The 2014 Higher Ed Seminar Agenda

Friday, Sept. 5

11 a.m. Tour of Southern Methodist University (optional)

Laura Lee Blanton Building, Southern Methodist University

12-1 p.m. Lunch & Welcome

Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall Room 138/144 and Atrium
  • Caroline Hendrie, EWA
  • David J. Chard, Southern Methodist University Simmons School of Education & Human Development
  • Kevin Corcoran, Lumina Foundation

1-2 p.m. What Should the College Student Experience Look Like in the 21st Century?

Simmons Hall Room 138/144

Can the United States continue to sustain financially the notion of residential college experience?  What are parents and students expecting when they choose a college?  How has the rise of the “value consumer” altered the landscape of the 21st Century college campus?  How will the changing demographics (e.g., increased calls for accountability in higher education, MOOCs, and other models for delivering education) affect the traditional residential experience?

  • Mark Milliron, Civitas
  • Alexander McCormick, National Survey of Student Engagement/Indiana University
  • Michael McLendon, Southern Methodist University
  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed (moderator)

2:15-3:30 p.m. (Community) College Readiness

Simmons Hall Room 138/144

While high schools across the nation have increasingly turned their attention toward making their graduates “college and career ready,” many community colleges are pondering the best way to educate those adults who enroll underprepared. One approach that appears to be gaining momentum—in Connecticut, Florida and Texas, for example— is to eliminate developmental or remedial education offerings altogether, arguing that these costly courses deter students from earning degrees.

  • David Baime, American Association of Community Colleges
  • Elisabeth Barnett, Community College Research Center
  • Patrick Saxon, Sam Houston State University/National Association for Developmental Education
  • Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education (moderator)

3:45-5 p.m. The Data Deluge: Can Student Information Improve Completion?

Simmons Hall Room 138/144

Is keeping students on track to earn a degree as simple as just sending them text messages reminding them to register for classes and renew financial aid? That’s one element of “predictive analytics,” which is the use of detailed student data—from demographic background to grades on recent homework assignments—to guide students toward academic success. With as many as 150 colleges and universities already using some form of analytics, what do journalists need to know about the pros and cons of how these systems work?

  • Shari Garmise, Association of Public Land-Grant Universities
  • Ed Venit, Education Advisory Board
  • Stephanie Dupaul, Southern Methodist University
  • Libby Nelson, Vox (moderator)

5-6 p.m. Attitude Adjustment: The Impact of Mentoring and Psychology

Simmons Hall Room 138/144

Academics are just part of the story for many students entering college – a whole new culture of learning awaits them. But if they are first-generation college students, those cultural challenges can derail a promising postsecondary career. New research is exploring the effects mentoring programs and brief psychological interventions can have on low-income, minority and first-generation students. What can colleges do to promote resiliency and support student well-being for all students?  Are such efforts merely too much “coddling” of students by campuses?

  • Buffy Smith, St. Thomas College
  • Greg Walton, Stanford University
  • Allie Grasgreen, Politico Pro (moderator)

6-7:30 p.m. Dinner: R. Gerald Turner, President, Southern Methodist University

Meadows Museum

7:30 p.m. Reception

Meadows Museum

Saturday, Sept. 6

8-9:30 a.m. Breakfast & Keynote: Ted Mitchell, U.S. Under Secretary of Education

Ernst Young Gallery, Fincher Building, Southern Methodist University

9:30-10:30 a.m.  Ratings and Rankings: What They Really Mean for Colleges and Universities

Simmons Hall Room 138/144

As the higher ed community eagerly awaits the details of President Obama’s plan to rate colleges and universities and perhaps tie their access to federal funding to their performance, third-party rankings and ratings of colleges and universities continue to proliferate. What effects do these reports have on the priorities of these institutions and how should journalists interpret each new list of “bests”?

  • Terry Hartle, American Council on Education
  • Kim Clark, Money
  • Michelle Asha Cooper, Institute for Higher Education Policy
  • Holly Hacker, The Dallas Morning News (moderator)

10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Campus Sexual Assaults: Understanding the Angles

Simmons Hall Room 138/144

Since 2011, when the U.S. Department of Education made clear that schools’ failure to address incidents of sexual assault adequately could trigger Title IX penalties, this problem—which has long been a taboo topic in higher education—has become the flashpoint issue on campuses across the nation. Each new incident showcases conflicting perspectives, ranging from those of advocates who say colleges are failing victims to men who think the new policy guidelines are stacked against them. Some question whether institutions should even be involved or are these matters better left to police? How can journalists better weigh the critical issues that arise when these incidents and attacks occur?

  • John Foubert, One in Four/Oklahoma State University
  • Ada Meloy, American Council on Education
  • Tyler Kingkade, The Huffington Post
  • TBA

12-1 p.m. Lunch

Ernst Young Gallery, Fincher Building

1:15-2:30 p.m. Building Better Stories: Covering the Student Experience

Simmons Hall Room 138/144

Journalists brainstorm story ideas and share their reporting and advice with one another.

2:30-3:30 p.m. College Sports for Education Reporters

Simmons Hall Room 138/144

Star athletes accused of sexual assault. Student athletes forming their own labor unions and winning judgments that say they are eligible to profit from their popularity. Academic fraud. While stories such as these typically have been the turf of sports reporters, it’s becoming more important for education reporters to stay ahead of these issues. Two experts on the interplay between athletics and academics offer their insights.

  • Amy Perko, Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Jodi Upton, USA Today
  • Paul Ward, Southern Methodist University

3:30-4:30 p.m. The 10 Higher Ed Stories You Should Be Covering This Year

Simmons Hall Room 138/144
  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed