Wednesday, February 26, 2014

'Expressed,' 'Measured' Interest in STEM

In today's Graph of the Week, we display some data gathered by ACT that shows how large numbers Ohio high school graduates interested in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medical study completed high school without being ready for college work in those areas.

The study identifies three groups of students with an apparent interest in STEM: those with an "expressed" interest, those with a "measured" interest, and those with both expressed and measured interest. How do these groups differ?

Here is how ACT defines these groups:

Essentially, a student who has an expressed interest in STEM [has chosen] a major or occupation (out of the 294 listed in the Standard Profile Section of the ACT) that corresponds with STEM fields. A measured interest utilizes the ACT interest inventory, an inventory delivered with the ACT that determines inherent interest in different occupations and majors.

"Expressed and measured" means that the student's interest shows up both directly in the standard profile and indirectly in the interest inventory.

The complete study is available from ACT's web site. By the way, Ohio's students are better prepared for STEM study than the nation as a whole.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

AICUO Loses First Executive Director

AICUO began in 1969 when a group of independent college presidents decided that the creation of the state's need-based aid program required a more systematic engagement of the legislature, governor, and Ohio Board of Regents. For the association's first four years, they made their presence known and worked hard to bring to life a new entity with bylaws, meetings, and offices. During that time, the association was led by Executive Director Richard W. Shoemaker. Sadly, on February 13, 2014, Mr. Shoemaker died after a rapid decline in health. He was 88 years old.

Dick Shoemaker served as a naval officer in World War II and the Korean conflict, attended Denison University and graduated from Otterbein College.  He was married over 40 years before the death of his wife, and is survived by his second spouse and the three children from his first marriage.

Mr. Shoemaker led AICUO's first years, and then stayed with the organization as Vice President after it transitioned to a larger organizational model in 1972. I never met Mr. Shoemaker, but know of his effective work from AICUO's archives and meeting minutes. In a March 1972 memo to the AICUO board announcing a later-adopted plan to change the organization's structure, Capital University President and AICUO President (i.e., board chairman) Thomas Langevin commented:
"As an association, AICUO has attained noteworthy success. It has only a short history but due to the work of many people a great deal of ground has been gained. The Ohio Instructional Grants [predecessor to today's Ohio College Opportunity Grant] Program represents the most noteworthy attainment, but also the production of the Ohio Study; the accumulation and updating of data presented by the institutions; the establishment of research policy positions which [were] just [then] coming to the Executive committee for later adoption by the Board; and other things, represent considerable attainment."
The Ohio Study was a particular achievement, described in minutes as a "mammoth venture" to study institutional capacity in the sector and disseminate the study's results across the state. With costs totaling $47,500 outside of AICUO's budget, the study was completed in 1970, although the association's dissemination continued through 1972. By comparison, association dues in 1971 were $60,000, with per member rates ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.

Of course, every job has its less glamorous side. Presumably Mr. Shoemaker saw that in April 1970, when according to minutes of the AICUO Executive Committee, he had to convince the group to authorize the purchase of a dictation machine for $350. The minutes also document that his recommendation to purchase what was apparently an expensive machine for the time, was accepted.

In 1973, Frank E. Duddy, Jr., after stepping down as president of Marietta College, became association president. Mr. Shoemaker remained as his Vice President until both left in 1983, when my predecessor, Larry Christman, became AICUO President.

AICUO will be making a contribution in memory of Mr. Shoemaker. The link to his obituary provides information for those that wish to do likewise.

-- C. Todd Jones

Friday, February 7, 2014

AICUO Hosts LSC Fellows Luncheon

AICUO held their annual Legislative Service Commission Fellows Luncheon today in Columbus.  The fellowship program is a paid thirteen-month legislative fellowship position designed to provide college graduates with practical experience in the legislative process sponsored by the Legislative Service Commission of Ohio.

This year the LSC Fellowship Program accepted 10 students from private colleges and universities.  Those students are:

Ashland University
   Brie Diehl
Cedarville University
   Devin Babcock
Denison University
   Brooke Felts
Malone University
   Meredith Alexander
Taylor University
   Nate Burdette
Walsh University
   David Roper
Wittenberg University
   Libby Westlake
Xavier University
   Matthew Keyes
   Kailyn McGowan
   Kelsey Romanchik

The AICUO Fellows Luncheon allows our organization to connect with students who have an interest in politics that also graduated from our member schools.

If you are interested in learning more about how to become a LSC Fellow please click here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Otterbein Announces Systems Engineering Program, Partnership With Columbus State

Columbus State's Dr. Stacia Edwards, Otterbein's Dr. Aaron Reinhard and President Kathy Krendl, Columbus State President David Harrison

Beginning in the fall of 2015, AICUO member Otterbein University will be offering a new bachelor's degree in systems engineering, a multidisciplinary program designed to meet the state's and nation's need for more STEM degrees as well as fit with Otterbein's strengths in integrative learning.

Students can enroll directly at Otterbein or enter via a pathway program offered with Columbus State Community College.

Otterbein President Kathy Krendl announced the new program today at TechColumbus, along with interim program director Prof. Aaron Reinhard, joined by Columbus State President David Harrison and special assistant Dr. Stacia Edwards.

More details are available at Otterbein's web site.