Thursday, July 05, 2012

Friday Fragments

BREAKING: Community colleges are useful, and The New York Times is ON IT!  It reduces them to vocational training centers, but it’s a start.


The Atlantic has a slightly more thoughtful take on the survival of traditional campuses in the age of broadband.  I’d amend as follows: the high end and the low end will be fine.  The middle -- undistinguished, tuition-driven private colleges -- will have some ‘splainin’ to do.


I've been referring to the California public higher ed death spiral for some time now.  Now comes word that the City College of San Francisco -- a community college of 90,000 students -- is on the brink of having its accreditation revoked, effectively killing it by rendering its students ineligible for financial aid.  A local report indicates that a couple of other California colleges -- Cuesta and the College of the Redwoods -- are also on the brink.  Remarkably, the major issue at CCSF seems to be an administration that's spread entirely too thin.  

if you click through to the actual report -- which calls itself confidential, so read very quietly -- you quickly notice a theme of administrative thinness and turnover combined with a culture of faculty largely ignoring the administration.  That's dysfunctional in the best of times, but potentially fatal in the worst of them.  I suspect some sort of last-minute deal will come through with an extension and double-secret probation, since 90,000 students is an astronomical number, but still.  As bankers like to say, when the tide goes out, you see who was swimming naked.


Flipboard, for the Kindle Fire, is incredibly useful.  Why was I not notified of this?  In a semi-related development, I’m putting Google on notice that I’ll consider an Android phone -- as opposed to an e-reader with goodies -- as soon as they actually make up their minds.  They keep coming out with new versions, but all the phones run old ones.  Now, with Jelly Bean, they’re finally acknowledging that apps stutter?  Really?


Dear EdD Students: The Next Great Project involves figuring out how to address the gender gap among students over age 25.  Among 18 year olds, the gender gap in community college enrollments is tiny, but it increases quickly with age.  By about 25, it’s overwhelming, and it just increases after that.  Anyone who can figure out how to reach men over 25 will be hailed as a national hero.  There’s a fantabulous dissertation waiting to be written.  I’m just sayin’.


Program Note: The gang will be doing the annual summer trip next week -- no meetings for me! -- so I’ll be on a blog break, too.  The blog will return on Monday, July 16.