Debra Schilling Wolfe of the School of Social Policy & Practice is quoted about Penn’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research Field of Dreams luncheon.
Penn Daily News Service | Oct 28, 2014
Penn in the News
Marybeth Gasman of the Graduate School of Education comments on the impact of changes to a federal loan program on historically black colleges and universities.
Shaun Harper of the Graduate School of Education shares his comments about black students facing adversity in the classroom.
Ryan Charles Hynd of the School of Arts & Sciences is profiled about his journey as a black man in the STEM field.
Billionaire undergraduate alumni are featured.
A political survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center is highlighted.
Andrew Rappe of the School of Arts & Sciences is cited for his collaborative research on the performance of ferroelectric materials.
Richard Shell of the Wharton School shares his suggestions for how to define success on an individual basis.
Noteworthy in Higher Education
The United States fails to do right by most low-income students who excel in school. They overcome long odds and do well enough in high school to show they can thrive in college. Nevertheless, many never receive a bachelor’s degree. Now, though, the country may be approaching something of a turning point. As data has made clear how many top-performing students from poor and middle-class families fall through the cracks, a range of institutions have set out to change the situation. Dozens of school districts, across 15 states, now help every high school junior take the SAT. Delaware’s governor has started a program to advise every college-qualified student from a modest background on the application process. The president of the College Board, which administers the SAT and has a decidedly mixed record on making college more accessible, says his top priority is college access.
U.S. News & World Report put Princeton atop its list of the nation’s best universities last month. On Tuesday, the magazine declared Harvard best in the world — one of nine U.S. and three British universities listed ahead of the Ivy League school in New Jersey. How can one U.S. university lead the national rankings as another one leads the world? The answer is that U.S. News is introducing a new way to rank global universities, through analysis of the schools’ research prowess. Critics are likely to call the new global ranking as faulty as its domestic cousin. Both use subjective formulas. Both rely on data, such as reputational surveys, that prompt major debate within academia.
In a rare, detailed look at sexual assault and harassment on a university campus, M.I. T. revealed Monday that among undergraduates who replied to a survey, at least 17 percent of women and 5 percent of men said they had been sexually assaulted. That is similar to the findings of a handful of other studies, including a frequently cited survey in which 19 percent of undergraduate women said they had experienced sexual assault, or attempted sexual assault. But there have been few surveys that looked at experiences and attitudes at particular colleges — and victim advocates said they knew of none with the clarity and depth of the M.I.T. survey.
Comedian Bill Maher is scheduled to be the speaker at UC Berkeley’s mid-year commencement, but some students, who object to what they allege to be his anti-Muslim statements, are asking administrators to rescind the invitation. A petition urging the university to drop Maher from the Dec. 20 event has garnered more than 1,400 signatures, according to the student newspaper the Daily Californian. The protest was started by the Change.org group and is backed by the Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian Coalition on campus, the paper reported.
College athletes are serious students, the National Collegiate Athletic Association says. And every year, it offers up numbers to make its case. Last year, the association reported that 82 percent of Division I athletes had graduated within a recent six-year period, up from 74 percent a decade before. Last year’s data also showed that a record proportion of football players from major conferences completed college in that time. "More student-athletes than ever before are earning their college degrees," Mark Emmert, the NCAA's president, said last year. "And we are gratified to see our reform efforts impact the lives of those we serve."
The revelations from the report on the academic-fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been startling: More than 3,000 students over a period of 18 years were awarded grades and credit for nonexistent courses. But much of what has been said and written to date about the extraordinary failures in ethics and oversight seems to miss both the seriousness of the misbehavior and the extent to which it strikes at the core of any college or university. This is not chiefly an athletics issue, though the students involved are disproportionately intercollegiate athletes. Nor is it primarily a matter for the NCAA, which is more a cause of than a solution to the problem of athletics in American higher education.
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