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College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2013 High School Graduates

April 23, 2014 Comments off

College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2013 High School Graduates
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

In October 2013, 65.9 percent of 2013 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in October 2013 were over twice as likely as enrolled graduates to be working or looking for work–74.2 percent compared with 34.1 percent.

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School Shooters: History, Current Theoretical and Empirical Findings, and Strategies for Prevention

April 23, 2014 Comments off

School Shooters: History, Current Theoretical and Empirical Findings, and Strategies for Prevention
Source: Sage Open

Situations involving active shooters in schools have increased in recent years. We define an “active shooter incident” as an occurrence where one or more individuals participate in an ongoing, random, or systematic shooting spree with the objective of multiple or mass murders. Attempts to build a profile of active school shooters have been unsuccessful to date, although there is some evidence to suggest that mental instability, social isolation, a self-perception of catastrophic loss, and access to weapons play a role in the identification of the shooter in a school shooting incident. This article details theories and after-the-fact findings of investigations on previous school shooters, and we offer an application of Levin and Madfis’s Five Stage Sequential Model to Adam Lanza, the perpetrator of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, 2012. Prevention strategies, suggestions for positive school climates, school security for the physical plants, and threat assessments are discussed, and implications for future research are offered.

Reading in the Mobile Era

April 23, 2014 Comments off

Reading in the Mobile Era
Source: United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO)

Millions of people do not read for one reason: they do not have access to text. But today mobile phones and cellular networks are transforming a scare resource into an abundant one.

Drawing on the analysis of over 4,000 surveys collected in seven developing countries and corresponding qualitative interviews, this report paints a detailed picture to date of who reads books and stories on mobile devices and why.

The findings illuminate, for the first time, the habits, beliefs and profiles of mobile readers. This information points to strategies to expand mobile reading and, by extension, the educational, social and economic benefits associated with increased reading.

Mobile technology can advance literacy and learning in underserved communities around the world. This report shows how.

One Year after West, Texas: One in Ten Students Attends School in the Shadow of a Risky Chemical Facility

April 23, 2014 Comments off

One Year after West, Texas: One in Ten Students Attends School in the Shadow of a Risky Chemical Facility
Source: Center for Effective Government

One year after the fertilizer facility explosion in West, Texas, which destroyed and severely damaged nearby schools, an analysis by the Center for Effective Government finds that nearly one in ten American schoolchildren live and study within one mile of a potentially dangerous chemical facility.

The analysis, displayed through an online interactive map, shows that 4.6 million children at nearly 10,000 schools across the country are within a mile of a facility that reports to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Risk Management Program. Factories, refineries, and other facilities that report to the program produce, use, and/or store significant quantities of certain hazardous chemicals identified by EPA as particularly risky to human health or the environment if they are spilled, released into the air, or are involved in an explosion or fire.

Education Under Attack, 2014

April 22, 2014 Comments off

Education Under Attack, 2014
Source: Global Coalition to Protect Education From Attack

This global study charts the scale and nature of attacks on education; highlights their impact on education – including on students, teachers and facilities; and documents the ways that governments, local communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies try to reduce the impact of such violence and prevent future attacks.

In doing so, it provides the most extensive documentation of attacks on education to date. Following earlier studies that UNESCO published in 2007 and 2010, it not only examines attacks on schools, as previous research has done, but also considers military use of education facilities and more closely examines attacks on higher education.

The study’s four main aims are to: better inform international and national efforts to prevent schools, universities, students, teachers, academics and other education staff from being attacked; encourage the investigation, prosecution and punishment of the perpetrators of attacks; share knowledge about effective responses; and help those who have been attacked to recover and rebuild their lives – as Malala is doing – by providing recommendations for action that the international community, governments and armed non-state groups should adopt and implement.

The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors Annual Survey (Reporting period: September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013)

April 22, 2014 Comments off

The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors Annual Survey (PDF)
Source: Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors

Anxiety continues to be the most predominant presenting concern among college students ( 46.2%; up from 41.6% in 2012 ), followed by depression ( 39.3%, up from 36.4% in 2012 ), and relationship problems (35.8% , unchanged from 2012 ). Other commo n concerns are suicidal ideation ( 17.9%, up from 16.1% in 2012 ), alcohol abuse (9.9% , down from 11% in 2012 ), and sexual assault ( 7.4%, down from 9.2 % in 2012 ).

Chocolate Milk Consequences: A Pilot Study Evaluating the Consequences of Banning Chocolate Milk in School Cafeterias

April 22, 2014 Comments off

Chocolate Milk Consequences: A Pilot Study Evaluating the Consequences of Banning Chocolate Milk in School Cafeterias
Source: PLoS ONE

Objectives
Currently, 68.3% of the milk available in schools is flavored, with chocolate being the most popular (61.6% of all milk). If chocolate milk is removed from a school cafeteria, what will happen to overall milk selection and consumption?

