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Although some professors prohibit the use of laptops during class because of the distraction factor, laptop use for note-taking is one accommodation colleges may offer students, such as those with a mobility impairment. (Photo: Marist College)
  1. ADA awareness training should be mandatory and ongoing across all departments. If students come to a staff member requesting an accommodation, they should be referred to the disabilities services office, which will help ensure consistency and fairness. 
  2. Campuses see a range of disabilities that must be covered, from mental and emotional (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, PTSD, ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, etc.) to physical (asthma, cystic fibrosis, cancer, Type 1 diabetes, allergies, celiac disease, traumatic brain injury, etc.).

The Venture Development Center has all the hallmarks of a typical startup: Computers running equations, whiteboards covered with revenue projections and caffeine-fueled meetings about venture capital in glass-walled rooms. But it's more than that: the center is also a University of Massachusetts, Boston incubator that houses dozens of fledgling bioscience and computer science firms.

Talent, technologies and capital converge at TechTown Detroit, an incubator formed by Wayne State University in partnership with General Motors and the Henry Ford Health System. Since 2004 TechTown has been housed in a 1920s-era building contributed by GM.

It takes more than good intentions and extra space to be successful in starting an incubator.

Here are three tips to to help campus departments of economic development go from idea to execution:

Nick Kalm is president and Courtney Harper is senior vice president at Reputation Partners, a communications consultancy that specializes in labor communications for universities and other organizations.

Unionization movements will continue to gain traction at colleges and universities, so it’s important for administrators to prepare. While pay, benefits and shared governance will be pressing issues, many institutions fail to develop a strategy to communicate with employees.

The numbers should unsettle enrollment professionals: College and university enrollment rates have decreased for each of the last four years and nothing indicates a reversal anytime soon.

Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building

Berea College (Ky.)

Berea’s new $72 million Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health building will house the biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and nursing departments.

Fraternity brothers on spring break—what image immediately comes to mind? Picture this instead: golf-ball sized blisters, swollen feet, strained muscles and determination to help others. Thirty-one members of Troy University’s Alpha Tau Omega Chapter dedicated their spring break to walking 128 miles to raise money to aid wounded military veterans. I met with them on day three of their six-day march from Troy, Ala., to Panama City Beach, Fla. I contrasted this group of unselfish undergraduates with the prevailing image of the spoiled frat boy, which dominates media nationwide.  

Some are skeptical about the ability for any school to be need-blind, because anyone viewing an application can surmise financial need without reading a student’s FAFSA form.

The answers to common questions about need-blind policies sheds light on why they’ve been adopted whether they work and whether other enrollment diversity initiatives can be just as effective.

Lex O. McMillan III is president of Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania.

If the heart of a liberal (hence, liberating) education is learning to see through the eyes of others—both living and dead—I now see clearly how the bumpy roads of Haiti led us to new learning about others and about ourselves.

How can freshmen who may not even be able to find their way around campus during their first weeks in school learn to lead others? The question may sound like a new riddle of the Sphinx or the beginning of a joke.

But the concept of 18-year-olds learning to lead should not be a riddle and is no joke.

Elizabeth Riddle is the director of OnCampus Research, a division of The National Association of College Stores.

Conventional wisdom tells us students aren’t buying course materials because they are too expensive. They are forced to drop or not take classes or go without needed materials. But research tells a different story.

Before a campus goes virtual, there are real issues to consider.

Virtual desktop technology allows students and staff to access sophisticated software on a laptop or mobile device. It also can strengthen network security and lower expenses by reducing the need for actual computers and lab space on campus.

The University of Central Florida, a campus of 60,000, decided to virtualize applications rather than entire desktops.

UCF Apps lets users access the specific software needed for coursework. After downloading and installing a Citrix receiver client, students can log in and get the apps that have been provisioned to their account based on their area of study.

In regard to desktop virtualization, what aspects of implementation do higher ed institutions tend to overlook?

“It’s easy to overlook security when implementing new technologies, and a good example of this is desktop virtualization. It’s an efficient way to deploy the same functionality across multiple machines, however, you’ll most likely need to adjust security practices to fit the new virtual environment.”

—Slawek Ligier, vice president of Security Engineering, Barracuda

Fred Lokken, a professor of political science at Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada, sees several reason why community colleges have made big strides in online learning.

Online learning has significantly changed the landscape of higher education over the last decade. In a survey by the Instructional Technology Council , 94 percent of students said their online courses were equivalent or superior to traditional courses.

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