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Updated: 49 min 55 sec ago

Wait-HOW many students doubt they’ll graduate?

2 hours 7 min ago

Nearly half of students entering college are arriving on campus already doubting their ability to reach graduation, according to a new study.

According to the 2017 Allianz Tuition Insurance College Confidence Index, 48 percent are less than very confident they will finish college without dropping out permanently, and 55 percent think they will need to take at least some time off.

Doubts around graduation are prevalent among current college students as well, with 43 percent of current surveyed students indicating they’ve thought about withdrawing. A majority (53 percent) of current students said they are less than very confident they will graduate within four years.

Parents, too, anticipate the likelihood that withdrawal might be necessary. More than half of all parents surveyed (52 percent) lacked full confidence that their student will graduate within four years.

Next page: Students worry about additional, unplanned semestersNext Page ...
Students and parents alike realize that the implications of additional, unplanned semesters are significant--85 percent agree that the financial repercussions of withdrawing could be severe. Among those surveyed, the average financial loss resulting from college withdrawal was estimated to be more than $11,000. Additionally, 10 percent of respondents estimate their potential loss to be at least $25,000.

Current and prospective college students identified the following as the most likely reasons they may withdraw from their college program: family emergency (69 percent); stress (66 percent); mental health condition (66 percent); and a physical health condition (60 percent).

Just 52 percent of students said they’re “very confident” they won’t permanently withdraw from college at some point, and the survey also revealed that parents and students often aren’t aware of their current (or prospective) school’s refund policy--half indicate no awareness; just 16 percent say they are very confident they know it; and 78 percent say they’d be worried about making student loan payments if their child had to withdraw from their college program.

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Students at these schools carry the most debt

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 1:00am

As student loan debt becomes a bigger concern in an economy where advanced degrees are a necessary part of workplace success, a new study seeks to establish the return on investment when it comes to student debt and future earnings.

College degrees are more important than ever, with study after study demonstrating the need for higher-level skills and knowledge to succeed in a challenging workforce.

A report from the Pew Research Center shows that people between the ages of 25-32 with a college degree make 63 percent more than those without a degree. In 2015, 68 percent of the 1.9 million students who graduated took on some form of student debt.

But certain factors can increase students' return for their "debt investment," including academic rankings, SAT scores, and average potential earnings.

A new study from NitroCollege.com analyzed more than 4,600 public and private universities to determine the average amount of debt and earning potential 10 years after enrollment.

The team of researchers determined that the highest-valued schools in the study were mainly nonprofit, private institutions--graduates from those schools left with lower average student debt and higher average earning potential 10 years after enrollment.

For-profit private schools tended to have higher student debt and a lower reward, and clustered around the $20,000 average potential earning mark.

Data also showed a correlation between higher SAT scores and lower average student debt. Higher test scores also correlated with higher average earning potential in the years following graduation.

The study ranks schools in various categories, including the top 20 national universities with the highest earnings and lowest median student debt (this list inclues ivy league schools and prestigious universities), the top 20 liberal arts colleges, the top 20 public universities, and the top 50 schools with the highest potential earnings.

It also includes the top 50 schools with the highest median student debt. Topping the list are the Southwest University of Visual Arts ($49,750), the International Academy of Design and Technology ($47,000), Sanford-Brown College, Chicago ($47,000), Boston Architectural College ($46,802), and Beulah Heights University ($44,499).

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First-time students to receive “Success Coaching” to improve retention and grad rates

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 1:00am

Fayetteville State University (FSU) and InsideTrack today announced the launch of a new program to provide executive-style coaching to FSU students. Beginning this month and continuing through the 2017-2018 academic year, 300 first-time, full-time students will receive personalized support from an InsideTrack coach.

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10 years after Virginia Tech: New tools for suicide prevention

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 1:00am

One of the enduring legacies of the Virginia Tech tragedy has been an effort by campuses nationwide to augment their mental health and suicide prevention programs. Initiatives have ranged from establishing interdisciplinary teams to share information about students demonstrating signs of emotional instability, to integrating communication between health and counseling services, to training gatekeepers such as residence hall staff, academic advisors, faculty and students to recognize and respond to students in crisis.

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How to enable digital workspace technologies campus-wide

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 1:00am

WCU was the first campus in the University of North Carolina system to require its students to bring a computer with them to school. For some time, students have been utilizing a variety of devices: from desktop and laptop computers to tablets and smartphones. The university needed a way to provide students access to applications and data no matter what kind of device they have or whether they’re located on or off campus.

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This burgeoning college model can close the tech skills gap

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 1:00am

Today, only three percent of college students graduate with technical degrees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000 IT jobs remain unfilled every year. Tackling this shortage is particularly challenging because while more companies are seeking technical graduates with real-world experience, higher education largely remains focused on knowledge-sharing and developing independent critical thinking.

