Ranking graduation rates for Alabama colleges and universities - AL.com

We’re heading into collegee graduation season but, as you can see from some federal data, not every university is awarding diplomas at the same level. The U.S. Department of Education’s scorecard ranks colleges and universities based on graduation rates. The rate is determined by the proportion of entering students that graduated from the school within eight year of entry, regardless of their status of full-time or part-time. Here is federal data on graduation rates ranked from highest to lowest. For this list, only 4-year public and non-profit private schools are included: 1. Tuskegee University (2,529 undergraduates) – 76% 2. Auburn University (24,147) – 74% 3. Samford University (3,524) – 70% 4. University of Alabama (32,177) – 67% 5. Birmingham-Southern College (1,265) – 64% 6. University of Alabama at Birmingham (13,186) – 55% 7. Spring Hill College (1,252) – 51% 8. University of Alabama in Huntsville (7,458) – 51% 9. University of Montevallo (2,251) – 51% 10. Univers

Are Universities Going the Way of CDs and Cable TV? - The Atlantic

Are Universities Going the Way of CDs and Cable TV? - The Atlantic

Are Universities Going the Way of CDs and Cable TV? - The Atlantic

Posted: 22 Jun 2020 07:27 AM PDT

After the coronavirus upended American life, millions of college students made the transition from sitting in campus lecture halls to live-streaming seminars at their kitchen tables. Do students think their pricey degrees are worth the cost when delivered remotely?

The Wall Street Journal asked that question in April, and one student responded with this zinger: "Would you pay $75,000 for front-row seats to a Beyoncé concert and be satisfied with a livestream instead?" Another compared higher education to premium cable—an annoyingly expensive bundle with more options than most people need. "Give me the basic package," he said.

As a parent of a college-age child, I'm sympathetic to these concerns. But as a college professor, I find them terrifying. And invigorating.

Why terrifying? Because I study how new technologies cause power shifts in industries, and I fear that the changes in store for higher education are going to look a lot like the painful changes we've seen in retail, travel, news, and entertainment.

The example of the entertainment industry, which I've written about extensively, is instructive. Throughout the 20th century, the industry remained remarkably stable, despite technological innovations that regularly altered the ways movies, television, music, and books were created, distributed, and consumed. That stability, however, bred overconfidence, overpricing, and an overreliance on business models tailored to a physical world.

Trouble arrived early in the 21st century, when upstart companies powered by new digital technologies began to challenge the status quo. Entertainment executives reflexively dismissed the threat. Netflix was "a channel, not an alternative." Amazon Studios was "in way over their heads." YouTube? No self-respecting artist would ever use a DIY platform to start a career. In 1997, after one music executive heard songs compressed into the MP3 format, he refused to believe anybody would give up the sound quality of CDs for the portability of MP3s. "No one is going to listen to that shit," he insisted. In 2013, the COO of Fox expressed similar skepticism about the impact of technological change on his business. "People will give up food and a roof over their head," he told investors, "before they give up TV."

We all know how that worked out: From 1999 to 2009, the music industry lost 50 percent of its sales. From 2014 to 2019, roughly 16 million American households canceled their cable subscriptions.

Similar dynamics are at play in higher education today. Universities have long been remarkably stable institutions—so stable that in 2001, by one account, they comprised an astonishing 70 of the 85 institutions in the West that have endured in recognizable form since the 1520s.

That stability has again bred overconfidence, overpricing, and an overreliance on business models tailored to a physical world. Like those entertainment executives, many of us in higher education dismiss the threats that digital technologies pose to the way we work. We diminish online-learning and credentialing platforms such as Khan Academy, Kaggle, and edX as poor substitutes for the "real thing." We can't imagine that "our" students would ever want to take a DIY approach to their education instead of paying us for the privilege of learning in our hallowed halls. We can't imagine "our" employers hiring someone who doesn't have one of our respected degrees.

But we're going to have to start thinking differently.

(Martin Parr / Magnum)

Information technology transforms industries by making scarce resources plentiful, forcing customers to rethink the value of established products.

In the entertainment industry, major studios, publishers, and music labels maintained their power by controlling the scarce equipment and studio space necessary to create content, the scarce channels necessary to distribute content, and by using copyright law to create an artificial scarcity in how consumers gained access to content. Then a new generation of digital technologies made those resources plentiful, causing consumers to start asking discomfiting questions. Why pay CD prices for iTunes downloads that can be reproduced at zero cost? Why keep cable when so many movies and TV shows are available in less expensive and more convenient digital formats?

