How It Happens: Average Families Getting Behind

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By Kevin Kuzma, Online Editor

While it remains a continual struggle for us, my children and I have managed to attain what most Americans would constitute “average family” status.

We bought a house in a decent neighborhood last summer. According to their teachers, all three of them are doing fine in school. My 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son are beginning to divide their free time between fist fights and online gaming. On the surface, all is … average.

If something were to happen to us – like a sudden lottery win or the death of a distant, well-off relative – the newspapers would use that terminology to describe our lives before our sudden windfall. So would the people who know us. We are making it as the economy …

How $8 Billion for Community Colleges Became a Reality: A Fictional Conversation

By Kevin Kuzma, Online Editor

The following is a work of fiction.

“Good morning, Mr. President,” said Secretary Duncan as he entered the Oval Office.

“Come in, Arne. Have a seat. I’ll be right with you.”

Secretary Duncan sits across from the President whose attention is focused on his laptop. The President closes the lid and Duncan’s face is there.

“Ok, Arne. Let’s chat real fast.”

“How about those Bulls?”

“They are looking pretty tough. That Rose kid is a real heart attack. Ok, Arne. I wanted to meet with you first. I don’t think we need to discuss this with our full team of advisers.”

“What’s that, sir?”

“The community colleges plan."

“You know I’m a K-12 guy. Whatever you say goes … but we did leave the plan a bit … open, sir."

“How …

New APSCU Leader Prepared for Career College Mission

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At age 23, Steve Gunderson was talked in to running for a state senate seat in Wisconsin.

He was a college student at the time on the way to becoming something very different from an elected official. He was taking courses to be a broadcaster, not a politician.

Despite being a long-shot, Gunderson pulled out an improbable victory and would serve three terms in the Wisconsin State Legislature. After three terms in Madison, he would go on to a powerful career in the U.S. Senate spanning eight terms or 16 years, including his longstanding service as a member of the Education & the Workforce committee.

The experience he amassed in the political realm would eventually strike a perfect balance with the vocation he had practiced in professional baseball …

Traditional Colleges’ Bad Bedside Manner Sets Them Up for ‘Gainful’ Failure

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The notion clashes with just about every aspect of the foundation of traditional colleges and universities. As far as it relates to seeing students through to employment, “accountability” has never ranked high on the roster of concerns for tenured professors, college presidents and chancellors, or for many student services departments on the campuses of America’s most esteemed learning institutions.

Faculty at these colleges have taught accountability in regard to being truthful and honest in the pursuit of academic excellence and graduates have often been taught theory about civic responsibility and what it means to lead a life of good citizenship. Unfortunately, that’s where the accountability ends, for the most part.  Beyond the occasional career fair,  which entails lining up employers to visit campus for an afternoon …

Technological Integrity

By John Assunto, President – The Hudson Group

Technological Integrity (yes, that is the buzz term of the day!) is becoming a more and more of an issue when seeking top talent.   As a search consultant, it is unfortunate that every once and a while we will see resumes go beyond exaggeration to outright lies.  Length of time of employment, job titles, responsibilities, even companies that did not exist certainly are areas that raise yellow and even red flags.

With the growth of social networking and the popularity of websites such as Linked In, the lack of Technological Integrity unfortunately is starting to become a bit of an epidemic…My staff and I have noticed that the “Virtual Resume” often does not match the “Actual Resume”.  This is …

For-Profit Haters Now Must Line Up Behind the President

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Sitting to the first lady’s right, Jackie Bray of Kings Mountain, North Carolina was supposed to represent a humble and understated community college success story during President Obama’s third State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

She looked the part in studious glasses frames and pants suit. She was obviously a long, long way away from losing her job as a packaging mechanic, now leading a completely re-tooled life.

The seats to the left and right of Michelle Obama are the most coveted in the house. When you are literally in the television picture so often, you represent something larger than yourself, and you're guaranteed a mention from the President.

Mr. Obama spoke about Bray’s accomplishments directly in his remarks, while there was a striking omission of …

Researchers’ Shakily-Drawn Portrait of Career College Students

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Every few months, a different group of researchers attempts to draw a clearer picture of the students who attend for-profit institutions and why so many default on student loans. Their work, though, isn’t fine art. Actually, it’s more like the drawings of a sketch artist at an amusement park: there is some resemblance to reality, but mostly deliberate exaggeration to create an effect on the viewer.

Each group makes an effort to make their study vary somewhat from the one that came before, and at the same time embolden the findings of other researchers. Last week, several publications with a focus on higher education reported about a study conducted by Harvard researchers that claims for-profit college students face higher debt and more unemployment.

Before coming to those …

Former Student Finds Identity in Negative Blogs and Self-Imposed Dejection

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She's searching for an identity, like most people her age are, and she's found it — as a disgruntled student.

I won't use her name, because I believe in fairness (and for the same reason, I won't use the school's name.) Let's call her Sarah.

Sarah will never know who I am or what interests I have in her work. She would probably be pleased to know I found her blog and spent more than an hour reading through her posts. But Sarah would also likely be offended if she knew my affiliations, and especially disappointed with the thoughts I came away with when I was finished reading.

One aside to the Occupy movement is that it’s becoming more acceptable for former students to be not only scorned …

CEO Pay Comparison Unrealistic

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Our teacher was always clear to lay out the rules for Career Day. The last 45 minutes of class would be taken up by a classmate's father or mother who would speak about their daily responsibilities in the workplace, and we'd sit cross-legged on the tile in our elementary school's foyer with our minds in that strange half-place between concentration and hallucination. We were to pay attention, be respectful, and above all else, obey this one critical rule that was stated outright: "Don't ask how much money they make."

Sometimes, it was said aloud again: "Remember, do NOT ask how much money they make."

The guest would then enter, perfectly timed. And then after close to an hour of rapt attention and refraining from touching one another, …

Occupy Movement Proves Rules Should Apply to All of Higher Education

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The movement might be misguided or directionless. The focus, which they proclaim to be the nation's wealthiest one percent, might be the wrong target. The protestors themselves could even be acting on unfounded feelings of self-entitlement and jealousy, as some naysayers suggest they are. But the "Occupy" protestors lining streets and sitting-in on college campuses throughout the country are the most convincing evidence yet that all institutions of higher education should be subjected to the same regulations and academic standards.

The Occupiers have been criticized for not defining clearly enough the issues they oppose. Among their more formulated concerns, though, is the cost of college tuition and the lack of employment prospects after graduation. These two issues are known all too well by "for-profit" educators, who've …

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