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The Many Benefits of International Students at U.S. Campuses

12/30/16

interstudents

As we come to the end of 2016, we’d like to dedicate this final blog for the year to international students and the myriad of benefits they bring to the economic and cultural fabric of the U.S  Let’s take a closer look.

Economic Benefits

The economic benefits of having international students on U.S. campuses are impressive. According to the Brookings Institute, foreign students “paid $22 billion in tuition between 2008 and 2013 as well as at least $13 billion in living expenses.” According to the U.S. Department of Commerce: “In 2015, International students contributed more than $30.5 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.”

International students are able to fund their education in the U.S. through funds they receive from personal and family sources outside the U.S. They also receive financial support from their home country governments or universities.

Additional breakdowns of economic impact by state and Congressional District, calculated using IIE’s Open Doors enrollment figures, are available on the NAFSA International Student Economic Value Tool website.

Take a look at the chart below to see the countries which send most of the students to study in the U.S. These numbers grew from approximately 975,000 in 2015 to 1,043,839 in 2016.

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Source: The Atlantic

Cultural, Scientific, Technical Research Benefits

In addition to the economic benefits of having international students on U.S. campuses, the cultural gains are equally positive and impactful. The benefits of American students who actively engage and interact with international students on their college campuses are tremendously positive and impactful. American students exposed to and interacting with international students are more likely to read or speak a foreign language, appreciate art, music, literature of different cultures, and view current problems in historical perspective. They also are more likely to be more open minded and curious and interested to reexamine their political and religious viewpoints and their beliefs about other races or ethnicities. They may even consider traveling outside the U.S. or studying abroad.

Another significant benefit of having international students studying in the United States is that they contribute to America’s scientific and technical research. They bring with them international perspectives and stories of their personal experiences into U.S. classrooms. All these contribute to helping prepare American college students to be better equipped for careers in the global job market and in many cases helps them build and foster longer-term business relationships and economic benefits with their international student counterparts after graduation.

This reminds me of a taxi ride I once had from the airport in Reno, NV to a conference hotel. When I told the driver that I was attending a conference on international education, I was pleasantly surprised to hear him lecture me on the many benefits his city receives from its foreign students. He cited how international students contribute to the city’s businesses through their purchases, renting apartments, leasing or buying cars, paying insurance, going to the movies, eating at restaurants, and so much more. Clearly, he got it! And let’s not forget that many international students bring with them their spouses and children for the duration of their studies and these additional persons also help the economy. According to NAFSA, for the 2013-2014 academic year, “international students and their families at colleges and universities across the U.S. contributed $26.8 billion to the U.S. economy and supported 340,000 jobs. Compared to the previous academic year, this is nearly a 12 percent increase in dollars contributed to the economy and an 8.5 percent increase in job support and creation.” Another important and positive side effect of having international students on U.S. campuses which NAFSA found is that “three U.S. jobs are created or supported for every seven international students enrolled. These jobs are in higher education, accommodation, dining, retail, transportation, telecommunications, and health insurance.”

These economic benefits have not gone unnoticed by countries such as Canada, UK, and Australia who are aggressively seeking ways to attract and recruit international students to their institutions. Though, at this time, the UK–having undergone the Brexit referendum– is taking a harsher stand against international students. We, in the international education community, urge our representatives in Washington and the incoming administration to take the significance of international students and their contributions to the U.S. economy and the fabric of our higher education into serious consideration before embarking on any anti-immigration policies and legislations. A negative and hostile stand against immigration if not clearly defined will alienate the international students who enter the U.S. legally on student visas and deter them from seeking the U.S. as their higher education destination. They will in turn look to friendlier countries like Canada and Australia. The U.S. will have a great deal to lose.

