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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

10 Major Changes to College Admissions in 30 Years

The Evolution of College Admissions 

Choosing the right school and applying to college may seem like a complicated process, but it's easier today than it was before U.S. News & World Report released the first Best Colleges rankings in 1983. Today, students can use the college rankings and Google to research schools, tweet questions and comments directly at universities, submit applications and apply for financial aid online.

Read about some of the major trends that have changed the college admissions process over the last three decades.

The Common Application

When The Common Application started in the 1970s, there were only 15 member colleges. Now, with more than 500 universities using the application, it is a prominent part of the college admissions process.

The Common App streamlines the application process by allowing students to apply to multiple schools using one form. It also makes it easier for institutions to connect with students who they likely wouldn't reach otherwise, says Aba Blankson, director of communications for the nonprofit.

The World Wide Web 

The Internet, which became widely available in the '90s, changed the way students researched colleges and the way colleges advertised to students, says Jonathan Henry, vice president of enrollment management at Husson University in Maine.

College admissions officers used to have more contact with students before they submitted applications, but the Internet has made it easy for students to research on their own. As a result, the first contact that schools have with many students is when they submit applications.

Enrollment Management 

Colleges have created entire departments to find new ways to advertise and recruit students since fewer students are signing up for mailing lists, Henry says.

To promote school principles and initiatives, admissions departments are finding ways to capitalize on the platforms that families are using to research colleges. That can include providing accurate data to the government and rankings products like U.S. News' Best Colleges and talking with the media to create a positive public perception.

read the rest of the article covering: 
  • Social Media
  • Video Platforms
  • Online Degrees
  • The Role of Parents 
  • Standardized Tests
  • Financial Aid
  • Nontraditional Students 
Changes in Higher Education 

Read more about how the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings and higher education have evolved over the last 30 years. 

Trying to choose a major? See how some of the 10 hottest college majors have changed since the 1980s. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

Why Flunking Exams Is Actually a Good Thing

Imagine that on Day 1 of a difficult course, before you studied a single thing, you got hold of the final exam. The motherlode itself, full text, right there in your email inbox — attached mistakenly by the teacher, perhaps, or poached by a campus hacker. No answer key, no notes or guidelines. Just the questions.
Would that help you study more effectively? Of course it would. You would read the questions carefully. You would know exactly what to focus on in your notes. Your ears would perk up anytime the teacher mentioned something relevant to a specific question. You would search the textbook for its discussion of each question. If you were thorough, you would have memorized the answer to every item before the course ended. On the day of that final, you would be the first to finish, sauntering out with an A+ in your pocket. And you would be cheating.
New York Times, by Benedict Carey, Sept 4th, 2014.
But what if, instead, you took a test on Day 1 that was just as comprehensive as the final but not a replica? You would bomb the thing, for sure. You might not understand a single question. And yet as disorienting as that experience might feel, it would alter how you subsequently tuned into the course itself — and could sharply improve your overall performance.
This is the idea behind pretesting, one of the most exciting developments in learning-­science. Across a variety of experiments, psychologists have found that, in some circumstances, wrong answers on a pretest aren’t merely useless guesses. Rather, the attempts themselves change how we think about and store the information contained in the questions. On some kinds of tests, particularly multiple-choice, we benefit from answering incorrectly by, in effect, priming our brain for what’s coming later.
That is: The (bombed) pretest drives home the information in a way that studying as usual does not. We fail, but we fail forward.
The excitement around prefinals is rooted in the fact that the tests appear to improve subsequent performance in topics that are not already familiar, whether geography, sociology or psychology. At least they do so in experiments in controlled laboratory conditions. A just-completed study — the first of its kind, carried out by the U.C.L.A. psychologist Elizabeth Ligon Bjork — found that in a live classroom of Bjork’s own students, pretesting raised performance on final-exam questions by an average of 10 percent compared with a control group.
The basic insight is as powerful as it is surprising: Testing might be the key to studying, rather than the other way around. As it turns out, a test is not only a measurement tool. It’s a way of enriching and altering memory.

Read the complete article: www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/magazine/why-flunking-exams-is-actually-a-good-thing.html 

Friday, September 05, 2014

What You Need to Know About the Ebola Outbreak

Where is the Outbreak? 
What are the chances of getting Ebola in the United States?

Two American aid workers infected with the Ebola virus while working in West Africa are being treated at a hospital in Atlanta, in a containment unit for patients with dangerous infectious diseases. But the risk that anyone will contract Ebola in the United States is extremely small, experts say. 

 Doctors across the country are being reminded to ask for the travel history of anybody who comes in with a fever. Patients who have been to West Africa are being screened and tested if there seems to be a chance they have been exposed. Heightened concern about the virus led to alarms being raised at three hospitals in  New York City. But no Ebola cases have turned up. If someone were to bring the virus to the United States, standard procedures for infection control are likely to contain it. 

