College Planning & Management

FEB 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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NEWS + TRENDS TechWatch + DEGREE COMPLETION Paper Addresses Online Program Retention Rates F or the past nine years, online enrollments in higher education have grown faster than overall enrollment throughout higher education. Today, the total number of college students taking at least one online class has surpassed 6.7M, and that number is certain to grow in the years ahead. But this rapid growth will have little impact on the nation's college graduation rate if these online students don't actually complete their classes. In fact, a recent survey of online learning, called "Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States," conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board, found that the majority of chief academic officers see low retention rates in online courses as a real barrier to the growth of online education. Some online education programs are addressing retention challenges head on. Education Sector's latest ES Select, "Calling for Success: Online Retention Rates Get Boost From Personal Outreach," takes a look at one program — the University of Georgia's eCore — that has had impressive success. eCore's retention rates have reached nearly 83 percent, which is higher than most face-to-face courses. What's the secret to eCore's success? A dedicated student support team that recognizes the unique barriers to success in online education and helps students complete their coursework, says author Mandy Zatynski. They email, text, and call students to remind them of assignments, and connect them with tutors and counselors. "They are the 'eyes and ears' for professors who likely never meet their students," writes Zatynski. While eCore has made big gains in student retention, its task is far from over, says Zatynski. With high retention rates, eCore's student success team is now turning toward the biggest challenge of all — getting more students to pass. To read an excerpt and download the whole article, visit Education Sector is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent think tank that challenges conventional thinking in Education policy. + AV I N S TA L L AT I O N New AV Systems Performance Verification Checklist InfoComm International, the trade association representing the commercial audiovisual industry, now offers a member-developed resource that will provide owners, consultants, and integrators with comprehensive verification criteria to determine if an AV system achieves a client's objectives and is performing in accordance with the system design. The Audiovisual Systems Performance Verification Checklist, which features 162 criteria, was developed in a consensus-building manner over the last year by a global panel of subject matter experts representing the entire industry. "By creating and distributing this checklist, InfoComm has met its longstanding goal of establishing verification guidelines to help industry professionals and their clients communicate effectively about mutual expectations for system performance," says David Labuskes, CTS, RCDD, executive director and CEO, InfoComm International. The new checklist is a featured requirement of InfoComm's Certified AV Solutions Provider (CAVSP) program. Diamond 52 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / FEBRUARY 2013 CAVSPs are required to show a completed Audiovisual Systems Performance Verification Checklist for one AV installation. Emerald CAVSPs need to indicate their commitment to adopt InfoComm International's Audiovisual Systems Performance Verification Checklist for future AV installations. In order to continue the industry dialogue on quality, InfoComm has convened a Standards Task Group to publish an InfoComm standard based on this list that will be submitted to ANSI for consideration of adoption by the second quarter of 2013. As part of this process, in the coming months InfoComm will offer a draft standard that will be open for public review and comment. The AV Systems Performance Verification task group will further refine the list in the months ahead and include it as part of an InfoComm standard, currently in development, to be submitted to ANSI for consideration of adoption. As part of this process, InfoComm will offer a draft standard that will be open for public review and comment. The free list can be downloaded from WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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