The Importance of College Advisors for Academic Success

When planning their college years, students want reliable advisors who can help them pick the right major and classes. As most students are not on campus during COVID-19, high-quality early advising may determine whether they will graduate on time. Even before the pandemic, graduation rates across higher ed outside the most prestigious schools were a … Continue reading “The Importance of College Advisors for Academic Success”

Did You Know? UNC Graduation Rates Have Increased, Many Still Very Low

Timely graduation rates reveal a lot about how well colleges are fulfilling their academic mission. If, for example, the majority of students don’t graduate in the traditional four-year period—or even in five years—a fundamental question must be raised: Are colleges accepting students who are truly academically prepared? For some University of North Carolina institutions, the … Continue reading “Did You Know? UNC Graduation Rates Have Increased, Many Still Very Low”

The Success of Community College ‘Non-Completers’

A sense of urgency has taken hold of higher education leaders nationwide. Reports of declining community college graduation rates and the lack of skilled workers have led policymakers and college leaders to sound the alarm and vow to do whatever it takes to lower the high rate of “dropouts” and equip students to meet the … Continue reading “The Success of Community College ‘Non-Completers’”

Keeping Journalists in the Dark: ‘Citation Cartels’ Limit Public Knowledge

The public relies on journalists to learn about and share academic research. Public knowledge can be undermined, however, when academics try to influence what research journalists cover or limit the “acceptable debate” about an issue. This influence can be achieved through “citation cartels,” where sympathetic researchers cite and reference one another and ignore or dismiss … Continue reading “Keeping Journalists in the Dark: ‘Citation Cartels’ Limit Public Knowledge”

College Sports and Educational Opportunity: Exposing the (Half) Truth

Conventional wisdom and public perception hold that college sports provide educational opportunities for thousands of student-athletes who could not afford to attend college without them. The National Collegiate Athletic Association lists “providing opportunities to earn a college degree” as at the heart of its mission and boasts that nearly 500,000 student-athletes participate in college sports … Continue reading “College Sports and Educational Opportunity: Exposing the (Half) Truth”

The Chairman of the Board Speaks

The winds of change have blown through the University of North Carolina System’s Board of Governors in recent years. In a state historically dominated by the Democratic Party, the board is now solely composed of members appointed by a Republican legislative majority. The board diminished in size in the last year—dropping from 32 to 28 … Continue reading “The Chairman of the Board Speaks”

Teacher Training and the Construction of Illiteracy

No cliché is more ubiquitous at teacher protests than signs that read, “if you can read this sign, thank a teacher.” That is, unless you disregard variations on the theme of “pay us more.” And yet, student performance on national and international tests suggest that the reading comprehension of most American students does not extend … Continue reading “Teacher Training and the Construction of Illiteracy”

Is Academic Reform for Insiders Only?

“Reform” is an appealing word, suggesting change intended for the better. It is frequently used in discussions of higher education. Critics, especially conservative ones, point out visible cracks in the Ivory Tower and demand that they be “reformed.” Politicians do the same. And deep-pocketed donors have their own ideas of what higher education should be, … Continue reading “Is Academic Reform for Insiders Only?”

UNC Responds to NCAA Study

On November 30, Clarion Call reported the results of study by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The study found that Duke University athletes post high graduation rates, while graduation rates for UNC athletes were mediocre. But the results for UNC should not be interpreted negatively, says Steve Kirschner, Director of Communications for UNC’s Athletic Department.