Tuesday, April 08, 2008



Yesterday I mentioned just how impressed I was by Kay McClenney's panel on the “Bridges to Opportunity” initiative of the Ford Foundation. Although I can't do it justice, a few highlights (and since the facts flew fast and furious, and I may have gotten some of them wrong, anyone in the states mentioned who knows better is invited to comment):

Anyone who can fill in some of the blanks is invited to comment. But I have to admit, the idea that some people are actually taking active steps to come to grips with real problems is heartening.

"If they were identified with the larger systems to which they actually belong, he argued, the public would think more highly of them."

Interesting. Indiana might offer a good case study for this - the community college in their state system share a common name (Ivy Tech). I'm not sure if this is quite what you mean, or whether you mean identifying a state's 2-year colleges with it's 4-year colleges.
I went to a community college in my hometown, which had two community colleges, both of which were named for some variation on the city name. I knew they were public but I always assumed they were administered by the city and not necessarily related to the state university system. I derived that assumption from the name, though, so I think the idea is that calling the thing by a name that associated it with the state would help make the connection...? Across the border in a neighboring state, there's a cc called North State College, which seems to make the connection clearer.

interesting that this would make it seem more prestigious. Maybe this helps differentiate two year colleges that belong to the state system from for profit job training kinds of places that offer 18 month or 2 year degrees?
oh oh, i meant to say not even necessarily altering the name but adding some language that says, a two year college of the state university system.
I received my associate degree at the local community college, which was identified as a branch of the big state u - no one ever considered it a community college, although looking back, that's what it was. I think the branch of the big u concept also helped with the transfer of credit situation, because when I went on for the bachelor's, there were no issues about what did or didn't count.
One panelist discussed the messages that resonate, or don't, with the public. Intriguingly, he suggested that some of our standbys – small classes, personal attention – don't cut it.

I'm interested in hearing more about this, which is different from my experience talking to people.
The State of Washington experiment in tying remedial comp with major field courses is extraordinarily interesting. Is there a way to get in touch with the people doing this, or does anyone have more information? (If it's a good idea, we should all steal...er, adopt...it.)
That actually doesn't surprise me -- if college is mainly accreditation, rather than knowledge, then the actual value of the classes is relatively small.
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