Linkpile for Wednesday, November 9, 2011.
- Postcollegiates mired in debt have reason to hope. "For struggling graduates, help with student loans," reports a November 8, 2011 Boston.com article. "Federal education officials have been raising awareness about an underused program intended to lessen the burden for borrowers who don’t earn a lot. The program is called Income-Based Repayment."
- This news of debt assistance comes at a time of great change for student lending. "Federal financial aid on the brink of major cuts," warns a November 8, 2011 article in The Marquette Tribune. "The potential cuts would affect all federal student aid programs, including Pell Grants and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, which provide funding to students in individually tailored packages. The federal work study program, which provides aid that students can earn through part-time employment, would also be affected."
- California's online-education gold rush: "The U. Comes to You: Digital Distance Learning in The Golden State."The world of distance education is exceedingly volatile. Schools will rise, and schools will fall. But the students are going to be the only ones left holding the bag. Such is the way of the world, you might stoically conclude. And so it may be. Yet whatever progress humanity has managed to make as a species is the result of sound rather than suspect means. The issue comes down to value. Do for-profit universities – or any university offering online courses and degrees – produce it and, if so, for whom? Stockholders and executives may soon come to learn that their wealth is of the most fragile sort; it threatens to vanish in the air once the larger economy reaches a point of exhaustion, which is the point where there are more claims on value than actual value produced. At such a point, everything, as two famous critics of capitalism put it, 'melts into air.' This indeed seems to be the point toward which the postsecondary education sector – nonprofit private, for-profit private, and public alike – is headed. The only thing to say is, 'Hold onto your mortarboards.'"
- Difficulty looms for a private sector higher-education provider. "For-Profit Education Provider Faces Trouble," reports a November 7, 2011 National Public Radio story (with audio). "Career Education Corporation, a major for-profit post-secondary education provider, is facing trouble after it admitted to supplying misleading information on job placement rates. Other for-profit companies are struggling too, under pressure from new federal rules."
- Expanding higher education access in the Great White North: "Selling higher education to those who aren't buying,"reads the headline to a November 7, Ottawa Citizen article. "In Ontario today, there are more students than ever on college and university campuses, but too many people still don't see post-secondary education as an option."
- "Capella Education Company: Value Plus Growth Opportunity, reads the headline to a November 7, 2011 article at Seeking Alpha. "CPLA's performance for the 6 months to June 2011 was on track to meet its excellent 2010 performance, but is expected to drop off slightly in the 2nd half of 2011 and into 2012. Though re-enrolments are strong, the company is starting to experience a drop off in new enrollments. CPLA demonstrates some characteristics of each of a cyclical, countercyclical, and non-cyclical business. When the economy is strong, people see their peers gain career advancement, as so engage in further education to do the same. And when the economy is weak, people look to further educate themselves in the hope of improving their situation."
- Higher-ed types take hold of the digital shovel. "Filling the gap in online education" is the task before them, reports an October 31, 2011 Campus Review article. "Learning to Teach Online hopes to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in online teaching by providing key pedagogic principles relatable to academics in an easily accessible manner. It also is designed to create awareness of current research and best practice, challenge existing perceptions, and offers proven pedagogical strategies to individual teachers to help them develop their own knowledge upon that of their peers that is presented in the episodes."