Monday, September 30, 2013

Positive story, needs to be shared!

We hear many stories about minority youths (I dislike this term, but is a point of reference) struggling to make it out of high school and into college. We hear a lot of negative, how the deck is stacked against them, and that they have no chance.
“Shaun Harper -- director of the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania -- attracted considerable attention last year for a study in which he identified successful black male college students and examined the factors that led to their success. This new study is in a way the flip side of that research -- as his focus was on students in New York City high schools who could succeed in college (although he also included a group of New York City high school graduates who were in college for comparison purposes)”.
“An overall theme of the work is that there are many minority male students who are succeeding academically, but are doing so off the beaten track of colleges to magnet schools or the suburbs”.

Read the whole thing here:
What this study is telling us is there is hope, there always has been (just have to focus on it), there is positivity happening within all the noise, and that there are common characteristics that propel students to succeed, for example:
·         Parental value of education
·         High expectations, expect them to achieve
·         Teachers who were authentic in caring

It is all about the student, we set the example, and if the example we set as a whole is good, they can achieve.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele
The ETeam

Friday, September 27, 2013

Interesting stuff in education September 27, 2013

“Tufts U. Adjuncts Vote to Unionize in Regional Campaign's First Victory”
“Adjunct faculty members at Tufts University have voted to unionize with the Service Employees International Union, marking the national union's first victory in a campaign to organize adjuncts across the Boston area and push institutions to improve their working conditions”.
“The 128-to-57 vote at Tufts, announced after ballots were tallied on Thursday, precedes an October 4 ballot count for adjuncts at Bentley University, who are also voting on whether to unionize with the SEIU as part of the Adjunct Action campaign”.
This is something to watch as it could have far reaching affects for all adjuncts in higher education.
I found this article a little sad, but it is an aspect of education we do not often think of:
“Why your waiter has an M.D.”
“The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) couples prospective applicants with residency programs, sort of like a medical version of eHarmony. Each applicant makes a list ranking the residency programs in their order of desirability. The residency programs do the same with the applicants, and the NRMP matches them up.
Not all graduating medical students get matched”.

“According to the NRMP, last year 971 graduates of U.S. medical schools were shut out, accounting for 5.9% of U.S. grads. Graduates of international medical schools fared even worse - less than 50% of them obtained a residency”.

“That means more than 7,000 doctors were left with a diploma that said “M.D.” but no guarantee they would be able to use it”.

Read the whole thing here:

“For Refugee Doctors, Journey Back To Practicing Medicine Is The Longest”

Are we wasting a resource here?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Those who face poverty got slapped again, and they did not know why until now

I have blogged about poverty a few times this year, and I am still convinced that the way we look at and treat those who are struggling is a societal education problem.
There are people I know who currently are collecting unemployment, and have been for a while due to circumstances beyond their control. They depend on it because that is all they have for right now, having gone through their savings, 401K, etc.
Just after Labor Day this year of 2013, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) stopped sending checks; without notice. These people I know, and I am sure many other Californians were suddenly facing a worse situation than they were already in. The worst part is they were never told why they were cut off, until a news story today.
“California agency ordered to issue delayed unemployment checks”
“The state's top labor official ordered the Employment Development Department to immediately issue payments to 124,000 Californians whose benefit checks have been delayed by a computer glitch”.
“The EDD has been contending with a huge backlog of unemployment claims after an upgrade of its 30-year-old computer system malfunctioned over Labor Day weekend. Since then, the agency has been hand-processing claims, which has delayed some payments by weeks”.
“Unemployment insurance recipients said they've fallen behind on rent, car payments and other bills because of the late payments. Some reported they're already facing eviction”.
“Keion Morgan, 35, is among those struggling without his unemployment benefits. The North Hollywood resident, laid off from a job in late May as a program coordinator for a university, said he had no idea there was a problem until he read media reports. He is owed about $1,100”.
The blatant disregard shown by the EDD in not even informing the recipients is atrocious; no automated message, no letter, just silence. Have you ever tried to call the EDD or get a response? As an experiment, I tried to call them, and the automated message I got was “due to high volume of calls, we are not able to complete your request at this time”. Imagine having to hear that every day when you are desperate.
How we treat those in need is reflection upon all of us; and in this test, we failed.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Interesting things in education news today September 25, 2013

This one is a continuing story from yesterday’s blob:
“Can a President Be His Own Whistleblower?”
“Evan Dobelle, president of Westfield State University, is under fire for what Massachusetts officials consider to be extravagant or inappropriate spending. The Republican quoted sources saying that Dobelle is exploring the idea of using the state's whistleblower protection law to protect himself. The theory is that since he self-reported some of the questionable spending, he is a whistleblower. A spokeswoman for the university said she didn't know of any legal strategy being considered. But the newspaper noted that Dobelle has of late been telling people "I self-reported."”