Useful Links:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2016/11/21/where-americas-international-students-come-from-infographic/#708592224669

https://today.duke.edu/2013/06/internationalengage

http://immigrationimpact.com/2014/11/19/international-students-add-billions-u-s-economy/

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150212092452773

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/11/globalization-american-higher-ed/416502/

http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/international-students-united-states

jasmin_2015
Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert is the President and CEO of the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI).

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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Many Languages, One World

August 27th, 2015

OLOW
Winners of the Many Languages, One world International Student Essay Contest

The opportunity to give a speech at the UN General Assembly was preceded by my participation in the essay contest “Many Languages, One World,” organized by ELS Educational Services, Inc. and United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI). The competition implied two stages, initially we wrote an essay in one of the six UN official languages ​​(English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese). I wrote my essay in French which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful and melodious languages that inspires me; a language I studied for 12 years at high school. As a result, competitors, shortlisted for the written paper, were invited to a Skype interview with project organizers to demonstrate language proficiency. I was interviewed by Ms. Kathleen Stein-Smith, Chair of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) Commission on Advocacy. Overcoming successfully the two stages of the competition, I have been selected as one of the 70 winners of the Many Languages, One World International Student Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum from over 3500 students who initially participated in the contest. Thus, began one of the most unique and beautiful experiences of my life.

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Author of this blog: Daniela Moisei speaking at the UN

I traveled to the United States for the first time and the purpose of the visit was quite impressive, to attend the Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum at Adelphi University in Garden City, from July 20-26, 2015 and to speak at the General Assembly of the United Nations. My experience in the US started great! At the passport control, explaining the purpose of the visit to the officer, he exclaimed: “Wow, good luck, Daniela!” So, the first impression was very nice and gave me courage. Then, I enjoyed the most wonderful days with the 70 winners of MLOW contest, young activists, leaders of their countries, students of various fields and specializations. We shared experience and inspired each other.

The program was full of interesting activities and interactive discussions in working groups led by facilitators. The week culminated on July 24 with our speeches at the UN! At UN headquarters, emotions overwhelmed me, everything seemed like a dream. Huge hall where the assembly is held, simultaneous interpreters, officials seated at their desks… like scenes from movies. I tried to catch every second of those important moments. My speech, presented in French, reflected the goal number 16 of the United Nations Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. I mentioned the importance of freedom, peace and security, respect for all and international cooperation. Good governance and the rule of law at the national and international levels are essential for sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty. Also, I proposed to promote a culture of peace, and peace education in schools to understand the process of acquiring the values and developing the attitudes, skills, and behaviors to live in harmony with oneself, with others and with the natural environment. In this way, educational institutions will contribute to the formation of a set of values ​​to the younger generation. I am glad that my speech was appreciated by the officials of the General Assembly, who congratulated me.

I spent a week in New York. Being caught in the preparations for the speech and activities of the Global Youth Forum, I enjoyed the beauty and immensity of this city only two days. Nevertheless, I admired the most important tourist attractions like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, the American Museum of Natural History, 9/11 Memorial. Therefore, I want to return to this US metropolis and discover the most important financial city in the world. There, I realized the saying “Time is money”, because, actually, New York never sleeps.

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Daniela in NYC

In conclusion, I would like to thank the organizers for this amazing opportunity and to transmit a big hug to my colleagues, I miss them! I realized that when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. “

A short fragment of my speech in French: “ La paix n’est pas l’absence de guerre, c’est une vertu, un état d’esprit, une volonté de bienveillance, de confiance, de justice. À mon avis, il ne peut y avoir de paix sans développement, ni de développement sans paix. Nous ne pouvons pas éliminer la pauvreté, ni atteindre un développement durable sans traiter les conflits et l’insécurité: d’importants écarts de performance. La paix entre les nations est l’objectif de nombreuse ONG, associations pacifistes et organisations internationaux comme L’ONU. La paix, la justice et une gouvernance efficace sont les catalyseurs du développement. Tous les États devront réduire les risques de conflit et d’insécurité en promouvant la réduction de la corruption, l’égalité d’accès à la justice et à la sécurité et la participation de tous les groupes sociaux à la vie politique. Selon moi, la diplomatie et la coopération internationale sont les instruments de la paix dans le monde et le moyen le plus efficace pour combattre le racisme, la xénophobie et l’intolérance. Il faut considérer et suivre les mots de Mère Teresa: “La paix commence avec un sourire, faites-le pour la paix!”.

