Student Success

Commencement Address – 2018

Are you happy? Seems like an odd question to be asking at a commencement address, so let me explain.

The second paragraph of our nation’s Declaration of Independence states the following: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success

This AACU report (PDF) validates our efforts at Purdue through the Purdue Polytechnic Institute (PPI) initiative led by the College of Technology to transform the learning experience for students.

Many of the findings are items we are addressing through our curriculum innovation as part of PPI. Here are a few of my key takeaways:

Lectures Aren’t Just Boring, They’re Ineffective, Too, Study Finds

Science Insider has posted this evidence-based article that shows that lectures in undergraduate courses are ineffective. The use of active teaching techniques are much more effective.

This is one of the founding principles of the Polytechnic Initiative that we are advocating as we transform the undergraduate curricula in the College of Technology at Purdue.

Life in College Matters for Life After College- Gallup-Purdue Survey Results

This week a very interesting Gallup-Purdue study was published. The results have elements that are closely aligned with the learning transformation we are attempting as part of the Polytechnic Initiative. Many of the attributes measured in the study are about being engaged at work and experiencing high well-being after graduation.

U.S. higher education enrollment decline

Although this article is about private colleges, it describes the general enrollment challenges that will be facing all of higher education. To compete and grow our enrollment, we need to show greater value than our competition.

I believe that curriculum transformation and adopting the principles of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute will result in greater value and enrollment growth.

Read US private college enrollment decline

Impact of MOOCs on higher education

The New York Times article titled The Professors’ Big Stage by Thomas Friedman explains the impact of MOOCs (massive open online courses) as well as the challenges higher education faces, especially in how we deliver instruction.

This articles goes to the core of what I have been talking about when I say that not only do we need to transform the curriculum but we also have to transform the student’s learning experience.

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