Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Conversations: #highered, #adjuncts & chatting up Mr Ed.Gov

Ed.gov logobecause they want input. Yours. Mine. Ours. Input is not just for organizations and individuals who can make it to the various "college affordability" hearings around the country. You can read about CFHE testimony at the California one just past in the Academe blog. NFM will be represented at the DC area hearing at George Washington University, this Wednesday, aka tomorrow. There will be additional hearings at LSU in Baton Rouge and another at an Iowa campus.

So where does that leave the individual adjunct in the usual throes of feeling voiceless?

Notice has been relatively short on hearings. Some but not all organizations have canvassed members. There is a form for members on the NEA Higher Ed page but moderated, which means your voice may be heard, but then again maybe not. Also membership pages and closed groups are less than open fora.

To finish answering the question:
a) If your professional organization, union or other support organization (yes, that would include the New Faculty Majority) does not have a page with a form for submitting your opinions on the issue, then write them - ask them to take your words to a public hearing, ask them in a public forum. See b) below about sharing publicly.

b) write the ed.gov college affordability people at collegefeedback@ed.gov. Keep a copy. Post it publicly somewhere. If you don't have a place, send it me at vanessa.vaile@newfacultymajority.info. I'll find one, make one if none suit.

"Are there guidelines?" you ask. Yes, with thanks to Gary Rhoades, CFHE Working Group, for point me to the following: Here's what the government web site on the plan has to say: Be Part of the Conversation

"A New College Ratings System: Areas of Feedback President Obama has directed the U.S. Department of Education to develop and publish a new college ratings system that would be available for students and families before the 2015-16 school year. The ratings system will help students compare the value offered by colleges and encourage colleges to improve.  At our open forums, we will seek input to help us develop the ratings system.

We are particularly interested in hearing from the public on the following topic areas:
  • The characteristics individuals look for when choosing a college.
  • The information individuals must have to compare colleges.
  • The important factors to think about when considering the "value" of a college.
  • The ways that individuals weigh college price, quality, geography, program of study, or other factors when comparing colleges.
  • How individuals make a distinction between a high-performing college and a low-performing college.
Mr Ed Dot Gov says, "If you have input on these or other topics related to college affordability and value that you would like to share with us, please email us at collegefeedback@ed.gov"

Relate working conditions and adjunct issues to the above points.  Articles you've read ~ our Professor Staff report, articles by Josh Boldt, Debra Leigh Scott and others ~ address these question. What's your take? What does your own teaching experience tell you?

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