ERIC Number: EJ1180141
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr-16
A New Way to Rank Colleges: What Percentage of Students Vote?
New England Journal of Higher Education, Apr 2018
Karen Gross, former president of Southern Vermont College and author of "Breakaway Learners: Strategies for Post-Secondary Success with At-Risk Students," writes of the impact the recent March for Our Lives at hundreds of locations around the globe had on her. As she stood in the middle of hundreds of thousands of protesters in Washington D.C., she wondered had we finally found a way to increase activism, to get more and more people of all ages and stages in life involved in the well-being of their communities? As Gross listened to the young speakers over the loudspeakers and later on television, she wondered: Have the voices of high school students (and some even younger students) been ignited such that their fire will expand? These young people from Parkland, Fla. and beyond, seem capable of spreading their energy, their eloquence and their belief that "enough is enough" in terms of gun violence. Can the efforts of these students to change gun laws to increase school safety be sustained? All of these questions bring the conversation in this article toward concerns about college campuses and Gross' worry about levels of student activism, spurred in part by efforts to eradicate sexual harassment and abuse. Here she wonders if students are truly engaging in the political process that other fundamental way: by exercising their right to vote? Gross goes on to suggest that a rating of "voting" percentages broadly defined speaks volumes about an institution. It bespeaks campus culture, campus involvement, campus priorities. It sends a message about how activism and political activity will be received and handled and supported. Gross closes by saying that in today's world, that's a pretty good reflection of citizenship and the role of educational institutions in preparing the leaders of tomorrow. Surely voting percentages are more important than the size of a college's endowment or other indicators we currently use to measure the quality of colleges.
Descriptors: Colleges, Universities, Achievement Rating, Institutional Characteristics, Student Characteristics, Reputation, Activism, Voting, Student Participation, Learner Engagement, Citizen Participation, School Culture, Educational Quality
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
Authoring Institution: N/A
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