A First Day of School to Remember

As college students prepare to return to college campuses, scattered in varying locales around the nation, to begin the 2020-21 school year, it will not be business as usual given the surrounding outbreak of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus; therefore, monitoring the fluid situation, locally, regionally and nationally, will be of vital importance.  The New York Times published a searchable college…

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Students Balk, Lawyers Talk

Currently, students at 25 different universities are suing for fees and tuition refunds. Students’ sentiments can generally be summized in the language of the Cornell students’ lawsuit:  Students have been deprived of the opportunity for collaborative learning and in-person dialogue, feedback, and critique. The remote learning options are in no way the equivalent of the in-person education the Plaintiff and…

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Open for business, partially

Although more states are beginning to reopen, which is progressing everyday, the degree of “reopening” will vary given the differences in political inclinations of each city, county and state, as well as the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in a particular region. And, although states, counties and/or cities may be lifting shelter-in-place orders, as Goldman Sachs suggests, the process toward…

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The Unintended Consequences of Voluntary Testing

On May 11, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Chancellor Pradeep Kholsa initiated the inaugural round of voluntary testing of the 5000 residents who chose to continue living in the residence halls scattered around the La Jolla, CA campus, since the closure of campus in mid-March. Students are live test subjects, participating in a trial of mass testing, so that…

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“I feel a change coming on…”

University enrollment has annually grown, despite four digit percent increases in the costs of college over the last three decades, seemingly making an inelastic demand for college eduation. Yet, for the 2020-21 school year, for the first time, there may be a a shift in the supply/demand equation given the changes in the recruitment for the newest class of students,…

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Ahead of the Curve: Week of April 27, 2020

Amidst the COVID-19 health crisis disrupting educational and instructional continuity, students, parents, and educators are asking and being asked questions about the current educational process, which is also spurring discussions about the value of education.   The following is a selection of education-related news stories from the past few weeks, offering insights about the shifts in both K-12 and higher…

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A Glimpse Into the Undergraduate Experience during COVID-19 Signals Declining Sentiment about the Value of a College Education

A student who attends a public flagship university in California characterizes distance learning as:  Chaos is an apt description. Zoom is challenging to manage and pre-recorded lectures lack humor. It’s difficult to focus on lectures…  Third year undergraduate The student, like many others, struggles to continue learning, conflicted about missing friends and her life in another city yet appreciative of…

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Opportunity amidst upheaval

The continued COVID-19 health crisis, and its impacts both economically and socially may have wide-ranging consequences for colleges throughout the United States. Families confronted by an array of changing circumstances are recalibrating their educational decision making processes, especially for high school seniors choosing between multiple colleges or deferring enrollment, as well as continuing college students choosing to re-enroll or take…

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Fiscal Reckoning Dead Ahead

The $14 Billion bailout for U.S. colleges and universities as part of the recent CARES Act will not solve the widening financial deficits in higher education. Costs to maintain buildings and the physical grounds, despite the lack of students present on campus, as well as salaries to faculty and staff must still be paid. Additionally, many university officials also spent…

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Managing a return to normal in the time of COVID-19

Emerging from “shelter-in-place” is not as simple are reopening school and college campuses, and welcoming students back into the buildings. The on-going health risks of subsequent outbreaks of COVID-19 absent a proven treatment or vaccine, along with the convoluted governmental structure to protect public health, creates complexity for students and parents trying to plan for their continuity of education.  As…

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A Renaissance in the Midst of COVID-19

Educators and students, participants in the Modern American Educational Industrial Complex, are mere glimmers of the Jeffersonian ideals of “essential merit”, which historian Joseph F. Kett defines as:  …merit that rests on specific and visible achievements by an individual that were thought, in turn, to reflect that individual’s estimable character…’Merit’ was that quality in the person that propelled the achievements,…

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“Graduating by default”

In a recent text exchange with Tyler, a graduating senior at a large California state college, we discussed what he’s learning during his final college semester, given his campus is now closed and his professors are learning to teach via an unfamiliar digital learning modality. The following is an excerpt of our conversation: Since Tyler is taking his final Business…

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