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Employer Advice Most Valued, Least Used in Choosing College Major

Education Research

Employer Advice Most Valued, Least Used in Choosing College Major

 

Advice about what to study in college comes from four primary sources, according to new survey results:

  • “Formal” sources, such as high school and college counselors and print and internet media;
  • The “informal” social network, including family, friends and community leaders;
  • The “informal” school network, counting non-advisor staff and coaches; and
  • “Informal” work-based sources involving employers, coworkers and people with experience in the field.

Most recent graduates or current college students (56 percent) get their guidance from the members of their informal social networks — those family members and friends, compared to 21 percent for those informal work-based sources. Yet, when it comes to choosing a field of study, the best advice comes from the work-based sources. Eighty-three percent of people said that input was more useful than any other kind of guidance, ahead of those informal social networks by 12 percentage points.


While previous studies have examined the long-term impacts of college choice and majors on career opportunities and economic mobility, less understood is how students decide what to study. That was the purpose of “Major Influence: Where Students Get Valued Advice on What to Study in College,” the survey undertaken by Strada Education Network and Gallup. The two organizations are performing a series of short surveys as part of its “Education Consumer Pulse,” in order to gain insights about postsecondary education. The latest survey asked two open-ended questions:

  • From what resources or people did you get advice about the major or field you were going to study during your degree program?
  • How helpful was the advice you received from each source?

The researchers analyzed responses from 22,087 U.S. adults aged 18 to 65 who attended two-year and four-year colleges, including those who didn’t achieve their degree. “Recent” students are those who attended between 2010 and 2017.

The most helpful sources for advice varied depending on the highest level of education earned by the respondent. For example, respondents with an associate’s degree listed their most helpful sources as community leaders (92 percent), high school coaches (89 percent) and employers/coworkers, high school teachers and those with experience in the field (85 percent). For those with bachelor’s degrees, the choices were people in the field (85 percent), community leaders (83 percent) and military (81 percent).

Getting advice about college majors: the source and the usefulness (Source: Strada Education Network and Gallup’s “Major Influence: Where Students Get Valued Advice on What to Study in College“)

Compared with all other sources of advice, those who said they consulted work-based sources for insights about a field of study were less likely to have second thoughts about their ultimate choice of major (31 percent) than those relying on formal help (40 percent).

The report that resulted from the survey noted the “disconnect” that existed between the sources students go to most often for advice on what to study and the value of the advice they received. Why, researchers asked, was the most valued sources of help the least used?

Article source: https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/10/17/employer-advice-most-valued-least-used-in-choosing-college-major.aspx

Prospective students: ideas and advice to help you on your journey …

As we celebrate our country’s 150th “birthday,” this edition of The Globe and Mail’s annual Canadian University Report offers a look at how universities have changed from their early versions, where students were mostly white men from wealthier urban families, school costs were about $160 annually, and you called your professor “Sir.”

While looking back is important, the main focus in this magazine is definitely on the present – and the future. Today, we have universities across Canada with students from a myriad of backgrounds and from countries around the world. Though paying for postsecondary education is still a serious issue for many, we present a variety of ways to cover costs, including loans and RESPs. We also look at the issue of decorum and debate, which has become more complicated in our casual electronic age.

It’s worth remembering that 150 years ago, women and people of colour were scarce at universities, and there were likely no Indigenous students. While we have made progress on those fronts in higher education, considerable challenges remain. In this report, we look at those vital issues, and also what energized and innovative students and faculty across this land are doing to address them.

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As always, we strive to provide prospective undergraduates with advice from professionals, as well as from students who have been there, to help them navigate and thrive in university – from mental health and adequate sleep to academic aid, extracurriculars and athletic scholarships.

What hasn’t changed in the past 150 years is the need to make a good decision about which university to attend and how to determine which school is right for you. We hope our profiles of more than 70 universities across the country, including religious and French-language schools, will help prospective students and their parents narrow down their choices. This is the fifth edition of our popular profiles, compiled by Anya Zoledziowski.

