Monthly Archives: March 2012

Syllabus Review (HUM225/455/470)


It’s expected that students will arrive on time having completed the assigned work and in possession of the appropriate text for the class meeting. With the exception of the midterm and in-class work, all assignments should be typed with name/date/course. Turn off all electronic devices. In the interests of basic courtesy, please do not text, sleep, or surf in class.

Academically Adrift

In a recent column at counterpunch Alexander Cockburn referenced a study titled Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses which was published about a year ago. The conclusions reached by this study were alarming. Consider the following from a review posted on Inside Higher Education:

“How much are students actually learning in contemporary higher education? The answer for many undergraduates, we have concluded, is not much,” write the authors, Richard Arum, professor of sociology and education at New York University, and Josipa Roksa, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. For many undergraduates, they write, “drifting through college without a clear sense of purpose is readily apparent.”

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The future will be frozen

From the LA Times:

California State University officials made a big announcement on Monday, saying that they plan to freeze enrollment next spring at most campuses and wait-list all applicants the following fall because of budget uncertainty.

The current crisis in higher education is the result of specific economic policies put in place only in the last 40 years. At issue here is neoliberalism. See this informed and incisive post by Brad Borevitz:

How did we go from free public higher education to a system so expensive it requires crippling levels of student debt? If education is still a public good, why have we shifted the burden of paying for it to youth­ who have to mortgage their future in order to learn? And why have we started to ration education?  Enrollment has been cut across the system: the 2010 school year saw drops of 68,000 students at community colleges, 20,000 at the CSUs.