Not graduating is ‘the new normal’

The “new normal” community college student is a part-timer with a job, possibly a family to support and low odds of completing a degree.  What can colleges do to help more students succeed?

Military veterans bring global experience, maturity and esprit de corps to the classroom, writes a college history instructor.

Obama’s college confusion

President Obama is confused about his college goals, writes Rick Hess. If he wants more Americans to get postsecondary education, he shouldn’t be attacking for-profit colleges, “the only institutions eager to help fulfill his grand ambitions.”

Also on Community College Spotlight: Military veterans are using the expanded GI Bill to go to college, but need help navigating college campuses.

Public faults college students for low grad rates

Low graduation rates are the fault of college students, and maybe their parents, but not their colleges, according to an AP-Stanford poll. Advocates of the college-completion agenda aren’t happy about the results.

For-profit colleges are cashing in on veterans’ and active-duty military personnel’s education benefits, charges Sen. Tom Harkin. But are vets foolish to choose for-profit career colleges over community colleges?

Elite colleges admit few veterans

When Princeton undergraduates discuss history, political science or foreign policy, they won’t hear the views of a classmate who’s fought in Iraq or Afghanistan, writes Wick Sloane on Inside Higher Ed. Not a single Princeton undergrad is a veteran. The same is true at Williams College, labeled the best liberal arts college by U.S. News. Harvard enrolls only two veterans; Yale has another two.

Sloane teaches “young men with canes” at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, which enrolls 367 veterans. He proposes that elite colleges admit as many veterans to undergraduate programs as they admit varsity football players.

Professor: NEH funds anti-U.S. bias

An extremist, anti-American agenda tainted History and Commemoration: The Legacies of the Pacific War,” a workshop for community college professors sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, complains Penelope Blake, a humanities professor at Rock Valley College in Illinois.  The workshop was held at the University of Hawaii’s East-West Center in July.

Blake sent Power Line a Sept. 12 letter she wrote to Illinois Rep. Donald Manzullo, her congressman, asking him to vote against funding for future workshops until the NEH explains the violation of its objective to foster “a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.”

In my thirty years as a professor in upper education, I have never witnessed nor participated in a more extremist, agenda-driven, revisionist conference, nearly devoid of rhetorical balance and historical context for the arguments presented.

Among other things, presenters want Japan to be seen as a victim of U.S. imperialism forced to attack Pearl Harbor. War memorials like the Arizona Memorial should be recast as “peace memorials,” with care taken not to offend visitors from Japan. They see veterans as old fogies with suspect memories who are going to die soon anyhow, letting the academics determine what really happened.

Vets use new GI Bill for job skills

On Community College Spotlight:  Most veterans using the new GI Bill choose for-profit and community colleges, apparently seeking job training rather than bachelor’s degrees. Online learning is popular too. Senate Democrats aren’t happy that so many are opting for higher-cost for-profit college programs.

Veterans on campus

On Community College Spotlight: With federal funding, community colleges create support centers and special classes to make military veterans feel at home on campus.

Dave Saba’s new blog, EduMilitary, calls for honoring military families too on Memorial Day.