Showing posts with label higher education reports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label higher education reports. Show all posts

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Unique Educational Approaches of Military Veterans

Military students are precious contributors to society and have the discipline mixed with service mentality to help them. To understand these students better requires a look at where and how they enroll within the education system. A 2011 report by the National Center for Education Statistics helps understand what these students are doing in college from a more macro scale. 

The study relies on the 2007–08 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:08) and the 2004/09 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:04/09) to come to some interesting conclusions. Key findings include:

-In 2007–08, 4 percent of all undergraduates and 4 percent of all graduate students were either veterans or current military service members.

-Majority of students were male and married.

-A higher percentage, when compared to non-military students, attended private nonprofit 4-year institutions and were as likely as non-military students to attend public 2-year colleges. 

-Were more likely to take an online course. 

-Often studied computer and information sciences more often than their nonmilitary peers.

-More than non-military students waited 7 years between undergraduate education and starting graduate education. 

-Were more likely than others to take graduate courses online. 

The report does highlight the idea that such students were likely to attend traditional schools and they choose these colleges for institution, cost, and the programs. As these students graduated and started careers with their families they were more likely to attend online graduate schools. This may be due their competing interests and family needs align more greatly with a 24/7 college access style. 

When compared to their non-military college students, veterans received their aid primarily at public 2-year (66 percent vs. 48 percent) and public 4-year institutions (81 percent vs. 67 percent). No detection of difference between private nonprofit and for-profit institutions could be found. The aid followed the students and their choice of selection. 

Compared with their non-military peers they pursued a master’s degree more often (77 percent vs. 65 percent) but were less likely to pursue a doctorate (9 percent vs. 15 percent). These students attended class part-time more often (35 percent vs. 26 percent) and preferred online graduate courses (38 percent vs. 21 percent). 

Military students are unique compared to non-military students. They are likely to get married and start families early. Their choice of educational careers often focus on computer, information, education and healthcare. The far majority attend proximal traditional 2-year and private non-profit schools with their educational aid. After some time they may consider going back to graduate school and prefer online education that fits their unique needs.

National Center for Educations Statistics (2011). Military Service Members and Veterans: A Profile of Those Enrolled in Undergraduate and Graduate Education in 2007-08. (. Stats in Brief. NCES 2011-163, ED524042). U.S. Department of Education.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

American High School Students Are Having Difficulty Competing

According to a 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Americans are slipping in readiness. Math is on the decline and they are not doing much better in reading or science. The trend is concerning as American students are not preparing to take over highly skilled, technologically advanced and scientific oriented positions in an increasingly difficult and complex world. As intellectual capital declines so does a nations future opportunities.

 Americans dropped to the 26th slot in math, 21st slot in science, and the 17th slot in reading.  The report indicates that nearly 15% of the variance in U.S. students is due to socio-economic issues that include motivation and interest. Students in the country simply view math and hard science as difficult or uninteresting. They do not choose these fields as their occupational approach.

Asian countries are on the rise. China appears to be doing well. Even though American students have not slipped much they have stayed relatively the same despite the increase in scores of other countries. This means their overall performance has stagnated and could possibly start to decline at some point in the future. Asian countries appear to be picking up the pace and moving ahead.

Some should find the report results frightening and start looking toward the root causes. They are deeper than simply “lazy students” but move into a range of topics that include family, beliefs, internal/external motivation, educational approaches, innovation, leadership, income, and many others. Similar reports on high school education indicate the system isn’t working well for the low performing students or the highest capability students. It functions in part for a percentage of those in the average categories.

Solutions are not as simple as people think but may have something to do with how Americans view themselves and their need to focus again on growing a country with basic root value systems that fosters personal and professional growth.  This is an everyone is invited type of approach regardless of their racial, religious, ethnic, or language background. Perhaps our biggest failure is the failure to free our minds to the possibilities of a brighter tomorrow?

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Why Are Students Breaking up with STEM?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data related to education in the United States and other nations. Their recent report on college student STEM field attrition rates is designed to help understand potential factors of STEM competency loss. Government officials and business leaders are seeking to find ways to improve attrition rates in an effort to maintain U.S. intellectual abilities.

The report found that 28 percent of bachelor’s degree and 20% of associate’s degree students entering into a STEM field within 6 years of entering college in 2003-2004. Biology attracted 11% while math and physical sciences were unpopular at 2-3%. Associate degree seekers (9%) were looking for computer/information sciences that have a higher rate of pay when compared to the other fields. 

A total of 48% of bachelor’s students and 69% of associate’s students left the STEM field by 2009. Interestingly, fields such as education and health had higher attrition rates while those in business and social/behavioral sciences had similar rates.  This seems to indicate that change in education is constant as students become more aware of their options and face educational obstacles. 

Using a bivariate analysis the researchers found other problems beyond typical factors such as demographics, precollege academic preparation, type of universities, course taking and performance. Analyzing the information simultaneously revealed that the type of courses, math courses, and intensity appear to have an impact. Some students were falling out because the courses were too rigorous.

The entrants GPA and class performance were major predictors of dropping out or switching courses. Lower performing students may drop out of class or college but higher level performers may switch to other fields. Students that entered 4-year public universities were more likely to drop out than those who attended private 4-year institutions. Difficulty in entrance to a university had some association with retention. 

The report mainly lists the reason why students either drop from or move away from STEM fields. Some of the findings indicate that ensuring students are prepared before entering such fields and having support while in those fields are beneficial for retention. Likewise, the adjustment of courses to gradually wrap up to more difficult courses within the first few years is necessary to bring students skills to a level needed to compete effectively. Overloading students in the course sequence may cause lower performing and unsure students to drop.