Jul 26, 2007
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Thursday, July 26 , 2007
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Virginia launches six-year plan to align K-12 standards with university-level education

By Nihit Aurora

It's no secret that Americans depend on schools to prepare their children for higher education and gainful employment. Recently, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) proposed a six-year plan to match K-12 teaching with university-level education. The plan, which would begin in 2007, aims to improve schools so that the schools, in turn, can better prepare students for college educations and ultimately enable them to become members of what the plan hopes will be a stable, dynamic workforce. Among the plan's goals is also improving financial aid for Virginia's students, in addition to the following:

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Ph.D. completion: reasons for non-completion

By Shaileja Mammen

The Council of Graduate Schools recently released preliminary data collected for the Ph.D. Completion Project on completion rates by discipline. The aim of the project is to identify practices and strategies that will help more graduate students achieve timely completion of their Ph.D. programs. The 29 universities that participated in the survey included private and public as well as elite and up-coming institutions. The respondents to the survey were graduate students who completed their Ph.D.s in the fields of engineering, life sciences, math and physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

The respondents ranked the main factors contributing to completion of their Ph.D.s. 80% of them placed maximum importance on financial support, 60 % on family support, 39 % on social environment and peer support, 39 % on program quality, and 30 % on professional and career guidance.

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Eastern Michigan University raises tuition

Eastern Michigan University's governing board has approved a combined 8% increase in tuition and fees. Tuition alone will be raised by 9.5%, but there will be no increase in mandatory fees. For a typical resident undergraduate student, tuition and fees will cost nearly $7,500. The state, which may see a $1.6 billion deficit for the fiscal year beginning in October, has cut or postponed financial aid to colleges. Eight of the 15 Michigan public universities have raised tuition for next year, while the rest are expected to follow suit.

Emerson College fires dean of enrollment

Boston's Emerson College has fired its dean of enrollment, Daniel Pinch, alleging that he took $36,000 as consultation fees for a loan company that the college recommended to students for consolidation of their loans. Not only did Pinch allow the company to use his and the college's name for marketing purposes, but he also established his own loan company. A report released by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, chaired by Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, revealed Pinch's relationship with the loan company. According to the report, the company offered $50,000 as an investment in Pinch's company, though it is not clear whether the deal went through.

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