Tag: higher ed

Baltimore: Number Three "Metroversity" in the U.S.

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Pittsburgh and steel; Los Angeles and the movies — many American cities are defined by the industries that shape them. And while in Baltimore that may have once meant shipping and port activities, these days we’re a university city. And that’s not a bad thing at all.

In a recent survey, education expert Dr. Evan Dobelle quantified the economic impact that colleges and universities have on major metropolitan areas… and ranked the Baltimore area as the number three “metroversity” in the U.S. In other words, higher education is a huge economic force around these parts. Of course, there’s the impact of teaching and research, but consider also how the many Baltimore-area schools impact their communities through acting as community and business partners. And, according to Dobelle, students are a kind of “permanent tourist” in metroversity cities (like Baltimore), where they help boost economies that might otherwise suffer significant downturns.

The metroversity list (which is topped by Boston and Raleigh) just reinforces something that any Baltimorean who’s been paying attention already knows:  that our universities (most prominently Johns Hopkins, but the others as well) have a big impact on our city.

The Plagiarism Epidemic: Real or Mirage?

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Dora Clarke-Pine was getting the funny feeling that there was a lot of copying going on with her students. Being an academic (she’s an associate professor of psychology and school counseling at La Sierra University), she naturally decided to make a study out of it — and found that four out of five of the PhD dissertations she examined had strings of 10+ words copied exactly, without attribution. Yikes.

The obvious conclusion would be that students are plagiarizing more than ever. Google, essay factories, the slow erosion of copyright culture — you can pick your favorite villain.

According to Clarke-Pine, though, it’s not that there’s a nationwide cheating crisis — at least, not on purpose. She concluded that most of the borrowing was unintentional. That is, that students either weren’t entirely aware of what they were doing (perhaps finding other peoples’ phrasing creeping into their own work), or didn’t know that what they were doing “counted” as plagiarism. Really, Clarke-Pine opines, it’s the fault of the universities themselves — for not doing a better job of teaching students about plagiarism, and how to avoid it.

So what do you think — is most of this copying innocent, or is Clarke-Pine letting students off the hook too easily?

In-State Tuition Costs Out-of-State

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I heard about a cool program from a co-worker this morning.  Her child is a senior, attending public high school in Howard County, and recently accepted an offer from University of South Carolina for the fall through a program I’ve never heard of before: Academic Common Market. If you live in one of the participating 16 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia), and your home state doesn’t offer the degree program you are interested in, you can attend one of the other states’ colleges for in-state tuition price.  That can mean huge savings, as with my colleague, who will now pay $17,000 per year instead of $34,000 per year for her daughter to attend South Carolina.  It’s great for Maryland, also, as the programs offered elsewhere do not have to be duplicated here.  Click on the link above for more information.

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