Daniela

Daniela Moisei is from Moldova and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Finance & Banking from the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova. She has been a radio presenter at Moldova’s national radio station for the past 5 years. She is President of the Students Council, coordinator of the project: “Students today, business women tomorrow,” a school for young entrepreneurs and volunteers of the International Center “La Strada”, aimed at combating human trafficking, and of the NGO “Youth for Right to Live”. In the future, Daniela plans to complete her master’s degree, and would like to work in a capacity that fosters connections between Moldova and the rest of the world. “My hobby is reading, it relaxes me, encourages me to think and expands my horizons.” moisei.daniela@gmail.com

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5 Helpful Blogs on New Year’s Resolutions for Students

January 2nd, 2015

2015

We hope your holidays were happy and fun and you’re ready to take on the New Year.

The start of the New Year is when many of us make resolutions in hopes of getting rid of bad habits and making positive changes to our lives. But for most, even those with the strongest willpower, sticking to our resolutions for the course of the year can become difficult. Life gets in the way and throws us off the track by inundating us with everyday tasks, the stress of juggling school, work, family, or all. We simply lose the motivation we had at the start of the year.

Don’t beat yourself up. Not being able to carry out all your New Year’s resolutions is nothing to be ashamed of! We can only imagine how challenging this must be for college students who have to balance school work and a social life and perhaps a part-time job while away from home and the support system offered by family.

We realize the popular New Year’s resolutions tend to be exercise more, lose weight, spend less and save more, but international and U.S. students can use this as an opportunity to prepare for the year ahead.

Here are a few blogs which we’d like to recommend that offer great tips on how to plan your New Year as a student:

5 Tips for Making a New Year’s Resolution for 2015 by Christina Bowers
http://www.aiuniv.edu/blog/december-2014/5-tips-on-making-a-new-years-resolution-for-2015

5 New Year’s Resolutions International Students Should Make, by Bryanna Davis

http://blog.internationalstudent.com/2014/12/5-new-years-resolutions-international-students-should-make/

7 New Year’s Resolutions for Students by Laura Bridgestock

http://www.topuniversities.com/blog/top-7-new-years-resolutions-students

College Student’s New Year’s Resolution by Dave Berry

http://www.collegeconfidential.com/admit/college-students-new-years-resolutions/

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for College Students

http://www.jiu.edu/blog/post/top-10-new-year’s-resolutions-college-students

But if you ask our advice, make only one resolution. Instead of packing a litany of resolutions on your list, try focusing on one and set a deadline. If you need the help and support of a friend, reach out to one and set up a buddy system, someone who can check in with you and see how you’re doing or you can check in with them and update them on your progress or give you a friendly nudge or reminder when needed. Getting one resolution checked off successfully from your list is a
huge accomplishment. You can always add a second one to the list.

And finally, don’t be hard on yourself. Have fun and make it a great year!

From all of us here at ACEI, we wish you a

2015_Happy_New_Year

ACEI

http://www.acei-global.org

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Helping Students from Conflict Zones Part I – Credentials Evaluation

October 2nd, 2014

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Photo credit: http://www.dnaindia.com

The devastating impact on education brought on by conflict, civil wars, foreign invasions and occupations, and environmental disasters is huge. Each and everyday we hear and read news reports on conflict regions around the world. Displacement of people, the disintegration of infrastructure, destruction of education structures, breakdown of school systems through absence of teachers and unsafe environments for teaching and learning are all direct results of such calamities.

