How Much of an Effect Do University Writing Programs Have?

The list of top-rated college writing programs is dominated by private institutions. But North Carolina State University is one of only a few public universities to break through. It is well-respected for how it teaches writing. According to a 2017 U.S News & World Report poll, NC State’s writing program is #12 in the nation … Continue reading “How Much of an Effect Do University Writing Programs Have?”


Six Ideas to De-Politicize the American Campus

The politicization of higher education is a huge societal problem. Even though there is an overwhelming consensus that universities’ ultimate purpose should be a search for the truth and that it is imperative that inquiry and dialogue be kept free and open, this is increasingly not the case. In many departments, acknowledged communists outnumber registered … Continue reading “Six Ideas to De-Politicize the American Campus”


Why Aren’t There More Apprentices in America?

Within the fractious realm of higher education policy, one of the few ideas to gain bipartisan support is the expansion of technical training for young workers, largely through apprenticeships. Both the political left and right favor apprenticeships as a way to educate and train America’s youth for future success while also meeting the demands of … Continue reading “Why Aren’t There More Apprentices in America?”


Howling Cow Ice Cream: An NC State Experiment in Hands-On Learning

In the past, I’ve been critical of commercial activity on North Carolina’s public university campuses. It competes with private business, attracts unfair tax advantages, and may (in some cases) violate provisions of the Umstead Act. It’s also far outside a public university’s three-part mission of education, research, and service. In most cases, I think business … Continue reading “Howling Cow Ice Cream: An NC State Experiment in Hands-On Learning”


Easing the Transition from Soldier to Scholar

The college diploma has long been regarded as the ticket to the good life. And most well-paid jobs require some kind of academic credential. But academia is not the only place to learn valuable skills and reasoning. The United States armed forces also have a long track record for training young people for demanding tasks. … Continue reading “Easing the Transition from Soldier to Scholar”


Cevro: An Interdisciplinary Czech College Run by Libertarians

For the past year, I was enrolled in a small graduate-level Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program at the Cevro Institute in Prague, Czech Republic. To my knowledge, it’s one of two PPE programs in central/eastern Europe, an international experiment in the post-communist world. What makes it unique is its emphasis on understanding “political economy” … Continue reading “Cevro: An Interdisciplinary Czech College Run by Libertarians”


Dual-Enrollment: a Head Start on College or Empty Credentialing?

Shortly after I moved to North Carolina in 2015, I learned about a dual-enrollment program for students to attend high school and Wake Technical Community College simultaneously. At the time, I was a homeschooled rising junior deciding among my options for the future, and I was eager to jump on board if it meant I … Continue reading “Dual-Enrollment: a Head Start on College or Empty Credentialing?”


Copying Australia’s Student Loan System Won’t Save American Higher Ed

The American student loan system is a mess, weighing down more than 40 million borrowers with $1.3 trillion of debt. As a result, analysts and journalists in search of alternative systems often look abroad. Some claim they have found the answer they are looking for Down Under, describing the Australian student loan system as an … Continue reading “Copying Australia’s Student Loan System Won’t Save American Higher Ed”


An Innovative Guide Through the Higher Ed Landscape

Increasingly, the old model of earning a college degree by simply choosing a school, paying cash to cover room, board, and tuition, and graduating within four years (with summers off) is passé. Currently, the average student takes six years to finish college and has about $37,000 in student loan debt. Higher education’s escalating costs and … Continue reading “An Innovative Guide Through the Higher Ed Landscape”


Are Students Addicted to Distraction?

A few years ago, something changed in class. I customarily taught classes where my students read multiple books, wrote thoughtful reflective essays, and came to class prepared to engage in rich discussions. I’d often come to class with a few notes and the goal of being extemporaneous for the duration of the class. Every student … Continue reading “Are Students Addicted to Distraction?”