I’d also like to thank Assignment Editor Christina Varga for her tireless efforts in helping to present what we hope is an invaluable guide to help you decide your future.

Article source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/canadian-university-report/prospective-students-ideas-and-advice-to-help-you-on-your-journey-to-university/article36594356/

Preparing Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs: 10 Experts Offer Advice to Educators

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Automation and artificial intelligence are reshaping the economy. That much is clear.

But many of the country’s top minds are sharply divided over just how disruptive technology’s impact will be, and just what kind of job market today’s students will eventually face.

To help K-12 educators and policymakers make sense of the debate, Education Week talked with leading experts in the fields of artificial intelligence, computer science, economics, education, and history.

We asked each a common question:

How can K-12 schools prepare for the uncertain future of work?

Here’s what they said:


Hadi Partovi | Founder, Code.org

Don’t get him wrong, says Partovi, whose organization is leading a massive push to bring computer-science education to every U.S. school. Understanding fractions will always be important.

But if schools want to prepare students for jobs that aren’t going to be automated, he says, they need to shift their emphasis away from rote practice, and towards conceptual understanding of both content and problem-solving processes.

“In the real world, we don’t calculate by hand any more,” Partovi said. “We should teach something like long division by teaching that it’s actually an algorithm, and then encouraging students to think about what they can use that algorithm for.”


Paul Osterman | Economist, MIT

For a 2016 study, Osterman talked with manufacturing employers across the country. Overwhelmingly, they wanted workers with the ability to read an instructional manual, do community-college level algebra, and get along well with co-workers.

As a result, said Osterman, who used to run workforce-training programs for the state of Massachusetts, it’s misguided to think today’s students will be unemployable if they aren’t all advanced computer programmers.

“Focus on basic skills,” he advised.


Ansley Erickson | History and Education Professor, Teacher’s College, Columbia University

When arguing the future of work will turn out fine, technologists and economists often point to education’s role in easing past upheavals in the U.S. economy. The switch from agriculture to industry, for example, was smoothed by the expansion of high school, the argument goes.

But Erickson says history’s lessons aren’t quite so neat. For one, she says, high schools at the turn of the 20th century weren’t really organized to teach kids the skills they needed for the factory floor—future managers and secretaries actually benefitted most. And the new educational opportunities were also unequally distributed—African-American sharecroppers, for example, often weren’t granted access to the industrial economy until its decline had already begun.

“This is a new version of an old question,” Erickson said, “and the answer always leaves out some workers.”


Michael Chui | Partner, McKinsey Global Institute

Chui says not to believe anyone claiming they can accurately predict what jobs will still be around, or what precise skills students will need, in 15 years.

Instead, he said, schools should focus on two likely realities: The world is going to be inundated with data. And as a result, most occupations will continually evolve in unpredictable ways.

“Knowing how to ask provocative questions, use data to make decisions, and evaluate imperfect information will be increasingly valuable,” he said. “And going forward, learning can’t be something you do only in the first couple decades of your life.”


Stephen Wolfram | Computer scientist and founder, Wolfram Research

Increasingly, Wolfram says, we live in a world of networks and data and computing tools that give once-unthinkable powers to even young children.

As a result, he believes, the most valuable traits moving forward will involve the curiosity to ask big questions, the drive to understand those questions deeply, and the knowledge about how to translate ideas into code.

“Computational thinking is the new liberal arts,” Wolfram said. “It’s lovely when kids realize that they’re using general knowledge they’ve learned elsewhere and turning it into something that can be said to a computer.”


Laura Arnold | Associate commissioner, Kentucky Department of Education

In helping turn Kentucky into a national leader in career-and-technical education, Arnold has used data about local labor-market trends to guide decisions about what workforce-development programs schools should offer.

But it’s hard work: Employers tend to be focused on their immediate needs. Schools have a hard time developing courses around medium-term opportunities, like robot maintenance. And the long term is just so uncertain.

“We don’t have reliable data on jobs 20 years out,” Arnold said. “The best we can do is create strong career pathways and hope they evolve.”


