Blogs

The Taking Away of ‘Ability to Benefit’

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By Kevin Kuzma, Online Editor

We were standing at an interior window, looking in on them like they were newborn babies.

“These are Ability to Benefit students,” the campus president said.

He had led us through the first two floors of the building and we’d just begun touring the third. The campus has a hospital feel – polished floors, long rectangular windows with tiny square patterns in them, gurneys pushed up against the walls, an x-ray machine, and skeletons hanging at the front of several classrooms.

Their test began about four o’clock. The students were seated around three long tables arranged in a U-shape. At the front of the classroom, the test moderator sat at a small table watching them.

“I was telling you about them earlier,” he continued. He …

Fear and Loathing in Student Recruitment

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By Kevin Kuzma, Online Editor

At its core, college recruitment is the act of convincing a potential student to choose one institution over another – and in that regard, it’s sales.

As plain as it is to explain it that way, such a statement puts a charge of fear through the collective hearts of college administrators and academicians. The “s-word” is a no-no, and so is any sort of analogy that relates the process of helping a potential student choose a college with any tactic that works to move their idle hands. They do not want to create the impression that students are overly pressured into making their selection despite the basic understanding among them about the best ways to attract students and … let’s choose our …

Career Colleges Facing Extinction Despite Embracing Change

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By Kevin Kuzma, Online Editor

Newspapers were once the autocratic way we learned about what was happening in our world. They were printed, loaded onto delivery trucks and thrown on our doorsteps every morning with flat thuds that were so heavy with the weight of printed pages on Sunday mornings, the sound sometimes woke us.

I doubt the Sunday paper wakes anyone up anymore. If you still subscribe to the print edition (I’m guessing most of you don’t), the Sunday paper size is a little light.

There are several others examples of industries we thought that could never be toppled facing extinction. Some needed the support of the government to turn things around. Others needed to cope with the evolution of technology and the ways of society changing. …

Boredom in Washington

By Kevin Kuzma

The last time I was in Washington, it was a few weeks before Christmas and most of the members of Congress had gone home to their districts. I was wandering the streets with a city full of people with nothing better to do than move from hotel lobby to hotel lobby to knock back a few cocktails. The atmosphere was something like an office when the boss has the day off – a city that is normally welcoming was positively jovial to have access to so many bars.

I had a lot of fun those few days. But the thought never left me that there were weeks, months, and possibly longer on Capitol Hill when little worthwhile governing is accomplished – and if it …

How It Happens: Average Families Getting Behind

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By Kevin Kuzma, Online Editor

While it remains a continual struggle for us, my children and I have managed to attain what most Americans would constitute “average family” status.

We bought a house in a decent neighborhood last summer. According to their teachers, all three of them are doing fine in school. My 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son are beginning to divide their free time between fist fights and online gaming. On the surface, all is … average.

If something were to happen to us – like a sudden lottery win or the death of a distant, well-off relative – the newspapers would use that terminology to describe our lives before our sudden windfall. So would the people who know us. We are making it as the economy …

How $8 Billion for Community Colleges Became a Reality: A Fictional Conversation

By Kevin Kuzma, Online Editor

The following is a work of fiction.

“Good morning, Mr. President,” said Secretary Duncan as he entered the Oval Office.

“Come in, Arne. Have a seat. I’ll be right with you.”

Secretary Duncan sits across from the President whose attention is focused on his laptop. The President closes the lid and Duncan’s face is there.

“Ok, Arne. Let’s chat real fast.”

“How about those Bulls?”

“They are looking pretty tough. That Rose kid is a real heart attack. Ok, Arne. I wanted to meet with you first. I don’t think we need to discuss this with our full team of advisers.”

“What’s that, sir?”

“The community colleges plan."

“You know I’m a K-12 guy. Whatever you say goes … but we did leave the plan a bit … open, sir."

“How …

New APSCU Leader Prepared for Career College Mission

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At age 23, Steve Gunderson was talked in to running for a state senate seat in Wisconsin.

He was a college student at the time on the way to becoming something very different from an elected official. He was taking courses to be a broadcaster, not a politician.

Despite being a long-shot, Gunderson pulled out an improbable victory and would serve three terms in the Wisconsin State Legislature. After three terms in Madison, he would go on to a powerful career in the U.S. Senate spanning eight terms or 16 years, including his longstanding service as a member of the Education & the Workforce committee.

The experience he amassed in the political realm would eventually strike a perfect balance with the vocation he had practiced in professional baseball …

Traditional Colleges’ Bad Bedside Manner Sets Them Up for ‘Gainful’ Failure

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The notion clashes with just about every aspect of the foundation of traditional colleges and universities. As far as it relates to seeing students through to employment, “accountability” has never ranked high on the roster of concerns for tenured professors, college presidents and chancellors, or for many student services departments on the campuses of America’s most esteemed learning institutions.

Faculty at these colleges have taught accountability in regard to being truthful and honest in the pursuit of academic excellence and graduates have often been taught theory about civic responsibility and what it means to lead a life of good citizenship. Unfortunately, that’s where the accountability ends, for the most part.  Beyond the occasional career fair,  which entails lining up employers to visit campus for an afternoon …

Technological Integrity

By John Assunto, President – The Hudson Group

Technological Integrity (yes, that is the buzz term of the day!) is becoming a more and more of an issue when seeking top talent.   As a search consultant, it is unfortunate that every once and a while we will see resumes go beyond exaggeration to outright lies.  Length of time of employment, job titles, responsibilities, even companies that did not exist certainly are areas that raise yellow and even red flags.

With the growth of social networking and the popularity of websites such as Linked In, the lack of Technological Integrity unfortunately is starting to become a bit of an epidemic…My staff and I have noticed that the “Virtual Resume” often does not match the “Actual Resume”.  This is …

For-Profit Haters Now Must Line Up Behind the President

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Sitting to the first lady’s right, Jackie Bray of Kings Mountain, North Carolina was supposed to represent a humble and understated community college success story during President Obama’s third State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

She looked the part in studious glasses frames and pants suit. She was obviously a long, long way away from losing her job as a packaging mechanic, now leading a completely re-tooled life.

The seats to the left and right of Michelle Obama are the most coveted in the house. When you are literally in the television picture so often, you represent something larger than yourself, and you're guaranteed a mention from the President.

Mr. Obama spoke about Bray’s accomplishments directly in his remarks, while there was a striking omission of …

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