Archives—November 2015

A Simplistic, but Foundational Review of Return on Investment

After many years of debate, in September the White House finally released its College Scorecard website. The scorecard includes information about colleges such as six-year graduation rates, retention from freshman to sophomore year, repayment of loans, post-graduation earnings and cost, as well as demographics on the student body, academic programs offered and typical test scores of admitted students.

For people in my profession, one of the best features of the new site is that the complete data set is available for download. Using this data set one can begin to create their own comparative review of colleges and universities. One would expect to see a myriad of websites start to pop up that tap into these data to give the student consumer a set of robust tools to help guide their college search. Continue reading


We wore hooded-sweatshirts

Last month I attended a national college fair in Minneapolis. The fair, held in a large convention center downtown, featured hundreds of universities from across the country, and for three days university representatives met with hundreds of students looking to make an important decision about their future.

I saw mostly stuffy, traditional, conservative, (and a handful of edgy) university identities on full display–most had the same “we’re unique like everyone else” messages for the swaths of high school students they encountered:

“Your adventure awaits.”

“Find yourself.”

“Ready to thrive.”

You get the idea. Continue reading


Build It. They Will Come

Attracting high school females to computing majors isn’t easy. If it was, we wouldn’t need national initiatives to solve the problem. At Michigan Technological University, we’ve been trying to crack this nut (er…code) for a few years through targeted communications, name buys, and information sessions.

Thanks to a grant from the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT), we were challenged to rethink our strategy. Rather than tell young women about careers in computing, how do we show them what they can do with computing?

It’s simple really. Build it.

Build code. Build a circuit board. Build a robot. Build an on-campus program. Continue reading