James Paul Gee | Literacy studies professor, Arizona State University

From poverty to climate change to the rise of fake news, the world is in real danger, Gee believes.

But rather than trust students to use technology to address such challenges, he sees schools buying textbooks and focusing on preparation for jobs that soon may not exist.

“Schools need to focus on developing morally good people who can deal with complexity and collaborate with others to make things better,” Gee said. “That’s certainly better than saying, ‘Let’s prepare Johnny to program AI [artificial intelligence],’ when that AI will turn around and program Johnny right out of a job.”


Tess Posner | Executive director, AI4All

Posner doesn’t foresee a robot apocalypse. But the former head of President Barack Obama’s TechHire initiative does believe artificial intelligence will reshape just about everyone’s daily life.

That’s why it’s so important that schools help expand the universe of people building, researching, and making policy around AI, she says. And her new nonprofit believes the best way to make that happen is by moving computer-science education beyond discussions of technology and programming techniques.

“Focus on applying artificial intelligence to human and social problems,” Posner advised. “When you teach kids to program robots that mimic self-driving cars, ask what the impact could be for an aging population.”


Osonde Osoba | Engineer and researcher, RAND Corp.

Artificial intelligence isn’t just changing work. It’s being used to automate important governmental and policy decisions, control the flow of information we receive, and reshape how we buy and consume products and services.

As a result, Osoba said, it’s more important than ever that schools not lose sight of a basic truth: Public education has always been about creating good citizens, not just training new workers.

“As AI is more widely deployed, students need the ability to think critically about how decisions are made,” he said. “That means understanding statistics, mathematics, and algorithms.”


Martin Ford | Author, Rise of the Robots

Ford sees three realities, all of which will likely appear bleak to educators.

Schools right now are preparing students for the jobs that are most vulnerable to automation, he says. Structural problems in the labor market mean that even if every kid could get a top-notch education, there still might not be enough jobs to go around. And no amount of investment in schools or job training will be enough to overcome the challenge, he believes.

“A big disruption is coming for society as a whole,” Ford said. “and it may be that we can’t educate our way out of it.”

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Article source: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/09/27/preparing-students-for-tomorrows-jobs-10-experts.html

Gang member sentenced as an adult for first-degree assault

EVERETT — The system isn’t set up to heal the wounds that 17-year-old Seth Friendly bears from childhood.

He will go to prison and to survive he likely will adapt to that life, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Joseph Wilson said. “There are no good consequences in the future here,” he said.

Wilson pointed out that because Friendly was convicted as an adult, he faces much stiffer penalties — a lengthy prison sentence and all it carries — for crimes he committed at age 16. The adult system is set up to punish and warehouse, not rehabilitate, Wilson said.

Most people he encounters are redeemable, the judge said. And most often young defendants who come before him have experienced trauma. “They’re broken. Our system is not designed to fix that break,” Wilson said.

The judge sentenced Friendly to nearly 13 years in prison, a low-end term under the state’s Sentencing Guidelines Commission.

A jury convicted Friendly, a gang member, of first-degree assault with a firearm for gunfire June 6, 2016, near an apartment building on Casino Road. The target was a 17-year-old girl who was dating a rival gang member. She was not injured.

Friendly had turned 16 about a week before the shooting. His neck is tattooed with the initials of a south Everett gang. Police found those same initials freshly spray-painted on an electrical box near where the shooters would have been standing.

Friendly also was suspected of taking part in another shooting about a week later.

The boy was charged as an adult because of the serious nature of the crime.

Everett defense attorney Thomas Cox fought to have the case handled in juvenile court, where Friendly would have faced a couple of years behind bars. Cox argued that Friendly had no prior record and would have a greater chance at rehabilitation in the juvenile system.

He renewed his argument Thursday, asking the judge to take into account his client’s age, background and the positive changes he has made while being locked up at Denney Juvenile Justice Center for more than a year. Friendly is bright and has done well at school while incarcerated, the judge was told.

