Archive for April 4, 2013

Trends in CS Enrollments at Small, Liberal Arts Colleges

Great to see some data on what’s going on at smaller schools, not just in the doctoral-granting institutions.  On average, as much of an upswing as what’s reported in the Taulbee, but not all schools reporting increases.  Interesting analyses of what’s working and what’s not.

What contributes to the program’s success? Faculty involvement, quality teaching, and enthusiasm for undergraduate research. Flexibility with prerequisites and independent studies. Outreach. Interdisciplinary projects. Growing knowledge/visibility about CS and its broad usefulness, including awareness among faculty colleagues. The job market. Multiple introductory courses/sections. Inclusion in general distribution requirements. Becoming a separate department. Stable set of faculty. Students choosing first-semester courses themselves.


Decline?  External forces/national trends. Not enough faculty to offer enough spaces in lower level courses. Faculty turnover. Student rumor mill (regarding a potential cut).

via Trends in CS Enrollments at Small, Liberal Arts Colleges (BoF Survey Results) – Google Drive.

April 4, 2013 at 1:44 am 1 comment

NYTimes rejects the MOOCopalypse

NYTimes gets it.  The quote below reflects my concerns about replacing courses with MOOCs. I particularly enjoyed the reference to the proposed “New University of California” (whose online-tests-only degrees sound like what the University of Wisconsin just agreed to) as “particularly ludicrous.”

The same California State Legislature that cut the higher education budget to ribbons, while spending ever larger sums on prisons, now proposes to magically set things right by requiring public colleges and universities to offer more online courses. The problem is that online courses as generally configured are not broadly useful. They work well for highly skilled, highly motivated students but are potentially disastrous for large numbers of struggling students who lack basic competencies and require remedial education. These courses would be a questionable fit for first-time freshmen in the 23-campus California State University system, more than 60 percent of whom need remedial instruction in math, English or both.

via Resurrecting California’s Public Universities – NYTimes.com.

April 4, 2013 at 1:41 am 15 comments


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