and a brief history lesson from a Holocaust studies scholar.

As they emerged into the first exhibit of the museum, the tone of the group shifted from giddy to somber. They continued through the museum hushed, some alone or in pairs and others in small groups.Adelphi University students stand in a group near the fountain at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

After winding their way through the exhibits for about an hour, small, impromptu group discussions sprang up. Students peppered the Holocaust educators brought in to accompany the group with questions: How did the swastika become a Nazi symbol? What did “SS” stand for? Was Judaism a religion or a race?

A Jewish freshman said he couldn’t stop staring at a photo of a Jewish couple who had died. They reminded him of him and his girlfriend.

“I could see their love,” said the freshman, who requested anonymity. “It was such a beautiful picture and they looked so happy … and yet they were soon about to be taken and probably separated and sent to death. It really made me sad.”

But he took comfort in being with classmates and seeing them emotionally affected as well. He described standing in a group and listening to one of his peers talk about her experience in the museum. He was moved to see someone who didn’t share his history discussing it in a way that was “so thoughtful and present and compassionate.”

The next day, after hearing from some Adelphi administrators and history experts at their hotel, students similarly navigated their way through the African American history museum, alone or in small clusters, taking in exhibits from the onset of European colonization of Africa through the civil rights movement.

“As we were looking at different sections of the museum, we connected in a way,” said Carlex Villier, a senior on the trip. “Even without speaking, we saw things together and acknowledged what happened in the past and how Black people have persevered through so many difficulties throughout history.”

For Villier, the son of Haitian immigrants, an exhibit about how slaves revolted in the Haitian Revolution brought him a sense of “joy” and left him feeling “prideful.”

“I feel like that’s something that doesn’t really get taught in school,” he said.

Over the course of the trip, both Black and Jewish students were confronted with meaningful, sometimes brutal, brushes with their own histories.

Darius Jones, a sophomore, said it was emotional to see a cabin built by a formerly enslaved person who shared his last name.

“It got me thinking, was that my ancestor?” he said. “It’s still on my mind right now.”

He said it was “heartbreaking” to see so many videos, images and artifacts demonstrating how “evil” people could be to one another.

Several Black students described feeling stilled by the section memorializing Emmett Till, a 14-year-old beaten and lynched in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

For some students, the most impactful moments were engaging with their peers’ history.

Mickellie Wright, a freshman, said she felt emotionally “prepared” for the African American history museum because she’s so familiar with Black history, but parts of the exhibits at the Holocaust museum jarred her. An image that stuck with her was a single baby shoe amid piles of shoes that once belonged to Jews sent to concentration camps.

That shoe, and the cruelty it represented, “will forever stick with me,” she said.

The students were eager to share facts they learned and emotional moments they experienced—but there were also aspects of the program they would change for future years. Some suggested that more time to get to know each other before the trip would have been helpful. Bryce Ridley, a sophomore, said in the beginning of the trip, Black students and Jewish students stuck to themselves, at least at first.

“Towards the end of the trip, everyone came together,” he said.

Wright and other students said they’d like to see more Black speakers featured on future trips. Sophomore Madison Clampman, a Jewish student, agreed and added that having guides at the African American history museum, like they had at the Holocaust museum, would have been beneficial.

Over all, students said the trip accomplished what they hoped—bringing the stories of the Holocaust and African American history to life in ways their textbooks did not.

“To be able to be there, and see the exhibits, and to hear these stories—it’s a lot different from just reading it off of a page and having a test on it,” Clampman said.

Intersecting Pasts and Futures

Black and American Jewish communities have a history of addressing injustices together, Machlis noted. Jewish communal leaders famously marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and were among the founding members of the NAACP.

Fabian Burrell, coordinator for programming and community engagement at the Center for African, Black and Caribbean Studies at Adelphi, who was part of the group of museum visitors, noted there have also been challenging moments in Black-Jewish relations. She cited, for example, the Crown Heights riots, an outbreak of racial tensions between Orthodox Jews and Black residents in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1991 after a Hasidic man hit and killed a Black child while driving.

“What happens in one generation gets passed on to the younger one,” she said of the incident. “It caused a great rift in the Black community and the Jewish community. What we wanted is for these young people, as they’re coming up and they hear those stories, is to understand why things happen. It didn’t just happen out of a vacuum. It happened because people don’t understand each other.”

Students said going to both museums made them reflect on some of the similarities between their communities. Ridley said while the histories are different, he found himself drawing parallels between Black slavery and the Holocaust: how people were discriminated against because of their race or background, taken from their homes, and separated from their families.

“I was able to draw these comparisons and … see where these groups of people are today and how this affected them as a people,” Ridley said.

Lewis Gordon, who heads the philosophy department at the University of Connecticut, highlighted other ways these histories intersect. He noted that Black people living in Germany were also sent to concentration camps, and Nazi propaganda took inspiration from the writings of American eugenicists about Black and Native Americans in its messaging about Jews. He also noted Black and Jewish histories aren’t necessarily separate; there are Black Jews, like himself.

Creating a “meeting ground around struggles against dehumanization is important,” he said. “This is about trying to have a coalition against dehumanization and a coalition for a better project of democracy.”

He noted that some politicians, such as Florida governor Ron DeSantis, are trying to make “the very history of Black people illicit or illegal” by seeking to scrub concepts such as critical race theory from public education. He also pointed to several acts of violence against synagogues in recent years.

He believes the trip is a positive step toward combating exclusion and suggested adding a Native American history component in future years to further that goal.

Students and administrators are now reflecting on how the trip might influence their activities on campus and how they engage with other students going forward. Burrell wants to go on an International March of the Living trip to Poland in the future, and she’s invited Jewish students to her office to take advantage of her book collection on Black history and culture.

Jones said he bonded with students he’d never met before, and some are even talking about creating a podcast focused on Black voices at Adelphi. Many of the students said they plan to stay in touch with each other and tell other classmates about their experience.

Roodginia Guerrier, a senior, said she and other students left the museums feeling a sense of responsibility that their generation needs to “make sure history does not repeat itself.”

“It’s not that far in the past,” Guerrier said. “That’s what I really got from it. I’ve seen some trends going the wrong way, and I’m at the age where I’m not too young to forget. I can use my power in order to do something about it.”

DiversityEditorial Tags: DiscriminationRaceImage Source: Ana RodriguezImage Caption: Adelphi professor David Machlis addresses students at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.Is this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: Trending text: An ‘Epidemic’ of HatredTrending order: 2Display Promo Box: Live Updates: liveupdates0Most Popular: 6In-Article Advertisement High: 9In-Article related stories: 12In-Article Advertisement Low: 15Include DNU?: YesIn-Article Careers: 3
- Colleen Flaherty
What to know about active learning and college student identities
Image: Sara Brownell stands to the side of a round table full of students in an active learning classroom. One student raises his hand and yellow paper placards with students' name dot the table.

Fifty-five percent of students say a teaching style that didn’t work for them has impeded their success in a class since starting college. That makes it the No. 1 reported barrier to academic success in the recent Student Voice survey of 3,004 undergraduates on academic life, conducted in January by Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse. Here’s a breakdown of which students feel especially impacted by teaching style, why they may see this as a barrier and how active learning can help.

Disproportionately Dissatisfied

Among students with learning disabilities or related conditions (n=650):

Teaching style is still the top reported barrier—with the share of students flagging it soaring to 67 percent. Of these students who intend to graduate within the standard time frame for their institution type (two or four years), the share is larger still: 70 percent. There is a strong desire for professors to experiment with different teaching styles. Fifty-seven percent of these students, versus 50 percent of those without learning disabilities or related conditions, express that professors mixing things up would help. Some five in 10 think that professors being more flexible about attendance and/or participation would promote their academic success, compared to four in 10 for all respondents.

Different demographic, similar story: Relatively more LGBTQIA+ students (n=899) cite teaching style as a barrier to academic success than do their straight peers, at 60 percent versus 53 percent, respectively. And LGBTQIA+ students are likelier to say they want professors to be more flexible with participation and attendance, at five in 10 versus four in 10.

Another consideration is mental health. Both LGBTQIA+ students and those with learning disabilities and related conditions are likelier than other subgroups to cite mental health struggles as a barrier to academic success: nearly six in 10 LGBTQIA+ students compared to three in 10 straight students and nearly six in 10 students with learning disabilities compared to three in 10 respondents without such conditions.

Breaking Down the Concern

What are students really saying when they object to teaching style? Students who cite teaching style as a barrier to a success are more likely to name overly difficult material or exams as another barrier (58 percent versus 49 percent for the whole group). So students may associate teaching style with how hard a class is or isn’t.

But students with teaching-style concerns are significantly likelier than the group over all to say they want their professors to experiment with different teaching approaches, too. This suggests that students concerned about teaching style are balking at instructional strategies at least as much as at perceived difficulty. (And this is only amplified for students with learning disabilities and related conditions, who, again, are already more likely to report mental health struggles as a barrier to academic success.)

Which instructional strategies? Research suggests that conventional lecturing remains the dominant instructional approach in higher education, especially in the natural sciences, where many of the studies on active learning are happening.

So it stands to reason that students in the recent Student Voice survey are at least partly rejecting conventional lecturing. Preliminary data from a new Student Voice survey of 1,250 undergraduates somewhat support this idea: the largest share of students (36 percent) say they prefer an interactive lecture—in which the professor breaks at least once to ask students to complete a specific learning task related to the material—over other class formats, including the traditional lecture. (Full results of that survey are coming soon.)

The Active Learning Link

What’s a better approach than traditional lecturing? The literature offers a clear answer: active learning.

Roughly defined, active learning is instruction that demands students actively participate in the knowledge-making process. Active learning exists on a spectrum—from a single interactive moment during a professor-centered class period to an entirely student-centered experience in which the instructor facilitates learning among peers. Examples of active learning strategies include:

Classroom debates Class polls Case studies Think-pair-shares Individual reflection Just-in-time teaching

How students feel about active learning is a bit complicated. Anecdotally, many students find traditional lectures to be less than engaging. But active learning can defy students’ expectations of what’s required of them in a college class and push them out of their comfort zones. One widely cited 2019 study on active learning led by physicist Louis Deslauriers of Harvard University found that students in an active learning classroom felt like they were learning less but actually learned more than students in a lecture-only class—something Deslauriers and his colleagues attributed to the increased cognitive effort required during active learning.

Yet however students feel about active learning, study after study demonstrates that students learn more from active learning than from lectures—and that the positive effects of active learning are especially pronounced for historically marginalized groups.

