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Synthesis 2013

Dartmouth Strategic Planning



Free Apps

Reed College is eliminating an application fee for all students. Their aim is to spur more applications from prospective students, particularly low-income and first-generation students. Previously, Reed, like most colleges that charge application fees, allowed low-income students to waive the application fee. But recent research suggests that the paperwork burden associated with waivers and a lack of knowledge that such waivers exist might prevent low-income students from ever applying. 88 percent of institutions have application fees. About 87 percent of colleges charging a fee include a fee waiver for low-income students. Kiley, Kevin. "Free Apps." Inside HigherEd, 23 May 2013. Read article »

‘Redshirting’ in Engineering

Universities are adopting the successful model of academic "redshirting" started in 2009 at the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Boulder’s GoldShirt program identifies high school graduates who need time to catch up on math, science and humanities courses before proceeding to the full undergraduate engineering curriculum. As part of the five-year curriculum, students spend their first year with an eye toward preparation for the major before proceeding to the typical engineering courses. The program is helping to influence the pipeline of minority engineers Budryk, Zack."'Redshirting' in Engineering." Inside Higher Ed, 20 May 2013. Read article »

Measuring the MOOC Dropout Rate

A study of a Fall 2012 MOOC is beginning to shed light on the high dropout rates commonly associated with massive open online courses. The Duke study reveals that the simple formula for determining dropout rates - comparing the number of students who register to the number who finish- may not capture underlying trends in the motivations of MOOC students. “I wouldn’t say we have one dropout rate for all of them,” says Jennifer DeBoer, an MIT postdoctoral associate who is working on another study to categorize people who take MOOCs. “We have different students who are participating for different reasons.” Education technology consultant Phil Hill may be one step ahead of DeBoer- he has created four categories of MOOC users: “lurkers,” “drop-ins,” “passive participants” and “active participants.” Rivard, Ry. “Measuring the MOOC Dropout Rate.” Inside Higher Ed, 8 March 2013. Read article »

Majority of Students Look at College’s Sticker Price Without Taking Financial Aid into Consideration

Despite the availability and increased use of Net Price Calculators (NCPs) to determine how much aid a student will receive at a given college, a survey by the College Board and Art & Science Group reveals that more than half (54 percent) of students still judge a college's cost by sticker price without considering financial aid. “A Majority of Students Look at a College’s Sticker Price Without...” studentPOLL, March 2013, Vol. 10, No. 1. Read article »

Rate My MOOCs

“At least three sites have started in recent months to let users of massive open online courses review the MOOCs they’ve taken.” “Emerson Malca, the 25-year-old founder of Grade My Course, calls his site ‘Yelp for education.’ He said, so far, the reviews on his site have not been nearly as biting as those on Rate My Professors. Malca thinks students are more likely to give positive reviews because they are taking free classes, not taking out loans or facing a make-or-break grade.” Rivard, Ry. “Rate My MOOCs.” Inside Higher Ed, 27 Feb. 2013. Read article »

Bill Gates, will.i.am push for computer code classes in schools

“Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter creator Jack Dorsey are among the tech luminaries appearing in a new video promoting the teaching and learning of computer coding in schools.” Ortutay, Barbara. “Bill Gates, will.i.am push for computer code classes in schools.” The Globe and Mail, 27 Feb. 2013. Read article »

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We want to scour the world to try to find those things that strike us as truly forward-looking. President Jim Yong Kim