Shiny toys and learning specialists

There are a couple of posts from the Chronicle of Higher Education’s blog definitely worth your attention.

  • Two UGA doctoral students have published a study that suggests a change of conferences is good for a school’s academic health:  “On average, colleges that moved to a new league saw about a 3-percent decrease in their admit rate (meaning they became more selective) and a 5-percent increase in their admission yield rate (more admitted students enrolled) three years after joining the new conference. The ACT scores of incoming students increased by more than .29 points. And the colleges saw a net gain of about 130 applications per year three years after their moves.”  It appears that media attention about the shiny toy of a new setting pays off in more ways than just getting a bigger TV check.
  • It’s no secret that plenty of student-athletes entering big time college football are woefully unprepared for the rigors of academics on their new level.  In response, many schools have stepped up their academic support for those kids.  How much of what is being done for student-athletes is something that can be translated over to the general student population?  If the answer to that is plenty, should that change schools’ admission policies?  (And make sure you read the article linked in the first sentence of the post.  It’ll get you.)


Filed under Academics? Academics.

2 responses to “Shiny toys and learning specialists

  1. stoopnagle

    I can see how moving leagues can impact admissions. In BC’s case, there might be more to it than the move. I’m sure they controlled for what they could (Kraemer, at least, is rather clever with statistical models); but I wonder how much of it was BC affiliating with a southern-centric league (i.e., a region with little knowledge of BC and with growing #s of HS grads; the latter is hard to control if you don’t know where the students are coming from). TCU could have seen changes in those areas simply as a matter of policy. It’s rather easy for institutions to tinker with selectivity (I mean, UGA does this all the time by encouraging students with no chance of admission to apply anyway: marketization FTW!).

    Generally, I have a difficult time buying in to changes increasing selectivity or yield, simply because most of the country has experienced historical increases in the number of HS graduates over the last ten years. We talk about UGA’s selectivity w/r/t HOPE (and that’s accurate) but GA is one of the highest growth states in the south in terms of population over the last 20 years. There are just more eligible students nationwide (and more specifically across the southeast, Texas and west).

    In any case, it’d be interesting to see them apply their model to UTSA, Georgia State, et. al. and look at how starting programs in football then making those jumps impact admissions w/r/t access.


  2. Go Dawgs!

    The Dasmine Cathey story is heartbreaking. I have a lot of respect for the way he is struggling through a hopeless situation and I respect the courage that it must take to stand up and get help and to help yourself in an academic situation like that.

    I have a real problem with colleges passing kids at his level of semi-illiteracy, though. The examples of work that he turned in for his mass communication class that received (barely) passing grades weren’t even worthy of passing grades in a high school course. I get that the course wasn’t an English composition class, but at the university level, that type of work is unacceptable. I realize that these instructors believe that they are helping him out, but I’m not sure that’s what they’re doing. Somebody’s going to end up looking to hire him as a graduate of the University of Memphis, and they’re going to end up pretty disappointed with what they’re actually getting. If Memphis wants to make this kid into a project, then make him into one. Fail him on the courses but let him stay in school and stay on scholarship and keep teaching him until he’s ready to pass legitimately.