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Professional Opinion

One proven way to improve retention is by supplementing traditional academic advising with student success coaching. Student success coaching helps students fit school into life and life into school while building up the skills they need to be successful, including study skills, time management, and stress management. As institutions explore the possibility of starting coaching programs to improve student outcomes, there are several challenges they will face.

The students you’re trying to reach today have grown up in a world in which nearly everything was an advertisement. When they were still in diapers they were bombarded with cartoon characters aggressively hawking sugar-laced cereals, and as they’ve grown older, the commercials, emails, texts, pop-ups and social posts crowding their view have only increased in volume.

Cultivating a campus culture that embodies both global diversity and interconnectivity should be central to the mission of universities today. Reminders persist that our current environment and economy are not confined to our immediate geographic surroundings. Modern-day technologies, transportation, international trade, and politics significantly diminish distances that used to seem great.

Paul R. Brown is president of Monmouth University in New Jersey.

It would be very easy to be jaded about the future of higher education if it were not for the fact that those who serve this industry view it as a calling.

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) voted unanimously in March to implement GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions.

This accounting standard modifies existing financial reporting requirments as well as establishes new ones for governmental entities—including public colleges and universities—that participate in defined benefit pension plans.

Michael Silton is the executive director of the UCLA Venture Capital Fund.

Over the last 30 years, the number of college courses teaching entrepreneurship has increased by 95 percent, reflecting an intense demand by U.S. college students.

However, in a survey by Entrepreneur magazine, half of students polled reported that lack of resources was their main reason for not creating startups. And the Young Entrepreneur Council found that nearly three-fourths of college students claim they have no access to on-campus entrepreneurial resources.

President Obama recently established a task force to protect students from sexual assault. According to a White House Memorandum of January 22, 2014, one in five female students is a survivor of attempted or actual sexual assault that occurred while in college. The unfortunate and heartbreaking situation with University of Missouri swimmer, Sasha Menu Courey, has recently placed the issue of on- and off-campus sexual assault in the spot light. In 2010, Ms. Courey was allegedly raped by one or more members of the University’s football team.

It would be very easy to be jaded about the future of higher education if it were not for the fact that those of who serve this industry view it as a calling. We know that we can make a difference in the lives of our students and in society. We try to do the very best for our students while addressing the issues of the day through our research and community outreach. Not a bad calling, in my view, and why with great pride I have spent my adult life in the academy serving four institutions over the past thirty years as a faculty member, administrator and now university president.

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 10 American children over the age of three has been diagnosed with ADHD. Before turning 18, nearly 14 percent of children will have been diagnosed. Most will receive ADHD drugs. Fearing that the popular response to this report will be “shock,” Psychiatrist John T. Walkup and two junior colleagues published a “reassuring” commentary that accompanied the CDC report (Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, November 2013).

A pervasive “because we have to” approach to higher education accreditation is contributing to the growing crisis of confidence in the value of college and the degrees it bestows. When faculty and higher education leaders declare “we complied,” it’s probably not good enough.

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