What does #highered mean to you? Most of you probably go straight to how expensive it is and all those student loans you are still paying off. I know I do. According to the conversation happening on Twitter, there are various perspectives surrounding the higher education topic including financial aid, diversity, teacher support, higher expectations for curriculum, conferences, and other. Director of Marketing at Spelman College @enjoyceinglife tweets “Retention is the No. 1 concern. Getting in to school is 1st hurdle. Being able to afford & stay in school is critical”. Students strive to take the journey from application accepted to graduation with hope that their education is of a high caliber and that they won’t spend the rest of their lives paying back tuition.
@Blackboard stands to reimagine education to create a world inspired to learn. If students are going to be inspired to learn, institutions must raise their standards. Activist @Fishica tweets that institutions are failing students. The study released by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni report that 18 % of colleges and universities require a single course in American history or government, 13% require intermediate foreign language, and just 3% require an economics course for graduation. The conversation also dipped its toes in the diversity waters to promote quality in higher education. Anne D. Neal, ACTA president, states, “Too many college rating systems rely on largely extraneous measures like alumni giving or selectivity to determine which colleges top their list”. @educationweek hopped on the bandwagon to insist that high schools should develop higher expectations as well. Adams (2015) states that “raising expectations and personalizing learning have the potential to get more students on meaningful career paths”.
Once a career path is set, next comes how to pay for it. New Jersey Congressman @FrankPallone tweeted at The New York Times report that President Obama signed a “Student Aid Bill of Rights” that would help students deal with college loans. The Lumina Foundation is a private organization committed to increasing the number of Americans with high quality education and sponsored a couple tweets regarding financial aid during the past week.
In order for the education system to step it up a notch, SXSWedu is a great event for celebrating innovations in learning and the future of education. They host sessions on accelerating excellence in higher education, educational equality and more. Retweeted by @usedgov, Dr. Jill Biden summaries the mission at #SXSWedu “Together, we can ensure education in our country is accessible, affordable and attainable for all Americans”.
And to tie is all back to this blog, an interesting read by SproutSocial indicates that students are more likely to research about higher education using social media.