Former US secretary of the State and professor Condoleezza Rice at the TIME Summit On Higher Education Day 1 at Time Warner Center on September 19, 2013 in New York City
*Rutgers University professors and students are angered by the selection of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as their commencement speaker and honorary doctorate recipient.
A faculty resolution recently passed at the New Jersey-based public institution says Rice condoned torture, such as waterboarding, and misled Americans about the reasons for invading Iraq; while the student newspaper The Daily Targum published a staff editorial calling the choice questionable and inappropriate.
The faculty resolution states in part that “Condoleezza Rice … played a prominent role in (the Bush) administration’s effort to mislead the American people about the presence of weapons of mass destruction” and that she “at the very least condoned the Bush administration’s policy of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ such as waterboarding,” reports the Star-Ledger. “A commencement speaker… should embody moral authority and exemplary citizenship … (and) an honorary Doctor of Laws degree should not honor someone who participated in a political effort to circumvent the law.”
Dorian Joyner, Jr., and his dad Dorian Joyner Sr., graduate Morehouse College together this weekend.
*The graduation season is here and it’s off to a brand new life and career for students all over the country.
Some will be nostalgic remembering their first day of their college journey and being away from their parents for the first time…well, some were left by their parents.
Dorian Joyner Jr., didn’t have that experience when he started his collegiate journey at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. His dad, Dorian Joyner Sr., joined him.
They were classmates and Junior didn’t mind. Now, they have completed the requirements to graduate and will officially become Morehouse men walking across the stage with President Obama at the helm of their ceremony.
Kerry Washington attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala benefit in honor of the museum’s latest exhibit, Punk: Chaos to Couture, in New York City
*Actress Kerry Washington is returning to her alma mater George Washington University in Washington, D.C. to deliver the commencement speech for the class of 2013.
The “Scandal” star, who completed her degree in anthropology and sociology at GW in 1998, admits she’s a bit nervous to speak at the May 19th ceremony on the National Mall.
“I’m terrified,” she said. “I want to have a positive impact on these students.”
Washington, who graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and previously served as a Board of Trustees member, will also receive an honorary degree.
“I am delighted that Ms. Washington has agreed to give the Commencement address,” said George Washington President Steven Knapp, noting that she is emblematic of GW’s commitment to the arts. “She has captured the imagination of our students, and they will benefit greatly, as they head out into the world, from hearing her perspective both as an alumna and as a highly successful actor on stage, in film and on television.”
*With Chicago in the national spotlight for tragic teen shootings, uplifting news continues to come out of the city’s Urban Prep Academy.
For the fourth year in a row, all seniors from its Englewood campus and the seniors from the inaugural graduating class at its West campus, 167 African-American males, have been accepted to a four-year college or university, the school announced today. [Scroll down to watch a report.]
The student body (85% of Urban Prep students come from low-income families, and many start Urban Prep at least two grade levels behind.) continues to exceed expectations in a city where fewer than 40 percent of African American males finish high school.
Urban Prep seniors with Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Urban Prep Academies’ founder and CEO Tim King , students, faculty and parents for a special assembly recognizing seniors who have received their acceptance letters and exchanged the red uniform ties they have worn since their enrollment at Urban Prep for red-and-gold striped ties signifying their college-bound status.
“The students of the Urban Prep Academies have not only cleared the academic bar, they have raised the bar for all of us,” said Emanuel. “Their accomplishment today is a ringing example that when you have a teacher in the classroom that is committed, a principal in the school who is accountable and adults at home that are involved, any student from any neighborhood or background in Chicago can achieve the dream of graduating and going to college.”
As of today, the members of Urban Prep’s class of 2013 have been accepted to over 115 different four-year colleges and universities, including: Connecticut College, Cornell University, Morehouse College, Howard University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This year, for the first time, students have also been admitted to Dartmouth College, Kenyon College, The University of Notre Dame, and The University of Pennsylvania. Students are still awaiting decisions from many other colleges and universities.
In total, this year’s seniors have been awarded more than $6 million in scholarships and grants to date, and seven students are Gates Millennium Scholar finalists (winners will be named later this month).