Education that may have been accessible to both sexes and peoples of different religious beliefs, and races prior to the period of conflict may suddenly be permanently disrupted and perhaps even limited by sex, race and religion. Where once women of all ages may have had access to education, that opportunity may be taken away from them during the times of conflict and war.

Civil unrest, wars and environmental disasters lead to displacement of people from their homelands fleeing to safer friendlier (or at times, not so welcoming) neighboring countries giving rise to refugee camps; the numbers of which continue to multiply each day as a new region becomes afflicted with conflict. At times makeshift schools with the help of NGO’s, religious charities and UNICEF are set up in refugee camps offering the displaced children some semblance of normalcy. The Zaatari camp in Jordan is the now the 2nd largest refugee camp in the world with a population approaching 150,000.

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Photo credit: WISE – A makeshift school by UNICEF in Zaatari, a
Syrian Refugee camp in Jordan

Some families manage to make their way out of the camps and to countries that allow them entry to settle as political refugees. In most cases, many have fled their homes with little or no belongings, much less their academic transcripts and diplomas. Then there are those who amidst the chaos and conflict choose to remain, unable to leave, trapped in a situation which they cannot control and forced to adjust to the ‘new normal’ as best as they can, given the difficult challenges that have disrupted their lives.

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Photo credit: AFP – A Palestinian boy in a shrapnel riddled
school in the Gaza Strip

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Photo Credit:Wikipedia – Rocket fired from Gaza hits a
kindergarten classroom in Beer Sheva, Southern Israeli.

How do the international admissions and credential evaluation professionals, assist those who have fled unimaginable circumstances and arrived with the proverbial shirts on their backs? Think Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Haiti, Palestine, Sudan. One thing to be sure is that these individuals did not arrive in our country with the intention of studying as international students. They are not afforded that luxury which means the regular requirements we have in place whether for admission or evaluation do not apply. They may have financial issues, lack adequate documents that may have been damaged or partially completed because of the conflict, are unable to request their schools or universities to issue official transcripts to be sent elsewhere, or have fraudulent documents, and may even suffer psychologically and physically from the trauma brought on by their experiences.

Academic Credentials
Collect all documents the individual is able to provide; these could be partial transcripts, a certificate or diploma, report cards. If they have the originals, request to have them submitted with the promise they will be returned once reviewed.

Academic History
Request they provide a detailed chronology of their education beginning with their elementary school, with names, address, dates of attendance and any diplomas/certificates they received

Verification of Dates
Check the dates on their educational chronology against documented information you have on file about the country or region in question to see if they corroborate.

Contact In-country Sources
If there is a U.S. Embassy in the country from which your applicant has fled, reach out to the OSEAS Offices or REACs for assistance with verification.

Given the precarious nature of documents from conflict zones, we must exercise due diligence in vetting the information provided and do the best we can. After all, we may never know if the recently arrived refugee on our shores will be the next Albert Einstein or Madeleine Albright. For a list of famous (and not so-famous) refugees making a difference, click on this link:
Famous (and Not-So-Famous) Refugees Making a Difference

Please share your tips and experiences you have had with helping refugee students.

[In Part II of this blog I will offer tips to international admissions officers at U.S. schools and colleges in ways they can help students from conflict zones.]

Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert
Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert
President & CEO, ACEI

ACEI

http://www.acei-global.org

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15 Facts on South Korean Student Flows

June 19th, 2014

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When I first traveled to South Korea in 2001 and visited with officials at the Ministry of Education and at a number of the universities, there were 45,685 South Korean students studying in the U.S. The numbers grew to 75,065 in 2008/09 but began to show a dip to 72,153 in 2009/10.

In this blog, we’ll provide an overview of the flow of students from South Korea and factors that may have an impact on the rise or decline of the numbers of students seeking higher education in the U.S.

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1. Korea is the third largest source of international students to the U.S. after China and India.

