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Posts Tagged ‘college’

Tracking diplomas

From the Texas Tribune: Among young Texans who started eighth grade in 2001, less than one-fifth went on to earn a higher education credential within six years of their high school graduation. And rates were even lower among African-American and Hispanic students and those who were economically disadvantaged, according to data analyzed by two state […]

Open source textbooks

This is a great idea. The words “free” and “college” aren’t often used in the same sentence, but a philanthropic venture at Rice University is drawing attention for bringing them together. OpenStax College, a nonprofit publishing organization founded by a Rice professor, offers free online textbooks for the five most-attended college courses in the country. […]

What can you get for $10,000?

You can now get a college degree – at some colleges, in some programs, if you’re lucky. Many were skeptical when Gov. Rick Perry last year challenged Texas public colleges and universities to offer degrees costing no more than $10,000. Now 14 institutions have embraced the concept, which Perry sees as a promising way to […]

Our education gap

Apparently, we have one in Houston. The Houston area doesn’t have enough educated workers to fill all the jobs that local industry creates, according to a study released today by the Brookings Institution. That education gap, in turn, pushes up the local unemployment rate, according to the study, which ranked the Houston area 94th among […]

How does college tuition in Texas compare to other states?

In a previous post, John left the following comment: Out of curiosity how much does a year at UT/A&M cost? How does that compare to Ohio St/Michigan/Cal/UVA/Washington etc. I would think this is a good time to do the revenue side and charge more for tuition if UT is still fairly inexpensive relative to other […]

Higher tuition coming

Well, what did you expect? The 63,000 students of the University of Houston System could be paying higher tuition as early as the fall semester, Chancellor Renu Khator told a Senate committee Monday. Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, Khator said that a tuition increase is one of a number of strategies she and her […]

Furloughs and pay cuts: Not just for school districts

For public universities, too. Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of the University of Texas System, asked state senators on Wednesday for flexibility to cut pay for faculty and staff and mandate furloughs to cope with budget cuts topping 20 percent. […] Kicking off several days of testimony by Texas public universities, Cigarroa asked for the ability to […]

Budget cuts won’t just affect public universities

From my inbox, an email from the new President of my alma mater. Dear Mr. Kuffner: As you may be aware, the State of Texas faces an unprecedented budget shortfall of between $15 billion and $28 billion for the next two years. Budget proposals under consideration by the 82nd Session of the Texas Legislature include […]

Public universities can read the writing on the wall

With polling evidence suggesting that people are willing to accept some cuts in higher education funding, the only question for public universities and community colleges is how bad will it be? “I think all of us felt as though we were making real progress for higher education in Texas after the 2009 session. Now, it […]

We get the college graduation rates we pay for

Just a couple of related items of interest. First, from the man who would be Governor if we lived in a just world. In the last 30 years, Americans with only a high school diploma experienced a drop in average income from $36,600 to $30,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars, while incomes of those with a bachelor’s […]

What today’s budget cuts will mean tomorrow

We know cuts are coming to public education and higher education. Let’s turn once again to Steve Murdock, the former State Demographer who is now a professor at Rice University, to hear what that will mean for Texas’ future. Texas’ prosperity hinges on education. The numbers are troubling, however. The state ranks 36th in the […]

Killing the DREAM in Texas

Something else to look forward to. State Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington) has filed legislation that would abolish Texas law granting in-state tuition to certain undocumented college students. The 2001 law, written by then-state Rep. Rick Noriega (D-Houston), was a precursor to the federal DREAM Act recently defeated by GOP members of the U.S. Senate. State Rep. […]

More non-specific cuts discussed: Film at 11

I have three things to say about this story about impending budget cuts to public higher education. Colleges and universities expect double-digit cuts. Financial aid may be cut, too. “There’s no way to get through this without somebody being impacted,” said Brenda Hellyer, chancellor of San Jacinto College. Schools will react by increasing class sizes, […]

Branch makes the case for stimulus spending

I don’t know if that’s what he intended, but it sure is what he did. State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, said Thursday that Texas should consider seizing one advantage from hard times, which would be to let universities lock in contractors and borrowing costs at steep discounts. “If there’s a real need for a building […]

Reinventing higher education

More stuff from last week to catch up on: Good luck with that. The state’s higher education agency called Thursday for sweeping changes in policy, including a revised method of funding community colleges and public universities, a greater emphasis on merit for certain financial aid and a series of cost-cutting measures. The proposals, which would […]

Story on Texas’ “dropout factories”