Methods
In a before-after study in 11 Oregon elementary schools, flavored milk–which will be referred to as chocolate milk–was banned from the cafeteria. Milk sales, school enrollment, and data for daily participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) were compared year to date.

Results
Total daily milk sales declined by 9.9% (p<0.01). Although white milk increased by 161.2 cartons per day (p<0.001), 29.4% of this milk was thrown away. Eliminating chocolate milk was also associated with 6.8% fewer students eating school lunches, and although other factors were also involved, this is consistent with the notion of psychological reactance.

Conclusions
Removing chocolate milk from school cafeterias may reduce calorie and sugar consumption, but it may also lead students to take less milk overall, drink less (waste more) of the white milk they do take, and no longer purchase school lunch. Food service managers need to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of eliminating chocolate milk and should consider alternative options that make white milk more convenient, attractive, and normal to choose.

Consumer advisory: Co-signers can cause surprise defaults on your private student loans

April 22, 2014 Comments off

Consumer advisory: Co-signers can cause surprise defaults on your private student loans
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Today, we released a report that describes complaints we received related to the private student loan industry’s practice of placing borrowers in default even when their loans are current and in good standing. We’re also warning consumers that they can avoid surprise defaults by pursuing a co-signer release.

The vast majority of private student loans today have a co-signer (typically a parent or a grandparent). Having a co-signer can often lead to a lower interest rate, which can save you money in the long-term, because the co-signer will have to repay the loan if you don’t.

However, your loan might also contain provisions that allow your student loan servicer to put you in default — even if you’ve been making your payments on time.

That’s because your co-signer is also on the hook for your loan and therefore changes in their behavior can impact your loan, causing your loan to default and making your entire balance due all at once. We’ve received complaints that private student loan servicers are placing borrowers into default when their co-signer dies or files for bankruptcy.

NTIA Releases 3 Case Studies Examining Impact of Broadband Grants Program on Connecting Libraries

April 22, 2014 Comments off

NTIA Releases 3 Case Studies Examining Impact of Broadband Grants Program on Connecting Libraries
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration

In 2010, as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), NTIA awarded more than $200 million in matching grants to establish or upgrade public computer centers (PCCs) throughout the United States. More than 2,000 of those centers are operated by public libraries, from Maine to Arizona. These grants complement the $3.4 billion in infrastructure investments that have allowed BTOP grant recipients to connect more than 1,300 libraries nationally with ultra-fast broadband, providing a significant down-payment on President Obama’s ConnectED initiative.

Today we are releasing the first three of 15 PCC and broadband adoption case studies. These focus on the impact of grants in Delaware, Texas and Michigan. The release coincides with an important hearing on libraries and broadband, sponsored by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services, or IMLS. The case studies were conducted for NTIA by an independent research firm, ASR Analytics, which analyzed the impact these PCCs are having in their local communities.

What kinds of impact are these expanded libraries having in their communities? The case studies, based on site visits, interviews, and publicly available data from the awardees’ quarterly reports to NTIA, tell a story of increased demand for library services that have helped the country continue to turn the corner on the economic recovery. The libraries are meeting an urgent need by giving people access to information and job skills they need to be competitive in a 21st century workplace.

State Higher Education Finance Report

April 21, 2014 Comments off

State Higher Education Finance Report
Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

The State Higher Education Finance (SHEF) report is produced annually by the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) to broaden understanding of the context and consequences of multiple decisions made every year in each of these areas. No single report can provide definitive answers to such broad and fundamental questions of public policy, but the SHEF report provides information to help inform such decisions. The report includes:

• An Overview and Highlights of national trends and the current status of state funding for higher education;
• An explanation of the Measures, Methods, and Analytical Tools used in the report;
• A description of the Revenue Sources and Uses for higher education, including state tax and non-tax revenue, local tax support, tuition revenue, and the proportion of this funding available for general educational support;
• An analysis of National Trends in Enrollment and Revenue, in particular, changes over time in the public resources available for general operating support;
• Interstate Comparisons—Making Sense of Many Variables, using tables, charts, and graphs to compare data amongstates and over time; and
• Indicators of Relative State Wealth, Tax Effort, and Allocations for Higher Education, along with ways to take these factors into account in making interstate comparisons.

The SHEF report provides the earliest possible review of state and local support, tuition revenue, and enrollment trends for the most recent fiscal year.

Educational Outcomes at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Eclectic or Cohesive?