An analogous situation prevails in higher education, where access to classroom seats, faculty experts, and university diplomas have been scarce for half a millennium. When massively open online courses first appeared, making free classes available to anyone with internet access, universities reflexively dismissed the threat. At the time, MOOCs were amateuristic, low-quality, and far removed from our degree-granting programs. But over the past 10 years, the technology has improved greatly. And this past semester, the coronavirus pandemic transformed distance learning from a quaint side product that few elite schools took seriously to a central part of our degree-granting programs. Arguments for the inherent superiority of the residential college experience will be less convincing now that we've conferred the same credentials—and charged the same tuition—for education delivered remotely.

I need no convincing of the value of campus life and in-classroom education. I recognize that online platforms can't perfectly replace what we deliver on campus. But they can fulfill key pieces of our core mission and reach many more students, of all ages and economic backgrounds, at a far lower cost. What online services lack in quality, they make up for in convenience—and as they get more popular, they're only going to get better, which in turn could unbundle the prevailing model of higher education.

Indeed, that unbundling is already happening. Employers such as Google, Apple, IBM, and Ernst & Young have stopped requiring traditional university degrees, even for some of their most highly skilled positions. Inevitably, as employers embrace new skills-based certifications, many students may question the value of the traditional four-year degree. Even some of the best college instructors are taking their talents to new online platforms—and developing their own brand identities, distinct and independent from their home institution.

These shifts are all key components of a core feedback loop supporting colleges and universities. Students pay a premium to go to the best colleges so they can receive instruction from the best faculty—and job offers from the best employers. Faculty seek out campuses where they can find the best students, the greatest financial resources, and research engagement from top companies. Employers are attracted to colleges where they can recruit the best students, with the most up-to-date knowledge, delivered by the best scholars. We are now witnessing technology simultaneously disrupt each part of that loop.

This transition is likely to appear first in technical degree programs, where it is relatively easy for students to certify their skills online, there is high demand from employers, and there are plentiful courses from professors at top universities. It is also likely to impact master's programs before bachelor's programs, because many working professionals seeking to shift careers don't have the time or resources for full-time, residential programs. Private universities may be affected before public institutions—which will be shielded, at least initially, by lower prices and the ability to leverage taxpayer support. But this transformation won't stop with technical master's degrees at private institutions. Ultimately, its influence will be felt at every level in the academy, and across nearly all degree programs.

So where does that leave us? As educators, we must constantly question how well we're serving our students. To put it in starkly commercial terms—what's our customer value proposition? We tend to get confused when we think about this question. Our industry has been so stable for so long that we've conflated our model with our mission. And no question about it: Our model is under threat. As we've seen in other industries, technology will change how we work—and that process will hurt.

Despite how terrifying these changes are, I'm convinced that they will ultimately be an invigorating force for good.

What is the core mission of higher education? That's the question we need to ask right now. In my view, the answer is simple: As educators, we strive to create opportunities for as many students as possible to discover and develop their talents, and to use those talents to make a difference in the world.

By that measure, our current model falls short. Elite colleges talk about helping our students flourish in society, but our tuition prices leave many of them drowning in debt—or unable to enroll in the first place. We talk about creating opportunities for students, but we measure our success based on selectivity, which is little more than a celebration of the number of students we exclude from the elite-campus experience. We talk about preparing students for careers after graduation, but a 2014 Gallup survey found that only 11 percent of business leaders believed "college graduates have the skills and competencies that their workplaces need." We talk about creating diverse campuses, but, as recent admissions scandals have made painfully clear, our admissions processes overwhelmingly favor the privileged few.

What if new technologies could allow us to understand the varied backgrounds, goals, and learning styles of our students—and provide educational material customized to their unique needs? What if we could deliver education to students via on-demand platforms that allowed them to study whenever, wherever, and whatever they desired, instead of requiring them to conform to the "broadcast" schedule of today's education model? What if the economies of scale available from digital delivery allowed us to radically lower the price of our educational resources, creating opportunities for learners we previously excluded from our finely manicured quads? Might we discover, as the entertainment industry has, a wealth of talented individuals with valuable contributions to make who just didn't fit into the rigid constraints of our old model?

