Tag Archives: College

College places 25th in abroad programs

Linfield College placed 25th in the nation this year for its student study abroad participation by the Institute of International Education.
Linfield was compared to other baccalaureate institutions similar to Linfield in the U.S., and placed higher than other schools with 68.1 percent of students participating in study abroad programs.
Nine years ago when Shaiik Ismail, director of the International Programs Office, first arrived at Linfield, the school was placing lower for its study abroad programs.
“We have expanded the opportunity for Linfield students to study abroad,” Ismail said. “When I came here we had 10 locations, [and] now we have 30.”
Having more locations allows students to have more choices to go abroad, Ismail said. While Linfield used to be focused more on language-based programs abroad, it is now expanding the opportunity to allow all students, especially those with science majors, to have the opportunity to go abroad.
“We found that students who did not have language proficiency were selecting programs offered by other institutions,” Ismail said. “[But] as a college, we don’t have any control over the quality of those programs.”
January Term courses abroad are a campus-wide approach to international education, Ismail said. Because it is not major or minor specific, courses are focused on certain themes, which allow faculty members to teach their passion.
“Statistics tend to indicate that companies and organizations look for employees with multicultural background,” Ismail said.
Samantha Sigler
News editor
Samantha Sigler can be reached at

Linfield’s Glenn Ford appointed to board of directors

Linfield Administrative Officer Glenn Ford was appointed to the board of directors of the Oregon 529 College Savings Plan.

Ford said he was happy when State Treasurer Ted Wheeler appointed him to the Oregon 529 Savings Network Board.

His three-year appointment went into effect January 2013.

The State of Oregon created the plan to assist families in saving funds for their children and grandchildren’s college degrees. It permits investors to withdraw funds for education costs without being taxed at the federal or state level.

“Everyone can use the plan and its benefits to help them achieve their goals,” Ford said in an email. “Everyone from parents with young children to older students returning to college for additional training or to start a new career.”

Ford thinks the plan’s state and federal tax benefits will help families with aspiring college students be able to afford a college education.

“The opportunity to serve on a board whose focus is to help Oregonians afford a college education is something I am very happy and passionate about,” Ford said.

Ford is Linfield’s vice president of finance and administration and chief officer and treasurer. He provides direction on matters ranging from investment management to environmental health and safety. He played significant roles in the renovation of T.J. Day Hall and creating Linfield’s new Strategic Plan.

Ford joined Linfield College in July of 2007, but has worked in the field of higher education for 28 years.

He spent 22 years working in university finance and administration departments for Utah State University, Washington State University and the University of Idaho, all the while holding administration positions.

His local involvements include serving on the Board of Directors of the Willamette Valley Medical Center.  He was previously a member of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the City of McMinnville Downtown Master Plan Advisory Committee.

Ford was a part of the TIAA-CREF National Advisory Council from 2009-12.

Today, he is on the Pioneer Educators Health Trust Board of Directors Treasurer, Liability Insurance Company Board of Directors Underwriting Committee Chair and member of the board of West Coast College Consortium.

Ford has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Products and a Master of Business from the University of Idaho.

Ford and his wife Tammy have two adult daughters and live in McMinnville.

Carrie Skuzeski

Culture editor

Carrie Skuzeski can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

Graduates find it hard to wash away college debt

To get educated these days, most students have to go into debt.

And debilitating debt, experts say, could trigger a financial meltdown akin to the mortgage crisis if students don’t repay their loans.

It could also make the millennials, aged 18 to 34, the first generation in America not to do better than their parents, a potential failure that has people questioning the morality of how we now pay for education:

“Is it ethical to saddle a 17-year-old who’s never had experience with credit with this amount of debt?” asked Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers in Washington. “No counseling teaches the pain of repayment.”

And while students suffer, lenders flourish, Nassirian added: “What’s better than garnishing my wages and owning a piece of me for life?”

Nationally, the average student debt is about $25,000 per person, according to 2010 figures, the latest reported by the Institute for College Access & Success. That’s the highest level of student debt in American history, up nearly 43 percent since 1996, in today’s dollars.

Overall, U.S. student debt is more than $1 trillion. This includes loans for students who attended any type of postsecondary institution—whether they graduated or not, according to the newly formed federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That total is more than all the outstanding charges on all the credit cards throughout the United States ($693 billion), or all U.S. auto loans ($730 billion).