“Sustained lecturing, or a chalk-and-talk approach, continues to be the dominant mode of instruction across all subject areas—which, as the survey data strongly indicate, leaves more than half of learners behind,” says Thomas J. Tobin, a teaching and learning consultant and founding member of the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring. “The survey data about the perceived fit of instructor methods underlines a challenge that we’ve known about for a long time: our teaching methods have long been out of step with the learning needs of our students.”

Experts therefore recommend using active learning strategies to reach students dissatisfied with current instructional approaches—with some major caveats about sensitivities to student identities.

Inclusive Teaching

Sara Brownell, a professor of life sciences and director of the Research for Inclusive STEM Education Center at Arizona State University, studies how to make science learning environments more inclusive, with a focus on concealable, stigmatized identities. These include LGBTQIA+ identities and learning disabilities and related conditions. Brownell and her colleagues have found, for example, that:

Students say clicker-style questions and group work during active learning can both increase and decrease their anxiety, based on how they’re used. Meanwhile, students say that cold- and random call–type questions only increase anxiety, based on fear of negative evaluation by peers. Active learning classes make students’ LGBTQIA+ identities more relevant due to increased interactions among students during group work, with implications for student learning.

How Sara Brownell, a professor at Arizona State who studies how to make science learning environments more inclusive, makes active learning inclusive in her own large classes: 

She surveys students about their identities at the beginning of the semester and shares anonymized patterns with the class, so that students with, say, mental health concerns, know they’re not alone. She uses what’s referred to as instructor talk, or non-content-specific language, to create a positive classroom culture and demystify some of her pedagogical choices, including her belief that group work builds students’ skills. She gives students name tents (paper name placards) so that she and they know each other’s names and, where they feel comfortable, pronouns. She gives small groups an icebreaker during active learning, such as directing the student with the longest hair in the group to speak first. And she travels around the classroom to speak with students and collect worksheets so that no one has to yell out an answer to the whole class.

Variety, flexibility and compassion underpin Brownell’s approach to active learning. “I’m a huge proponent of active learning, but our guiding hypothesis is that with active learning, we’re changing the dynamics of the classroom,” Brownell tells Inside Higher Ed. “So for different student groups that haven’t necessarily been explored through the lens of active learning, we’re starting to see issues for them. That doesn’t mean we want to throw active learning out the window. That doesn’t mean we want people to go back to traditional lecture. It means we need to be much more thoughtful about how we’re teaching using active learning.” Actions include, Brownell says:

Using different active learning strategies so that all students get used to a variety of experiences, some of which they may prefer over others. Giving all students worksheets during group work, to promote engagement and discourage any one person taking over. Giving students the option of working with each other or working independently when they need a break. Incentivizing attendance via class credit, but building in “a certain number of drops, because life happens.” Normalizing mental health being as important as physical health by indicating support and being “kind” when things come up.

“I let my students know at the beginning of class that my goal is for them to succeed, and I am going to work as hard as I can to get them to learn the material,” she adds. “We know that feeling like the instructor cares is so important to student success.”

‘Listen to Students’

Dynamic teaching can work for neurodivergent students, with some clarifications, says Liz Norell, an associate professor of political science at Chattanooga State Community College and faculty developer who identifies as neurodivergent. Autistic students might have sensitivities around noise levels, lack of predictability or forced social interactions, for example. So options surrounding participation, such as “back-channel” ways to contribute class discussions, matter.

Norell has found that her students are most enthusiastic about learning when she’s given them more control or agency over their learning—namely, the work they’re completing and how it’s shared.

“A lot of this evolution in my own teaching has come from embracing [Universal Design for Learning] and backwards design—focusing really intentionally on what skills students should have when they leave a class I’m teaching and then imagining, in the broadest terms possible, how they might achieve those skills.”

Norell adds an important clarification on identities and diagnoses: that many students have mental health issues or are neurodivergent, “but haven’t had the resources or opportunities for formal testing or diagnosis and hence cannot get official accommodations from the school.” In this and other respects, she says, it’s important to “listen to students.”

Faculty developer Karen Costa, who is currently writing a book on supporting college students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, agrees that the accommodations model of higher education translates to a “huge population of students who need support who just aren’t getting it.” Accessibility should be “in the water,” or the norm, not the exception, she says.

Costa adds this: “Higher ed executive leaders are guided by enrollment numbers yet fail to see the connection between designing for accessibility and student persistence, strangely. The hold of the power structures in higher ed is very strong. Those who figure out that truly supporting students and faculty by redesigning our work for the students, faculty and staff we have now, not those of 400 years ago, will create the institutions that will survive this volatile era.”

Active (Inclusive) Learning: Good Teaching and Good Policy

In the Student Voice survey, Black, Hispanic, Asian and first-generation students were not more likely than their white peers to say to cite teaching style as a barrier to academic success, nor were they more likely to say they wanted professors to experiment with different teaching styles. Still, it’s worth underscoring that active learning has been shown to disproportionately benefit these students.

One study from 2014 found that a “moderate-structure” intervention increased course performance for all students, but worked especially well for Black and first-generation students, halving the Black-white achievement gap and closing the achievement gap with continuing-generation students. Another meta-study from 2020 found that active learning benefits all students but offers disproportionate benefits for individuals from underrepresented groups.

The latter analysis showed that active learning reduced achievement gaps in examination scores by a third and narrowed gaps in passing rates by nearly half. Crucially, it also found that how much active learning students are doing matters, as only classes with high-intensity active learning narrowed achievement gaps.

The study further explains the variation in efficacy within active learning studies with a “heads-and-hearts hypothesis.” In other words, “meaningful reductions in achievement gaps only occur when course designs combine deliberate practice with inclusive teaching.”

Scott Freeman, teaching professor emeritus of biology at the University of Washington and co-author of the 2020 meta-study, says that there is still a disconnect between institutions’ commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion pledges and what’s known about how students learn.

“College campuses are just full of people very concerned about DEI, but then you go into your classrooms and they’re teaching in a way that’s just really punishing to low-income and Black and brown students,” Freeman says. “Institutions need to take the data seriously. If we hire people who are trained to do effective, evidence-based teaching and reward them, we can achieve equity and student outcomes. But the fact is, we’re not doing that.”

Regan Gurung, professor and director of the general psychology program at Oregon State University, who studies teaching and learning, doesn’t necessary like the term “teaching style,” due to its potential to reinforce the debunked notion that individual students have fixed or optimal ways of acquiring knowledge. (He actually addresses the invalid science behind learning styles with his classes each semester because he says the “myth” remains pervasive in K-12 schools.)

What is indisputable, though, Gurung says, is that “good teaching is inclusive teaching.” This means designing a course that is well structured, adopting evidence-based teaching practices and providing students with multiple ways to participate.

“When you’re thinking about teaching, you think about the student-student interaction. You think about the student-instructor interaction. And you think about the student-content interaction,” he says. “Whenever we’re thinking about course design, we should be saying, ‘What are we doing to help students interact with each other, with the material and with us?’”

Read more about Student Voice survey findings on what students want and don’t want from their professors. Share your feedback here.

Student SuccessStudent VoiceEditorial Tags: Student SuccessStudent voiceAcademic LifeImage Source: Arizona State University Image Caption: Sara Brownell, left, uses active learning approaches when teaching students life sciences at Arizona State University. Is this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: Display Promo Box: Live Updates: liveupdates0Most Popular: 6In-Article Advertisement High: 9In-Article related stories: 12In-Article Advertisement Low: 15Include DNU?: NoIn-Article Careers: 3
- Katherine Knott
House Republicans seek ways to protect campus free speech
Image: Four witnesses sit at a table in a House hearing room.

Republicans on the House higher education subcommittee painted a bleak picture of the state of free speech on college campuses during a hearing Wednesday.

“Far too many higher education institutions claim to uphold this right, accept funding from the American taxpayer and then purposefully turn their backs and betray us,” said Utah representative Burgess Owens, a Republican who chairs the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee.

Lawmakers and witnesses at the hearing pointed to incidents on campuses where students disrupted speakers, the use of bias reporting systems and a perceived lack of viewpoint diversity among faculty, staff and students, among other examples, as they sought to show how universities are failing to educate students and creating a climate of self-censorship.

“Our universities are failing miserably at the one thing they are being paid exorbitant amounts to do,” said Cherise Trump, executive director of Speech First, a free speech advocacy organization. “They are failing to educate students.”

Trump said later in the hearing that college policies such as bias reporting systems have created a climate where students are afraid to share their political opinions openly.

“Students are operating in a surveillance-like state,” she said. “They are actively censoring themselves out of fear of espousing the ‘wrong’ opinions.”

Democrats, meanwhile, focused on the recent rise in state laws and proposed bills that would limit what topics can be taught on college campuses.

“I’m deeply concerned about the academic censorship at all levels and including in higher education that’s being advanced by several Republican leaders, especially at the state level,” Oregon representative Suzanne Bonamici said. “This is actual censorship, silencing voices you don’t agree with.”

Suzanne Nossel, chief executive officer of PEN America, a free expression group, said during her testimony there’s a major difference between students disrupting a speaker and state policies.

“To enact legislation that cordons off certain concepts, that says, ‘This may not be taught,’ if you venture into this, you might get into trouble, as an American. That is very dangerous,” she said. “That’s the tactic we see in oppressive countries around the world where there is no buffer zone between the hand of the state and what happens on a university campus.

Virginia representative Bobby Scott, the top Democrat on the full House Committee on Education and the Workforce, said in his opening remarks that Republicans on the panel were not interested in “protecting all speech.”

“Instead, today’s hearing is an example of MAGA Republicans hijacking our shared value of free speech and waging a one-sided campaign to protect conservative speech,” he said. “MAGA Republicans and the far-right news media are peddling empty catchphrases like ‘cancel culture’ and ‘woke’ to fuel mass hysteria around an alleged conspiracy by institutions to degrade conservative free speech. This deliberately hides the real, current threat to free speech on campuses today—that is Republican politicians’ censorship of college curriculum.”

Steven Bloom, assistant vice president for government relations at the American Council on Education, said in an interview after the hearing that campus free speech and academic freedom are bedrock principles in higher education—and they are “alive and well.”

Bloom acknowledged that there are examples where institutions have fallen short, but he said that the lawmakers’ accusations that there’s a widespread issue is “inaccurate.”

Republicans, in their questioning of witnesses, did not talk about the state laws but said they were concerned about the barriers to recognition for conservative and religious student organizations; the perceived lack of viewpoint diversity among faculty, students and administration; the increase in diversity, equity and inclusion administrators; and the rise in antisemitism on college campuses.

Ilya Shapiro, director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, said during his testimony that what happens on college campuses has broader implications for American society.