April 21, 2014 Comments off

Educational Outcomes at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Eclectic or Cohesive?
Source: Sage Open

This study assessed variability in Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ (HBCUs) educational outcomes. Analyses were conducted on two nationally representative databases via hierarchical linear and nonlinear modeling. Intraclass correlation coefficients for HBCUs were compared with those of (a) a random sample—theorized to have no systematic similarity in educational outcomes to HBCUs and (b) a sample of other Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs). Findings indicate that HBCUs’ educational outcomes were generally more cohesive than those of the random sample, and this cohesiveness followed a different pattern than the cohesiveness of outcomes at other PBIs. On the whole, then, this study suggests that educational outcomes at HBCUs are cohesive and distinct from other institutional groups.

Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance

April 21, 2014 Comments off

Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance
Source: Social Science Research Network

Research on learning has primarily focused on the role of doing (experience) in fostering progress over time. In this paper, we propose that one of the critical components of learning is reflection, or the intentional attempt to synthesize, abstract, and articulate the key lessons taught by experience. Drawing on dual-process theory, we focus on the reflective dimension of the learning process and propose that learning can be augmented by deliberately focusing on thinking about what one has been doing. We test the resulting dual-process learning model experimentally, using a mixed-method design that combines two laboratory experiments with a field experiment conducted in a large business process outsourcing company in India. We find a performance differential when comparing learning-by-doing alone to learning-by-doing coupled with reflection. Further, we hypothesize and find that the effect of reflection on learning is mediated by greater perceived self-efficacy. Together, our results shed light on the role of reflection as a powerful mechanism behind learning.

Explainer: Federal student loan interest rates to jump

April 18, 2014 Comments off

Explainer: Federal student loan interest rates to jump
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Right now, many students and families across the country are receiving financial aid offers and deciding how to pay for college. Most students will need to shop for student loans now, and some of you have asked us what the new rates will be. While rates aren’t set in stone yet, interest rates on new federal student loans are expected to jump this July.

We’ve updated our Paying for College tool using our best guess of what the rates will be, so you can have a better estimate of what your monthly payment might be after graduation.

Interest rates on most federal student loans are based on a certain type of bond that the Treasury Department issues, known as the ten-year note. The yield is the rate at which investors charge the federal government for borrowing money. Next month, there will be a Treasury bond auction, and that rate will set federal student loan interest rates.

Health Literacy and Numeracy: Workshop Summary (2014)

April 18, 2014 Comments off

Health Literacy and Numeracy: Workshop Summary (2014)
Source: Institute of Medicine

Although health literacy is commonly defined as an individual trait, it does not depend on the skills of individuals alone. Health literacy is the product of the interaction between individuals’ capacities and the health literacy-related demands and complexities of the health care system. Specifically, the ability to understand, evaluate, and use numbers is important to making informed health care choices.

Health Literacy and Numeracy is the summary of a workshop convened by The Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy in July 2013 to discuss topics related to numeracy, including the effects of ill health on cognitive capacity, issues with communication of health information to the public, and communicating numeric information for decision making. This report includes a paper commissioned by the Roundtable, “Numeracy and the Affordable Care Act: Opportunities and Challenges,” that discusses research findings about people’s numeracy skill levels; the kinds of numeracy skills that are needed to select a health plan, choose treatments, and understand medication instructions; and how providers should communicate with those with low numeracy skills. The paper was featured in the workshop and served as the basis of discussion.

Unemployment among Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Increased but Remained Below the National Average

April 17, 2014 Comments off

Unemployment among Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Increased but Remained Below the National Average
Source: National Science Foundation

In 2010, an estimated 805,500 individuals in the United States held research doctoral degrees in science, engineering, and health (SEH) fields, an increase of 6.2% from 2008. Of these individuals, 709,700 were in the labor force, which includes those employed full time or part time and those actively seeking work (i.e., unemployed). The unemployment rate for SEH doctorate recipients was 2.4% in October 2010, up from 1.7% in October 2008 and similar to the rate in October 2003 (table 1). Moreover, the 2010 unemployment rate of the SEH doctoral labor force was about one-third of the October 2010 unemployment rate for the general population aged 25 years or older (8.2%).

Student Loan Safety Nets: Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Income-Based Repayment

April 17, 2014 Comments off

Student Loan Safety Nets: Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Income-Based Repayment
Source: Brookings Institution

The plight of underemployed college graduates struggling to make their student loan payments has received a great deal of media attention throughout the recent economic recession. The primary safety net available to borrowers of federal loans facing unaffordable monthly payments is income-based repayment, in which borrowers make monthly payments based on their earnings rather than a traditional schedule of flat payments.

