What’s Dennis Reading – January 23rd with Guest Reader Dan Friedman!

This week, Vice President Dennis Pruitt is reading:

Create an Esprit-de-Corps Culture” by Margo Vanover Porter Dennis Pruitt

One of greatest ways to increase overall productivity and involvement in the workplace is by building a community that supports creativity and thrives on communication. Porter breaks down different methods that can be used in the workplace to help create a better sense of community, and allow workers to feel the importance of the work that they are contributing to the rest of the group.

Shift to Merit Scholarships Stir Debate” by Jennifer Levitz and Scott Thurm 

As the state of Georgia is faced with the problem of figuring out how to save the HOPE scholarship, many other states are faced with the dilemma of deciding if merit-based scholarships should go to the highest-achieving students, regardless of family income. This article by Levitz and Thurm allow us to look at the statistics and join in the debate ourselves. Who deserves state scholarships: those with high academic achievements or individuals who have strong financial need?

This week Dan Friedman, director of U101, is reading:

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Knocking at the College Door” 

Now in its 8th edition, this report from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) (and written by one of my best friends) forecasts projections of high school graduates through 2028 by state and race/ethnicity. This seminal report is an invaluable tool for enrollment mangers and policy makers as they plan for the next fifteen years. According to the report, from 1990-2011, colleges and universities benefited from a consistently growing number of high school graduates. However, “that period of abundance appears to be about to end.” The nation is now entering a period of modest decline in the number of high school graduates, which is due in part to declining birth rates. Also, as projected in other reports, the racial and ethnic makeup of graduating classes are rapidly becoming more diverse. While the overall birthrate is declining, there are significant variances by state and region. After a few years of projected declines, South Carolina will actually experience a slight uptick in the number of high school graduates after 2017-18.  Check out the website for the full report, individual state profiles, and a tool for obtaining customizable data tables and graphs.

Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology” by John Dunlosky, Katherine A. Rawson, Elizabeth J. Marsh, Mitchell J. Nathan, and Daniel T. Willingham

Many of us in the Division work with students to help them develop and practice effective learning strategies. But are we providing the best recommendations that are supported by the latest literature? I encourage everyone to read through this new report from the Association of Psychological Science about which strategies best promote learning. What works best? According to the report, taking practice tests and spreading out study sessions over time were rated as having high utility. Highlighting and rereading material were found to be least effective. It might be useful to make sure our recommendations are in line with the latest research findings.

* Note that access to some articles may require you to sign up for a free account.

Let Dennis or Dan know your opinion about these articles, or if you have any suggestions for future articles!

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