“We used to think that what happened on college campuses, ‘Well, that’s just those crazy kids. Once they grow up and [are] exposed to the real world, things are going to change,’” he said. “All of the sudden these students are going to grow up and occupy positions in society all over the place … If they don’t believe that ideas that they don’t like are worthy of hearing, then our whole constitutional order is lost.”

Likewise, Owens said that the nation’s future is at stake “when our universities do nothing to safeguard free speech.”

“This committee should explore possible legislative avenues to create the right incentives to remind universities of the trust we give them when we fund them through our tax dollars,” he said. “That trust is to not be an adversary to our sacred free speech rights but to protect it. My colleagues and I have the delicate job of considering how to ensure compliance through enforcement mechanisms that our law currently lacks.”

Other lawmakers and several witnesses agreed that Congress should take action to address the issue, though they didn’t offer many specifics on what potential actions could look like.

Shapiro said that institutions must instill a culture of respect for opposing views and end compelled speech in the form of diversity statements.

“But it can’t all be done from within, so we need external controls from state legislators and attorneys general, as well as congressional oversight tied to federal funding,” he said.

Many of the questions and comments focused on the recent incident at Stanford University between law school students and Judge Kyle Duncan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Students protested and disrupted the talk hosted by the campus Federalist Society chapter. Tirien Angela Steinbach, an associate dean of the law school for diversity, equity and inclusion, intervened and voiced support for the students. University leaders later apologized to Duncan and put the associate dean on leave.

“It is because of incidents like this and administrators like Dean Steinbach that students, both conservative and liberal, at Stanford and college campuses around the country are too scared to speak up in the classroom and share their viewpoints,” said Josiah Joner, a sophomore at Stanford University. “It has instilled angst into each student for fear of sharing their opinions. Anything they say might also be viciously condemned by these same university administrators; the best option is to merely stay silent and keep one’s opinions to themselves.”

Joner said repeatedly during the hearing that what is needed is university officials who truly uphold principles of free speech.

“Students come to the university setting to receive an education to prepare them for the workforce and challenges of the future, but if administrations continue to condone violations of free speech and fail to take concrete steps to ensure they don’t happen in the first place, the acceptance of denying free speech will continue to grow amongst students as they eventually become the next leaders in government and business,” he said.

Editorial Tags: Federal policyImage Source: YouTubeImage Caption: Cherise Trump, executive director for Speech First; Josiah Joner, a Stanford student; Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America; and Ilya Shapiro, director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute, testified at the hearing.Is this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: Trending text: House Republicans Focus on Campus SpeechTrending order: 1Display Promo Box: Live Updates: liveupdates0Most Popular: 6In-Article Advertisement High: 9In-Article related stories: 12In-Article Advertisement Low: 15Include DNU?: YesIn-Article Careers: 3
- Jaime Adame
Casino project opposed By Hofstra, supported by others
Image: Aerial view of a portion of the Hofstra University campus and the Hempstead Turnpike, as well as the Nassau Coliseum

A push by the deep-pocketed Las Vegas Sands Corporation to build a casino and entertainment complex in Long Island, N.Y., has riled leaders of a nearby college who say the development would harm their students and the region.

But the outspoken stance taken by Hofstra University’s president and trustees against the proposed multibillion-dollar project is not shared by leaders of neighboring Nassau Community College and Long Island University, who have “agreed in principle” with casino project representatives to expand academic programs in hospitality and culinary arts. The community college also is partnering with the developers to serve as a workforce training hub.

Las Vegas Sands Corporation announced plans in January to bring restaurants, hotel rooms, a live performance venue, gambling and other amenities to some 80 acres via a lease takeover of the site occupied by the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, an aging sports arena whose previous major tenant, the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League, left for a different venue. The area is referred to as the Nassau Hub.

The coliseum sits just north of the Hempstead Turnpike, a major thoroughfare that also bisects the Hofstra University campus. The private university enrolls about 6,000 undergraduates, and about 41 percent of them live in university-operated housing, according to self-reported information. (The university also enrolls about 4,000 graduate students.) Many other students live in housing near the campus, a spokeswoman said.

“It is not the kind of thing we want across the street from our university,” Susan Poser, the university’s president, said in a phone interview, adding that her description of the site’s location “is not an exaggeration at all.”

Poser said the university is “very pro development,” and she added that “I don’t really have a position about gambling,” so opposition is not about “my personal view.”

But a casino can lead to “too many negatives that are particularly bad for students of that age to be sort of tempted by,” she said.

For example, students may be susceptible to gambling away their financial aid funds, she said.

Several other big-budget development ideas will compete for three gaming licenses to be awarded by state regulators. Representatives of what’s known as the Sands New York project did not respond to multiple voice messages and requests for comment, nor did they directly respond to criticisms made at a reported 50-person rally against the project last week, according to Newsday.

A statement forwarded to Newsday described Sands New York as “grateful for the community support we have received” for “our proposal for a world-class resort and entertainment center at the Nassau Hub—and we are proud that the coalition of Long Island supporters continues to grow through our meetings with civic leaders, small business owners, and youth empowerment programs.”

While the explosion in online sports wagering means many students already have been exposed to gambling, a casino next door brings about other concerns, Poser said.

“Some of these casino operators say, ‘Well, they’re already betting in their dorm rooms.’ But it’s a very different thing. Nobody’s going to get hit by a car or robbed if they’re sitting in a dorm room,” Poser said.

Hofstra’s Board of Trustees wrote an open letter earlier this month denouncing the proposed site as an “entirely inappropriate location for a casino” and citing concerns about traffic and crime. They also noted the “nearly 40,000 students, ranging from preschoolers to graduate students, who attend school either contiguous or in proximity to the Nassau Hub.”

Officials at the institutions that support the project have talked up the potential opportunities it would create for students to pursue careers in hospitality services, which has been a common theme in casino-college partnerships announced in other parts of the country, including one involving what was once a Sands Corporation property in Bethlehem, Pa.

Left largely unspoken is the possibility of a financial investment from the casino giant to help pay for academic programs.

“The Sands came to us and proposed to us to become the training center for the Sands operation, the hotel and resort, and it was something that was very appealing,” said Jerry Kornbluth, a Nassau Community College vice president who oversees governmental relations.

No deal has been reached involving the Sands giving the college money to support academic or training programs related to hospitality industry jobs, Kornbluth said.

“We haven’t had any of those discussions yet,” Kornbluth said.

Kornbluth said the college “saw this as a great opportunity for our community, where students come here to get an education—not necessarily transfer to a four-year college—but come here to learn a skill and enter the job force.”

Nassau Community College enrolls about 12,500 students, according to federal data. Data provided by Kornbluth showed that the college had 46 students majoring in culinary arts, 36 studying hospitality and 50 enrolled in food and nutrition studies last fall.

“We have a strong culinary program, a hospitality management program as well as other programs that would fit right into what the Sands would be looking for,” Kornbluth said, adding that other programs, such as cybersecurity, also could train workers for the casino and entertainment project.

Maria Conzatti, acting president of Nassau Community College, and Kimberly R. Cline, president of Long Island University, joined with a Sands representative for an announcement event earlier this month touting the new partnership.

“We are extraordinarily proud to be working with Long Island University and Nassau Community College to build a world-class hospitality program, creating new pathways to success for Long Islanders,” Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs for Las Vegas Sands, said in a statement.

Reese did not return an email and multiple voice messages seeking further comment. There also was no response to a request for an interview submitted through a website for the New York project.

Long Island University, which has a campus located about eight miles from the proposed casino site, would seek approval to expand degree offerings in fields related to hospitality management and culinary arts, according to the announcement. The university has two major campuses, and its Long Island site is known as LIU Post.

“The creation of new studies specializing in hospitality management and culinary arts will offer unparalleled experiential learning and access to professional opportunities that will launch students to successful careers,” Cline said in a statement. Officials with Long Island University did not respond to an email and voice message.

The joint agreement announcement noted that Sands previously partnered with Northampton Community College when it began a casino operation in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania property reportedly sold for $1.3 billion. Prior to the sale, the Sands property served as a longtime sponsor for college fundraisers.

“The Sands Casino & Resort in Bethlehem was a lead sponsor for nearly 10 years with the college’s annual Food & Wine Festival that they hosted at the resort. The event has raised more than $2.2 million to fund scholarships,” Mia Rossi-Marino, a spokeswoman for Northampton, said in an email.

Parents of Hofstra University students are among those opposing the casino project, however.

“My son did not go to college in the city because I was not comfortable with him being in New York City. We decided that Long Island was going to be a good place for him,” said Nicole Serralta, a volunteer board member of the Hofstra Parent and Family Council. “The hope was it would be a little bit safer, a little bit quieter, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.”

She said Hofstra parents are now advocating for elected officials to try to stop the casino, but she said she’s unsure if the efforts will be successful.

A casino next door could potentially affect future students’ decisions about attending Hofstra, she said.

“I would think that when you’re looking at different colleges, you always have to weigh the pros and the cons,” Serralta said, adding that having a casino so close to campus would be “definitely a negative.”

Image Source: Courtesy Hofstra UniversityImage Caption: The Nassau Hub, seen in the upper left of this aerial photo, may become a casino and entertainment complex near the campus of Hofstra University, pictured in the image foreground.Is this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: Display Promo Box: Live Updates: liveupdates0Most Popular: 6In-Article Advertisement High: 9In-Article related stories: 12In-Article Advertisement Low: 15Include DNU?: YesIn-Article Careers: 3
- Doug Lederman
Damián J. Fernández, president of Eckerd College, in Florida, has been named president of Warren Wilson College, in North Carolina. Todd Pfannestiel, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Utica University, in New York, has been chosen as president there. Christina Schnyders, interim provost at Malone University, in Ohio, has been appointed to the job on a permanent basis. Susan Rundell Singer, vice president for academic affairs and provost at Rollins College, in Florida, has been selected as president of St. Olaf College, in Minnesota. Murtis Worth, interim senior vice president for academic and student services at Fayetteville Technical Community College, in North Carolina, has been named to the job on a permanent basis. Editorial Tags: College administrationNew presidentsIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: Display Promo Box: Live Updates: liveupdates0Most Popular: 6In-Article Advertisement High: 9In-Article related stories: 12In-Article Advertisement Low: 15Include DNU?: YesIn-Article Careers: 3
- Doug Lederman
Christine de Pizan on Gender and Warfare in the Middle Ages

Writers who lived through war can help bring different perspectives to these conflicts. In today’s Academic Minute, Binghamton University’s Marilynn Desmond details one such writer. Desmond is a distinguished research professor at Binghamton. A transcript of this podcast can be found here.

