ERIC Number: EJ1043439
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb-18
Small Colleges Need "Gold Medal Selfies"
New England Journal of Higher Education, Feb 2014
Higher education has been a favorite news topic for months. President Obama and the first lady have entered the national conversation, particularly around issues of cost and graduation rates for low-income students--addressing education in the State of the Union, at White House events, and in speeches across the nation. In the midst of these discussions, little attention has been paid to the role of "non-elite" small colleges in the higher education landscape. In this article, president of Southern Vermont College (SVC) Karen Gross argues that attention needs to be given to the capacity of small institutions to be learning laboratories, studying in rigorous fashion their own successes and failures and sharing those outcomes to improve their own campuses and to inform the larger effort to enhance the success of vulnerable students across the nation. She asserts that a critical first step is for small non-elite institutions to take "selfies"--studying themselves. Many small non-elite institutions have missed an opportunity to engage in meaningful scholarship that can influence literally thousands of students: scholarship that focuses on how vulnerable students can learn and succeed in higher education. Here's how: Small, non-elite institutions can enter the research effort through selfies--not just any selfies. "Gold Medal Selfies.: In other words, she calls for high quality self-reflection where institutions look inward, study and then share "photographs" of the results of their work on vulnerable student success. Herein she describes how she has made this a priority at SVC and concludes with recommendations for other non-elite small institutions.
Descriptors: Small Colleges, College Role, Self Evaluation (Groups), School Effectiveness, School Holding Power, Institutional Research, Program Effectiveness, College Programs
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.nebhe.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A