Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Columbia College Announces New Initiatives

Columbia College in Columbia, SC announces several new initiatives as part of the institution's McNair Center for Entrepreneurism.  Students can now benefit from an Ideas Incubator Space and apply for seed funding to support a start-up or develop a concept.  Participants will have access to a variety of resources and mentoring.

The mission of the McNair Center is to create and sustain an entrepreneurial environment within the College through education, apprenticeships, mentoring, capital access, and development of professional skills among students.  The center started with a generous gift from The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation in July 2015.  

Columbia College was founded in 1854 and provides undergraduate liberal arts programs for women.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Antioch College: Perspectives on Closure and Reopening

The PBS Newshour posted "One small college's death and rebirth offers lessons for the rest," as part of their Rethinking College series.  Jon Marcus of The Hechinger Report provides a summary of conversations from an alumni town hall held on the Yellow Springs, OH campus of Antioch College.  The collective comments are an interesting perspective on Antioch's path through closure and the reopening of the institution in 2011.



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sweet Briar's Next Chapter: Editorial from The Roanoke Times

The Roanoke Times posted an editorial, "Sweet Briar's next chapter," on September 22, 2017 to coincide with the inauguration of Meredith Woo as the institution's 13th president.  The survey of recent events at Sweet Briar provides useful perspective since it is based on a foundation of extensive reporting by the paper.  

The editorial notes that, "Sweet Briar was never in poor financial shape. It was simply poorly run..." and commends former president Phillip Stone and alumni for their efforts.  President Woo is also praised for building on the momentum and concludes, "Here’s the big story: Sweet Briar is doing what many critics think lots of colleges should be doing — cutting administrative costs, cutting tuition and refocusing curriculum to match the modern marketplace."

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Passport to the Past: Sweet Briar hosts Explore weekend for Young Women in High School

Lynn Rainville, director of the Tusculum Institute at Sweet Briar College will be leading a "Passport to the Past" weekend on October 6-7, 2017 for high school students.  This program will feature archaeology and joins other "Explore" weekends scheduled throughout the year that focus on engineering, environment, and other topics.

This first Explore Archaeology weekend will begin with basic questions: How does an archaeologist locate sites to excavate? How do architectural historians date a building? How do public historians share information about the lives of people in the past?

Rainville notes that participants will focus on Sweet Briar and that the college's "…3,250 acres of breathtaking beauty and nature also contain a multitude of artifacts, ruins and neo-classical architecture…These features reveal Sweet Briar’s rich, multi-century heritage.”
The Tusculum Institute at Sweet Briar isa historic preservation resource center, dedicated to preserving and studying the region's historic assets within a context of environmental stewardship.  The institute's web pages include links to a wide variety of interesting resources.
For those on Facebook, consider "liking" the Tusculum Institute at Sweet Briar page to access the stream of interesting posts highlighting various activities and resources.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Focus on Work Colleges: Lower Levels of Student Borrowing and Debt

The PBS Newshour posted, "Century-old 'work college' model regains popularity as student debt grows," on September 1, 2017, written by Timothy Pratt of The Hechinger Report.  He interviewed students and staff at several of the institutions and offers a picture of what it is like to attend the work colleges and administer the programs.  Pratt's primary focus is on the fact that work college students depend less on borrowing to finance their education and graduate with lower levels of student debt.

Pratt notes there have historically been seven institutions designated as work colleges and all are small institutions with enrollments under 2,000 students.  Paul Quinn College (TX) and Bethany Global University (MN) have just joined, raising the number of work colleges by two.  Silver Lake College (WI) is currently seeking the designation and hopes to do so next year.  

Warren Wilson College (NC) and Berea College (KY) are also highlighted in the post.

You can review several previous posts on the Small College Garden that feature Work Colleges:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fisk University Creates Center for Financial Advancement

The Tennessee Tribune published an article, "Center for Financial Advancement to Launch at Fisk," on August 30, 2017, that provides details of a new campus initiative that will begin operation this fall.  The center intends to focus on money management skills by teaching students about credit and home ownership.  As a side benefit, students will be positioned for careers in the finance, banking, and mortgage industries. 

The center arises from a collaboration between Wells Fargo, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Bank of America, and HomeFree-USA, a HUD-approved non-profit organization that specializes in homeownership development, foreclosure intervention and financial coaching.
Fisk University is located in Nashville, TN and enrolls more than 740 students.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sweet Briar College Attracts Attention for Curricular and Pricing Changes

Sweet Briar College continues to attract a lot of interest in the press and there were at least three articles this past week as students started the fall semester.  New SBC president, Meredith Woo also announced plans for curricular changes and an initiative designed to reduce tuition and discounting. 

Lawrence Biemiller's "After All but Closing, Sweet Briar Will Shift Curriculum and Pricing," was published by The Chronicle of Higher Education on September 6, 2017.  Diverse Issues in Higher Education also published, "Sweet Briar Preparing for Fresh Start," by Catherine Morris on the same date. 
Lucie Laovsky's "Back From The Brink Sweet Briar College Slashes Tuition--Who's Next?" was published by Forbes on September 7, 2017 and as the headline implies, focuses on tuition and discounting.
An earlier article by Paula C. Squires, "Remaking Sweet Briar," was published by Virginia Business on August 30, 2017 and includes a lengthy interview with President Woo.