Cox asked Wilson to spare Friendly any time in adult prison. He asked that he be held in juvenile lock-up until his 21st birthday.

In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has made findings recognizing that young people’s brains are fundamentally different from adults. That acknowledgment has shifted how courts are asked to consider punishment for juvenile defendants, including an analysis of culpability given their development as well as their capacity for rehabilitation.

“We have a chance right now, at his age, to turn a corner,” Cox said.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Katie Wetmore on Thursday asked for a 15-year sentence, saying the shootings were planned and not impulsive acts. The victim, she said, left the state because she’s afraid of gang retaliation.

“He deserves a high-end sentence. The community deserves to be safe,” Wetmore said.

There have been dozens of gang-related shootings in Snohomish County in the past two years. Gangs have been warring in south Everett, inside and outside city limits. A 14-year-old boy was shot to death earlier this month over the color of his shoes. A 13-year-old boy is charged with murder for the killing.

On Thursday, Friendly apologized for traumatizing his victim. “I don’t want people in my community to be afraid of me,” he said.

“I just want to do something with my life that doesn’t hurt anyone,” he said.

Wilson was bothered by the decision in front of him.

Some of Friendly’s most formative years will be spent behind bars, locked up with older and more seasoned criminals. Prison isn’t designed to turn people into model citizens, the judge said.

Yet, he said, he wasn’t presented with anything that would support going below a standard range sentence. The defendant is intelligent and doesn’t suffer from a mental illness, he said. He wasn’t given evidence to suggest that Friendly lacked impulse control or was involved because of peer pressure. “I’m not seeing what these studies are asking me to look for,” Wilson said.

Friendly took part in two planned shootings, which easily could have resulted in someone getting hurt or killed, the judge said.

“Mr. Friendly I am sorry we don’t have anything to bring to you that would be a different outcome,” Wilson said.

The teen is expected to be held in a juvenile facility until he’s 18. He could stay until he’s 21 if he meets certain criteria. He would serve the rest of his time in adult prison.

Wilson recognized what the young man is facing. He encouraged him to find a way back from it.

“The story of (a) man is never done until his last breath,” Wilson said. “What is happening now does not have to measure you.”

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.


Article source: https://www.heraldnet.com/news/gang-member-sentenced-as-an-adult-for-first-degree-assault/

Adult is calling and texting young teen

Dear Amy: Some time ago, I found out that my 20-year-old granddaughter “Sally’s” ex-boyfriend “Jason” is calling and texting Sally’s 13-year-old sister late at night.

When I expressed my concern to these girls’ mother (my daughter) that a 20-something male was calling and texting a 12-year-old (she has since turned 13), her mother brushed it off, saying that he had always been close to Sally’s younger sisters, and, anyway, he lives five hours away.

This has been going on for months now, and I find it inappropriate, no matter how far away he lives.

Jason and Sally dated for about two years, but I don’t suppose Jason saw the younger sisters more than half a dozen times in that time. To be fair, anytime I was aware of him, he seemed to be a thoroughly nice young man, but I still feel that there is something off or wrong about this.

New Study Casts Doubt on Diagnosis of Adult-Onset ADHD

Dr. Solanto said the study all but ruled out adult-onset A.D.H.D. as a stand-alone diagnosis. Other experts cautioned that it was too early to say definitively, and noted that attention deficits often precede mood and substance abuse problems — which in turn can mask the condition.

The new analysis drew on data from a decades-long study of childhood A.D.H.D. that had tracked youngsters from age 9 or 10 up through early adulthood, gathering detailed histories from multiple sources, including doctors and parents.

That project, begun in 1994, recruited 579 children with diagnosed A.D.H.D., as well as a group of 289 in the same classrooms for comparison purposes.

Of those “control” youngsters, the new study found, 24 would go on to develop attention deficit problems much later on, during high school or after. Classic A.D.H.D. is diagnosed between ages 5 and 12.