I believe we will, but that doesn't mean the residential university will go away. Indeed, these changes may allow universities to jettison "anti-intellectual" professional-degree programs in favor of a renewed focus on a classical liberal-arts education. But as this happens, we might discover that the market for students interested in spending four years and thousands of dollars on a broad foundation in the humanities is smaller than we believe—certainly not large enough to support the 5,000 or so college campuses in the United States today. Soon, residential colleges may experience a decline similar to that of live theaters after the advent of movies and broadcast television. Broadway and local playhouses still exist, but they are now considered exclusive and expensive forms of entertainment, nowhere near the cultural force they once were.

But remember, just because new technology changed the way entertainment was delivered doesn't mean it impeded the industry's underlying mission. Instead of destroying TV, movies, and books, new technologies have produced an explosion in creative output, delivered through the convenience, personalization, and interactivity of Kindle libraries, Netflix recommendations, and Spotify playlists. Despite—or maybe because of—the digital disruption we've recently lived through, we're now enjoying a golden age of entertainment.

Whether we like it or not, big changes are coming to higher education. Instead of dismissing them or denying that they're happening, let's embrace them and see where they can take us. We have a chance today to reimagine an old model that has fallen far behind the times. If we do it right, we might even usher in a new golden age of education.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

Guitarist is ready to sing, release solo album and build his online lesson business - Winston-Salem Journal

Posted: 01 Jul 2020 06:30 PM PDT

Eight years ago, guitarist Daniel Seriff was in his mid-20s playing just about every gig he could and teaching a lot of private guitar lessons.

"In 2012, I probably played about 300 gigs. ... It was just crazy," Seriff said.

These days, Seriff, now 34, teaches out of his private studio at his home in Winston-Salem but has cut down considerably on the number of gigs.

He taught at Guilford College for about five years as an adjunct professor. He is a graduate of UNC School of the Arts and recently graduated from the University of New Orleans with a master's degree in jazz guitar.

While in New Orleans, he picked up some cool gigs.

"About a year and a half ago, I was playing with a great New Orleans piano player named John Gros," he said. "We started touring all around."

He also got to perform with singers Irma Thomas and Walter "Wolfman" Washington, as well as Big Chief Monk Boudreaux of the Golden Eagles, a Mardi Gras Indian tribe.

In late summer, Seriff will release his first solo album, which he expects will be self-titled. The seven-song album will feature four original songs and three covers.

"Once I Knew You" is an original jazz song he wrote featuring saxophonist, Brad Walker.

"It's an up-tempo minor blues song with a couple of twists," Seriff said.

Mark Lettieri, the guitarist from the band "Snarky Puppy," is featured on a cover of Kurt Rosenwinkel's "Minor Blues."

"Far Love" is an original tune Seriff wrote that features extensive use of the Melodic Minor scale and local guitarist Matt Sickels. "Lady Bird," the Tadd Dameron jazz classic, features world famous fusion guitarist, Tom Quayle, in an up-tempo funky fusion rendition.

"I recorded/engineered the entire record myself in my home studio called 'I Shot The Sheriff Studios,'" Seriff said. "I also mixed the entire record myself. All of the work has been done in house at my studio in Winston or my studio in New Orleans."

Q: How would you describe your art?

Answer: I'm an avid improviser. Although I often get lumped into the "jazz" category, I'm a huge fan of most styles of music. I love to play as a session guitarist on recordings and love to teach. I can find beauty in almost all music. I find it equally as enjoyable to find the perfect guitar part to support a song, or play some silly guitar solo. I really enjoy the sound of music and fitting the right textures together in order to build a great track/song.

Q: How have you evolved as an artist?

Answer: I started out learning classic rock songs when I was 13. I practiced a ton and loved playing. As I got better and better, I got interested in jazz and classical music. I did my undergrad in classical guitar while studying jazz and improvisation. I spent 10 years teaching, playing gigs and playing in a bunch of bands. In 2018, I decided to go back to get a master's in guitar. I moved to New Orleans and attended UNO on a full ride scholarship. I just finished that, and I'm excited to get back to developing my voice on the instrument. Also, I've grown to love singing and I am currently taking voice lessons in order to grow my ability to front a band and release albums that I play and sing on.

Q: Who has influenced your art?

Answer: I love all kinds of music — anything from Miles Davis to Jackson Browne to Michael Landau. I listen to a diverse range of things and I am inspired by many of these artists. I would say I'm also influenced by reading. I really enjoy books on meditation and feel that meditation practice helps me get out of my own way and make the music I want to make.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

Answer: Making time for everything that I want to do. I'm teaching 30-plus hours a week online. I've been teaching professionally online for the past two years during school. I just moved back (to Winston-Salem) from New Orleans and am regaining my footing after two very busy years of working constantly, touring and trying to wrap up my degree. I want to write, sing and record original and cover music regularly. Continue to teach my awesome students. I also am in the process of building an online lesson business on www.DanielSeriff.com that I hope will help people across the world. There are a lot of bad guitar lessons online. I hope to share with people the things that have helped me the most over the last 20 years of playing and teaching music.