2. More than 70,000 South Koreans studied on U.S. campuses in 2012–2013.

3. Korean parents place their children in U.S.-based private and public schools to have a better chance of being admitted to a U.S. college. (For example, at the University of Illinois, more than 69% of the Korean students admitted came directly from U.S. based high schools. Source: NAFSA International Education Magazine, April 2014)

4. According to the National Association of Independent Schools, Koreans are being quickly replaced by Chinese secondary students as the largest group of international students at independent schools. According to a report from the Association of Boarding Schools, Korean enrollments in member schools plunged 31 percent between 2010–2011 and 2012–2013 (from 3,800 to 2,600).

5. U.S. institutions continue to remain the favorite destination for study by South Korean students but the numbers are dropping as students are also looking at Canada as an alternative.

6. In 2012, 30.7 percent of Koreans studied in the United States, compared with 26.3 percent in China, 8.6 percent in Canada, 8.4 percent in Japan, and 7.2 percent in Australia, according to the Fulbright Commission in Seoul. Australia is aggressively marketing in South Korea to attract students to its institutions.

7. The rising cost of higher education in the U.S. and even Canada, Australia, Japan, is forcing South Korean students to look elsewhere, like Philippines and Malta, where education is affordable and English is the language of instruction. However, the number of students heading to these countries is very low. (According to Ministry of Education data from Fulbright Commission the share of South Koreans studying in the Philippines in 2010 and 2011 went from 1.1 to 1.2 percent, or to 3,238 students.)

8. The three factors that impact decisions made by South Koreans on studying abroad include: cost, value, and prestige. Most consider the cost of living in the UK as too high and consider U.S. universities as more prestigious than others

9. Prospective job applicants find that upon return to South Korea, employers prefer selecting a graduate from a U.S. institution.

10. In light of the weak job market for college graduates, a more popular option for Koreans is vocational schools that will be going through curriculum changes to include more hands-on training.

11. China is proving to be the Korean students’ second favored study abroad destination after the U.S. (According to the Wall Street Journal statistics: the number of Korean students flocking across the Yellow Sea to China grew more than three-fold between 2001 and 2012, from 16,000 to almost 63,000.)

12. More and more Korean companies are looking to hire college graduates who speak both fluent English and Chinese, since China is a key trading partner of South Korea.

13. On the other hand, many South Korean college graduates returning home are finding that the employers prefer hiring local college graduates as they see them to be less expensive and less inclined to change jobs.

14. Despite a weak economy and skyrocketing household debt, in 2012, Korean families spent $20 billion on private education (half of government education spending), or 2 percent of Korea’s GDP which makes education the nation’s largest spending area before defense expenditures.

15. The flow of Korean students to U.S. and abroad is contingent on whether Korean universities commit to reforms that will help their ranking on the list of top schools in the world. If they do not improve their ranking on the global level, South Korean students will continue to seek higher education opportunities in the U.S. and abroad.

Alan

Alan A. Saidi
Senior Vice President & COO, ACEI, Inc.
www.acei1.com

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Chinese student challenge: How to support them in succeeding in the U.S. educational system

May 29th, 2014

CGACC

On May 20, 2014, Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, President & CEO of the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI) and Sid Krommenhoek, Founder of Zinch, presented a webinar hosted by CGACC on China and the challenges Chinese students pose for U.S. colleges and universities.

According to the 2013 Educational Exchange Data from the Institute for International Education (IIE) Open Doors, in the 2012/13 academic year, 235,597 students from China were studying in the United States; a 21% increases from the previous year. China remains the leading place of origin for students coming to the U.S.

The reasons for this boost in numbers can be linked to China’s growing middle-class affluence, especially when concentrated on a single child and the country’s higher education system not being able to meet the demands of its people. We can also attribute this upsurge to budget cuts at U.S. universities giving rise to the need for institutions to increase reviewed by recruiting abroad and the easing of the stringent student-vise policies that were implement immediately after 9/11.

