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 - 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 […]

by Christian Perticone - Thursday, March 14th, 2013 In The News

Your college, even if it’s not your top choice, is still the right choice. Senior Editor of business coverage at, Derek Thompson, occasionally notes the correlation between unemployment rates and level of educational attainment. In his February first article, “A Case for College: The Unemployment Rate for Bachelor’s-Degree Holders Is 3.7 Percent”, he makes a brief statistical case for four-year college. Many of you already know college is a wise investment, but it’s still nice to see the numbers.  If you don’t feel like visiting his article to check out the info graphics, you can take this away: “Those who graduate from college are more likely to have a job, more likely to earn a higher wage, and more […]

by Christian Perticone - Thursday, March 7th, 2013 In The News

During your first two weeks of school, you didn’t think you would survive the semester. You’d decided to attend one of the largest universities in the country because it offered a strong alumni network, and incredible undergraduate research opportunities. Also, it didn’t hurt that palm trees lined the footpaths between the dorms and classrooms. While the warm breeze, endless sun, and campus dining options had surpassed your expectations, you felt insignificant and nameless among the student masses that filled your lecture halls. Moreover, though you met people at parties, you hadn’t made any real friends who shared your interests. Then, in freshman English Composition, you were assigned to a work group with G, the smiley girl who lived down the […]

by Christian Perticone - Thursday, February 28th, 2013 In The News

College As Country Club: Do Colleges Cater to Students’ Preferences for Consumption?  Apparently, this is a catchy title for a white paper. The report, released January 2013 by the National Bureau of Economic Research, set off a firestorm of responses in the higher education media sphere: Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Huff Post Teen, have all composed responses to the claims of the study. Well, what’s the shocking news? We find that most students do appear to value college consumption amenities, including spending on student activities, sports, and dormitories. While this taste for amenities is broad-based, the taste for academic quality is confined to high-achieving students.1 The NBER paper goes on to explain the 16%-20% […]

by Dr. Trama - Monday, December 17th, 2012 In The News

Dear Families, The horrific events that took place in Newtown, CT on Friday have had an impact on each of us – our families, our students and our teachers. As school begins again today, our students may feel unsure or have questions about their safety at school or in other public places.  It is always difficult for parents and teachers to talk about this type of violence with our children.  Attached you will find some resources that we hope you will find helpful. Our thoughts continue to be with the families of Newtown during this very difficult time.  We are here for you as well.  Please reach out to us if we can be of any assistance or support. Warmly, The Sarphatie […]

by Dr. Trama - Thursday, December 6th, 2012 In The News

There’s a growing new method in the fight against climate change: college students demanding that their schools divest themselves from their stock holdings in fossil fuel companies. The current movement hearkens back to the late 1970’s and 80’s, when there were protests on campuses around the country asking that their schools divest themselves of stock owned in companies that were doing business in South Africa, which was under apartheid rule at the time. So far, the students’ success has been limited, and no school with an endowment over $1 billion has agreed to the request, despite the fact that many administrators agree with their students’ climate change fears. Certainly, shedding stock in energy companies could be costly for colleges, and […]

by Dr. Trama - Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 In The News

As mobile technology continues its expansion into the lives of everyone around us – you, me, your grandmother – businesses are starting to bring higher education to our collective pockets. Heather Huhman has four companies that you should be keeping your eye on. But here’s the telling line, and it’s in the introduction: …when the Class of 2016 graduates, nearly 90 percent of college students in the U.S. will own a smartphone. That’s a statistic that’s impossible for anyone to ignore in any market – not just in business or in education. Not only are businesses becoming more aware of this potential market, but campuses around the country are going to need to be in on, and ahead of, this […]

by Dr. Trama - Friday, May 25th, 2012 In The News

In the face of mounting student debt, pressure from political leaders to rein in the cost of attending college, and the rising number of years undergraduates are taking to finish their degrees, Indiana State University has announced a program that guarantees that students will finish their degree in four years. If the student meets all stated requirements and cannot graduate in the allotted time, the University itself will cover the cost of the courses the student needs to finish his or her degree. Indiana State isn’t the first university to offer such a guarantee to its students, which requires that participants sign a contract, have frequent advisor meetings to discuss progress, etc. But it is the most recent addition to […]