At the event, Urban Prep also announced a $150,000 donation from the Citi Foundation for Urban Prep’s Alumni Affairs program, also known as Project GOLD, which works to support Urban Prep’s approximately 300 graduates enrolled in college.
“Entering college is an exciting and also a challenging time in anyone’s life,” said Helen Hammond-Redding , senior vice president and Illinois state director, Citi Community Development. “However, many high school grads, like those from Urban Prep, are the first in their families to do so and many of them, especially African-American males, do not receive the ongoing support they need to ensure successful college careers. Project GOLD will train and support them as they strive to earn their college degrees.”
Urban Prep Academies founder and CEO Tim King
Additionally, Urban Prep’s Alumni Affairs Office tracks the number of alumni from its graduating classes who enroll in college. Urban Prep alumni from the classes of 2010, 2011 and 2012 have a 96 percent college enrollment rate—the highest of any Chicago Public School (CPS) – that exceeds national averages. Urban Prep alumni are also persisting or, staying in, college at record rates: 83 percent of Urban Prep graduates persisted in college compared to only 70 percent for CPS and 42 percent for African-American males nationally.
“When we founded Urban Prep, we wanted to increase the number of African-American males earning college degrees,” said Tim King , founder and CEO, Urban Prep Academies. “Our record college acceptance, college enrollment, and college persistence rates demonstrate that we’re changing the game. Consider this fact: one in twenty Black males from CPS enrolling in college since we graduated our first class is an Urban Prep alumnus—and that’s just when we had one campus, now we have three. Our schools, our teachers, and our students are making a real difference in how Black males are perceived in our country. I couldn’t be prouder.”
Urban Prep will host commencement exercises for this year’s graduating seniors on June 7, 2013 at the UIC Forum.
*Twenty years after I graduated from college I still owe student loans. And since I didn’t’ owe enough, I went back to school and got a master’s degree with borrowed money.
My mother keeps asking me to get a PHD, but I’m not going to pay anybody else to tell me how smart I am, especially when the salary for PhDs is less than the amount of money it takes to go back to college to earn a PHD.
Even though I’ve had “professional” jobs since I left Tennessee State University, I’ve always had to juggle my student loan payments. And I know it’s not just me. I know people in their 70’s who still owe too.
They didn’t graduate in the 70’s – they are 70-something years old – and still owe federal student loans from undergrad. For a long time I’ve felt as if the higher education system was less about education and more about loaning money for education. Just as the mortgage business is less about housing and more about loan fees and interest rates.
And speaking of Wall Street, some big banks and private equity firms have discovered that millions of people want a college degree more than they want to own a home. Now for-profit schools are the new cash cow.
A few months ago I answered an ad promoting business ownership. Turns out it was a cover for an on-line university trying to recruit me. And some people on the other end of the call might be just as surprised to find themselves in sales instead of education.
A friend of mine said her son was hired as “Director of Admissions” at some college. After he was hired he found out he’s a glorified telemarketer talking to people who answered an ad. While traditional universities such as Morris Brown College in Atlanta face foreclosure and extinction because they don’t have the enrollment or the cash flow to pay their bills or keep their accreditation, companies such as Education Management Corporation purchase entire college campuses that are in financial trouble and inherit their accreditation as part of the deal. Then overnight they change the names to Argosy University or Strayer or Ashford or you name it. They appeal to working professionals whose mother wants them to get a PHD so they can be more marketable in a slow economy where jobs are scarce and money is tight.
The federal government pays something akin to signing bonuses to the college for every student enrolled at these “accredited” colleges. And every student enrolled in undergrad is eligible to receive close to $120,000 in student aid. There’s more money for grad school. The trouble is for-profit schools don’t have to meet graduation standards. So once they get you enrolled they get the bonus money, even if you never graduate. But students are stuck with their student loans forever. Nobody cares if you pay it off. They only care that you continue to pay until you’re 70-something or until you die, which is around 70-something for most people. I guess nothing is for sure in life but death, taxes and student loan payments.