It is difficult to predict if the huge percentage increases we’ve witnessed in Chinese undergraduate enrollment will continue but at least in the short-term China continues to represent the largest market of undergraduate international students heading to the U.S. One of the single biggest problems concerning Chinese students is the prevalence of document fraud in the application and evaluation process and the uncertainty of the quality of their prior education.

In the webinar, Sid Krommenhoek spoke extensively about China’s state-run education system being overrun by bribery and cronyism. It’s not unusual for parents to bribe school officials to get their children into elite schools, retain agents who will falsify recommendation letters, financial statements, academic transcripts and other documents needed to satisfy admission requirements to a U.S. college or university. Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert offered helpful tips for admissions counselors and credential evaluators to consider when dealing with transcripts and degrees from China.

The audio and presentation slides of this webinar which Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert of ACEI and Sid Krommenhoek attended are available for free at this link:

http://goo.gl/W1yCWr

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For-Profit Colleges, MOOCs, and the Future of Higher Education

December 19th, 2013

Salford Business School launches unique open access online course

Earlier this week I read a piece on the Huffington Post about some for-profit colleges making false promises of guaranteeing employment on graduation to lure students. In fact, these colleges created fake jobs to attract the students. How did they pull it off? By paying employers $2000 to hire their students for a month or two and then laying them off. Now why would these colleges do this, you may ask? The answer is that a solid job placement rates allow the for-profit colleges and their parent companies, to satisfy the accrediting bodies that oversee their numerous campuses spread across the U.S., while enabling them to “tap federal student aid coffers — a source of funding that has reached nearly $10 billion over the last decade.” Are you as outraged as I am about this fakery? Best that you read the post for all the gory details; I frankly don’t have the stomach.

Why are people willing to pay top dollar (one student paid $17,000 for a nine-month certificate program in air-conditioning and refrigeration) and fall into long-term debt when they can easily take the same courses at a fraction of the cost at a local community college? Perhaps the community colleges need to advertise and market themselves more, but I guess they need resources to do that which may not be so easy when competing with the for-profits.

I heard a report on KCRW’s To the Point on MOOCs, those Massive Open On-Line Courses which were all the rage a year or so ago, so much so that many were predicting the demise of the traditional brick and mortar institutions of higher learning. Two years ago, Stanford University attracted 160,000 students to take a MOOC. There was a lot of giddy chatter on how MOOCs will shake up the status quo with its promise of making higher education available to millions who otherwise can’t afford it. College professors began to fear losing their jobs. Panic had set in. Yet, despite big investment from Stanford, Harvard, MIT and Silicon Valley, MOOC’s have not lived up to the hype and haven’t revolutionized higher education. It appears that many of those who enroll in a MOOC do not complete the course which means the completion rate of MOOCs is not too promising. But, with millions invested, online education isn’t going away, though as a mass movement it’s not going to replace traditional routes to higher education any time soon.

In her post on October 9, 2013 in CampusTechnology, an online blog, Dian Schaffhauser reports: “A coalition of faculty groups has declared war against online learning, particularly massive open online courses (MOOCs), because it said it believes that the fast expansion of this form of education is being promulgated by corporations — specifically for-profit colleges and universities and education technology companies — at the expense of student education and public interest.” Interesting how the same for-profit colleges are the ones who are also moving in and incorporating the MOOCs into their program structure. Up until now, MOOCs have been cost free to those who enroll in an on-line course, but once these MOOCs are picked up by for-profit colleges, there goes the no-cost benefit to the learner.

If there is a point to my rant, it’s that these extreme attempts made to “revolutionize” higher education, whether through offering accelerated training programs with promises of guaranteed employment at their completion or access to on-line education to anyone and anywhere, are just that: extreme and profit-driven. I’m all for accessible and affordable higher education, not accessible with a high price tag and false promises.

Oh, and Happy Holidays and catch you next year!


The Frustrated Evaluator
www.acei1.com

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