How ‘Elite’ Universities Are Using Online Education

After years of skepticism, higher education’s upper class has finally decided that online learning is going to play an important role in its future. But what will that role be? Recently, conversations about “elite” online education have revolved around the free online courses, aka MOOCs, which Stanford, MIT, Harvard, and dozens of other top universities … Continue reading

To Improve Retention, Community Colleges Teach Self-Esteem

As states and the federal government put a greater emphasis on raising college graduation rates, community colleges are moving to help a group of students who often fall behind: those required to take remedial-education classes. Sixty-eight percent of community-college students are required to take at least one class in remedial education, also known as developmental … Continue reading

Why Universities Alone Aren’t Going to Save Your Economy

Today, college after college, urban and rural, from the tiniest liberal-arts institution to the sprawling research university, is pitching itself as a driver of economic revitalization, its region’s greatest competitive asset. Universities’ very presence, the rhetoric seems to suggest, can spur a metamorphosis from decaying factory town to 21st-century knowledge hub. At a time when … Continue reading

First-Generation Students Unite

Ana Barros grew up in a two-family house built by Habitat for Humanity, hard by the boarded-up buildings and vacant lots of Newark. Neither parent attended college, but she was a star student. With a 2200 on her SATs, she expected to fit in at Harvard. Yet here she was at a lecture for a … Continue reading

The Slow Death of the University

A few years ago, I was being shown around a large, very technologically advanced university in Asia by its proud president. As befitted so eminent a personage, he was flanked by two burly young minders in black suits and shades, who for all I knew were carrying Kalashnikovs under their jackets. Having waxed lyrical about … Continue reading

School: What is it Good for?

One of the curious features about schooling is that there is no explicit consensus about its purpose. Any assertion with regards to function should dramatically affect both the content of what is taught and the structure in terms of how to best instill the things that are taught. For instance, if the purpose of schooling … Continue reading

The End of Male Supremacy

Women are not equal to men; they are superior in many ways, and in most ways that will count in the future. It is not just a matter of culture or upbringing. It is a matter of chromosomes, genes, hormones, and nerve circuits. It is not mainly because of how experience shapes women, but because … Continue reading

Structured Pathways Help Community Colleges Succeed

The emphasis on community college excellence needs to move from a discussion just about student access to one of both access and success. That’s the sentiment expressed Wednesday by many college leaders and politicians in the District of Columbia for the announcement of the Aspen Institute’s 2015 Prize for Community College Excellence, given to Santa … Continue reading