 It helps that Ebola does not spread nearly as easily as Hollywood movies about contagious diseases might suggest. In 2008, a patient who had contracted Marburg – a virus much like Ebola – in Uganda was treated at a hospital in the United States and could have exposed more than 200 people to the disease before anyone would have known what she had. Yet no one became sick.
Rest of the article: New York Times

Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus, although 8-10 days is most common.
Some who become sick with Ebola are able to recover. We do not yet fully understand why. However, patients who die usually have not developed a significant immune response to the virus at the time of death.

(CNN) -- Here's some background information about Ebola, a virus with a high fatality rate that was first identified in Africa in 1976.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a disease caused by one of five different Ebola viruses. Four of the strains can cause severe illness in humans and animals. The fifth, Reston virus, has caused illness in some animals, but not in humans.
The first human outbreaks occurred in 1976, one in northern Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) in Central Africa: and the other, in southern Sudan (now South Sudan). The virus is named after the Ebola River, where the virus was first recognized in 1976, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ebola is extremely infectious but not extremely contagious. It is infectious, because an infinitesimally small amount can cause illness. Laboratory experiments on nonhuman primates suggest that even a single virus may be enough to trigger a fatal infection.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Collegenews.com is written by college students and recent graduates, providing the most up-to-date and relevant information concerning college students and young people

Collegenews.com is written by college students and recent graduates, providing the most up-to-date and relevant information concerning college students and young people. The site gathers daily news from its bank of writers and keeps its readers informed on everything from the political atmosphere to international and sport news. Collegenews.com also caters to those looking for entertainment as we provide the most intriguing odd stories from around the world as well as celebrity news. As a niche that is not offered by most college publications, Collegenews.com brings students money and career articles that are most pertinent to their daily lives. College News promotes this brand as one of its premier publications for college students. College News publishes the online version of College News to compliment the print magazine by covering both breaking news and current events through regular updates, featuring editorial on the latest trends and news. In addition, the website features blogs and contests, as well as giving viewers the chance to voice their opinions on political issues as well as any story on the site. The goal is to make Collegenews.com a site that is not only read online but where interaction and input is the main driver.
 Collegenews.com also provides readers with a digital version its magazine and a chance to subscribe to the print version of the publication. College News magazine is a quarterly publication, providing students at over 200 colleges and universities. College News magazine is read by 4 million students annually, and each issue boasts articles written for and by college students and recent graduates. From exclusive interviews with the hottest bands, actors and personalities, to campus spotlights, to all the sex and dating advice you could ask for, College News magazine consistently delivers issues that students will read cover to cover.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Web Gallery of Art

The Web Gallery of Art is a virtual museum and searchable database of European fine arts from 11th to 19th centuries. It was started in 1996 as a topical site of the Renaissance art, originated in the Italian city-states of the 14th century and spread to other countries in the 15th and 16th centuries. Intending to present Renaissance art as comprehensively as possible, the scope of the collection was later extended to show its Medieval roots as well as its evolution to Baroque and Rococo via Mannerism. Encouraged by the feedback from the visitors, recently 19th-century art was also included. However, we do not intend to present 20th-century and contemporary art.

The collection has some of the characteristics of a virtual museum. The experience of the visitors is enhanced by guided tours helping to understand the artistic and historical relationship between different works and artists, by period music of choice in the background and a free postcard service. At the same time the collection serves the visitors' need for a site where various information on art, artists and history can be found together with corresponding pictorial illustrations. Although not a conventional one, the collection is a searchable database supplemented by a glossary containing articles on art terms, relevant historical events, personages, cities, museums and churches.
The Web Gallery of Art is intended to be a free resource of art history primarily for students and teachers. It is a private initiative not related to any museums or art institutions, and not supported financially by any state or corporate sponsors. However, we do our utmost, using authentic literature and advice from professionals, to ensure the quality and authenticity of the content.

We are convinced that such a collection of digital reproductions, containing a balanced mixture of interlinked visual and textual information, can serve multiple purposes. On one hand it can simply be a source of artistic enjoyment; a convenient alternative to visiting a distant museum, or an incentive to do just that. On the other hand, it can serve as a tool for public education both in schools and at home.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's Here: First Local Chikungunya Cases in Florida

Chikungunya has been reported in a Florida man and woman who had not recently traveled, health officials said Thursday — the first indication that the painful virus has taken up residence in the United States.
NBCNews.com, Maggie Fox, July 17th, 2014
Health experts had said it was only a matter of time before the virus, carried by mosquitoes, made its way to the U.S. It’s been spreading rapidly in the Caribbean and Central America. It's infected 350,000 and killed 21.
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There have been other U.S. cases but all have been among people who had recently traveled to affected regions.
“Seven months after the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya was recognized in the Western Hemisphere, the first locally acquired case of the disease has surfaced in the continental United States,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.

"The first locally acquired case of the disease has surfaced in the continental United States.”

Florida health officials later said there were two cases: a 41-year-old woman in Miami-Dade County and a 50-year-old man in Palm Beach County.