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Ranking: The 50 best HBCUs

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 1:00am

College Choice, an authority in college and university rankings and resources, has published a ranking of the 50 Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities for 2017.

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Should institutions “nudge” students for graduation success?

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 1:00am

In 2010, the British government, looking for innovative solutions to some of their most challenging social problems, formed the Behavioural Insights Team, better known as the Nudge Unit.

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Why AI is going nowhere without help from colleges and universities

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 1:00am

Data scientists would be smart to break down barriers between academia and private tech. Only by pairing the resources and real-world data of the private sector with the talent at colleges and universities can we unlock the full potential of AI and machine learning.

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Research university taps innovative solution as student demand for video surges

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 1:00am

Augusta University has expanded its partnership with Echo360 to offer real time access to academic content and lectures across the university’s nine colleges and schools. The expanded partnership is the result of a joint effort between the University’s instructional technology and academic departments to select a video platform that will enable pedagogical flexibility, and maximize

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Nearly 1.5 million college students to use free textbooks this school year

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 1:00am

Nearly 1.5 million U.S. college students are expected to save an estimated $145 million in the 2017-18 academic year by using free textbooks from OpenStax, the Rice University-based publisher of open education resource materials.

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College nails trending field of study with innovative student project

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 1:00am

All over the world, businesses and organizations are swimming in enormous amounts of data. This forces thousands of organizations to find new ways to collect, curate, visualize, and analyze data. To meet the growing demand of analytical skills and talent, faculty at the Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business are designing tech-empowered experiential learning initiatives to bridge the disconnect between the demands of the real world and the higher education system.

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New field of study says students need this classic skill first

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 1:00am

Communication skills rank high on the list of career skills necessary for success in the quickly-growing Internet of Things (IoT) field, according to a new survey from Northeastern University-Silicon Valley.

The university surveyed more than 500 members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the responses yielded surprising findings about the challenges facing the IoT field.

Nearly 60 percent (58.8 percent) of survey respondents said those working in the IoT field need communications skills, including an ability to explain ideas or concepts clearly and effectively.

That compares to just 19.5 percent of respondents who cited deep industry knowledge as the most relevant skill, and 14 percent who cited collaboration.

According to 37.8 percent of surveyed engineers, data aggregation and data analysis ranked as the biggest IoT challenges. Another 25.7 percent of respondents cited current inadequate skill levels of workers as the industry’s main obstacle. In fact, the need for a well-trained workforce far exceeded the need to create a comprehensive IoT strategy, which just 6.4 percent of respondents named as their top IoT challenge.

Likewise, 53.7 percent of respondents said they aim to acquire skills in systems design and integration, followed by 49.3 percent who want to build skills in data communications. That compares to just 4.7 percent of respondents who desire new skills in data science.

Survey respondents said defense/military (54.75 percent), security/access control (48.6 percent), and healthcare (41.53 percent) are the three industries most likely to be early IoT adopters.

The top three hot areas for IoT-focused positions are systems design (49.81 percent), network and protocols (41.6 percent), and data analytics (40.3 percent).

To build a lasting career in IoT, the emphasis on softer skills such as communication and collaboration support a growing need for real-world human abilities vs. technical strengths in computer science, according to PK Agarwal, CEO and Regional Dean of Northeastern University-Silicon Valley.

“The IEEE survey results clearly demonstrate that introducing change and developing new products requires a change agent with strong communication and collaboration skills,” Agarwal said. “As a result, more people from diverse career backgrounds should consider retraining for successful roles in growth sectors such as IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning.”

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Large coding bootcamp overhauls curriculum to meet employee demand

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 1:00am

Coding Dojo, a large coding school, announced it is continuing to innovate its curriculum by adding a full-stack course in Java. Java is an extremely common programming language used in Android development and on the backend of companies such as LinkedIn, Google and Amazon. According to a recent Coding Dojo analysis, Java was one of the top two most in-demand programming languages in ten major US cities.

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3 reasons colleges & universities must improve how they manage print

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 1:00am

When the IT staff is working to improve their internal network, one area they shouldn’t overlook is the printing infrastructure. Yet, it often is.

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Report: Faculty want more OER-here’s why

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 1:00am

Community college faculty show high levels of interest and engagement in OER and are likely to promote OER use to colleagues, according to preliminary results from a national effort to expand community college degree programs.

The study, Launching OER Degree Pathways: An Early Snapshot of Achieving the Dream's OER Degree Initiative and Emerging Lessons, was released by Achieving the Dream (ATD) and conducted by SRI International and the rpk GROUP.