Last month I blogged about this Washington Monthly story about colleges with extremely low graduation rates. Here’s a Star-Telegram article about that, which contains some reaction from a couple of the Texas schools named in the original piece. One factor holding down graduation rates is the changing makeup of college students. Once, most lived at […]

Cutting TEXAS grants

Paying for college keeps getting harder for a lot of people in Texas. Each year since 2003, the TEXAS grant program has had more applicants than it’s been able to help. In 2009, lawmakers added $110 million to the program. But with an anticipated shortfall of up to $18 billion in the next two-year budget, […]

Dropout factories

Lots of people have recommended this Washington Monthly story about colleges with extremely low graduation rates, and now I’m recommending it to you. I’d never given this any thought before, but having read the story, it’s quite clear to me that this is a serious problem, and it’s going to require some thought to figure […]

68 is a difficult number to work with

The poobahs of the NCAA are gathering this week to discuss the nuts and bolts of the new 68-team basketball tournament, and they’ve got a challenge on their hands. After meeting in May, the [10-member Men’s Basketball] committee asked NCAA schools to offer opinions on the recommended expansion to four opening-round games, one in each […]

We can’t just cut our way out of the budget deficit, take 2

Some cuts cost a lot more than they purport to save. Public colleges and universities in Texas are absorbing a 5 percent cut in state funding by laying off employees, deferring repairs, scaling back travel and finding other savings. But the prospect of an additional reduction of 10 percent in the next two-year budget has […]

NCAA tournament expands

To 68 teams, which is a lot less than 96. The three-team expansion is much more modest than 80- and 96-team proposals the NCAA outlined just a few weeks ago at the Final Four. The move coincides with the new, 14-year broadcasting arrangement that interim NCAA president Jim Isch said will provide an average of […]

NCAA 96 on the way

Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the reactionaries begin. The NCAA appears to be on the verge of expanding the men’s basketball tournament to 96 teams. Insisting that nothing has been decided, NCAA vice president Greg Shaheen nonetheless outlined a detailed plan Thursday that included the logistics and timing of a 96-team tournament, […]

Friday random ten: Old school

Three weeks ago was my 25-year high school reunion. This weekend is Alumni Weekend at my university. I couldn’t attend either, but I could put together a school-and-nostalgia oriented Friday Random Ten. 1. Schoolhouse Rock Medley – Lager Rhythms 2. My Old School – Steely Dan 3. School’s Out – Alice Cooper 4. Bust The […]

College for $99 a month

Behold the future of higher education. StraighterLine is the brainchild of a man named Burck Smith, an Internet entrepreneur bent on altering the DNA of higher education as we have known it for the better part of 500 years. Rather than students being tethered to ivy-covered quads or an anonymous commuter campus, Smith envisions a […]

Wash your hands

College football teams try to stave off a bunch of players missing games due to the flu. As players across Texas and the nation prepare for a new season, the high-tech world of college football is taking on the essential dynamics of a second-grade health class. “Wash your hands,” said Mike O’Shea, head athletic trainer […]

The secret coaches’ poll

Starting next year, you may know which college football coaches are voting in the USA Today Top 25 coaches’ poll, but you may not know how they vote at the end of the year. The final regular-season ballots in the USA Today Top 25 coaches’ poll will no longer be made public beginning with the […]

Tuition reregulation passes the Senate

Off to the House. The Texas Senate unanimously approved legislation today that would sharply restrict the ability of public university governing boards to raise tuition. The measure now goes to the House. Lawmakers granted boards of regents virtually unfettered authority in 2003 to control tuition. Increases since then have prompted something of a legislative backlash. […]

More Tier I schools

Good news. The Texas House on Friday voted unanimously on a plan making it easier for the University of Houston to gain elite status by gradually becoming a national “tier-one” research institution. Houston, the country’s fourth largest city, deserves a public tier one university, said. Rep. Ellen Cohen, D-Houston, a member of the House Higher […]

Is the TAKS test at the end of the line?

If so, there’s a lot of people who won’t be sorry to see it go. “We have counted on testing and testing only. And it’s caused a lot of angst in the schools,” Senate Public Education Chair Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, said Wednesday about the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. “We’ll still test, but we’re […]

More on lowering the drinking age

I’ve blogged before about the Amethyst Initiative, and the arguments for and against their efforts to lower the minimum legal drinking age from 21 to 18 to combat what they call “a culture of dangerous binge drinking” on college campuses. Whatever you may think of this, some state legislatures are paying attention. The Thicket reviews […]