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- Anonymous
Blog: Beyond Transfer

In 2021, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education reported that two out of three learners—we call them learners, not students, to dispel the image of the 18- to 22-year-old residential student—come to college with previous credit or prior learning. Today, equity and the competitive race to increase enrollments, coupled with the call for return on investment in higher education, have forced a conversation about learners and their transfer success. Effective transfer policies require collective action by both the sending and receiving institutions, including the fair treatment of all learners and all credits. There are too many broken links in the transfer chain. “Bought versus brought” credit, coined by the authors (Gentle-Genitty and Weber 2022), continues to fuel a war of sorts—a war where learners are the casualties and institutions fight among themselves, armed for battle and holding their ground.

For institutions, the war is over the relevance of money and value:

MONEY: Do we make or lose money? VALUE: Do we enhance or devalue the program or degree if we accept all credit? An Incentive Business Model Bought credits refer to credits learners purchase (tuition paid) at the institution at which they are enrolled. Brought credits refer to the credit learners bring into their receiving institution.

Calls for enhanced credit for prior learning practices and a push by policy makers to shore up the ROI for public higher education leaves some institutions tussling over whether to accept more credits. Cummings and colleagues (2021) report that institutions’ concerns coalesce around reduced income, impact on faculty load, straying from mission or becoming obsolete, to closures. Thus, they saddle up for battle emphasizing bought credit. The foundation of the institutional budget and business model is bought credit. Tuition is charged and faculty pay and workload are measured by bought credits. The relative or comparative success of many academic programs are in part measured by the full-time equivalent enrollments in their programs. Decreasing state support of higher education adds to the economic pressure at many public institutions who rely on external funding. Ultimately, it is more fiscally sound for the institution if learners buy or earn the credit directly. For outsiders, this translates into strict transfer policies and fewer resources dedicated to the transfer process, resulting in limited articulations, slow credit evaluations and scattered or absent prior-learning policies for learners other than the military. In sum, institutional transfer acceptance practices may cause an incentive business model where learners must buy credits (NECHE 2004). Receiving institutions place credit limits, accepting only a few credits beyond the associate degree (Moody 2019), with little regard for applicability to the learner’s next-level degree objective.

Brought credit is the most common currency in the transfer process. When packaged, it includes high school credit (Advanced Placement, exam, dual, concurrent and enrollment credit); two-year college credit (remedial education, general education, exploratory, prerequisites and major); four-year college credit (general education, campus required, major, minor and elective); international credit (varies based on degree and other credits); and other credits (prior learning, military, exam, test or portfolio credit). The previously discussed financial disincentives create a culture that favors bought credit at the expense of equity and learner centricity.

Do Institutions Really Embrace a Transfer-Receptive Culture?

Many institutions claim maintenance of rigor, curricular control or accreditation standards, but the true question at play is whether the institution embraces a transfer-receptive culture (Taylor and Jain 2017). Much institutional behavior shows a self-fulfilling process shaped by management practices (Fabrizio, et al. 2005) around what can or cannot be counted. Crisp (2021), in an ACE report for their transfer task force, reviewed transfer and articulation agreements and noted that, although they meet a need as one of the most actionable ways to impact transfer, many lacked the curriculum alignment necessary to make any inroads for learners and the ability to apply their earned credits. In fact, institutions push such decisions to advisers far removed from the actual credit evaluation.

The most common result is that learners’ plans to leverage gained credits to save time and money toward the purchase of a credential fall short. They become disheartened when they learn that their credits are treated like foreign currency, feeling hoodwinked when they learn there is no standard exchange rate to convert their credits. Such inconsistencies hamper precision in converting brought credit even when both the sending and receiving institutions are accredited by the same body and based in the same state. Without a clear avenue to the conversion of credits to the local currency, learners are prevented from knowing how much their credit is worth or how much of the credential they can purchase with those brought credits. Such inconsistencies perpetuate inequity.

A Hindrance to Learning Mobility

Institutions have historically been resistant to transfer credit, despite it being an essential component of student success. National organizations such as AACRAO, ACE, CHEA, the federal government, the Beyond Transfer Policy Advisory Board and more are asking for institutions to look inward, redefine transfer and engage in transfer reform and reset. Use the past to guide the future, fix barriers to fair outcomes and address the broken system with a village. Solutions have been self-maintained at the status quo. Common metrics have masked successes, calling for more articulations and technology, when in fact fewer than 14 percent of transfer students complete and graduate with a bachelor’s degree, as reported by the Aspen Institute (Jenkins and Fink 2016).

Across the globe, learners are becoming mobile, and they expect to be able to engage in preferred learning opportunities or credentials that best suit their personal and career goals. Institutions must evolve to keep up with changing learner needs and the opportunities for improvement abound. Leaders like those in the academic services and enrollment management community are positioned to disrupt the status quo of relying on self-serving, self-fulfilling decision models, which handcuff institutions’ ability to see credit as currency and to change institutional equivalency practices. Using outdated mechanisms to process, accept and apply credit will continue to constrain universities and colleges, resulting in the loss of large numbers of learners and negatively influencing the long-term financial health of the institution. Transfer should be a priority to our institutions for our equity obligations, societal responsibility and to our revenue bottom line, even more so as we navigate a pandemic, a demographic shift and changing consumer demands. Repurposing our resources and prioritizing the fixing of the transfer problem is a necessity. It requires consistency. It requires someone intricately tied to the value of education to manage the tug-o-war over bought and brought credits. “To design a transfer student experience supportive of persistence and completion, higher education institutions must work collectively to create clearer transfer pathways with aligned guidance and support” (Fink 2021, 48).

Carolyn Gentle-Genitty is an AACRAO Member, an ACE fellow, tenured professor, research scholar and transfer expert with 24 years in higher ed and serves as Indiana University’s assistant vice president for university academic policy. She is a former director of the universitywide transfer office. Leading reverse transfer, articulation agreements, guaranteed admissions, transfer pathways, eight-week strategic transfer initiatives, best practice assessments and data alignment, she stands as a leader in transfer at the state and university level in Indiana. Jeff Weber is an AACRAO member with more than 30 years of experience in higher education policy and research. He is known for his acumen on transfer policy, transfer articulation for degrees and the analysis finesse for application to students. He currently serves as the universitywide assistant director for university academic policy and programs and is a former assistant program director for the University Transfer Office at Indiana University.

Carolyn Gentle-GenittyJeff WeberShow on Jobs site: Disable left side advertisement?: Is this diversity newsletter?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Advice Newsletter publication dates: Tuesday, March 28, 2023Diversity Newsletter publication date: Tuesday, March 28, 2023Trending: 
- Matt Reed
Blog: Confessions of a Community College Dean

A comment at last week’s conference on humanities at community colleges has stuck with me.

The context was a discussion of student responses to controversial topics. Someone mentioned that in the K-12 world, students are taught—sometimes deliberately, sometimes by default—that the book they’re reading is true. They generally assume that it was chosen for them on the grounds that it’s correct. Fiction is an obvious exception, but even there, it’s assumed that the work is generally recognized as great or it wouldn’t have been assigned.

When they get to college (or college classes), that assumption doesn’t always hold. Texts will be assigned that clash with each other. Some texts will be largely correct and/or worthy, but they’ll have some glaring flaws. Others will be substantially wrong or off-base but in interesting ways that reward close attention. Still others won’t be so much “right” or “wrong” as emblematic of the time and place in which they were written.

We often try to convey that idea through terms like “critical reading” or “critical thinking,” but those terms contain multitudes. The word “critical” can mean so many different things.

In the vernacular, “critical” usually means “negative.” “Why are you being so critical?” “Stop being so critical.” A student who understands “critical” in this sense is likely to resort to one of two habits: either ducking engagement altogether or fully attacking. The latter is probably the preferable of the two, since it presumes some level of awareness of the text, but it hits diminishing returns pretty quickly. It can devolve into a dispiriting game of “gotcha.” A statement like “that’s problematic …” should start a conversation rather than end it.

Academics tend to use “critical” to mean “nuanced.” An interpretation of a text or an idea can be both critical and sympathetic; the best ones usually are. That involves seeing texts and ideas as flawed products of flawed people but not expecting otherwise. It involves the student, or reader, seeing themselves as peers with the producers of the work rather than either being unworthy of the wisdom or posing as a hanging judge.

It’s a difficult position to get to, especially in the early going. It involves risking getting something wrong, or having to defend a position against someone who disagrees. It means doing the work of digging into the text beyond first impressions and sometimes fighting the urge to dismiss a frustrating piece with a zinger. (I may have done that once or twice …) But done well, it can lead to real understanding.

Sometimes open-ended questions can help. I still remember being struck when a sociology professor in college asked us why we thought the civil rights movement in the U.S. happened when it did, rather than 20 years earlier or 20 years later. It was a great question because it prevented the easy retreat to platitudes. It required actual thought. When I taught political theory, one question that quickly helped me gauge students’ comprehension was to start the session on Marx with “What did Marx like about capitalism?” (No, the answer is not “nothing.”) Until they could answer that, they couldn’t really grasp what he was trying to do. It wasn’t about whether they liked him or agreed with him; that could come later. It was about whether they had actually understood him. Without that, a summary judgment wouldn’t mean much.

That sense of being able to engage a text or an idea as an equal can take time. It takes practice. Students who grew up reading voraciously may bring it with them to college; others may need to develop it from scratch. I see it as similar to what we want democratic citizens to be able to do. Excessive deference to authority defeats the purpose of democracy, but ritualistic bashing doesn’t lead anywhere good, either. Citizens who feel able to engage with public issues and public figures as equals are the best chance for democracies to thrive. I’m much quicker to trust someone who sees flaws in both sides but can still prefer one to the other for reasons they can explain. That posture allows for persuasion as an alternative to force.

Wise and worldly readers, have you found effective ways to help students develop the “critical” posture in the sense that academics use the term? If so, I’d love to hear about it. I can be reached via email at deandad (at) gmail (dot) com, on Twitter at deandad, or on Mastodon at deandad at-sign masto (dot) ai. With permission, I’ll share some of the more interesting ones in an upcoming post.

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- Anonymous

Joya Misra, Dawn Culpepper and KerryAnn O’Meara offer four strategies for ensuring workload and rewards systems equitably recognize the efforts of women faculty of color.

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- Scott Jaschik

The University of California has proposed, for the first time, a guaranteed admission plan for all qualified community college students, but the plan applies to the UC system, not individual campuses. So students would be assured of a spot in the system, but not on a particular campus, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Community college students would need to complete a new unified set of general education courses required by both UC and the California State University system, complete specific coursework needed for their intended majors, and earn a minimum grade point average. Those who are not admitted to their campuses of choice would be offered a spot at UC Santa Cruz, UC Merced or UC Riverside.

