Monday, September 25, 2006

4 out of 5 of the Wealthiest Men in the U.S. are College Drop-Outs has a story today about how it now takes at least $1 billion to make it on Forbes' annual list of the 400 richest Americans. What I found most interesting, however, were the biographies the story provided on the top 11 richest people. Out of the 11, two haveBachelors of Arts/Science degrees, one has a Master of Science, one has a doctorate in law, 3 have no educational information listed, and 5 are college drop-outs.

This type of information makes me wonder whether they dropped out because they came up with some great idea and felt like college was getting in the way of that idea (Bill Gates) or whether they failed out and then later got their acts together.

I wonder if I could convince the students who fail my mid-term that I am really doing them a favor by increasing their chances of one day becoming a billionaire?

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'll show you my QEP, if you'll show me yours...

A QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan), for the blissfully uninitiated, is a required part of the reaccreditation process for those schools who are part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). To earn reaccreditation, colleges need to develop a program or focused course of action - preferably one that is tied to their institution's mission statement - that will enhance student learning. Some school's QEP's include - focusing more on student writing, helping students succeed in a global society, increasing student engagement in their learning, and improving faculty-student interaction.

I personally find the entire process irritating and would be overjoyed to leave the entire thing in the hands of the administration - only they would probably come up with a QEP that was so time consuming and paperwork driven that I'd be putting in 80 hours a week at the office instead of 60.

Nevertheless, I've quickly discovered that what most of my colleagues believe would really improve student learning is finding someway to make their discipline more important to the rest of the campus community. Economics Across the Curriculum, Biography Across the Curriculum, Biology Across the Curriculum - the answer to all our student's intellectual failings! I suppose that it shouldn't be surprising that most people believe that their discipline is essential to a well-rounded and informed student. But please show some restraint and be able to provide a justification that goes beyond that the student's in your upper division level classes really seem to benefit from similar endeavors.

Also, keep an open mind about my History Across the Curriculum QEP proposal.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

This is a very cool site. They have images from the last 150 years and arranged by collection. Some of the collections include:
  • African Americans
  • Civil War
  • Europe
  • Indians
  • United States in the 1930s and 1940s
  • Old West

What I like most about this site, however, is the quality of the images. They are just amazing. I'm already trying to find some to use later on this semester with my lectures.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

FSU to Phase Out College of Arts and Sciences

Finally, FSU gets its priorities right. First, the College of Arts and Sciences will be cut and then the rest of the academic program is getting eliminated. Read all about it.