The report indicates that faculty at colleges participating in ATD’s OER Degree Initiative are changing their teaching and that students are at least as or more engaged using OER courses than students in non-OER classrooms.

Eighty-four percent of faculty members surveyed said students in the new OER courses had the same or a higher level of engagement with the learning materials as compared to courses they have taught using traditional course materials.

Meanwhile, faculty with experience in using OER who received assistance from technology specialists and librarians in developing their courses were most likely to report changes in their teaching, the report says.

Participation across campuses involved a broad range of faculty from multiple disciplines. The expansion of OER use across participating colleges was led by grassroots faculty, instructional designers, librarians and technology specialists as well as top-level administrators, the report notes.

Early research also indicates that students saved, on average, about $134 per course or between 5 to 22 percent of annual student textbook costs in those colleges. Researchers noted, however that they cannot yet estimate actual savings to students, given that not all students purchase textbooks at full price, and some OER savings may be offset by other costs. (A detailed report on costs is currently being developed by rpk GROUP.)

As a result of these and other experiences, more than 7 in 10 instructors (71 percent) say that they are very or somewhat likely to promote use of OER to colleagues (42 percent very likely, 29 percent somewhat likely).

"Advancing widespread adoption of OER is a key student success strategy,” says Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of the community college reform organization Achieving the Dream. “OER gives all students a chance of being equally ready on day one of class and has the promise of cutting costs to students, especially when deployed in full degree pathways. Equally important, OER has the promise of improving student engagement with course materials and can re-energize faculty engagement in course design and spark more dynamic approaches to teaching.”

Other key findings include:
The use of OER builds on faculty members’ interest and previous experience in using OER. While more than half of the instructors participating in the ATD initiative had not used OER before, most (83 percent) had experience teaching online and hybrid courses that make use of similar digital resources. Targeting faculty with previous experience with developing and/or teaching OER courses helped accelerate participation and gave OER-savvy faculty members the ability to influence development and implementation of the degree program from the beginning, the report says. Personal interest (80 percent), encouragement from a department chair or administrator (55 percent) a stipend (29 percent) and recommendations from colleagues (27 percent) top the list of factors supporting faculty involvement.

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New financial education website provides free money management tools for students

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 1:00am

OppU provides free interactive lessons that teach the fundamentals of money management. The classroom-friendly courses are aligned to national standards for financial literacy and cover topics such as spending, saving, credit, and debt.

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How today’s incoming students and their parents pay for college is changing

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 1:00am

Students and parents shared paying for college responsibilities equally in academic year 2016-17, each contributing about one-third of the expense, and scholarships and grants covered most of the rest, according to a new report.

“How America Pays for College 2017,” a national study from Sallie Mae and Ipsos, reveals that the average amount spent paying for college in 2016-17 was about the same as in 2015-16 ($23,757 vs. $23,688).

Scholarships and grants paid 35 percent of college costs--the largest share in the report’s 10-year history. Scholarships were used by nearly half of all families (49 percent), and grants were used by 47 percent. Parents funded the second-largest share through a combination of income and savings, which covered 23 percent of costs, and borrowing, which paid 8 percent.

Student income and savings covered 11 percent; student borrowing paid 19 percent; and contributions from relatives and friends provided 4 percent. Overall, 42 percent of families borrowed to pay for college in 2016-17.

Families have increasingly become savvier higher education consumers when it comes to paying for college, with 98 percent taking proactive measures to reduce college costs. Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) chose an in-state school, half of students (50 percent) opted to live at home, and one-fourth (26 percent) enrolled in an accelerated program. In addition, most students (76 percent) were working while in school. More than half (55 percent) worked year-round, and half (50 percent) increased their work hours.

While most families (87 percent) were willing to stretch themselves financially to fit college into their budgets, seven in 10 families (69 percent) eliminated a college from consideration at some point in their selection process because of cost. By comparison, in 2008, only 58 percent of families said they eliminated a college due to cost. Families were nearly divided on whether paying more for college equals a better education — 55 percent of families said paying more always or sometimes yields better quality, while 45 percent said cost has no relationship to quality.

Regardless of cost, nearly all families (98 percent) agreed college is an investment in the student’s future, and nearly nine in 10 families (86 percent) said they had expected their child to attend college since he or she was preschool age or younger. Even further, 59 percent said they expected their child to pursue a graduate degree.

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Growing trend: A new way of looking at courses gains traction

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 1:00am

The lack of a dependable course assessment tool posed an array of issues for a university’s administration in terms of evaluating the performance of faculty, class, and students for enhancing the learning and teaching experience.

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Ranking: 2017-2018’s best Masters in Data Science degree programs

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 1:00am

In compiling the ranking of online master's in data science degrees, Online Course Report's analysts surveyed close to 100 programs worldwide.

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