by Christian Perticone - Friday, May 23rd, 2014 Uncategorized

Judges lecture criminals at the time of sentencing. Bosses lecture employees on the importance of customer service. Mothers lecture small children to clean behind their ears. Many joyous experiences, it seems, occur as lectures. To this list we might add, Biology professors lecture students on the intricacies of molecular carbon bonds. Is it any wonder that Biology Professor Scott Freedman of the University of Washington wants to do away with lecturing in STEM subject area classes? Freedman is the lead author in a recent paper, Active Learning Increases Student Performance in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. The study is a meta-analysis of 225 studies that report on the scores and failure rates of STEM students in both traditional lecture-based classes and […]

by Dr. Trama - Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 College Preparation & Planning, Collegiate Success

When it comes to choosing a consultant for your child’s education, there are many factors that are important to consider. It is important to look past any of the glitz that might be presented by advertising (though this is true for any investment), and instead get to the substance of the individual or firm with whom you are meeting. While you may be willing to be a guinea pig for your nephew who is starting his own business, when meeting with an educational consultant it is better to opt for someone who has the experience that such an important decision demands. Sarphatie Education and its founder and president, Jacque Trama, provides her vast experience to all its clients, enabling them […]

by Andy Klingenberger - Thursday, August 1st, 2013 College Preparation & Planning

There’s plenty of advice available to parents about when to have The Talk with their children. (If you’re a parent reading this, you undoubtedly know which one I’m referring to, and if you’re a child reading this and you don’t, well, ask your mother.) But as your son or daughter gets ready to make the transition from high school to college, there is another talk you should have with them that goes beyond your expectations for him and her while they’re away. Arming your child with the basics about college life is important, and will help him or her with this large life change. Let’s look at some of the things you might want to discuss before you unload their […]

by Christian Perticone - Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 Collegiate Success

There are different types of bad professors. There’s the professor who’s overly controlling, who never gives students a chance to be human. Is she just mean? Does she expect no one should have a life outside of class? Then there’s the professor who doesn’t manage the class at all. His instructions are vague, and the loud students dominate the class. What about the professor who plays favorites? That professor seems to be giving a private lecture to the girl who sits in the front everyday. And, that political professor? The guy who probably hates you because of what he assumes about your dad’s political party. The professor who constantly changes the syllabus? The professor who would rather be doing research? […]

by Christian Perticone - Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 Collegiate Success

How can students earn a degree that represents real value not just on the job market, but also on the job? According to Robert Zarestky’s recent opinion piece for The Chronicle of Higher Education, “What’s at Stake with Grade Inflation?”, complicit teachers and students have compromised the true value of a college degree by accepting that good grades no longer have to reflect improved performance. Zarestky’s article recalls a utopian past where good grades still evinced a student’s ability to express clear thinking in writing. These days, he says, students pass on without improving. The blame belongs with both the system and the teacher-student relationship. However the consequences don’t hit the fan until students enter the workforce ill-equipped to demonstrate […]

by Andy Klingenberger - Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 Collegiate Success

I’ve been back in college for two quarters. I (re)started at the end of November – just after Thanksgiving – thanks to my school’s quarter system, where each block is ten weeks long, rather than the traditional semester system. (They’re doing away with that system this coming fall, but that’s not particularly relevant to this discussion.) Anyway, I’ll be taking two classes this coming summer as well: Internet Marketing and Advertising & Promotion Management. Both of these courses require a textbook, and if I were to purchase those books from the campus bookstore, new, they’d cost me $341.65 before tax. Needless to say, I’m put off by that prospect. After all, I’ll only be in these classes for ten weeks. […]

by Christian Perticone - Thursday, May 16th, 2013 In The News

Everyone from educators to economists asks, “What should we teach?” The proposed answers tend to vary according to segments of the student population. Those students who are disadvantaged and underperforming need nurturing during early childhood, and life skills later on – so says the White House on the advice of people like Nobel Prize winning University of Chicago Economics Professor James Heckman. All capable students who want to serve the economy need to study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Those students who are neither disadvantaged, nor STEM-inclined, apparently need to learn how to think creatively and innovatively in groups. These student segments are of course fluid; it would not be helpful for students to identify with only one group of […]

by Christian Perticone - Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 Admissions & Acceptance

It’s never been harder to gain college admission. Someone said it last year, and the year before, and… is it true? Or, more specifically, is it true most colleges report that they receive and reject more applications every year? The short answer is, yes, it’s never been tougher. According to The New York Times, schools as varied as Skidmore College (42.41% increase in applicants), St. Lawrence University (14.41% increase), and Yale University (2.81% increase) have all seen upticks in the number of applications they receive. Nevertheless, some would argue that colleges are no more selective than before. The bar hasn’t been raised, they say, there are just more applicants beneath it. A March 20th Times article, “College Admissions: The Myth […]

by Christian Perticone - Monday, April 15th, 2013 In The News

A previous post, “Who Should Take Online Classes? (They’re Free)”, didn’t exactly gush over the limitless possibilities of online learning. I didn’t mean to obscure the fact that technological innovation should excite students and teachers. (I’m no Luddite – I even encourage students to use Wikipedia as first resource.) Technology can clearly enhance classroom, study, and research experiences. Newfangled teachers, myself included, have even created Facebook pages for each of their classes. It makes sense: students are already familiar with the interface; news stories, TED talks, and other trending information seamlessly enter the classroom through the page; and, students learn to write and argue better in contexts where they are already writing and arguing.  As political activist and philosopher Angela Davis […]

by Christian Perticone - Thursday, April 11th, 2013 In The News

The face of higher education will change entirely within the next ten years? The facelift is already underway at Stanford Computer Science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng founded Coursera, which is the largest for-profit provider of free online college courses. To educate tens and hundreds of thousands of students at once, these free courses depend on innovative technology and elite professors. During her TED talk, Koller touts Coursera’s revolutionary model of massive open online courses (MOOCs) as offering a superior educational experience. She seems to believe that MOOCs will eventually come close to offering an education as personalized as one given by an individual tutor, (see the video, minute 16:40 on the “Two Sigma Problem”). I suppose it […]