The importance of these programs is widely recognized. How much these programs will cost and how the benefits will be distributed among borrowers, however, is not well understood— in large part because these costs and benefits will be realized over multiple decades. Without this knowledge, it is difficult to know whether these programs are meeting the goal of effectively and efficiently protecting borrowers without creating significant unintended consequences.

This report seeks to fill that gap by providing some of the first detailed evidence about the predicted costs and benefits of existing income-based repayment programs. Authors Beth Akers and Matthew Chingos develop an empirical framework for understanding the costs and benefits of these programs and use simulation methods to apply this framework to a nationally representative sample of bachelor’s degree recipients. These methods cannot accurately estimate the overall cost of the programs, but they provide fairly robust estimates of the relative cost of different program components, and of the share of benefits received by different groups of borrowers.

Hooked on Smartphones: An Exploratory Study on Smartphone Overuse among College Students

April 16, 2014 Comments off

Hooked on Smartphones: An Exploratory Study on Smartphone Overuse among College Students (PDF)
Source: Association for Computing Machinery

The negative aspects of smartphone overuse on young adults, such as sleep deprivation and attention deficits, are being increasingly recognized recently. This emerging issue motivated us to analyze the usage patterns related to smartphone overuse. We investigate smartphone usage for 95 college students using surveys, logged data, and interviews. We first divide the participants into risk and non-risk groups based on self-reported rating scale for smartphone overuse. We then analyze the usage data to identify between-group usage differences, which ranged from the overall usage patterns to appspecific usage patterns. Compared with the non-risk group, our results show that the risk group has longer usage time per day and different diurnal usage patterns. Also, the risk group users are more susceptible to push notifications, and tend to consume more online content. We characterize the overall relationship between usage features and smartphone overuse using analytic modeling and provide detailed illustrations of problematic usage behaviors based on interview data.

Out-of-Pocket Net Price for College

April 15, 2014 Comments off

Out-of-Pocket Net Price for College
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

This Data Point uses data from four administrations of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:2000, NPSAS:04, NPSAS:08, and NPSAS:12) to briefly present trends in out-of-pocket net price for college, the amount that students and their families must pay to attend college after subtracting grants, loans, work-study, and all other student aid from the total price of attendance. It also presents out-of-pocket net price by income levels for the most recent data available (2011-12). For comparability, findings are presented for undergraduates attending full time for a full year and also trends are presented separately for key institution types (public 2-year, public 4-year, private nonprofit 4-year, and for-profit institutions).

Finding That College Students Cluster in Majors Based on Differing Patterns of Spatial Visualization and Language Processing Speeds

April 14, 2014 Comments off

Finding That College Students Cluster in Majors Based on Differing Patterns of Spatial Visualization and Language Processing Speeds
Source: Sage Open

For over 30 years, researchers such as Eisenberg and McGinty have investigated the relationship between 3-D visualization skills and choice of college major. Results of the present study support the fact that science and math majors tend to do well on a measure of 3-D visualization. Going beyond these earlier studies, the present study investigated whether a measure of Rapid Automatic Naming of Objects—which is normally used to screen for elementary school students who might struggle with speech, language, literacy, and numeracy—would further differentiate the choice of majors by college students. Far more research needs to be conducted, but results indicated that college students differentially clustered in scatterplot quadrants defined by the two screening assessments. Furthermore, several of these clusters, plus a statistical multiplier, may lead to a new understanding of students with phonological processing differences, learning disabilities, and speech and language impairments.

2013 Open Doors Report

April 14, 2014 Comments off

2013 Open Doors Report
Source: Institute of International Education
From press release:

The 2013 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released today, finds the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by seven percent to a record high of 819,644 students in the 2012/13 academic year, while U.S. students studying abroad increased by three percent to an all-time high of more than 283,000.

In 2012/13, 55,000 more international students enrolled in U.S. higher education compared to 2011/12, with most of the growth driven by China and Saudi Arabia. This marks the seventh consecutive year that Open Doors reported expansion in the total number of international students in U.S. higher education. There are now 40 percent more international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities than a decade ago, and the rate of increase has risen steadily for the past three years. International students make up slightly under four percent of total student enrollment at the graduate and undergraduate level combined. International students’ spending in all 50 states contributed approximately $24 billion to the U.S. economy.

The number of U.S. students who studied abroad for academic credit increased by three percent to 283,332 students in 2011/12, a higher rate of growth than the one percent increase the previous year. More U.S. students went to Latin America and China, and there was a rebound in those going to Japan as programs reopened in Fall 2011 after the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. Study abroad by American students has more than tripled over the past two decades, from approximately 71,000 students in 1991/92 to the record number in 2011/12. Despite these increases, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point during their undergraduate years.

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