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The authors of the new report, led by Margaret Sibley, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral health at Florida International University, carefully examined the extensive records of those 24 with adult-onset A.D.H.D. The researchers found that the attention deficits in all but five cases most likely stemmed from other causes, like marijuana use, depression or anxiety.

And the remaining five were hardly straightforward cases: One subject had previously had an eating disorder, another had shown signs of mania.

“This suggests to me the diagnosis doesn’t exist independent of a compelling psychiatric history,” said Dr. Sibley. “No one in our group developed A.D.H.D. in adulthood out of nowhere.”

Some 10 percent of children are given a diagnosis of A.D.H.D., and most grow out of it to some extent. One reason that symptoms may emerge seemingly from nowhere in high school or later, experts say, is that some youngsters have offsetting abilities, like high I.Q., or supports, such as sensitive parents or teachers, that mask the problems early on.

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In this respect, upbringing and environment may effectively blunt or contain symptoms.

Not all experts believe the new report is the last word.

“When we take out all those people who have complicating problems, like substance use and mood disorders, we still find that about a third of late-onset cases remain,” said Jessica Agnew-Blais, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London.

She was co-author of a previous study that estimated the prevalence of adult-onset A.D.H.D. at about 6 percent. “What this discrepancy points to is that it’s important to look at different populations,” Dr. Agnew-Blais said of the new findings.

“I don’t think clinicians should be shutting the door, if the only sticking point is the age of onset of symptoms,” she added.


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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/20/health/adhd-adults.html

Manka Dhingra v. Jinyoung Lee Englund: NONPARTISAN CANDIDATE GUIDE: 2017 WASHINGTON STATE SENATE …

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a non-partisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included Votesmart.org, Ballotpedia.org,  and public candidate statements, including coverage of their public debate in the Seattle Times and Redmond Reporter. For voting information, see Vote411.org, from the League of Women Voters. 

Article source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/manka-dhingra-v-jinyoung-lee-englund-nonpartisan_us_59e4c096e4b02e99c5835862

Higher education funding plan advances

LITTLE ROCK – A powerful legislative committee soon will consider new policies that track the improvement of Arkansas’ universities and public colleges.

The policies lay out metrics that will score the state’s public universities and community colleges to determine how much funding they should receive and whether the schools are improving.

The amended policies received initial approval Tuesday from a subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council, the Legislature’s main governing body when lawmakers aren’t in session. The full council will consider the policies Friday.

The new policies form part of a 2017 law that has changed the way Arkansas funds higher education institutions, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. Under the law, funding is based on students’ progress through certificate or degree programs and their completion of those programs.

Previously, funding was largely based on an institution’s enrollment.

The Department of Higher Education also plans to add a post-completion success metric. The agency is working with the Arkansas Research Center and the state Department of Workforce Services to compile data on employment placement, graduate school acceptances and wages, according to the department’s director, according to Higher Education Department Director Maria Markham.

The change came amid the state’s high education master plan, which set goals of increasing the percentage of local residents with certificates and higher degrees by 2025.

Article source: http://www.baxterbulletin.com/story/news/2017/10/18/higher-education-funding-plan-advances/106787278/

Higher education funding plan in Arkansas moves forward

LITTLE ROCK — A powerful legislative committee will soon consider new policies that track the improvement of Arkansas’ universities and public colleges.

The policies lay out metrics that will score the state’s public universities and community colleges to determine how much funding they should receive and whether the schools are improving.

The amended policies received initial approval Tuesday from a subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council, the Legislature’s main governing body when lawmakers aren’t in session. The full council will consider the policies on Friday.

The new policies form part of a 2017 law that has changed the way Arkansas funds higher education institutions, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. Under the law, funding is based on students’ progress through certificate or degree programs and their completion of those programs.

Previously, funding was largely based on an institution’s enrollment.

The Department of Higher Education is also planning to add a post-completion success metric. The agency is working with the Arkansas Research Center and the state Department of Workforce Services to compile data on employment placement, graduate school acceptances and wages, according to the department’s director, according to Higher Education Department Director Maria Markham.