Read here:
Some good news:
“MBA Applications On the Rise”
“Applications to American M.B.A. programs are again on the rise, according to a report by the Graduate Management Admission Council. Of full-time programs, 52 percent are reporting an application increase in the last year -- the first time since 2009 that a majority of programs were reporting increases. The increases appear to depend on foreign applicants: 56 percent of programs reported an increase from abroad, while 59 percent reported declines in applicants from the U.S.”

Read here:
Last, the saga of San Francisco City College:
“Faculty Union Sues to Block Sanctions Against City College of San Francisco”
“The California Federation of Teachers on Tuesday filed a lawsuit that seeks to block the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges from revoking the City College of San Francisco’s accreditation next year. The city attorney of San Francisco filed a similar suit last month, but the union’s lawyer said the new suit hits the commission with accusations that go beyond what was alleged in the city’s complaint”.
“The union asserted that, among other things, the commission was biased by conflicts of interest. It also accused the commission of voting to revoke the college’s accreditation earlier than its own policy allowed. The federation was joined in the suit by the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, which represents City College faculty members”.
“The commission itself came under fire last month, when the U.S. Department of Education warned it that it was out of compliance with several federal regulations, saying that it could face its own sanctions if the problems were not fixed within a year”.
That’s all for now folks!
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Do we not learn in higher education?

Everyone deserves a second chance in the professional world because hopefully we learn and grow from our mistakes. If someone gets fired from an institution, that should not mean they can never be hired someplace else again.
However, Albert Einstein wisely said “Insanity: is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
“Hired Again, in Trouble Again”
“Less than a decade after Evan Dobelle departed the University of Hawaii system presidency amid accusations he had misspent money, lied and been unfit to lead, he is back in hot water as president of Westfield State University in Massachusetts”.
“In a series of revelations, Dobelle has been accused – as he was at Hawaii – of spending university money extravagantly and, at times, on himself and his family”.
“Dobelle’s tenure at Westfield – Dobelle’s fifth college presidency – is now becoming tainted by a series of revelations about his spending habits there and demands for accountability from a growing chorus of public officials, including the state’s higher education commissioner. He has denied wrongdoing or foul intent, though admitted bookkeeping errors, at both institutions”.
I do not know the man, and this article is not personal. What this reminds me of is the institutional nepotism that often exists within higher education. We see it in certain community college districts in Southern California where several high level jobs always seem to get reposted every year because of who they hired in the first place.
My point is this: it is ok to hire competent outsiders from time to time, it is ok to promote a highly competent person who has no political connections, it is ok to hire an overqualified person for a job, and it is ok to do things differently.
The status quo is turning into insanity, and students want a sane environment. Remember it is about the students.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Monday, September 23, 2013

Changes are happening. Token or real changes?

I have recently blogged about segregation in Alabama’s Greek sorority system, and of course sexual assault. There are articles posted this morning about changes that are being implemented in certain institutions, and I have no doubt it is because of the scrutiny the public at large has placed upon these issues. Just remember, the compromises that are being offered by the institutions are not a permanent solution so keep watching.
“4 Black Women Will Join Alabama Sororities”
“The University of Alabama at Tusaloosa announced Friday that four black women and two other minority women will be joining the university's all-white sororities. The university has been engaged in an intense debate (and been subject to national criticism) following an article in the student newspaper about how black women have been rejected by the sororities -- sometimes at the behest of alumnae. The university first announced that sororities had agreed to a new system in which they could extend "bid" offers at any time of year, not just during the traditional rush period”.
“The university on Friday posted a video by President Judy Bonner in which she said that sororities had extended 72 of these new non-rush bids in the last week, with 11 bids going to black women and 3 to other minority women. In addition to the six minority bids that have been accepted, she said, others were being considered and might yet be accepted. She added that some sororities "are farther along than others" in desegregating”
“George Washington Drops Statute of Limitations on Sex Assaults”

“George Washington University removed from its sexual assault policy the two-year statute of limitations for filing formal complaints with the university, a spokeswoman confirmed Thursday. The GW Hatchet reported that student government leaders had protested the policy. Some universities enforce such statutes to encourage quicker reporting, but since the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights started cracking down on sexual assault issues in 2011, some colleges have opted to eliminate or extend theirs”.

