Monday, May 6, 2013

Is College Worth It?

That is the question asked by Catherine Rampell in this article in the New York Times.  Based on the latest Labor Department report, the answer is that "college graduates have suffered through the recession and lackluster recovery with remarkable resilience":

The unemployment rate for college graduates in April was a mere 3.9 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for the work force as a whole, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. Even when the jobless rate for college graduates was at its very worst in this business cycle, in November 2010, it was still just 5.1 percent. That is close to the jobless rate the rest of the work force experiences when the economy is good.  
Among all segments of workers sorted by educational attainment, college graduates are the only group that has more people employed today than when the recession started.  
The number of college-educated workers with jobs has risen by 9.1 percent since the beginning of the recession. Those with a high school diploma and no further education are practically a mirror image, with employment down 9 percent on net. For workers without even a high school diploma, employment levels have fallen 14.1 percent.
Another way to look at it:
In 2012, the typical full-time worker with a bachelor’s degree earned 79 percent more than a similar full-time worker with no more than a high school diploma. For comparison, 20 years earlier the premium was 73 percent, and 30 years earlier it was 48 percent.

Friday, May 3, 2013

History in Big and Small Things

Many recent surveys suggest that Americans are lamentably weak when it comes to knowing the history of their own country. This story by Alexandra Petri in the Washington Post adds some more evidence and perhaps suggests one of the causes. The popular American Girl doll series used to tell stories about girls in such historical settings as the Civil War and Colonial America, and playing with these dolls would give children at least some familiarity with historical events and periods. No more. In an effort to become 'relevant', the new American Girl "Looks Just Like You":

Even more terrible things are happening to the American Girl doll brand than you thought

Dear American Girl,
What, what, what are you doing?
The Atlantic points out the dreadful change that the once-famed catalog of historic yet personable dolls is slowly undergoing. Forget Samantha the Victorian girl, Molly the plucky World War II doll with the Victory Garden, or original Colonial girl Felicity. Felicity’s been retired to the Upstate Doll Farm. So’s Samantha. Kirsten the pioneer? Gone. Instead, get a Girl of the Year, or a My American Girl who Looks Just Like You.
Full disclosure: I never had an American Girl doll but I got the catalog every month, read it cover-to-cover, and subscribed to the magazine. My parents offered to buy me Kirsten, the one who looked like me, but she had, in my 9-year-old opinion, a boring story. Her adventure was being part of a pioneer family. Trek across the country with your Scandinavian family in a slow, bulky vehicle without air-conditioning? I did that every summer.
But compared to what’s on the market now, Kirsten was adventure itself. At one point in her story, someone dies of cholera. She has to tangle with winter and rough conditions and being forced to dress up as Santa Lucia.
Here is the story of McKenna, the 2012 American Girl of the year: ”Ten-year-old McKenna Brooks has always excelled in school and in gymnastics. So when her grades suddenly fall, McKenna begins to doubt herself. With the help of a new friend, McKenna learns to focus on her strengths to overcome her challenges, one step at a time. But just as she begins to shine in school, McKenna is sidelined with a gymnastics injury. Will McKenna be able to springboard to success again?”

Study Abroad Opportunities

The Global Education Office has announced the 2014 study tours and summer programs.  Each program has a video presentation, brochure, link to be added to an interest list, and website.  For more information, please see here:

FACULTY LED TOURS – Open to all majors

“Footsteps of Paul in Greece”
Dr. David Aune, Religion Department
Spring Break: February 28-March 9, 2014
Pending approval for GPS Course with Study Away
Humanities Core Class

“Navajo Immersion”, Arizona (pending AU approval)
Professor Sharon See, Nursing & Health Sciences
May 11-17, 2014
Approved for GPS Course with Study Away

“Europe Ablaze: World War II in Western Europe”
England, France, Belgium & Germany
Dr. John Moser, History/Political Science Department
June 7-20, 2014
Pending Approval for Border Crossing


AU in Costa Rica
Academic Coordinator: Dr. Barb Schmidt-Rinehart
Departure Date: May 17, 2014 (4, 6 or 8 week program)
Fulfills GPS Modern Language Track
AU in Germany (pending AU approval)
May 12-June 7, 2014
Pending Approval for GPS Course with Study Away
AU courses offered (students take 2):
     REL 33SGL, Luther & the Reformation, HUM core, Dr. David Aune
     HIS 113, Western Civilization II, Historical Reasoning core, Dr. Rene Paddags
     ENG 332, Global Film, AES & Border Crossing core, Dr. Maura Grady
COBE in Taiwan
June 22-August 3, 2014
Academic Coordinator: Dr. Khush Pittenger
Fulfills the GPS Global Studies Track
Three courses offered (students take all):
     Taiwan Business Culture, 3 credits
     Chinese Language, 3 credits
     BUS 239/339/439, Internship, 3 credits awarded in the returning fall semester


EDUC 788: Global Perspectives in Education, London
Dr. Rosaire Ifedi
June 10-24, 2014 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013