the past year, the U.S. economy continued its slow but steady return from the Great Recession of 2008. In last year’s Top 100 analysis, we illustrated how the recovery was manifest in slight downturns in numbers of typically vocationally oriented certificate conferrals from their record high levels in 2010 and 2011.
Each year, ITC has asked distance education administrators to rank the challenges they face with regard to administering online courses. From 2004 to 2010, their number-one challenge was a lack of proper support staff to help them train faculty and provide technical assistance to faculty and students.
With their widely varying missions, enrollments and demographic characteristics, community colleges defy efforts to rank them. Colleges in urban areas bear little resemblance to those in rural settings, making most ranking efforts futile.
College students clash with administrators over steeply rising tuition. Public employees shut down statehouses amid cuts to pay and retirement benefits. Teachers and social welfare advocates protest budget cuts. Lawmakers struggle to cope with sharp declines in tax revenue.
At a meeting with college leaders, President Barack Obama was looking for ideas. Amid record budget deficits, can Washington actually do anything to help make American colleges less expensive and more productive?
Louisiana’s lawmakers have repeatedly refused proposals to change the state’s free college tuition program called TOPS. In recent years, they’ve rejected caps on funding, repayment by students who lose the awards because of poor grades and bids to tie the money to students’ financial need.