The proposal comes amid a debate over another plan for community college transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles. That plan, from Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, calls for UCLA to create a guaranteed transfer pathway for community college students or forfeit a chunk of state funding.

To meet the requirements outlined in the proposed budget, UCLA would have to join the UC Transfer Admissions Guarantee program, which offers California community college students who meet specific criteria guaranteed admission to participating UC campuses. Six of the nine campuses that educate undergraduates currently participate, with UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego making up the last holdouts. UCLA would also be required to participate in the Associate Degree for Transfer program, which promises community college students who fulfill certain requirements a guaranteed spot at participating four-year institutions, including all California State University campuses. If UCLA doesn’t meet both requirements, it risks losing $20 million in ongoing state funding.

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- Josh Moody

Could a Republican politician soon be taking the helm of another Florida university?

Florida representative Randy Fine said recently that Republican governor Ron DeSantis has pitched him on the presidential post at Florida Atlantic University, Florida Today reported. Fine, who has served in the Florida House of Representatives since 2016, said that DeSantis has approached him about taking the position, but he has not yet formally applied for the role.

Fine’s term is set to end next year, but he has already filed to run for a State Senate seat.

If hired, Fine would be the third former Republican politician tapped to lead a Florida university in recent months. Former U.S. senator from Nebraska Ben Sasse was hired as president of the University of Florida in November and formally stepped into the job in February. Richard Corcoran, a former Republican Speaker of the House in Florida’s Legislature who also served as the state’s education commissioner and as a member of the Florida Board of Governors, was hired as interim president of the New College of Florida in February, following a restructuring of NCF’s board, with DeSantis appointing conservative trustees who pushed out the prior president.

Similarly, former Republican state lawmaker and DeSantis ally Ray Rodrigues was hired from a pool of only eight candidates as chancellor of the State University System of Florida in September.

FAU is currently led by an interim president, with a presidential search ongoing. Fine’s interest in the job is unclear given that he told Florida Today that he is currently “focused on the Legislature.”

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- Josh Moody

Germanna Community College president Janet Gullickson has been charged with driving under the influence and reckless driving and was arrested in the incident earlier this month, according to reporting from The Culpeper-Star Exponent. Gullickson is scheduled to appear in court in April.

The newspaper reported that Gullickson was arrested and charged after she was pulled over on March 16 for driving 76 miles per hour on a stretch of road where the speed limit was 55 miles per hour.

Germanna Community College officials declined to address the incident, telling The Culpeper Star-Exponent that it was a “pending legal matter” that it would be inappropriate to comment on.

Gullickson has led the community college in Virginia since 2017.

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- Josh Moody

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has issued a show cause order to the King’s College in New York City, which has faced recent financial issues and possible closure.

The accreditor issued the show cause order Wednesday, noting that there was “insufficient evidence that the institution is in compliance” with MSCHE standards on “planning, resources, and institutional improvement.” The show cause order is due April 18 and must demonstrate that the King’s College “has achieved and can sustain ongoing compliance with commission’s standards, requirements, policies and procedures, and federal compliance requirements.”

MSCHE previously required the college to submit a teach-out plan.

The King’s College, a private Christian university on Wall Street, announced earlier this year that it needed $2.6 million to meet its “immediate needs.” The college has attributed its financial struggles to issues related to the coronavirus pandemic and economic challenges. However, the King’s College has also experienced the loss of major donors in recent years, who previously plugged a persistent budget deficit and launched an ambitious online expansion plan that was soon aborted.

The fate of the college remains unclear after the end of the current academic year.

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- Ryan Quinn

The United States and about 70 other countries issued a joint statement Wednesday supporting academic freedom.

“Academic freedom is key to human rights education but also essential for technical and scientific progress and for the development of the creative industries and the arts,” says the statement, issued at the 52nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. “It is intrinsically linked to the effective enjoyment of other rights and freedoms, such as participation in public affairs, freedom of opinion and expression and the right to education, demonstrating the indivisibility of all human rights.

“Without freedom to teach and research, and without freedom to disseminate and debate the results of research, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals will be compromised,” the statement says. “Without academic freedom, there is no safeguard against the manipulation of information or against the distortion of history.”

“Regrettably, attacks on academic freedom are on the rise,” the statement says. “These include: repression, intimidation and harassment of researchers and teachers in connection with their research and public statements; dissolution of research institutions and the establishment of restrictive legal or financial frameworks.”

“We hereby call for enhanced international cooperation towards strengthening the protection and promotion of academic freedom in the spirit of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,” the statement says. “We further call on the United Nations human rights system to redouble efforts in addressing this issue, in conjunction with relevant multilateral and regional institutions.”

Scholars at Risk, which says it’s an international network of institutions and people protecting scholars and promoting academic freedom, praised the statement.

“As the signatories acknowledged, attacks against academic freedom are on the rise around the world, imperiling social, political and scientific progress, political participation, and numerous related rights and freedoms,” said Rob Quinn, Scholars at Risk’s executive director, in a news release.

