Friday, October 29, 2010

Marketing Majors: Don''t get ripped off

I absolutely LOVE this blog post by Seth Godin on Marketing Degree Programs. I was going to paraphrase but will just show it bleow.  It definitely speaks for itself.  My daughter is a marketing major and most of her acutal marketing classes didn't even come until the senior year and don't really deal with real world marketing at all.  I am sending her this as well!

Pushing back on mediocre professors

College costs a fortune. It takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of money.

When a professor assigns you to send a blogger a list of vague and inane interview questions ("1. How did you get started in this field? 2. What type of training (education) does this field require? 3. What do you like best about your job? 4. what do you like least about your job?") I think you have an obligation to say, "Sir, I'm going to be in debt for ten years because of this degree. Perhaps you could give us an assignment that actually pushes us to solve interesting problems, overcome our fear or learn something that I could learn in no other way..."

When a professor spends hours in class going over concepts that are clearly covered in the textbook, I think you have an obligation to repeat the part about the debt and say, "perhaps you could assign this as homework and we could have an actual conversation in class..."

When you discover that one class after another has so many people in a giant room watching a tenured professor far far in the distance, perhaps you could mention the debt part to the dean and ask if the class could be on video so you could spend your money on interactions that actually changed your life.

The vast majority of email I get from college students is filled with disgust, disdain and frustration at how backwards the system is. Professors who neither read nor write blogs or current books in their field. Professors who rely on marketing textbooks that are advertising-based, despite the fact that virtually no professional marketers build their careers solely around advertising any longer. And most of all, about professors who treat new ideas or innovative ways of teaching with contempt.

"This is costing me a fortune, prof! Push us! Push yourself!"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Military Education Benefits

We just updated the military education benefits page for Lamar University! They are so amazing to work with because they really 'get it'.  We are now offering Criminal Justice degrees, Bachelors of Applied Arts and Science which is a degree completion program and Bachelor of General Studies degrees.  Check out the website- has a ton of great information on why military, veterans, spouses and their families should go to Lamar University for their bachelor degree program!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Teacher Educators: the source of the problem

Great new study from Fordham; "Cracks in the Ivory Tower" which surveyed our university teacher educators to get their opinion on the state of education and teaching.  Nor surprising - they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Conclusion:  good teachers become good teachers in spite of their training.

From the executive summary:
  • Teacher educators show only modest concern for real-world challenges such as managing classrooms and student discipline, implementing differentiated instruction, and working with state standards—even though K–12 teachers often say these are among the most difficult elements of teaching.
  • They are far more likely to believe that the proper role of teacher is to be a “facilitator of learning” (84 percent) not a “conveyor of knowledge” (11 percent).
  • Only 24 percent believe it is absolutely essential to produce “teachers who understand how to work with the state’s standards, tests, and accountability systems.”
  • Just 39 percent find it absolutely essential “to create teachers who are trained to address the challenges of high-needs students in urban districts.”
  • Just 37 percent say it is absolutely essential to focus on developing “teachers who maintain discipline and order in the classroom.
And the bid ARRRRRRRGH
The vast majority of education professors (83 percent) believe it is absolutely essential for public school teachers to teach 21st century skills, but just 36 percent say the same about teaching math facts, and 44 percent about teaching phonics in the younger grades

I get tired of useless studies of abstractedness that never amount to anything.  But in the realm of identifying the problem in K-12 education - this study is HUGE.  Take a read and thanks Fordham.