Student loans can be dangerous for young people, who can’t declare bankruptcy and walk away from their obligations, the way people with credit-card or gambling debts can. Student debt can be garnished from wages and Social Security.

“It worries me,” said Mike Mychack, 24, of Philadelphia. He graduated this year with $50,000 in debt from Temple University and now works at the Bridesburg Boys & Girls Club in Philadelphia, making less than $20,000 a year. “I’ll never be able to pay the loan off at this rate.”

The bulk of students in America attend public colleges and universities, where state funding nationwide has been cut 2.8 percent in the past two years.

At the same time, experts on college financing point out, universities are continually spending money to improve their physical plants and to make their campuses more enticing to students.

Certain schools offer financial-aid packages without loans. But often, experts say, parents are expected to contribute, and they end up taking out loans.

Colleges are facing a shift in who pays their bills, concludes a recent study by the Delta Project, a nonprofit that studies college spending. Especially at public universities, the portion of costs covered by tuition is going up faster than overall spending.

These days, more students than ever—10 percent—graduate with high debt, defined as loans of $40,000 or more, up from 3 percent since 1996, according to the Project on Student Debt.

Among all students, African-Americans carry the most levels of high debt in the United States.

About 16 percent of African-American graduates owed more than $40,000 on loans in 2008, the latest year calculated. For whites, it was 10 percent; Hispanics, 8 percent; and Asians, 5 percent.

African-Americans are “disproportionately recruited by and enrolled in for-profit colleges, which cost more on average,” said Pauline Abernathy, vice president of Institute for College Access & Success.

“It’s very troubling that the lowest-income students have the highest levels of student debt,” she said.

A disproportionate share of African-Americans have low incomes and are the first in their families to attend college, Abernathy said. They’re less likely to know someone who has gone to college to stop them from enrolling at any school that pressures them to sign up.

The U.S. Department of Education has accused some for-profits of using exploitative tactics to enroll students.

With so much overwhelming student debt, defaulting on loans is increasing.

About 320,000 borrowers who started repaying their loans in 2009 defaulted by the end of 2010—81,000 more than the year before.

More than 50 percent of the increase is from students who attended for-profit colleges, which charge tuitions that in many cases are double those of other colleges.

Students who default often ruin their credit, finding themselves unable to buy homes or even to secure more student loans to try to finish school.

Things could get worse in July, when interest rates on federal student loans for low-income students are set to rise to 6.8 percent, from 3.4 percent. President Barack Obama is fighting the increase, while Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are supporting it.

Not all student debt is bad.

College, in fact, can be the best investment a person ever makes.

But when the class of 2012 graduates next month, its members will be entering a job market with steep competition.

“The problem isn’t necessarily the $25,000 debt,” said Paul Harrington, director of the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University. “It’s having the debt and then making $10 an hour that’s overwhelming.”

Students must be more strategic in picking majors that will lead to jobs that can pay back their loans, experts say.

“It’s one thing to have a six-figure debt and be graduating from medical school,” noted Hurley of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. “But $40,000 in debt for a social worker or public schoolteacher—that’s not good at all.”

Alfred Lubrano/
The Philadelphia Inquirer

High school students jump into college classes

In one corner of Miami-Dade College’s sprawling Kendall, Fla., campus, Tiffany Pineda slips into class. Attenzione! It’s time for Italian pronouns and grammar.

In jeans, a black tank top and red sneakers, she looks like a typical college student. But she’s a 16-year-old high school junior.

Like Tiffany, a growing number of high school students are taking college courses before graduation, a practice called dual enrollment that rewards them with tuition-free college credits.

For high schools, it gives students a way to accelerate. It can also help lift the schools’ academic standing; in 2010, Florida started to factor dual enrollment into state-issued letter grades.

That has created a surge in dual enrollment through Florida International University, according to FIU Provost Douglas Wartzok—an eight-fold over the last three years.

Across Florida, the number of students who participated in dual enrollment rose 23 percent last year.

In Miami-Dade, students can participate in a number of ways.

They can take a college class at their home school, taught by a Miami-Dade teacher who has been credentialed by FIU. FIU saw about 5,500 students enroll in classes at high schools last year.

A university professor can come to the high school to teach.

Students can take classes at a college campus.