Read here:
More to come…
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Friday, September 20, 2013

In case you did not know…

National University (NU), one of the country’s larger private university systems, has gone through some huge changes this year.
In May 2013, the Interim President (since 2009) MS. Patricia Potter retired and was replaced by Dr Michael Cunningham, formerly a Dean at SDSU.
The biggest change has been the retirement of Dr Jerry Lee, who has led the system in one form or fashion for the last 24 years. No replacement has been announced as of yet.
Why is this important you say? NU is one of the bigger and more stable players in the non-traditional market, so any change there is worth paying attention to.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Thursday, September 19, 2013

We need to value each other and all we bring

There are a number of negative articles and stories circulating right now that involve or affect education, for example: segregation of the Greek system in Alabama “It's Not Just Alabama”, the life of adjunct professors “An Adjunct's Death Becomes a Rallying Cry for Many in Academe”, and campus sexual assault issues “Occidental Settles Suits on Handling of Sex Assaults” .

There seems to be a pattern here; one that is not so obvious yet, it stares us in the face regularly. We do not value each other the way we should, and we are highly guilty of it in education as well. It is not that we are not celebrating the successes, but that there is so much fodder for our failures out there for people to write about.
We should be ashamed, and not just an “oh we are really trying” kind of shame, but the kind of shame that spurs us to action, to do better.  Action is something this country does very well when it wants to.
United States has a history of achieving whatever we set our minds to. The country is certainly not perfect, but perfection is for higher beings not us mere mortals. We can however, strive to be better and lately it seems we have become lax in this department.
Education can lead to so many positive things. Yes, there are politics and bureaucracy involved in education, yes, there are traditions that we hold dear, and yes, there are always budgetary concerns. All of these things should not be an excuse to value each other less.
Educators let us set the example.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Specific or well rounded skills?

A Bachelors degree in the United States generally gives you a broad spectrum of knowledge for the most part (depending on major), it is generally not until a master’s program do students gain those specific skills desired by companies (we hope they anyway).
An interesting article today:
“Broad Education vs. Industry-Specific Skills”
“A large majority of the American public and nearly three-quarters of business leaders say it is more important for job candidates to be well-rounded with a range of abilities than to have industry-specific skills, two new national surveys released Tuesday show”.
“A July survey of 263 hiring managers and an August poll of 1,000 American adults conducted by FTI Consulting on behalf of Northeastern University show that majorities of the public and business leaders value broadly applicable skills like written communication and problem-solving over specific skills obtained through applied training”.
“Still, the poll found that Americans overwhelmingly want colleges and universities to focus on integrating practical experience, such as internships, into their curriculums. In large numbers, both business leaders and the general public agreed that students with internship and other work-related experience tend to be more successful in their careers”.
This is quite interesting information, and in today’s changing economy, this might make sense.
What are your thoughts?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Greek system in college, still segregated

There have been some interesting articles in the past few days about the University of Alabama’s sorority system.
Cracking the Door Open?”
“Fifty years after the notorious "stand in the schoolhouse door" to keep black students out of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, the president of the institution is trying to get sororities to open their doors”.
President Judy Bonner met with the leaders of the various chapters, and has ordered them to all use a rush system that could allow them to quickly admit some black members, a spokeswoman confirmed Monday night”.
This is a reactive response rather than having a proactive practice, but not atypical.
I also found a well-written article that concisely describes some of the history, past, and present of the segregated Greek system:
“The History Behind Segregation in Greek Life” by Ashley Lee
“It’s normal for college students to consider joining a Greek letter organization. My first year as an undergrad has been filled with intuitive conversations surrounding the different Greek councils and the pleasures and downsides of each association”.
“I go to a predominantly white institution (PWI), so most of what students know about Greek life are the Panhellenic (PHC) and Inter-fraternity Council (IFC). These are also known as the “traditionally housed” or “white” Greek letter organizations. Not too many people are familiar with the National Panhellenic Council (NPHC). NPHC, formed in 1930, caters to the Divine Nine—four historical African American sororities and five historical African American fraternities. Since blacks were excluded from joining PHC and IFC organizations in the past due to racial segregation, they created their own. This also means they were denied the finances and means to purchase a house similar to their white counterparts. If you’ve ever wondered why black sororities and fraternities don’t have recorded houses on your college campus, that’s why”.

