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Notes from the ARC: Making Magic

My parents recently gave me a box that was packed from my boyhood room.  This box, taped shut since 1984, contained an item that speaks to the work many of us do, particularly if we’ve come to the ARC.   

When I opened the box, my eye caught the spine of a book: Learn Magic by Henry Hay.  I had a childhood fascination with performing magic.  In elementary school, I studied the covert mechanisms behind “drawing room” illusions that used playing cards and coins, and I paid special attention to making things appear out of nowhere.

Notes from the ARC: To Dream or not to Dream...Is that even a question?

Across the nation, colleges and universities are welcoming more students of color than ever before. From the inspiring accessibility of community colleges to the sacred halls of four-year universities, institutions are not only welcoming students of color but a growing intersection of first-generation students. With this rising trend, how do we as institutions of higher education evaluate our current advising practices to best engage and empower these students towards academic and personal success? 

Notes from the ARC: Let's Go!

With the significant growth in occupations and programs, how does a student choose the right program and how does a university know it is offering the right programs?

Issue Spotlight: Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning: Helping Students Complete Degrees More Efficiently and Affordably

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) allows students to earn credit for learning experiences that take place outside the classroom and are the equivalent of college-level work. As a result, students can streamline the educational pathway, avoid redundant or unnecessary courses, and save tuition dollars.

Notes from the ARC: Musings on “Future Perfect”

The 2018 WSCUC ARC theme FUTURE PERFECT (FP) suggested two possible meanings, and I look forward to learning what the organizers will have correctly taught me. 

Notes from the ARC: Persistence for Hope, Persistence for Learning - The Intersection of Hope and Grit in Post-Traditional Learners

As access to higher education becomes more affordable and convenient, an increasing number of “post-traditional” learners are signing up to earn their degrees. 

These learners largely fall outside of what has been the traditional age and stage of 18-22 year olds leaving home for the first time and moving into campus housing for a full-immersion college experience. 

Notes from the ARC: How to Fail Successfully

After receiving a ten-year reaffirmation, people kept asking me how I did it. 

“What software did you use?”

“How did you measure quantitative reasoning across all disciplines?”

“Did all your students exceed your learning outcomes?”

Notes from the ARC: Improving retention and graduation rates through Project Succeed

San Jose State University (SJSU) developed Project Succeed to help improve retention and graduation rates, while also closing the achievement gap for Under-Represented Minorities (URMs).

The program has three major goals: strengthen SJSU’s core academic performance in graduation and retention, provide an improved supportive environment for URM students, and enhance the delivery and integration of academic and co-curricular support services. 

Notes from the ARC: “So, what do you do?”

Given we’ve just recently moved, I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked “So, what do you do working at Cal Poly?”  

Now begins my instantaneous internal conversation… How to I respond?  Where do I start?  What is their knowledge level of higher education or assessment?  Do I have the time to do this now?

Then my typical response: “I’m the Director of Student Affairs Assessment and Research.”  

At this point, they typically insert blank stare and “Woah, that’s a long title… So, what does that mean?”

Notes from the ARC: What Should Keep Us Up at Night in Higher Education?

Public universities are among the most important and influential institutions in our society.  In the best of cases, public universities positively influence society through education of the next generation of leaders and the creation of new knowledge from research programs.  But how do public universities ensure that they are appropriately reflecting the values and priorities of those they serve?  And what if the public is conflicted about which values and priorities are most important?


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