“Since 2006, the United States has averaged 28 imported cases of chikungunya (chik-un-GUHN-ya) per year in travelers returning from countries where the virus is common. To date this year, 243 travel-associated cases have been reported in 31 states and two territories,” CDC said.

“However, the newly reported case represents the first time that mosquitoes in the continental United States are thought to have spread the virus to a non-traveler. This year, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported 121 and two cases of locally acquired chikungunya respectively.”

Chikungunya is not usually deadly, but it can cause a very bad headache, joint pain, rash and fever. Its name in the Makonde language, spoken in Tanzania and Mozambique in Africa, means “that which bends up,” because patients are often contorted with pain. They can spend weeks in bed, racked with pain.

The virus only arrived in the Western Hemisphere in December, on St. Martin.

The Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes that spread chikungunya are found across the southern United States and as far north as New York. A. albopictus is commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito and itself only came to the United States in recent decades.

So what’s the difference between a traveler carrying it and a locally transmitted case? The virus grows in human blood and when a mosquito bites an infected person, it can spread it to others. So an infected person can carry the virus to new places and it spreads that way. Officials have been cautioning that the virus could become established in the U.S. , much as West Nile virus did starting in 1999.

There's no vaccine against chikungunya and the only treatment is rest and pain relief.

“The arrival of chikungunya virus, first in the tropical Americas and now in the United States, underscores the risks posed by this and other exotic pathogens,” said Roger Nasci, who heads CDC’s Arboviral Diseases Branch.
Read Additional News Stories on Chikungunya in Florida

Huffington Post: Florida Man Is First Case Of Chikungunya Virus Acquired In The U.S.


Debilitating case of mosquito-borne chikungunya reported in U.S. CNN.


CDC: First Chikungunya case acquired in the United States reported in Florida


Tips to avoid mosquito-borne virus chikungunya. Palm Beach Daily News


Florida healthcare officials give tips on how to avoid mosquitoes carrying chikungunya. Miami Herald.


First chikungunya cases acquired in the U.S. reported. USA Today.

“This emphasizes the importance of CDC’s health security initiatives designed to maintain effective surveillance networks, diagnostic laboratories and mosquito control programs both in the United States and around the world.”

CDC and the Florida Department of Health said they are looking for other locally acquired cases.

"More chikungunya-infected travelers coming into the United States increases the likelihood that local chikungunya transmission will occur."

“It is not known what course chikungunya will take now in the United States. CDC officials believe chikungunya will behave like dengue virus in the United States, where imported cases have resulted in sporadic local transmission but have not caused widespread outbreaks,” CDC said. Dengue has been seen in Florida and South Texas.

“None of the more than 200 imported chikungunya cases between 2006 and 2013 have triggered a local outbreak. However, more chikungunya-infected travelers coming into the United States increases the likelihood that local chikungunya transmission will occur."

The good news is people are immune after one infection.

And a recent study suggests the United States has a bit of time on its side. The strain of chikungunya circulating in the Caribbean is the Asian strain, and it’s only adapted to be carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, says Scott Weaver of the University of Texas Medical Branch, who’s been studying the virus for years. And so far, that mosquito can only be found in the far southern U.S. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Read Russia, from Read Russia Inc.

Read Russia, founded in 2012, is a new initiative - based in Moscow, New York, and London - established to celebrate Russian literature and Russian book culture.  Through innovative programs, projects, and events supporting the English-language translation and publication of Russian works, Read Russia provides international audiences with fresh opportunities to engage - in person, on screen, and online - with Russia's literary leaders and heritage.
Founded in Moscow, New York, and London in 2012 to promote Russian literature, Read Russia is sponsored by the Russian Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communication (Moscow) and the Yeltsin Center (Ekaterinburg), with support from the Renova Group of Companies (Moscow), Academia Rossica (London), CEC ArtsLink (New York and St. Petersburg, Russia), the Trust for Mutual Understanding (New York), Little Star Journal, and the World Policy Institute. Notable members of its current advisory board include James Billington (Library of Congress), Marina Kameneva (Russian Association of Booksellers), and Edward Kasinec (Harriman Institute, Columbia Univ.), as well as independent authors, filmmakers, and publishers. Present projects include The Russian Library (a projected 125-volume set of Russian literature); Russia's Open Book: Writing in the Age of Putin (a documentary broadcast by PBS beginning in December 2013); and Read.Russia!: An Anthology of New Voices (2012).
The site also features information about Russian author tours in the US, and the organization's participation in the London Book Fair and Book Expo America. In addition to the annual Read Russia English-Language Prize, awarded in New York, Read Russia sponsors the Read Russia Prize (awarded by Moscow's Institute of Translation), which is the largest prize available to a translator and publisher of a Russian work into a worldwide language. 

 This evolving website currently features online resources on Russian literature, an online journal and newsletter, a directory of publishers, and information on featured new writers. Over time it should continue to develop into a unique, curated source of images, documents, audio files, and scholarly commentary for research, teaching, and learning.
Recommended in July issue of ALA's Choice. www.dx.doi.org/10.5860/CHOICE.51-5918