The question now is: who will have the courage to take a significant first step to end this deliberate segregation? After all, there is so much everyone can learn from each, these societies are on college campuses.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Monday, September 16, 2013

I do not have a good feeling about this week, prove me wrong please

There have been a few disturbing things that have happened this week, and I hope this is not a signal for the week to come.
Let us start with the emerging events in Washington DC:
We hope for the best.
This one just shows how social media can be used by the ignorant and that we still have a long way to go with truly being a “melting pot” country:
“A Lot Of People Are Very Upset That An Indian-American Woman Won The Miss America Pageant”
Let us just say this was not our finest hour; read the comments yourself.
Higher education should be better than this! “Student Regent Wants to Debate Policy, Not Her Muslim Faith”
“Sometimes I get asked ridiculous questions, like whether I support Hamas or Hezbollah or Al Qaeda.” Sadia SaifuddinUniversity of California at Berkeley
Please keep the politics out of this!
And lastly: “As Slurs and Offenses Multiply, Colleges Scramble to Respond”
“On a whiteboard on Stephen Boyhont’s dorm-room door at Elizabethtown College, somebody scrawled “fag.” At the University of Texas at Austin, Taylor Carr was the target of racial slurs and balloons that appeared to be full of bleach. Danny Valdes encountered what he describes as “intense transphobia” at Dartmouth College, both on campus and online”.
“Reports of such incidents arise each semester at colleges around the country: Somebody discovers discriminatory graffiti or vandalism of a cultural center. An organization advertises a theme party that caricatures a particular race or ethnicity. Walking across the quad, or on Twitter, a student utters an offensive remark to another”.
When will this end?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Friday, September 13, 2013

What in the world is going on!

In the news today:
“Alleged Rapist on the Roster”
“Under National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, most football or men’s basketball players competing in a Division I program may transfer at will, but must sit out the first season at the new institution, while they "adjust to their new school and ensure that their transfer was motivated by academics as well as athletics."”
“Student Arrested for Trying to Poison Pregnant Professor”
“A student at Virginia College’s Augusta, Ga., campus has been arrested for allegedly giving her pregnant professor a tainted snack cake. Diane Ambrose was charged with reckless conduct after offering her professor a sealed cake she had injected with a foreign substance through the wrapper, WRDW-TV reported. The Richmond County Sheriff's Office says the 12-week-pregnant professor developed a stomach ailment two weeks ago, after eating the treat. Another student knew about Ambrose's alleged plan, but didn’t tell the professor until she knew she had become sick”.

“Towson Reduces Punishment for Cheer Team Accused of Hazing”
The Towson University cheerleading team’s punishment for hazing allegations has been reduced from a yearlong suspension to a semesterlong probation, 650 hours of community service and education about hazing, the Associated Press reported. The cheer team had appealed the initial punishment to a campus committee that decided the team hadn’t received the same level of anti-hazing education and training as other campus groups, Towson’s vice president for student affairs said. Under probation, the team will be allowed to practice but not compete or participate in events. Details of the hazing allegations are unknown, other than the fact that it occurred off campus and is not under police investigation.

Read here:
Ladies and gentlemen this is supposed to be higher education, let us act that way!
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Elementary School Lunch Times

I am the proud father of two rapidly growing and big eating elementary school students.  My wife and I always take the time to pack a good hearty and healthy lunch for them, and for the most part they eat it all: emphasis on for the most part (more to come).
As a former middle school teacher, I remember clearly never having enough time to enjoy my lunch, and as a result, my lunches often were either fast food of some kind, or I ate later during my planning period if I could. It took having my own kids to realize that the kids often do not have enough time to eat their lunches completely as well.
Back to the “for the most part”. I noticed sometimes that my kids lunches were only partially eaten when they came home and I knew that it was not due to them not liking their food (they eat anything we give them). On top of that, they would often start wolfing down snacks when they came home, before dinner, and still eat a healthy dinner.
After doing some investigation, it all comes down to lunchtime, or not enough lunchtime.
“National school and health organizations and some states - including California - recommend that students have at least 20 minutes to eat lunch after they're served. But "that's not happening in all schools,"”
In addition, if you are purchasing lunch at school, it gives you even less time because you also have to stand in line for a while.
I would like to say giving students a longer lunchtime is the solution, but I know full well there would be so many other details that would need to go along with that. I will suggest that the school districts simply enforce the 20 minute time that is already supposed to be occurring, because it really is not happening.
Let the students eat.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

After graduation

I want to start by sharing an article I read to today titled: “Colleges' Role Shouldn't End at Graduation” here are some relevant excerpts to my article today:

“Despite this trend, many colleges continue to think that the bulk of their work is focused on just one moment in their students' lives, typically starting when they are 18 years old and ending when they are 22. During that time, institutions still treat them as they always have, welcoming them for orientation and wishing them well at commencement and saying, "Our work is done."”