Students can apply for early admission and take their senior year at a university.

At Westland Hialeah Senior High, about 230 of the 1,950 students—nearly 12 percent—take classes through FIU. Another 94 go to Miami-Dade College for courses. Those programs not only helped Westland Hialeah lift its grade to an A from a B, said Principal Guillermo Munoz, they also reflect a change in culture at the young school.

Dade schools and FIU share the expense of dual enrollment, which costs the public university about $250,000, Wartzok said. “As the school system gets better, the community gets better, and that’s good for everyone, including the university.”

The demand of dual enrollment programs in Broward, Fla., has grown so much that two high schools _ Coconut Creek and South Broward in Hollywood—are starting programs in which teachers accredited by Broward College will teach at the schools.

The two new projects will try to mimic the success of McArthur High School in Hollywood, Fla., where students can enroll in the “Mustang Academy,” a section of college-level courses. Several teachers at Cooper City High and Coral Springs High are also licensed to teach dual enrollment courses.

The Broward School District has also established the College Academy at Broward College, where more than 300 juniors and seniors report to the Davie, Fla., campus instead of a traditional high school.

“We’re developing some very strong partnerships,” said Cynthia Park, director of advanced academic programs for Broward County Schools.

Park said that last year, about 2,000 students completed dual enrollment courses at Broward College and the Broward campuses of Florida Atlantic University and FIU.

“Most of them leave with their associate’s degree, and it helps cut the cost of college in half,” she said. “Financially, it’s a good reason for many families.”

Two Miami-Dade programs—the School for Advanced Studies at Miami-Dade College and the Academy for Advanced Studies at FIU—allow students to split their course load between college classes with university students and accelerated courses with other high schoolers.

“I like how I get to pick my own college classes. I get to pick classes I actually like _ the freedom of it,” Tiffany said.

While Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Miami Dade College launched SAS in 1988, the program has grown in recent years.

Some 520 juniors and seniors study at its four Florida campuses, in Homestead, Kendall, North Miami-Dade and downtown Miami. The Kendall campus is the biggest, with 213 students. More than 800 people showed up at a recruitment event last fall at the Kendall campus—for 100 spots in the junior class. It draws students from public, private and parochial schools and home schoolers.

Several seniors in the School for Advanced Studies at the Kendall campus said they were looking for a challenge, like Ivan Cuartas who used to attend G. Holmes Braddock Senior High. “Now I’m getting humbled,” said Cuartas, 18, who wants to be a chemical engineer.

“It’s rigorous, but there’s a small learning community where they can not only help each other but get help from their teachers,” said Dennis Lindsay, a spokesman for SAS. “That alleviates some of the pressure.”

Laura Isensee/
McClatchy Newspapers


Students shouldn’t be eager to hurry through college

The more high school students take college classes, the more college becomes like a glorified high school.

It’s hard to admit—especially because I earned a few college credits during high school—but until we stop seeing college as something to finish as quickly as possible, the power of our higher education system will continue to decline.

Rather than supporting the pursuit of knowledge and experience, which should be the goal of higher education, college classes in high schools create the culturally destructive mindset that higher education is something to race through as quickly and cheaply as you can, so you can get a high paying job and start earning money.

Money seems to be the primary motivation for everyone who champions the college during high school programs. Parents support it because finances are tight and college tuition is intimidating.

Some employers enjoy it because it provides them with newer, younger members of the workforce. The government benefits because it uses up less of its education budget, and those new members of the workforce become taxpayers.

Obviously, money naturally plays a key role in choosing to attend a university because the costs of a four-year program can be daunting, but earning a higher education is one of the greatest investments you can make.

Receiving a lot of college credits in high school to save money and expedite your university graduation date only dilutes your educational experience and puts you in the nine to five work force sooner than usual, causing you to miss out on the transition from youth to adulthood that a four-year span at a university can provide (e.g., breaking away from parents, being immersed in a diverse community, etc…).

Not only does speeding through college damage your educational experience, but it also compromises the effectiveness of democracy. The goal to receive a diploma as quickly as possible just to become eligible for a specific job skips over the important goals of becoming fully knowledgeable and engaged in society.

How can we take advantage of freedoms like voting, serving jury duty, and raising families if our primary vision for higher education is career training instead of becoming well-rounded and informed participants in the world?

Joanna Peterson/Managing editor