Feature

Inside Look: Libraries

While still a place where one can study, today’s campus libraries are active spaces that offer so much more

Heading to the campus library used to mean needing serious study silence or a spot for solitary scholarly pursuits. Although the library’s shell may look the same, inside it’s a decidedly different and livelier place.

“The hush-hush is over. Instead you get noise, you get dialogue, you get engagement, you get creativity, you get sharing,” says Jim Draper, vice president and general manager at Gale, the division of Cengage Learning that provides digital and print products to libraries.

Degrees in reverse on the rise in higher ed

Reverse-transfer agreements between four-year colleges and two-year schools are becoming more common

Community colleges have a long tradition of articulation agreements with four-year institutions, ensuring that those who begin at a two-year school can seamlessly transfer. As the college trajectory becomes less standard­—even for students with bachelor-sized goals who begin at the community college level—institutional leaders are creating or adding the reverse transfer option to articulation agreements.

Reverse transfer considerations for colleges and universities

Students' credit hours and grade-point averages should be part of decision to allow reverse transfers

Like most state universities in Michigan, the University of Michigan-Dearborn has entered into several reverse-transfer agreements with community colleges in recent years. In determining whether to activate the reverse-transfer process for a particular student, UM-Dearborn examines several criteria, says Ken Kettenbeil, vice chancellor for external relations. Here’s his checklist of items to consider:

Adjunct 101: Enhancing the adjunct faculty orientation

Some campuses administrators have decided to make the adjunct orientation more meaningful, efficient, and convenient

An email from the department chair with a building and classroom number, a schedule, a syllabus, and instructions for getting a parking permit is about all the orientation many adjuncts receive before arriving on campus to teach their first class. It’s no wonder many of them don’t assimilate into campus.

Adjunct professor support beyond orientation

Additional training and support after the initial orientation has ended is good practice

As leaders at some institutions have realized, it’s not enough to offer just an orientation for adjuncts. Additional training and support after the initial orientation has ended is good practice. For example, at National Louis University in Illinois, Linda Kryzak launched the Post-Training Café in March 2013 as an online forum for faculty members to support one another and share ideas.

Nine ways to improve on-boarding of adjuncts

  1. Pay adjuncts for attending the orientation session
  2. Invite adjuncts on staff to participate
  3. Allow a range of campus departments to make presentations
  4. Give campus tours
  5. Host a getting-acquainted meal
  6. Provide online sessions for convenience and review

Park this way: Colleges find high-tech solutions

Leveraging information from intelligent parking systems to address campus priorities

Dan Hofmann has been working for years to make parking about more than just painted lines, structures, and tickets. From city government positions to parking operations management at Harvard University to his current role as director of parking and transportation services at Clemson University (S.C.), he has been a champion for parking efficiencies. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say he makes parking cool.

Higher education faces tuition disruption

Experimenting with price at a time when higher education is being viewed as a commodity

Has college tuition begun to go the way of Walmart-style pricing? College administrators are experimenting with cut-rate models by freezing tuition, slashing sticker prices, and rolling back tuition, driven to discover a way to tip the scales toward enrollment growth. So far, results are mixed. Also, the excitement of experimentation is being tempered by the uncertainty of the current college marketplace.

Sage advice on resetting tuition

  • With a dramatic change in net price, ensure that enrollments will increase to certain levels. Otherwise, operating costs must be substantially reduced.
  • Identify the types of students you want and set the sticker price accordingly.
  • Diversify the revenue stream and operate more efficiently.

Social media for retention: Are colleges missing opportunities?

How paying attention to what students are posting online can be used to help them stay in school

When a student starts tweeting expletives about your institution for the whole world to potentially see, it’s probably time to find out the reason for the lash out and do some damage control.

Beverly Low, dean of first-year students at Colgate University in New York, reached out to one such student and ended up having three meetings with her. “They were meaningful conversations, too,” Low says, adding that the student was more likely to come and talk in person than vent on social media in the future.

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