“Colleges could offer their recent graduates opportunities to study or work in internships abroad. Employers say they value a global perspective in job applicants, yet only 9 percent of American undergraduates studied overseas in 2010-11, according to the Institute of International Education. There are many reasons why more students don't go abroad, but a crowded undergraduate curriculum and extracurricular schedule cannot be among them if students have already graduated”.

“Of course, at a time when rising college prices are straining family budgets and are a focus of politicians, the question will be whether such postcollege experiences are reserved only for the wealthy, and if not, how institutions, or more likely their graduates, will pay for them”.

So, what do colleges truly owe their graduates, and those who attended the college but never graduated?  

There are many jobs nowadays that are requiring a college degree but traditionally did not. It is almost as if the degree is being used as a form of ‘weeding out people’, and so then you have hundreds of college grads competing for that one job.

How about those who get graduate and professional degrees? Having one does not guarantee anything, but surely, it should make one more competitive, right? Surely the amount of money spent warrants some gratitude from the institution?

Beyond a request for donations from the alumni office asking for money (even though you probably have not paid off the debt from your degree and possibly have no job) or a request to use your story for their publicity; when do you ever hear from your school? Did they value you as a student? Did they celebrate your achievement and congratulate you in a meaningful way, or was it just the standard form letter, with the standard thanks for paying off your account? If they did value you, and you felt that value, then those requests for money will not seem so bad because you attach value to the institution requesting it.

Colleges do not miss the opportunity to truly be the’ good guy’ here, let your grads know that you value them and their contributions to your institution beyond helping your graduation stats. Often, all that folks want is a sincere thank you from you, but try checking in on them from time to time simply to see how they are faring. If they are having a hard time with the job search, perhaps offer to aid them with their job search. Colleges are a great platform for networking after all, and it is full of people who know people.

I do believe that our role as educators goes beyond the classroom, and that should be no less for the institutions as well.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beginning of school year articles to share…

“Early Bird Catches the Counselor”
“For several years now, most counseling centers have been experiencing a continuous uptick in the number of students seeking services, as stigma over mental health issues lessens and more and more students come to college already on psychotropic medications”.
“But as September gets under way, many center directors say they’re seeing an even greater surge of walk-ins and appointments being made at the start of the academic year, with students making contact with counselors before they even leave for campus”.
All I can say is good luck counselors!

This next one made me smile because it is always the little things in life…
“It's the Little Things That Count in Teaching”
“Attention to the less 'serious' aspects can make you a more effective instructor”.
“Line up course readings. Plan the syllabus. Design lesson plans and homework assignments. Those are some of the big-picture elements that we all fret over as college instructors preparing for the fall semester. But as teachers of writing and rhetoric, we've come to realize the crucial role of the (often overlooked) "little" things”.
“Attention to those peripheral details can lead to a much richer learning experience for students and a much more enjoyable teaching experience for instructors”
Let us all have a great school year!
Dr Flavius A B Akerele
The ETeam

Monday, September 9, 2013

Humor is a great way to start!

A sense of humor is a necessary part of surviving as an educator, no matter what level you work in, so when I see some very humorous things happening, I feel I must share.
“Fake Professor, Real Course”
“As the first meeting for Chemistry 131 started at the University of Rochester this semester, the instructor walked to the front of the lecture hall, and started in with some introductory remarks and rules”.
“And the students became somewhat petrified. The instructor told them that the course was "extremely hard," and that 55 percent of last year's students failed last year. He predicted that many of this year's students would have their pre-med dreams derailed. Further, he said that not only cell phones but also laptops were banned from class. Violations would result in "repercussions" for grades, the instructor warned. (And video footage shows a bunch of students rushing to close and store their laptops.)”
“Then, another professor walked in, asking the first instructor "who the hell are you?" before taking over the class”.
“The first instructor was there as part of a prank pulled off by the Chamber Boys, a student radio show. The real instructor -- Benjamin Hafensteiner -- was in on the joke”.
“Via e-mail, the real Hafensteiner said that the Chamber Boys asked his permission to pull off the hoax, and that he agreed. "The first class is always tough to get through and I though this would be an ice breaker to beat all ice breakers. It set a pretty high energy tone that I hope I can carry through the rest of the semester. They did a great job," he said”.
“While the course is challenging, the real data show that only 12 percent of students last year earned a C- or lower. And while Hafensteiner doesn't want to see cell phones in class, he hasn't banned laptops. Although he added that "seeing those laptops get killed was really satisfying!'”
Everyone appreciates a good sense of humor!
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Friday, September 6, 2013