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- Doug Lederman

Today on the Academic Minute: Marilynn Desmond, distinguished research professor at Binghamton University, uses the example of Christine de Pizan to show how writers who lived through war can help bring different perspectives to these conflicts. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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- Palmer Media
Academic Freedom, Civil Liberties, and Emerging Technology with New College Alum Jennifer Granick
Jennifer Granick is the surveillance and cybersecurity counsel with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. She litigates, speaks, and writes about privacy, security, technology, and constitutional rights. She is the author of the book American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What to Do About It and is an alum of New College of Florida along with host Mike Palmer. She joins Mike in a conversation about her work with the ACLU, her perspectives on the current situation at New College, and her thoughts on education and the future of work in light of the emergence of generative AI and Chat GPT. We begin by hearing Jennifer's origin story, beginning in New Jersey before studying at New College as an undergraduate on her way to becoming a lawyer. From there we hear how she began studying the Internet in its infancy in the 90s helping to create Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. Since then she's become increasingly involved in civil liberties relating to emerging technology. We talk about the situation at New College while hearing Jennifer's thoughts on emerging trends in education, privacy, surveillance and the law. Don't miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more. And if you like what you’re hearing, stay tuned for the launch of a new feed dedicated to New College coming to a podcast provider near you!
- Palmer Media
Powering Learner Pathways Through Higher Ed with StraighterLine CEO Heather Combs
Heather Combs is the CEO of StraighterLine, a platform that provides affordable access to college credit through online courses. Heather joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about the disruption we've witnessed to traditional models of higher education in recent years and the role StraighterLine is playing in this transformation. Heather begins by describing her background in business transformation and software development that provides sharp perspective into developing online products that tap into new and emerging markets. We explore how for many learners the traditional models of the academic schedule and synchronous classes just don't make sense. We discuss how credentialing and skills-based learning are providing opportunities to move quickly and work with industry to keep pace with the accelerated rate of change. Heather shares her thoughts on the transferability of learning credentials and the need for better solutions for learning records similar to what is happening with medical records. It's an insightful dive into transformations actively occurring in higher education. Don't miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more.
- Palmer Media
Teaching, Writing, and Chat GPT with Joel Kupperstein
Joel Kupperstein is the Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at Learning A to Z. He joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about teaching, writing, and emerging tools like Chat GPT and generative AI. Joel shares his roots as a teacher from a family of teachers who began in the classroom in Los Angeles before moving to Product Strategy on the commercial side at leading EdTech companies like Learning A To Z. We explore how the design of assignments and assessments will need to evolve as large language models empower teachers and students to become more efficient and creative with their learning endeavors. Joel shares his advice to teachers and other learning professionals as we reflect on the awakenings in recent years and how they relate to new AI tools like Chat GPT. Don't miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on the future of learning.
- Palmer Media
Exploring Roblox and Design Technology with Kyle Li
Kyle Li is an interaction and learning designer based in New York City where he's an Assistant Professor of Design Technology at Parsons School of Design. He joins host Mike Palmer to discuss his experiences working with students exploring design and emerging technology. Kyle shares how he is fulfilling his mission to bridge the gap between higher education and emerging tech by working on projects like the partnership Parsons has formed with Roblox, the gaming platform used by millions of kids. He shares his advice for learning professionals who are trying to motivate rising talent while staying relevant in transformational times. Don't miss this deep dive into the intersection between emerging platforms, user-generated content, user-centered design, and the future of education. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on what's emerging in the world of learning.
- Palmer Media
Live Learning Trends Panel with Q+A from SXSW EDU
Host Mike Palmer is joined live at SXSW EDU by Dr. Tolonda Tolbert, Elliot Felix, Dr. Robin Naughton, and a live audience as we reveal our Learning Trends March Madness Brackets for 2023. We meet Tolonda, Elliot, and Robin briefly as Mike welcomes, family and friends into the conversation. He shares the show's history with March Madness and our previous junkets to Austin to record episodes at SXSW EDU. From there, we hear from each of the panelists as they introduce their four trends for the brackets ranging from Tolonda's experience as a Co-Founder of Eskalera, Elliot's perspectives from consulting and writing How to Get the Most Out of College, and Robin's takes on libraries and emerging technology as a Web and Digital Services Librarian at Queens College. It's an eclectic assortment of new ideas worth tracking in the world of learning that you don't want to miss! We conclude with audience questions and answers from the panelists in a free-flowing conversation about what's bubbling up in the learning zeitgeist in the Spring of 2023. We hope you enjoy. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at all March to track our brackets, vote on matchups, and more as we gear up to name a winning trend at the end of the tournament.
- Palmer Media
Learning Trends March Madness Kickoff from SXSW EDU
To celebrate the kickoff of our Learning Trends March Madness Brackets, host Mike Palmer introduces Nancy his Virtual CoHost who runs through a ChatGPT-powered simulation of our Learning Trends Tournament for 2023. But fear not, we're just getting started. All of this coincides with our live panel at SXSW EDU in Austin that kicks off the podcast stage. Then as a special bonus we share a conversation Mike had with SXSW EDU Founder Ron Reed and its Senior Director Greg Rosenbaum during our first visit at the conference back in 2019. Visit us at and follow us @TrendinginEd on Twitter all month as we launch polls to let you help decide which trends survive and advance in pursuit of the coveted number 1 spot in our Learning Trends Winner for 2023. Don't miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts for more sharp takes on what's emerging in the world of learning.
- Palmer Media
SXSW EDU 2023 Hype Show with Dr. Robin Naughton
Dr. Robin Naughton is an Assistant Professor and Web and Digital Services Librarian at Queens College in New York. She specializes in Human-Computer Interaction and User-Centered Research with a focus on mental models of libraries and library websites. She joins her husband, our host, Mike Palmer, in a conversation to set the stage for their live panel at SXSW EDU with Dr. Tolonda Tolbert and Elliot Felix on Monday, March 6th at 11:30am in Austin. If you're at SXSW on Monday, we'd love to see you. If you can't make it, don't worry, we'll be sharing the panel as an upcoming episode soon. Robin shares her takes on what's emerging in learning based on her experiences as a Librarian and as an Educator as we gear up for our trip to SXSW with our 4-year-old son. We talk about Chat GPT and Generative AI and even check in with Nancy our Virtual Cohost as we begin to shape up our March Madness brackets which will be revealed as part of the panel. We also touch on Elliot's book and Tolonda's company as we get ready to explore the learning zeitgeist at SXSW and through our March Madness Tournament. We also talk durable skills and the role of parents in the learning journey as we reflect on the future of education as the parents of a young son who will be there with us for the trip. It's a wide-ranging and personal conversation that should get you amped up for SXSW and our March Madness of Learning Trends. Don't miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on the future of learning.
- Palmer Media
Starting from Scratch with Osnat Benari
Osnat Benari is a product and leadership coach for companies and professionals. She has over 20 years of product management experience working for companies like Diligent, Verizon Media, WeWork, and BBG Ventures. She has been named one of the top product-led growth influencers. She joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about her book, Starting From Scratch: Managing Change Like Your Career Depends on It. In a free-flowing conversation, Osnat walks us through the steps outlined in the book beginning with adopting a learning mindset. Then we learn how resilience and letting go are so critical for success in disruptive times. From there, she shares stories of how she’s navigated through downsizing, layoffs, and reorgs in her career. We talk about using our instincts and sensing when change is coming to allow us to assert our agency to pursue a professional roadmap for ourselves. We even touch on quiet quitting. If you're interested in how product thinking and agile practices can be applied to your career growth in challenging times, don't miss it. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp perspectives on the world of learning.
- Palmer Media
Building a Platform for the Future of Test Prep with Jonny Coreson
Jonny Coreson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Everprep, a platform designed for professionals who want to share their expertise with learners seeking to pass exams to earn credentials. He joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about the “Long Tail” of Test Prep and how he’s building a SaaS solution to empower both providers and preppers alike to achieve their goals and dreams. We hear Jonny’s “origin story” which begins in the Navy where he built a successful prep product with Bluejacketeer to prepare sailors for the Navy-Wide Advancement Exam. This was born of he and his Co-Founder’s experiences helping Navy Corpsman and showed the power of designing by sailors for sailors. After selling Bluejacketeer to Kaplan, he’s now founded Everprep to extend the idea to all kinds of test-based credentials and certifications. We talk about the power of ChatGPT and generative AI in test prep content generation and muse a bit about the power of learning science and the future of assessment and more in a free-flowing conversation you don’t want to miss. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on the future of education.
- Palmer Media
Placemaking in Virtual Reality with Don Carson
Don Carson is the Sr. Art Director at Mighty Coconut where he creates attractions to be experienced in VR for games like Walkabout Mini Golf and beyond. He joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about his experiences with placemaking in virtual reality and how those insights might relate to learning. After Don was trained as a commercial illustrator, his work branched out to focus on the design of physical and virtual spaces. Working as a Senior Show Designer, and freelance contributor to Walt Disney Imagineering, Don learned to communicate design through conceptual sketches and 3D models. This work has expanded to include everything from designing entire lands for the Disney parks to guiding teams of designers as they build 3D environments in virtual worlds and 3D games. We learn what it’s like to do what Don does while thinking through what this could mean for education. It’s a mind-expanding exploration of emerging experiences and how they’re designed. Don’t miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more.
- Palmer Media
Using Generative AI in Education with Dr. Philippa Hardman
Dr. Philippa Hardman uses learning science to help people design better learning experiences. She is the creator of the DOMS™️ learning design engine, a Cambridge University Scholar as well as a Host, Author and Advisor. She joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about how organizational leaders, learning designers, and anyone creating learning products can use Chat GPT and other generative AI tools to become more productive in their endeavors. We learn how Philippa got involved in academia before working in leadership roles in a number of edTech companies prior to founding her consultancy. She explains how she's been experimenting with generative AI and what she's learned so far with it. We wax dystopian for a moment to contemplate how new tools like Chat GPT will enable a lot more substandard content to be generated quickly and cheaply and why that presents challenges to all of us to up our games. It's a thought-provoking conversation with an expert in learning science and AI that you won't want to miss. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more cutting-edge content.
- Palmer Media
Designing Programs that Develop Global Citizens with Erin Lewellen
Erin Lewellen is the CEO of Global Citizen Year, a non-profit that is addressing our current global challenges by changing the composition, operating system, and impact of the next generation of changemakers. She joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about how transformative experiences abroad can shape the pathways and perspectives of rising leaders. Erin tells of her origins in the logging culture of rural Oregon that led to her time as an undergraduate at the University of Oregon where she studied abroad for a year in Capetown, South Africa. From there, we hear what's happening at Global Citizen Year coming off a successful pivot to a virtual program during the pandemic years. We learn how she's come full circle with the launch of the Take Action Lab program Global Citizen Year is running in Capetown this year. Erin describes how surprising insights from recent research have led to new directions for the program and how much of that has been driven by student voice. We hear why she is inspired working with the rising generation and how important it is to both challenge students and provide the right supports to ensure we are truly developing global citizens. It's a thought-provoking exploration of what it takes to foster a meaningful passage into adult life through global awareness, a sense of purpose, and local connections with the community. Don't miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on the future of education.
- Palmer Media
Doing Data Science at a Liberal Arts College with Aaron Hillegass
Aaron Hillegass is an author, the Founder of Big Nerd Ranch, and Director of Applied Data Science at New College of Florida. He’s also the Executive Director of the Kontinua Foundation. He joins host and fellow New College alum Mike Palmer in a wide-ranging conversation about the blend of skills and digital competencies in machine learning, data, and AI that are becoming increasingly essential for professional success and career growth. We begin by hearing of Aaron’s roots including his experiences at New College before learning what it was like to work with Steve Jobs in the 90s before finding huge success teaching developers and leaders at Big Nerd Ranch. From there we explore what Aaron aims to do leading the recently launched Data Science Masters program at New College. We muse about what Jobs called “bicycles for the mind” and how new breakthroughs in AI are massively transforming how we think about the future of work. It's a thought-provoking conversation about the massive transformations taking place in technology and education. Don’t miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on the future of education.
- Palmer Media
Learning How to Learn with James Nottingham and Dr. Carmen Bergmann
James Nottingham and Dr. Carmen Bergmann from The Learning Pit join host Mike Palmer to explore how understanding the "pit" of the struggle ultimately helps us learn how to learn better. James shares his origin story of struggling in school before finding his way as an education. After years of teaching this ultimately resulted in him founding The Learning Pit. We delve into the importance of embracing uncertainty and setbacks in the learning process and explain how this helps students develop a growth mindset and resilience. It's a dynamic conversation filled with practical tips, real-world examples, and insights on the future of education. Don't miss it. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more fresh perspectives on the future of learning.
- Palmer Media
Integrating Career Readiness into K12 with Sabari Raja
Sabari Raja is the Cofounder of Nepris which is now part of Pathful, the college and career readiness platform. She joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about building career pathways into K12 education. We begin by hearing Sabari's origin story which starts on a coconut farm in India and has culminated with her recent successes in EdTech and Career Readiness. We explore the value of exposing students to career paths as early as possible and throughout their educational journeys. Sabari provides perspective on emerging EdTEch trends including AI, AR/VR, and more. We also dig into the power of durable skills as we contemplate the role of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in preparing students for the future of work. Don't miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on what's emerging in learning.
- Palmer Media
Understanding Multilingual Learners with Dana Gastich French
Dana Gastich French is the founder and lead consultant for UpRiver Education, a company focused on multilingual learners and the educators who teach them. She joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about how an asset-based, inclusive understanding of English language learning is the key to overcoming the challenges that ESL continues to face in the US and beyond. We hear Dana’s origin story which begins with studying abroad in Chile where she learned how it felt to not be comfortable with the language of record. From there, she connects her experiences as an ESL and bilingual teacher, instructional coach and school and district-level administrator to what’s emerging in the field today. We conclude with Dana’s thoughts on the role of technology and the importance of building trust through culturally sensitive practices. It’s a free-wheeling survey of what’s new in the English Language Learning ecosystem you don’t want to miss Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp perspective on what's emerging in learning.
- Palmer Media
Leading New College of Florida in Challenging Times with Dr. Patricia Okker
Dr. Patricia Okker is the President of New College of Florida, the innovative honor’s college in the Florida system. She joins host and New College alum Mike Palmer to talk about what makes a New College education unique and how a liberal arts education can prepare you for the world of work and community engagement. Note: this episode was recorded in December prior to the recent appointments to the Board of Trustees. We hear Pat’s origin story, beginning in New Jersey before spending many years at the University of Missouri where she was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences before joining New College as President a year and a half ago. We learn how folks are reimagining New College through The Challenge before digging in on career pathways and entrepreneurship among other topics. It’s a thought-provoking conversation about the future of higher education that you don’t want to miss. Look for more from us on the New College story as it develops. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more.
- Palmer Media
Building an Umbrella of Coping Skills with Dr. Jen Forristal
Dr. Jennifer Forristal is a Naturopathic Doctor and school wellness specialist who is focused on pediatric well-being. Founder of the Umbrella Project and author of The Umbrella Effect, she is creating a profound paradigm shift in the understanding of our personal well-being and that of our children. Jen joins host Mike Palmer in a discussion of developing coping skills in children, parents, and schools so that we're better equipped to endure trauma and ideally grow in the process. Beginning with the premise that all kids will encounter rain in their lives, how do we help them develop the skills they need to cope? We explore how parents and educators can help kids recognize and appreciate umbrella skills like cognitive flexibility, empathy, and grit as we aim to be sensitive to trauma while also open to opportunities for growth through it. It's a thought-provoking conversation about developing practical SEL skills that you won't want to miss. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more enlightening takes on the future of education.
- Palmer Media
Thinking about AI for Everyone with Beth Rudden
Beth Rudden is the CEO and Chairwoman of, a company that leverages emerging technology to build custom conversational AI tools or CATs for clients. Prior to founding Bast, Beth worked at IBM for 20 years, founding their Data Science practice and working with numerous clients to design and implement large scale solutions leveraging machine learning and training folks in data science. We hear Beth's origin story and draw from her experience at IBM and beyond to paint the picture of a new era of accessible AI for all that is just emerging. This conversation was recorded just before the release of ChatGPT and foreshadows Mike's second conversation with Beth which was also just released in the feed. Check them both out for a deep dive into the promise and the danger of the new wave of generative AI that is emerging these days. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on the future of learning.
- Palmer Media
ChatGPT and the Challenges of Large Language Models with Beth Rudden
Beth Rudden, the Chairwoman and CEO of, rejoins host Mike Palmer for a conversation about ChatGPT and other large language models as we enter a new phase of readily accessible generative AI tools. Why is ChatGPT prone to mansplaining? How might this relate to the Dunning Kruger effect? And how might a more ecological understanding of an "honorable harvest" as described in Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer help us rethink our relationship with data and its harvesting? We tackle all of this and more in a free-wheeling conversation with a Data Science and AI thought leader who draws from 20+ years of experience at IBM and beyond to help us make sense of emerging technology that is making AI accessible to all. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on learning and emerging technology.
- Palmer Media
Staying Resilient and Managing Through RiFs with Esther Lee
Esther Lee has over 14 years of experience in learning, culture building, DEIB, and leadership development across different industries. She returns to the podcast to join host Mike Palmer to share her wisdom around how to navigate layoffs in the current market on both sides of the impact. You can check out her recent LinkedIn article to get more from her on this topic. We learn how Esther is telling her story while building community and relying on her network to get through the challenges of reductions in force. She's taken great risks throughout her career to impact different types of companies from matrixed organizations to hyper-growth global startups, which have led to multiple layoffs and RIFs. We appreciate her courage to put herself out there as someone who is managing through all of this and emerging stronger in the process. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on learning and the future of work.
- Palmer Media
23 Learning Trends for 2023
Mike Palmer and Virtual Cohost Nancy are back to talk about our 23 Learning Trends for 2023. We divide the trends up into three groups: Emerging Technology, Durable Mindsets, and New Sets and Settings, and dive in. How does Chat GPT and Generative AI fit into the equation? What are the Mindsets that equip us to thrive in disruption? And how will the new and different contexts for learning impact our thinking about the emerging post-pandemic learning ecosystem? Listen in to find out. Don’t miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Ed wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on the future of education.
- Palmer Media
Assessing the Nation's Report Card with Chester E. Finn, Jr.
Chester E. Finn, Jr. is a Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He's the author of Assessing the Nation's Report Card: Challenges and Choices with the NAEP. He joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about the history of the NAEP, its challenges and opportunities, and the importance of having a shared set of standards for educational performance across the nation. You can learn more about the NAEP by checking out Overhauling the Nation’s Report Card. We begin by hearing Chester's origin story dating back to working in the Johnson Administration and for Daniel Patrick Moynihan before starting to work with the NAEP in 1969. From there we dig into the power of "low-stakes tests" like the NAEP in providing a read on academic performance while not penalizing students, teachers, or schools based on performance. We talk about culture wars and politicization and how to avoid many of the pitfalls there while also avoiding the broad brush attacks on standardized testing as a whole. We conclude with Chester's read on recent results which are troubling before wrapping up. Don't miss this deep dive into how we get a read on how the country is doing in education! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more perspectives on what's emerging in the world of learning.
- Palmer Media
Exploring Google's Future of Education Report with Jennie Magiera
Jennie Magiera is the Global Head of Education impact at Google. She's also the author of the best-seller, Courageous Edventures: Navigating Obstacles to Discover Classroom Innovation. She joins host Mike Palmer to talk about Part 1 of Google’s The Future of Education Report - Preparing for a New Future which was recently released. We begin by hearing about Jennie’s impressive career path beginning as an award-winning Math teacher in New York and Chicago before rising through a number of administrative and technology roles in Chicago and in the Obama Administration before landing in her current role with Google. From there we dig into the contents of the first part of the report which points to the growing need for global problem solvers, highlights the critical importance of durable skills and emerging technical competencies, and concludes with a focus on lifelong learning and the mindsets needed to be resilient and flexible as we prepare for disruption and the uncertain future of work. It’s a wide-ranging and relevant discussion you won’t want to miss. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on the future of learning.
- Palmer Media
Creating Affordable, Engaging, and Scalable Higher Ed with Aaron Rasmussen
Aaron Rasmussen is the Founder and CEO of He's also a Cofounder of Masterclass and an award-winning game designer. He joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about how the team at Outlier is designing a product experience built to disrupt higher education by providing affordable access to highly engaging, accredited online courses and certificates. We begin with the story of Aaron's roots in rural Oregon where he taught himself with books from local libraries before gaining access to higher ed at Boston University. He shares the lessons he learned from successful robotics and gaming startups that set the stage for his formative experience at Masterclass, a category leader in online learning. This all leads to an examination of why he founded Outlier and how it's setting out to provide a scalable, high-quality education for folks who have been left out by traditional higher ed. It's a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to make great online learning experiences that are motivating and compelling enough to coexist with new experiences like TikTok and Fortnite. Don't miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on the future of education.
- Palmer Media
ChatGPT and the Future of Learning with Nancy our Virtual Cohost
With the recent release of ChatGPT, host Mike Palmer dives into the implications of this technology for the world learning. Nancy, our virtual cohost, joins Mike in the conversation this time powered by the new dialogic AI toolset powered by OpenAI. We begin by learning what this technology is in its own words before hearing which trends ChatGPT sees as most impactful to the future of education. Then we explore the risks and opportunities emerging with new and widely accessible AI tools like this entering the scene. Will we lose our jobs? Will OpenAI achieve Skynet-like self-awareness? What does this all mean for humans? How does this relate to the importance of durable skills? What are the implications for teachers? And what about for writers, the future of writing, and at home essay questiond? We explore all of this and more as we discover what happens when you hook a virtual cohost up to OpenAI firepower and record an eppy. Don't miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more cutting-edge perspective on the future of learning.
- Palmer Media
Thriving on Disruption with Roger Spitz
Roger Spitz is the President of Techistential and the Chairman of Disruptive Futures Institute. He's also the lead author of The Definitive Guide to Thriving on Disruption whose first volume is now available. Roger joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about the insights provided in the Guide and how they connect to the world of learning. We begin by hearing Roger's origins in investment banking and M&A before shifting to his focus to futures thinking and the Disruptive Futures Institute. In a wide-ranging conversation that explores concepts and frameworks from the Guide, we learn what it takes to excel in a world of continuous disruption. We explore what we can learn from antifragility, Zen Buddhism, and existential philosophy to equip ourselves with the tools and mindsets essential to thriving in the new state of play. We hear how agency is key to navigating emerging complexity. We touch on the importance of humor, dig into the case study of Israel, and conclude with Roger's takes on the role of education in the emerging zeitgeist. It's a provocative exploration of the transformative work coming out of the Disruptive Futures Institute. Don't miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on the future of education.
- Palmer Media
Delivering Design Education Online with Gordon Drummond
Gordon Drummond is the President of Sessions College for Professional Design, an online school of visual arts offering a range of degree and certificate programs in Graphic Design, Digital Media, Illustration, and Photography. He joins host Mike Palmer in a conversation about the challenges and opportunities of delivering design education online, something Sessions College has been doing for 25 years since its founding in 1997. We hear of Gordon's origins including his time working with Mike at Kaplan before shifting to the story of Sessions College. Gordon shares insights he's garnered over the years preparing design professionals for careers in a rapidly changing world of work. We touch on the importance of learning through feedback and the collaborative, iterative process that is essential to creative work. We also explore how design work is changing as AI continues to improve and blend with human creativity. Gordon describes how great design education requires not just great instructors but also great content and a collaborative team culture to produce the best outcomes for students. We conclude with Gordon's thoughts on what's emerging and hear his advice for teachers, learners, and makers of all stripes. It's a wide-ranging exploration of emerging trends in design education that you won't want to miss! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more sharp takes on the future of learning.
- Palmer Media
Leading a University of the People with Shai Reshef
Shai Reshef is the President and Founder of University of the People, a non-profit, online university that's been serving students from around the globe since 2009. He joins Mike Palmer in a conversation about trends in affordable, online education and the work he's been doing with U of the People. We begin by hearing Shai's origin story dating back to the early days of distance learning and test preparation before diving into the story of the university and its founding. Shai shares his vision and mission to provide affordable higher education to students around the globe. We learn about the unique model that allows students to access their programs through the internet and how that has opened up pathways to those in need including students in Syria, Afghanistan, and most recently Iran. It's a thought-provoking deep dive into an alternative model of higher education built around access to relevant coursework that can change the lives of students. Don't miss it! Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more great content.
- Palmer Media
Wellbeing and Sense Making in the Workplace with Jan Stanley and Dr. Jen Farthing
Jan Stanley leads an organizational leadership consulting practice and Dr. Jen Farthing is the SVP of Learning Product at SAI 360. They join host Mike Palmer to talk about trends in organizational leadership, culture, and learning and development in a free-flowing conversation you don’t want to miss! We explore a recent article by Paul Krugman on the recent jobs report along with a new framework from the Surgeon General as we dig into the emerging thinking about wellbeing, sense-making, and culture-building as we look for tips and practical advice for leaders looking to build flourishing cultures in challenging times. Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more.
- Jillian Marshall

