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The following online resources are relevant to issues that will be addressed in the Your Voice, Our Future series.

'Value Added'

We've dedicated the fall issue of Scope Magazine to a report on the issues of cost, access, assessment, and value that will be addressed in the Your Voice, Our Future series.  Below are links to the issue's main stories.

  • "Skidmore's $200,000 Question"
    Having arrived at a historic confluence of large-scale economic crises, changing cultural and political pressures, and heightened internal and external scrutiny, Skidmore is embarking on a kind of spirit quest, an initiative in critical reflection.
 Scope Cover Fall 09
 On the cover:
  Evelyn Mosquea
  • President's Perspective: "Value and Strategic Focus"
    Families who continue to seek the greatest educational advantages for their children will understand the worth of high-performing institutions. Accordingly, Skidmore must give much more attention to its 'value proposition,' writes President Philip A. Glotzbach.

  • "Is It Worth It"
    Plenty of objective evidence has affirmed, and even measured, the benefits – both monetary and non-monetary – of a college education, and of a high-quality liberal arts education in particular, writes economist Sandy Baum.

  • "Keeping Up for the Joneses"
    Student aid has been the fastest-growing component of the College's $122 million annual budget, having nearly doubled in just the last six years.

  • "Proving Ground"
    Can intangibles like liberal learning and intellectual growth be reliably measured? Sarah Goodwin, professor of English and Skidmore's assessment coordinator, has some pretty firm ideas about what kinds of assessments can (and can't) illuminate what kinds of growth and learning.

  • "An Educator's Education"
    How the Skidmore experience shaped the life of one alumna, from pre-freshman to professional.

  • "Veteran Voices"
    Alumni and parents reflect on Skidmore's enduring value.

  • "Both Sides Now"
    Skiddies teaching at Skidmore reflect on the "value proposition" then and now.

More Skidmore References

  • Engaged Liberal Learning: The Plan for Skidmore 2005-2015 - The College's Strategic Plan provides the framework to make choices aimed at achieving goals in four major areas: student engagement and academic achievement; intercultural and global understanding; informed and responsible citizenship, and independence and resources. 

  • The 2007 Campus Plan: A Vision for the Future - The College's master plan provides a vision of the College in 2050 but focuses particularly on the College's physical plant priorities between now and 2015.

  • The Financial Aid Game - Skidmore gave Time correspondent Laura Fitzpatrick an in-depth look at how the College makes decision on admissions and financial aid.  This is her three-page report.

Higher Education Critiques

  • "Q&A: The Real Cost of College, with Sandy Baum," The New York Times, November 19, 2009 - "Families and students consistently overestimate the price of college. Headlines frequently focus on the most expensive colleges, but the United States system of higher education includes a wide variety of institutions offering diverse educational experiences and a wide array of prices."  Sandy Baum answers questions in The New York Times Economix blog.

  • The Three-Year Solution: How the Reinvention of Higher Education Benefits Parents, Students, and Schools,” Newsweek, October 26, 2009 - “Expanding the three-year option or year-round schedules may be difficult, but it may be more palatable than asking Congress for additional bailout money, asking legislators for more state support, or asking students for even higher tuition payments,” writes Lamar Alexander, now a U.S. senator and formerly U.S. education secretary for George H.W. Bush, president of The University of Tennessee, and governor of Tennessee.

  • What’s College for Anyway? A Debate Over the Role of Higher Education,” Newsweek, October 26, 2009 – A panel of experts debates the merits of the three-year option for the baccalaureate degree. “I'm having trouble understanding the logic that says we have more to learn and therefore we need less time in which to learn it,” says Diane Ravitch, professor of education at New York University.

  • "College Costs Keep Rising, Report Says," The New York Times, October 20, 2009 - The average annual cost of tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose 6.5 percent from last year, to $7,020, according to a report issued by the College Board. The aid report further found that public four-year colleges gave out two-thirds of their grant money as merit aid, that is, without considering the recipient’s financial need.

  • "The College Calculation," The New York Times, September 24, 2009 - "Earnings may be a flawed measure of an education's value, but they're about the only tangible measure we have," writes economic reporter David Leonhardt.  "And the work that labor economists have done suggests that colleges do indeed deserve credit for much of the earnings gaps between their graduates and everyone else."

  • "Why College Costs Rise, Even in a Recession," The New York Times, September 6, 2009 - Ron Lieber, interviewing Lafayette College President Daniel Weiss, examines the factors that determine the cost of college.  Weiss elaborates on his views here.

  • "Why Elite Colleges Don't Equal Earnings," Forbes, August 5, 2009 - Stacy Berg Dale argues that the monetary return of attending an expensive, elite institution is no greater than that of attending a less well known institution, and now ranks schools by the putative "ROI" on investment based upon the salaries earned by their alums.

  • "College and the Free Market," Forbes, August 5, 2009 - John Sperling, founder of the University of Phoenix, asserts that his for-profit institution has created a "student-centered approach to teaching and services and defied college traditions that had more to do with ritual than quality."

  • "The Case Against the College Degree," SmartMoney, March 31, 2009 - Jack Hough argues that "the four-year college degree has come to cost too much and prove too little.  It's now a bad deal for the average student, family, employer, professor and taxpayer."

  • "Budget Crises, Academic Change: A Fable," Inside Higher Ed, January 8, 2009 - John Lombardi, president of Louisiana State University, argues that academic change is a fable.  There are too many forces that hamper the ability of colleges and universities to look hard at themselves and to implement real change.



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