Q: What does art do for you?

Answer: I feel like it gives my life purpose. Sharing music performances or sharing music with my students brings me so much joy. I think music transcends the barriers between humans. I don't know a single person who doesn't love at least some music. It's healing and massively important for the world.

Q: Any advice for other artists?

Answer: I think it's really important in this day and age to not box yourself into one thing. We need, more than ever, to be diverse. I'm so thankful that many years ago I needed to diversify in order to have a career in music.

Chicago jazz and classical institutions are altering their summer programs due to the pandemic. - Chicago Tribune

Posted: 01 Jul 2020 07:42 AM PDT

The festival's theme will be Hear Chicago, that phrase "a call to engage with the vast multiplicity of styles and traditions that constitutes Chicago's expansive musical identity in the 21st century," according to New Music Chicago. "It expresses our firm belief in the vitality of Chicago's BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) musicians as a significant part of the city's complex history. As our society takes steps to heal from the multiple tragedies it is currently experiencing, as well as its centuries-long legacy of injustice, inequity, colonialism and violence, it is most importantly an invitation to challenge, collaborate, and change together as artists and listeners."

Find an Online Music Camp - Violinist.com

Posted: 01 Jul 2020 08:28 AM PDT

July 1, 2020, 10:20 AM ·

Find an Online Music Camp

It's already July, but it's not too late to sign up for a summer program to inspire and boost your playing! With so many music camps cancelled this year, Violinist.com seeks to connect you to those high-quality programs that are offering their programs virtually this summer. Our "Find an Online Music Camp" listings include programs for many different ages and styles for violinists and string players. We invite you to click around and learn more about each of these programs - each is linked to the program's website for more information. This directory will be posted on Violinist.com throughout July, and you will be able to return to this page by clicking the "Find an Online Music Camp" graphic that is listed with our sponsors on the right. Wishing you a productive summer full of musical connection and exploration!

String Summit Online: Strings Without Boundaries
July 23-26. Explore new techniques, genres, creativity, amplification, and much more! ($20/hour class - $35/two-hour class). World class faculty: Julie Lyonn Lieberman - Tom Morley - Katie Glassman - Jacob Szekely - Martha Mooke - Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw - Renata Bratt - Andy Reiner - Vi Wickam - Joe Deninzon - David Finch - Alissa Jackman - Sarah Curro - Anne Nagosky - Chris Haigh. Click here for more information
Friend's International Violin Academy
We welcome you to apply for Rodney Friend's (FIVA Artistic Director) 'FRIEND'S INTERNATIONAL VIOLIN ACADEMY', now online with a faculty of the most influential violinists in the world including: Rodney Friend, Pinchas Zukerman, Augustin Hadelich, Yuzuko Horigome, Joel Smirnoff, Cho-Liang Lin, Dong-Suk Kang, Siyeon Ryu, Cihat Askin and So-Ock Kim. Click here for more information
Music at Port Milford Online 2020
Description: Music at Port Milford Online 2020
• Full Session for Students ages 12-18
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Workshops including: Conducting, Performance Psychology, Exploring Beethoven Quartets, Arranging and Composition, Alexander Technique, Honing your Creative Edge, Private Lessons, Masterclasses, Artist Faculty Performances Click here for more information
Violin and Viola Boot Camp 2020In our 8th year and growing each year!
Create a violin and viola individual practice environment where the teacher can correct mistakes occurring during the practice sessions right when they happen. Supervised personal practice time, group technical work and instruction, and daily master classes and performances by each student. Topics also covered are sight-reading, quick music learning techniques, orchestral excerpts, and much more! Click here for more information

StringsPop Online Summer Music CampStringsPop Online Summer Music Camp is the hotspot for teens ages 13-17 to learn pop music arranging and make their own multi-track music videos. Offerings include: daily classes, recording assignments, group collaborations, individual teacher feedback, exclusive materials, and guest interviews with industry recording artists. Three 10-day sessions to choose from. Click here for more information