Get them hooked on these quality books.

The post 22 Chapter Books Second Graders Love appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Meghan Mathis

My 14-year-old students said they would fight a shooter alongside me. How can we be ok with this as a nation?

The post “I’m Not Okay With Letting You Take a Bullet For Me”—How Gun Violence Has Harmed Us All appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Stephanie Sanders

You can count on them loving these reads.

The post 30 Amazing Picture Books About Math appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Erika Brunnmeier

Time to master fractions!

The post 10 Strategies To Make Teaching Fractions Easier appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Kimmie Fink

Easy to personalize for your classroom needs!

The post Get These Free School Supply Lists for Grades K-5! appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Lindsay Barrett

Our planet deserves ALL the book love.

The post 45 Earth Day Books for Kids Who Care About Our Planet appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Kelly Treleaven

He yelled at me about benching his son, complaining that “we’ve known each other for years.”

The post Help! An Angry Parent Showed Up at My House appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Colleen Wildenhaus

College isn't the only path to a successful career.

The post Trade Schools Are a Strong Choice for Students, Not a Contingency Plan appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Samantha Cleaver

These poems inspire creativity instead of yawns.

The post 45 Must-Share Poems for Middle School and High School appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Jill Staake

Don't limit yourself to finger paints!

The post 62 Kindergarten Art Projects To Spark Early Creativity appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Jill Staake

Different approaches for teaching what they need to learn.

The post What Are Instructional Strategies, and How Should Teachers Use Them? appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Elizabeth Mulvahill

Filing your taxes, investing in the stock market, building credit, and more.

