Author Archives: Shivani Sharma

Reading Questions – April 24

“An institutional ethos and tradition that place a strong value on student-student and student-faculty interactions both in and out of the classroom.”  What is the incentive for professors to spend time discussing and developing ideas of the intellectual arts with students outside the mandated teaching hours?

According to a new Survey of Parents conducted by Inside Higher Ed in 2013, parents were more likely to strongly believe that no college at all can lead to a good job than to believe that a liberal arts education can lead to a good job. What are some of the factors involving in the misinformed parents’ view on liberal arts education and how can colleges help alter these views?

Although the percentage of students enrolled in higher education has boomed and will keep increasing, how come America will still be “3 million college-educated workers short to meet demand”? Does the fault lie in college education or K-12 education?

What do you believe would be an accurate way to test “subject area expertise, a good work ethic, an ability to work smoothly with a variety of people, and, for management, leadership ability” without first having a student obtain a job to verify all these attributes?

Do you think the college is responsible with teaching critical and analytical reasoning, as well as, specific technical field skills or should the employer and workplace assume responsibility for one?

What do you guys, personally, feel about this: as stated in Liberal Arts Colleges Rethink Their Messaging in the Face of Criticism, “They’re [college-bound students] very concerned about the greater good, about society, the environment, the bigger picture, but they also are very concerned with their personal futures, and they’re not going to set that aside for some larger good.”

Reading Questions for 4/17

  • Attewell, P. and Lavin, D. E (2012) The other 75%: College education beyond the elite, ch 4 in E..C. Langermann and H. Lewis, What is College for?: The Public Purpose of Higher Education. New York: Teacher’s College Press.
    Currently, there are 17 million undergraduates in the United States and the number is expected to reach 19 million by 2019.  With the growing enrollment rate in America, is it beneficial for colleges and its students to limit accessibility in order to create a proper learning environment?  One states, “Because of downgrading that has occurred among students, college degrees are not worth much anymore” (96). However, another states that, “Open access earned 41 billion dollars more in the year 2000 than it would have earned if broad access were rolled back” (98).
  • Why do you think women, and especially the Hispanic minority, have showed the most drastic change in regards to college enrollment?
  • Lederman, D. (2013) Affirmative Action, Innovation and the Financial Future: A survey of presidents. Inside Higher Ed, March 1.
    “7 in 10 presidents said their institutions would face budget shortfalls and increased competition for students this year, in a climate of cutbacks of state and federal aid” (2).  How would reducing student enrollment help fund the institution’s budget?
  • Do you agree with O’Connor’s decision or do you side with Justice Thomas’ dissent that Michigan could not remain a prestigious institution and admits students under a race-neutral system?
  • Bundle 1: The case of Grutter vs. the University of Michigan
    The two researchers say that even with the growing income of blacks, they are unlikely to produce the kind of impact that would be needed to do away with affirmative action and preserve the black enrollment levels that colleges want to maintain. “Income changes alone aren’t going to close the gap, even with generous assumption.” However, what if being admitted to college will help close the income gap instead of reversing the cause and effect by trying to increase income in order to close the college enrollment racial gap?
  • If Justice O’Connor realizes that racial preferences should not be given in 25 years from now, then why not implement a racial-neutral practice as soon as possible since the legality of it would still be questioned in 25 years?
  • Do you think affirmative would give preferences to racial minority or lead to their disadvantage?

Reading Questions for 4/10

  1. “Sonoma State University’s Mr. Scalise adds: ‘Small campuses often cannot compete with larger universities when it comes to IT budgets, so we have to find other ways to differentiate ourselves, through niche offerings.’ What can colleges, that are not able to have a strong focus on applied research, offer corporations as incentive for partnership? [Economist Intelligence Unit (2008) The Future of Higher Education: How technology will shape learning.]
  2. What unit can we use to measure and evaluate student learning instead of credit hour? [Shedd, J. M. (2003) The History of the Student Credit Hour ch 1 in New Directions for Higher Education #122.]
  3. For whom are online courses the perfect match?
  4. How expensive is the anti-cheating software used for online test taking? Students always find an innovative way to cheat and bypass the rules, is the amount of money invested in these software really worth it if there is a good possibility that they won’t work? [Eisenberg, A. (2013) Keeping an eye on on-line test takers. New York Times, 3/12/13.]
  5. Have students who have completed MOOCs, learned and applied the knowledge and skills? (Have they actually learned anything?) [Cuban, L. (2013) “Irrational exuberance”: the case of MOOCs,]
  6. If MOOCs starting charging their students for access, do you think the number the students using MOOCs would increase, decrease, or remain the same over a given period of time? [Robbins, J. (2013) The ethics of MOOCs Inside Higher Ed, 3/25/2013.]
  7. From 1993 to 2007 full-time administrators grew by 39% while faculty members grew by 18%. Moreover, spending on administration grew by 61% whereas for faculty it grew by 39%. Why are those in administration receiving a higher pay than those in faculty? Moreover, why is the rate of hiring administrators higher than the hiring rate for faculty members? [Essig, L. (2013) It’s MOOAs, not MOOCs, that will transform higher education. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 3/28/2013.]
  8. “Bok’s assertion implies that there is generally too little reflection on pedagogy within the university.”  Other than using an online programs as the medium to teach, what are some other ways to better the quality of traditional higher education?  Why would faculty, who claim to believe that online is inferior to classroom instruction, actually recommend online courses to their students? [Stokes, P. (2011) What online learning can teach us about higher education. Ch 7 In B. Wildavsky, A.P. Kelly and K. Carey, eds. Reinventing Higher Education: The Promise of Innovation.]

General Interview Questions – Shivani Sharma

1. What is the single most important aspect in higher education that makes one college/university better or more unique than the other? (What is one concrete reason one student should pick your college over another?)

2.. Do you believe higher education should be able to foster an intellectual mind or teach the skills and trade necessary for today’s economy? If there should be a balance, where can students go who favor one over the other and, yet, desire the same prestige of attending a reputable 4-year accredited college? (Instead of a community college, trade or vocational school).

3. How do you plan on competing with the rise of obtaining a higher education through online courses? How do you plan on competing on a global scale?

4. Why are the criteria for student admission to a particular upper-tier university so broad? Is it considered unethical to give preference to students who come from a higher socioeconomic background than to those who do not?