Inside Music Academy - Virtual Summer SessionsWe are thrilled to offer state-of-the-art virtual sessions for classical strings, winds, piano, composition, conducting, adult learners and Suzuki students. Musicians of all levels from around the globe work with our world-class faculty in five-day sessions. All instruments (conducting session 2 only) offered in all sessions. Broaden your horizons in the comfort of your own home. Click here for more information
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Jink teaches from the rich store of historic sheet music in the Scottish tradition, making our Jul/Aug evening classes accessible to violinists of all ages and ability levels! Rachel Barton Pine will explore the stylistic nuances required to interpret the works of the great Scottish composers for experienced violinists. Click here for more information
Online Camps at Ashokan Music & Dance<Attend workshops, concerts, hangouts, sing and play-alongs, and much more. At Northern Week (July 20-26), learn the traditional music of New England, Québéc, Sweden, France, and the British Isles. At Southern Week (August 17-23), it's Appalachian, Old Time, Cajun and Zydeco music and dancing. Ashokan will also hold Acoustic Guitar Camp (July 29-Aug. 2), Family Camp (Aug. 5-9), and Bluegrass Camp (Aug. 12-16). Learn more & sign up at: ashokan.org Click here for more information

Our "Find an Online Music Camp" directory will be promoted through the month of July. If you would like to purchase a sponsored listing to promote your online music camp, please click here. Thank you for supporting Violinist.com!


James Joseph Dulis | News, Sports, Jobs - Lewistown Sentinel

Posted: 01 Jul 2020 09:38 PM PDT

James Joseph Dulis, 85, of Valley View Haven, Belleville, passed into the next life at 4:18 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at the Haven, as his son James played the processional on piano for him to approach the throne of God.

Born Feb. 16, 1935, in Danville, he was the son of the late James A. Dulis and Margaret (Spadle) Dulis.

On Dec. 21, 1991, he married Lauranne Marie Van Wright, of Reedsville, who survives, grateful for the 29 years in which she was privileged to share his life.

Jim is also survived by his son, James Joseph Dulis Jr. and wife, Elena, of State College; and grandsons, Jason Dulis and wife, Janine, and Robin Dulis, of Germany. Jason and Janine are the parents of Alessandro Dulis, Stella Dulis and Luke Dulis, Jim's great-grandchildren.

Jim had a big heart, full of love and pride for his wife, son, grandsons and great-grandchildren. It was very important to him to be there for his parents and aunts when they required support in later years. He was a man of great humor and unbelievable energy.

Jim was a 1953 graduate of Kulpmont High School. He played on the Kulpmont High School Football team. Jim served in the United States Army; he was in the Signal Corps, stationed in Germany. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in music education from The Pennsylvania State University in 1960. Also at Penn State, Jim earned his Master's Degree in music education in 1967. He pursued further postgraduate credits there.

Jim was employed by the Mifflin County School District as a music teacher for over 30 years. He spent most of his career as a choral director at Chief Logan High School, and the last few years that he taught were at Strodes Mills Elementary School. He was the director of music at First United Methodist Church in Lewistown, for over 30 years. He directed the Sanctuary Choir and Bell Choir. He also scheduled and accompanied soloist for the church. Jim gave private piano lessons. He directed the Madrigal Singers (an adult group) during the early 1970's.

Jim was a member of Phi Delta Kappa at Penn State University, and he was a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR), the Stone Arch Players, the Upper Room Sunday School Class at First United Methodist Church, and the YMCA in Burnham. He was a patron of the Mifflin-Juniata Community Concert Association. Jim was a certified PADI open water diver and enjoyed boating with friends and family.

Jim dearly loved his dogs and was an enthusiastic and accomplished cook. He made the world's best spaghetti sauce!

Jim traveled to Jamaica, the Bahamas, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Hawaii; he made several trips to sites in Florida and Williamsburg, VA. Jim also loved being at home and entertaining friends and family. He enjoyed playing pool with friends.

A celebration of life Service will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Lewistown, PA, when the current COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and the choirs he directed are able to perform in his honor. The date and time of this event will be published at a later date.

Arrangements are under the care of The Barr Funeral Home Inc. and Crematory, 120 Logan Street, Lewistown.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association: 225 North Michigan Ave., Floor 17, Chicago, Illinois 60601 or online at www.alz.org, or to Valley View Retirement Community 4702 E. Main Street, Belleville PA 17004 or online at www.vvrconline.org where Jim received outstanding, loving, and compassionate care and was always treated with respect and dignity.

Online condolences can shared with the family at www.barrfh.com.


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