The change came amid the state’s high education master plan, which set goals of increasing the percentage of local residents with certificates and higher degrees by 2025.

___

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

Article source: http://couriernews.com/view/full_story/27496049/article-Higher-education-funding-plan-in-Arkansas-moves-forward?

Pink Ribbon Tea provides education, raises awareness of breast cancer

“We are not just survivors, we are thrivers,” declared Irene Hawley on Thursday afternoon while delivering the welcome message for the eighth annual Pink Ribbon Tea at St. Paul Lutheran Church.

She is a past president of the Pink Ribbonettes, an Aiken-based volunteer group that provides support to breast cancer patients, their families and their caregivers.

The Pink Ribbonettes also organize the Pink Ribbon Tea.

In general, Pink Ribbonettes members are breast cancer survivors.

Hawley, 72, received her cancer diagnosis when she was 54 and living in Michigan.

“My cancer was found, with a mammogram, in my right breast,” Hawley said. “I had no idea it was there, and it was already Stage 3. I had a modified radical mastectomy, I had chemotherapy and I had radiation.”

At first, Hawley was devastated.

“It was like you think there is no future because you’ve heard so much about cancer,” she said. “One of my first thoughts was, ‘What about my husband?’ His first wife had died of breast cancer, and I was worried because he was going to have to go through it all again.

“But he turned out to be really good,” Hawley continued. “He said, ‘Everything is different now. All the treatments have improved. You’re going to be okay.’ ”

Those soothing words comforted Hawley, and as it turned out, her husband was right.

Later, when Hawley, who is an Aiken native, returned to South Carolina to live, she underwent reconstructive surgery.

“I was very glad I did that,” Hawley said.

In 2010, she had another scare involving thyroid cancer.

“They took out my thyroid and the cancer was in the left lobe, but it was encapsulated,” Hawley said. “I only had to do one radiation treatment, and I’ve been fine since then.”

Her advice to other people who find themselves in a battle with cancer is don’t panic and don’t try to face it alone.

“Take it one day at a time,” Hawley said. “Depend on your faith, God, your family, your friends and your doctors. Do what the doctors say.”

Hawley has been a Pink Ribbonettes member for around 10 years.

“I love this group,” she said. “These ladies are so encouraging.”

HarborChase of Aiken was the sponsor of the Pink Ribbon Tea and provided the refreshments, which included sandwiches, cookies, fruit and, of course, tea.

Dr. Jeremy Wells, who specializes in oncology and hematology, and Aiken Technical College Nursing Instructor Jill Hartzog spoke.

Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon presented a proclamation from himself and Aiken City Council declaring October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Aiken and Oct. 19 as Pink Ribbon Tea Day.

Students in Aiken Tech’s Licensed Practical Nurse Program offered Pink Ribbon Tea attendees the opportunity to get their cholesterol levels checked, and students in the school’s Associate Degree Nurse Program set up various displays about breast cancer that provided information about risk factors, therapies and other topics.

Using pieces of paper that were on their tables, Pink Ribbon Tea participants could write down the names of people who had died of breast cancer and those who are currently fighting the disease that they wanted to recognize, and emcee Sue Stutman-King read them aloud near the end of the program.

“This is mainly an educational event for Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said Pink Ribbonettes President Joan Jarcik of the Pink Ribbon Tea. “We want to get the word out there about breast cancer and remind women to get their mammograms. Anybody from the community can come. Most of the people here, who aren’t survivors, have relatives or know someone else who has breast cancer.”

Dee Bettencourt was at the Pink Ribbon Tea with her sister, Sandy Ludwig, who is a breast cancer survivor.

“Our mother had breast cancer, too, so it’s something that is kind of close to my heart,” Bettencourt said. “First my mother and then my sister. I keep waiting on my turn, hoping that it never comes.”

Article source: http://www.aikenstandard.com/news/pink-ribbon-tea-provides-education-raises-awareness-of-breast-cancer/article_067081f2-b459-11e7-8c5e-933547a493be.html