Report: U.S. Needs Liberal Arts
Though the value of a liberal arts education has been debated by some, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Commission on the Humanities & Social Sciences recently released a report highlighting its importance. Higher education, according to The Heart of the Matter, should strengthen “qualities of mind: inquisitiveness, perceptiveness, the ability to put a received idea to a new purpose, and the ability to share and build ideas with a diverse world of others.” The report is available at humanitiescommission.org.
Up, Up & Away
A recent study found that a sample of admissions officers was much more likely to award admission to business-school applicants who had earned high grades—even from colleges and universities that tended to award more such grades—than potentially equally skilled applicants who had earned lower grades at institutions where earning top marks was more challenging. The experiment focused on 23 admissions officers and the data of applicants to four competitive MBA programs. The study, “Inflated Applicants: Attribution Errors in Performance Evaluation by Professionals,” appears in the journal PLOS ONE: www.plosone.org
A recent survey of higher education faculty by Fidelity Investments found that almost three-quarters of professors aged 49–67 plan to delay retirement or even put it off indefinitely. Financial concerns are a significant factor for 69 percent of those surveyed. But an even higher percentage—81 percent—indicated that personal and professional enjoyment of their careers was the main factor for delayed retirement. By holding positions for longer periods of time, professors may lead colleges and universities to rethink traditional faculty models. More about the study is available at www.insidehighered.com.
So Far, So Good?
Online college education is producing satisfied customers—both among older, working adults, and increasingly among students between the ages of 18 and 24, according to a report produced jointly by The Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research. The survey of 1,500 online learners found that the majority of those who had completed fully online programs were pleased with the return on their investment of time and money. Forty-four percent of the students surveyed stated that taking the classes had helped them in their careers, and 45 percent reported receiving salary increases within a year of graduation. The full survey, which further outlines online learners’ goals, preferences, and demographics, can be found at www.learninghouse.com.