Competition Is Helping to Bring Affordability, Efficiency Back to Higher Ed

As higher education has become increasingly competitive in recent years, many colleges have had to find creative ways to maintain their enrollment figures and distinguish themselves in the market. For some, this has meant lowering their tuition rates at a time in which inflated prices often seem to be the norm. Seeing already-struggling colleges constraining … Continue reading “Competition Is Helping to Bring Affordability, Efficiency Back to Higher Ed”



Will We, at Last, Do Something About Accreditation?

Accreditation is supposed to act as a quality guarantee for colleges and universities, but it works very poorly. Students can and regularly do graduate from accredited schools without having learned anything. It’s as if toasters with the Underwriters Laboratories seal were prone to shorting out and catching fire. We know, for example, that a large … Continue reading “Will We, at Last, Do Something About Accreditation?”


Educating for the Workplace: A Dilemma

Recently I attended a meeting of a committee of the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors that has a mission of “setting goals for economic impact.” Higher education’s role in the economy cannot be ignored; the extent of that role is, however, highly debatable. Some people believe that academia is the place to … Continue reading “Educating for the Workplace: A Dilemma”


Poll: What Should Trump’s Education Department Do to Reform Higher Ed?

Now that the election has ended, Donald Trump faces new challenges. He must assemble a team, choose a direction, and begin to govern. During his long campaign, he gave a few hints as to how he might change federal education policy. On Wednesday, Trump announced his nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. … Continue reading “Poll: What Should Trump’s Education Department Do to Reform Higher Ed?”


The SAT and ACT Fall Short, But Now There’s a Better Alternative

Parents, test prep experts, and college counselors give careful thought in working with students as they approach the crucial “college entrance exam.” Which of the two exams should they prep for? Which of the two exams will they do better on? After running an SAT/ACT Prep company for a couple of years, I became convinced … Continue reading “The SAT and ACT Fall Short, But Now There’s a Better Alternative”


A Grassroots Effort Is Changing College Instruction for the Better

Here is a dirty little secret: I am a teacher at a community college, but I have never taken an education course. The same is true for most of my colleagues at the college level. We all have majored in our “subject,” but many of us have had no education in the area of our … Continue reading “A Grassroots Effort Is Changing College Instruction for the Better”


Online Course Exchanges: Models of Efficiency

Small classes and programs are often praised for offering students more personal attention and one-on-one time with professors. But when programs are too small, students and universities suffer. Students find it difficult to enroll in the courses they need for graduation. Universities spend scarce resources on low-productivity activities. The Pope Center documented the problem two … Continue reading “Online Course Exchanges: Models of Efficiency”


Skills Without Frills: The Rise of Coding Academies

The basement of a once–abandoned tobacco factory may seem to be an odd place to teach the most cutting edge computer technology, but that’s where The Iron Yard, a computer coding academy in Durham, North Carolina, makes its home. It holds classes in the basement of the American Tobacco Campus, a renovated multi-use industrial site … Continue reading “Skills Without Frills: The Rise of Coding Academies”


How Would Trump Change Higher Education Policy?

Last month I looked at Hillary Clinton’s higher education proposals in this Clarion Call, and found nothing to praise in them. They merely deepen the already ruinous federal involvement in subsidizing college. Now it’s time to take a look at the higher education ideas that have been advanced by Donald Trump and the Republicans. I … Continue reading “How Would Trump Change Higher Education Policy?”