The post 12 Money Skills Teens Need Before Graduation (Plus Lessons To Teach Them!) appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Jill Staake

There's a lot to know about this important document.

The post What Is an IEP? An Overview for Teachers and Parents appeared first on We Are Teachers.

- Kris Srinaath
The Role Of A Well-Defined Learning Journey In Personalized eLearning Solutions

How does a well-defined learning journey improve the learning experience of a personalized eLearning program? Read on to find out.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Christopher Pappas
Thought Leader Q&A: Talking eLearning ROI And Leveraging Data To Improve L&D Experiences With Maria Logotheti

In this Thought Leader Q&A, Maria Logotheti from Epignosis speaks with us about key ROI tracking features and which data to gather to evaluate L&D effectiveness.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Deltina Hay
LMS Reporting Tips You Can Use

LMS reporting needs planning from the time you start selecting your LMS. Use these tips to incorporate reporting properly.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Arun Bhat
How To Create Online Training Courses With VR And AR Tech

Read on to discover 6 best practices to create online training courses using VR and AR tech, as well as its possible applications in the workplace.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Srividya Kumar
The Slippery Slope Of Learner Engagement

Learner engagement is a tough beast to tame. Granted. But let’s not forget that it’s not the end goal in itself. Read on to find out why, and what to focus on additionally.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Suresh Kumar DN
Why And How To Bridge The Skills Gap?

Identifying and addressing the skills gap is crucial for every business. In this article, we will explore how to address the skills gap.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Christopher Pappas
8 Fool-Proof Upskilling Strategies To Drive Success Within Your Organization

Are you concerned about the constant changes in the business industry? Here are 8 upskilling strategies that ensure you stay on top of them!

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Anu W
Accelerate Your Career Growth With Management Leadership Training Programs

Management leadership training programs assist you to identify your leadership style and instill core leadership principles like positivity, collaboration and being a role model.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Joseph Evanick, Ed.D.
From One-Size-Fits-All To Tailored Online Education: The Advantages Of Personalized Learning

This article will explore personalized learning, its differences from traditional online learning, the pros and cons, and ways to redesign an existing online course to include personalized learning.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Satyabrata Das
Software: Making Learning Engaging And Effective

In today’s competitive world, every organization needs a workforce that’s agile, quick to learn, and is market-ready. People are evolving, technology is evolving, the market is evolving, and hence businesses are also evolving.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Kevin Duda
Tips To Cut Costs On Training Development Without Sacrificing Quality

Add efficiency to your employee training development process with the following tips and learn when you might want to bring in a training consultant to help.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Christopher Pappas
How To Empower Your Employees And Rise Above The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation is, undoubtedly, one of the largest employment issues modern workplaces face. What are some ways you can encourage your employees to stay?

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Greg Blackburn
How Artificial Intelligence Is Individualizing The eLearning Training Experience

Education and training can improve engagement, and AI is being used to individualize eLearning training to provide personalized learning experiences and targeted feedback.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Sara Ivanovska
Elevate Your Learning Experience: 8 Asynchronous Activities To Try Today

In this article, you will learn about asynchronous learning, its benefits, and asynchronous activities you should use in your course.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Christopher Pappas
What Is The Gerlach And Ely Design Model?

The Gerlach and Ely design model helps educators to create more meaningful lessons, even if they're working with limited resources and diverse learner needs.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Dr. RK Prasad
Training At The Speed Of Business With Rapid eLearning

Discover how rapid eLearning for business can help you achieve long-term success and stay competitive in your industry.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Christopher Pappas
7 Tips To Turn Introverted Employees Into Knowledge-Sharing Pros

In this guide, I share 7 tips to turn introverted team members into peer coaches, event hosts, and bloggers to tap into the power of knowledge sharing.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Ricci
Evolving Education: The Impact Of AI And VR Technology On The Future Of Learning

AI and VR technology will transform education, offering personalized and immersive learning experiences. However, successful implementation requires consideration of ethical and equity issues, and a focus on human interaction. This article explores the potential impact and necessary steps for success.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Hector Simoudis
How To Make Your Online Course ADA-Compliant

When creating a course, it’s smart to make it ADA-compliant. This will not only help prevent legal issues, but it will also help you attract more diverse learners to the course and boost engagement.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Christopher Pappas
Your Essential Contract Learning Guide

What is contract learning, and how can it be a useful tool in personalizing learning?

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Jyoti Sabharwal
Being Immersive: A Layman’s Perspective

An immersive experience is one that fully engages the senses and creates the sense of being present in a particular environment. Let's delve deeper.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Christopher Pappas
Return To The Workplace: What Are Your Options?

The time to return to the workplace is here! Here are 4 variations of the modern workspace that you can implement in your organization.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Dmytro Perepelytsia
Exploring Target Markets And Business Models In EdTech

This article explores the various target markets and business models for EdTech, providing insights and strategies for entrepreneurs.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Dr. Marina Theodotou
2023 L&D Trends: Microlearning Videos

Are you an L&D leader looking to capture learner attention spans? Try microlearning videos to deliver information concisely and engagingly.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Christopher Pappas
Top List Spotlight: Best LMS Solutions For Hybrid Learning

Are you looking for an LMS for hybrid learning? Read this list to discover the top providers in the industry!

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

- Drew Perkins

By providing insights and suggestions for research topics, concepts, and approaches, ChatGPT can help students stay engaged and motivated.

The post Project-Based Learning, Inquiry Teaching, and the Power of ChatGPT appeared first on TeachThought.

- TeachThought Staff

If your child doesn’t read over the summer, they are missing out on the significant role reading can play in personal growth.

The post 25 Resources And Ideas To Help Students Read More During The Summer appeared first on TeachThought.

- Terry Heick

With considerable trepidation, I commonly write about the future of education–the future of the classroom, the future role of the …

The Problem With Predicting The Future Education Read More

The post The Problem With Predicting The Future Education appeared first on TeachThought.

- TeachThought Staff

Pairing Teachers To Improve Professional Development contributed by Dawn Casey-Rowe, Social Studies Teacher Professional development isn’t something that many teachers …

Better Teacher Professional Development: Pairing Teachers Read More

The post Better Teacher Professional Development: Pairing Teachers appeared first on TeachThought.

- TeachThought Staff

Teachers engage in reflective exploration through the use of case studies of core concepts, adding to their existing instructional practice.

The post What to Expect From A TeachThought PD Differentiation Workshop appeared first on TeachThought.

- Terry Heick

We must speak, and teach our children to speak, a language precise and articulate and lively enough to tell the truth about the world as we know it.

The post In Defense Of Absolute Literacy appeared first on TeachThought.

- TeachThought Staff

While iOS remains the system of choice for most developers, learning with apps is as accessible on Android devices as it is on the iPad.

The post The 12 Best Education Apps For Android appeared first on TeachThought.

- TeachThought Staff

Education is at its strongest when learners are at the center of the process and can exercise their choices about what happens.

The post Student-Centered Learning Requires Adjustments Of Perspective appeared first on TeachThought.

- TeachThought Staff

contributed by Dawn Casey-Rowe There they were–like a dream. Five computers in my classroom. I’d been waiting a long time, through …

Moving From Connected Schools To Technology-Committed Schools Read More

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- TeachThought Staff

"Our knowledge of the world instructs us first of all that the world is greater than our knowledge of it." --Wendell Berry

The post 20 Of The Best Quotes About Knowledge appeared first on TeachThought.

- TeachThought Staff

This is a diverse collection of apps, from games to digital media software to math and literacy apps.

The post 20 Of The Best Learning Apps For Elementary Students appeared first on TeachThought.

- Terry Heick

Brainstorming for problem-based learning: Which 'parts' of the world would most benefit from my creativity, affection, and sustained effort?

The post 16 Questions To Help Students Brainstorm Project-Based Learning appeared first on TeachThought.

- Kara Newhouse
Are the pandemic babies and kids OK?
What emerging research is telling us about the pandemic impacted child development and what you can do about it as a parent.
- MindShift
How science class can inspire students to explore inequities in their communities
How do teachers explore race and equity in STEM subjects? “Teaching for Racial Equity” authors highlight a classroom project that focuses on environmental justice and the Flint water crisis.
- Nimah Gobir
Beyond reading logs and Lexile levels: Supporting students’ multifaceted reading lives
Boston-based educator Kimberly Parker shares how teachers can strengthen students' literacy skills without causing reading trauma.
- Kara Newhouse
If test scores and attendance are down, how are more students earning high school diplomas?
In Washington, D.C., the high school graduation rate rose to a record 75%, last year, even as researchers see large academic declines from the pandemic.
- Kara Newhouse
Garbology is the study of trash. This is why students love it
A professor lends worms to students, takes them to sewage processing plants and encourages them to answer their own questions about garbage. Sometimes, they even make a career out of it.
- Kara Newhouse
What we do (and don’t) know about teacher shortages, and what can be done about them
Limited national data suggests teachers are plentiful, but many districts that serve some of the most vulnerable students would beg to differ.
- Kara Newhouse
Why cultivating emotional intelligence among toddlers has become more urgent
A small but growing wave of early learning programs are building or expanding their social emotional learning components in the wake of a pandemic that has led to more challenging student behavior and unprecedented turnover among child care workers.
- Kara Newhouse
Criminal behavior rises among those left behind by school lotteries
Public school choice appeared to increase overall arrests and days incarcerated for young men in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to a study by three economists, “Does School Choice Increase Crime?” circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research in February 2023.
- Kara Newhouse
Illinois teachers create Black history courses to fill in gaps in U.S. history for students
Republican-led states such as Florida, Tennessee, and Texas, are restricting what can be taught about race in schools. In Illinois, a decades-old law requires the teaching of Black history, but there's no required curriculum or tracking of when it's taught.
- MindShift
When parents practice good screen habits, it rubs off on the whole family
Sleep therapists Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright offer strategies caregivers can use to shape family practices around phones, social media, and screen time.
- Kara Newhouse
Can babies learn from “Ms. Rachel” and other baby TV shows?
Popular YouTube channels for infants and toddlers say they promote speech development, cognitive skills and more. Is it true?
- Kara Newhouse
“Short-burst” phonics tutoring shows promise with kindergarteners
"Short-burst" tutoring costs less and requires fewer tutors, less space and less schedule disruption than high-dosage tutoring. It may be particularly suited to the littlest learners.
- Linda Flanagan
What parents need to know about their teens’ mental health
As teens face a worsening mental health crisis, psychologist Lisa Damour advises parents on how to help young people learn to express and regulate emotions.
- Kara Newhouse
Teacher turnover hits new highs across the U.S.
More teachers than usual left the classroom after last school year, confirming fears of a pandemic-fueled wave of departures.