What’s Dennis Reading? – 10/8/2014

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Is It Finally Time to Kill the Credit Hour?
by Carol Geary Schneider, Liberal Education

It has been proposed by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to reimagine the credit hour as it is currently being used in higher education and find a way to measure competency more accurately. Even though an alternative to the credit hour is being worked toward, federal actions related to accreditation have given the credit hour more currency. States have begun to tie performance incentives to simplistic measures of productivity, using the credit hour as an indication of what is produced with the time and money invested by students and the state.

The Whole Truth About Student Debt in 17 Charts
by Matt Phillips, The Atlantic

With almost $1 trillion in outstanding student loans, Americans have accumulated a significant amount of debt from going to school. This is partly caused by things like more people going to college in the U.S. and the rising cost of college (up more than 1,100% in the last 35 years).

At Homecomings and Reunions, Life Marches By
by Barry Glassner and Morton Schapiro, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Despite things like gender, generation or race, alums who return to campus generally have one thing in common: happiness. This is partly due to self-selection. If you’re disappointed with the realities of your career or relationships, or having trouble making ends meet, you’re not as likely to attend your college reunion. The Grant Study can shed additional light upon why alums who attend homecomings and reunions generally seem like a happy bunch. The study, which included following the lives of students who entered Harvard around 1940, produced some clues on the nature of happiness. They found that in order to lead a satisfying life, one must find positive outlets for feelings. For example, students who are aggressive by nature might participate in sports. Surprisingly, factors like childhood temperament were not significant factors to happiness. The motivation for happy graduates to return to campus lies in the fact that it was on that campus that they developed foundations for a satisfying life, whether that was in the classroom or on a sports field.

We Need Better Managers, Not More Technocrats 
by Didier Bonnet and George Westerman, Harvard Business Review

Though technology has the potential to increase prosperity, digital transformation is what will be needed to fulfill technology’s potential. Leaders will have to engage their people in a process of redefining how they work and what their companies do. Digital transformation is therefore the key managerial imperative for today’s business leaders.

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