YouTube lives forever…

College students and college professors have often said or done stupid/silly things in public. Sometimes it gets written off as academic freedom, freedom of speech, or just plain old college antics. However, with today’s technology, and peoples proclivity to film and broadcast things instantly, everyone must beware of the forever video.
Case in point:
“Didn't Mean to Offend...”
“An eight-minute segment apparently captured by a student (and embedded below) contained remarks that university administrators say crossed the line between free speech and disrespect, and may have “negatively affected the learning environment.””
Not sure what he was trying to teach, but I know at least one student learned to have their video camera at the ready.
All I can say about this next one is: really?
“Saint Mary's University frosh chant cheers underage sex”
“Saint Mary’s University in Halifax is promising disciplinary action after a frosh week chant glorifying underage sex with girls without consent was posted online”.

“A 15-second video posted to Instagram on Monday shows orientation week leaders leading a cheer about the sexual preferences of Saint Mary University men”.

It is amazing what can and will end up on YouTube, so do not accidently increase the supply.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Campus Safety

Let me start today by sharing an article: U.S. Awards Grant to Create Campus Public Safety Center”
“The U.S. Justice Department has awarded a $2.3 million grant to a Vermont consulting firm to create a new federal center to promote campus public safety, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday. The center, to be jointly created by Margolis Healy & Associates and the University of Vermont, was chartered by Congress last spring in response to violent incidents on multiple campuses. Its work will focus on training campus officials and providing resources designed to help colleges protect the safety and security of their students and employees. Margolis Healy was created by former campus safety chiefs at Vermont and Princeton University”.
Seems like a great idea right? However, my question is: should this not be part of a school’s plan anyway? Why does it take extra money for consultants to do something that should already be done? Where is the disconnect?
Why are we reacting instead of being proactive? Why is the culture such that this kind of thing has been happening more than it should?
Spend the money wisely consultants, and remember it is about the students not you.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Battles of Higher Education

Higher education is a very labor intensive and often very divided industry. On one hand, we want the best for our students (or we should), but on the other hand, we are capable of some vicious guerilla fighting that makes one wonder if these folks believe in their own education (admit it, it is true).
Reading an Article today titled: “Those Self-Defeating Lobbyists at One Dupont Circle”, got me thinking about the self-defeating infighting that goes on in the industry.
“What you might not know, if you work for a college or university, is that you, too, have lobbyists. In their current incarnation, they may be doing you more harm than good”.
“The higher-education lobby is located at One Dupont Circle, in Northwest D.C., and that's how people here talk about it: One Dupont says this, One Dupont says that. Like 10 Downing Street or the Kremlin. The building itself houses dozens of organizations representing public colleges, private colleges, land-grants, community colleges, registrars, accreditors, and so on. They're led by the American Council on Education, which technically represents everyone but protects the interests of wealthy and powerful institutions most of all”.
This is not an agree or disagree article, but I would like to point out that there seems to be a lot of internal hostility right now, at a time when enrollments are down, money is tight, and this supposedly’ recession proof’ industry is suffering. Where are the students in all this arguing? Are we helping them by fighting amongst ourselves?
Sometimes you do need to fight for what you believe in, but never at the expense of those we are supposed to be helping.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Student service for all

Our most vulnerable college population is often the international students. Besides language barriers and making true friends, schools sometimes treat them as ‘cash cows’ to be milked until dry.
 “A Foreign Student's Very Expensive Cab Ride”
“A Chinese student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fell victim to a scam upon arriving at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, the News-Gazette reported. The student, who apparently had limited English ability, was trying to figure out how to catch a bus to Champaign at around 6 p.m. when a man approached, said the bus wouldn’t be there until midnight, and offered to drive him to his destination for $1,000. The student agreed; upon arrival, the man wrote down the cost of the trip as being $4,800. The student did not have that much money on hand but gave him what he had – believed to be $4,240”.
“The website for UIUC's International Student and Scholar Services office does include information on transportation to campus”.
While the school’s website might indeed have this info, it is amazing how many domestic students do not know about all the services available to them, so how do we expect someone with potentially limited language ability to know?
Let us make sure we are extending the appropriate student services for all our students.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam