Don’t Stop Believing (in Education and Student Success)

I’m cynical. Sarcastic. A naysayer. Whatever your choice of word, I have a tendency to lean toward the dark side. I think it’s practical to consider everything that could go or is going wrong, but sunshine Sally happy people tell me I’m just a negative Nancy. And yet I remain hopelessly optimistic when it comes to education and students.   Every day, my idealism comes up against newsletters, listservs, and daily roundups often filled with stories of academic failure. Students aren’t prepared for college, aren’t … Read more…

In Defense of the “Worst” Majors

I get some serious nerd rage when I come across a news story (here and here, too—though let’s be honest, it’s the same information) suggesting that English belongs on a list of “worst college majors.” I see the data, I understand that the lists are using unemployment rates and income information, and from that angle, I begrudgingly see the argument. But at the same time, my blood boils, I get huffy and indignant, and maybe mutter some not-so-niceties under my breath.   Why isn’t it … Read more…

Tweets from #CMCDC

I spent the end of last week in Washington, D.C. at the CIC’s College Media Conference, and it was great! To be fair, I am easily won over by tiny Tabasco bottles, cookie breaks, and roving trays filled with mini empanadas. And it doesn’t hurt when your boss brings cupcakes for a breakfast supplement. But food aside, this conference was a success for me.   The panel topics were interesting and the speakers were engaging. The takeaways were echoed throughout each section, reiterating their importance. … Read more…

An Ode to Tough Love

How do I love thee, Education Trust Tough Love proposal? Let me count the ways:   1) Awesome title. I’ve always been a fan of tough love because it gets stuff done. When I was a classroom teacher and a college counselor, tough love was my preferred MO with students. I was honest and realistic, and my students respected me for it; even when they didn’t take my advice, they always heard me out (and got some positive results when they did listen). Sugar-coating is … Read more…

I’ve Got My Mind On My Money (And Student Loan Debt)

Student loan debt has been on my mind a lot lately, since it’s been all over the news, President Obama was in my hometown for a high school graduation speech, AND my own student loan payment was due. There were some excellent articles that came out this past week, but I’m not sure if many students are reading those. I think it’s great that Obama dedicated time to being on social media platforms like tumblr to connect with a younger audience and discuss his expanded … Read more…

Videos Worth Sharing (Non-Cat Category)

As someone who has worked recently in direct service with first generation and underserved college students, I read this Inside Higher Ed article (and watched the videos) and fist pumped.   Without fail, whenever I encouraged struggling students to reach out to professors, they would hesitate or refuse: “My professor is too busy” or “I don’t know what to say” or “My professor doesn’t like me” (the worst response, in my opinion, since it’s most often a misperception).   I’ve often wondered how those in … Read more…