News 06-25-2002

Med Schools Streamline Application Process

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) said it would collaborate with application service provider CollegeNet Inc. to ease the process of applying to medical school. Most med schools require applicants to complete a common application through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), as well as multiple school-specific secondary applications. AAMC hosts the web-based common application for 115 participating U.S. medical schools, while CollegeNET, a contractor to a number of medical colleges, hosts campus-specific application forms on each college's behalf. Under the new agreement, schools can authorize the transfer of data from the AMCAS application into the medical college secondary application hosted by CollegeNET. Before, applicants had to tediously re-enter common information for each secondary application form.

Syllabus2002 Session Highlights Pew Grant Program in Course Redesign

What lessons have colleges and universities learned about using technology to achieve cost savings and quality enhancements in instruction? Find out when you attend a featured session reviewing 30 redesign projects funded by the Pew Grant Program in Course Redesign. These projects have the potential to impact significant numbers of students and generate substantial cost savings. Syllabus2002 advisory board chair Judith Boettcher welcomes Carolyn Jarmon of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who will provide an overview of the grant program and share insights gained from it. The ninth annual Syllabus conference on education technology will be held in Santa Clara, Calif. July 27-31.

For complete details on more exciting sessions and top-notch speakers, go to http://www.sylabus.com/summer2002/index13.asp

GWU, Firm, Partner on Accessibility Courses

GWSolutions, a subsidiary of George Washington University, has joined with a developer of accessible e-business applications to integrate accessibility courses into GW's Center for Professional Development curriculum beginning this summer. This move was prompted by a 1998 law requring federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Eight courses developed by Crunchy Technologies Inc., designed to prepare IT managers to create accessible information in compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, have been added to the GW curriculum. Alan Reich, executive director of the National Organization on Disabilities, called the deal "a model for others to follow through comprehensive and integrated technology education."

For more information, visit: http://www.gwu.edu/cpd/crunchy

Science Students Rank B'eing Number One

In a study by a research firm specializing in students' career expectations, engineering and science college students identified B'eing as their most ideal employer. In the 2002 Universum Undergraduate Survey, engineering and science students identified B'eing as their first choice of employer -- an increase from No. 5 last year -- and information technology students ranked the company in the top 25. Following B'eing on the list were BMW, Pfizer, DuPont, IBM, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, General Electric, Abbott Laboratories and Dow Chemical, which tied for No. 10. Universum CEO Claudia Tattanelli-Skeini said students this year tended to choose companies that have an array of core businesses as well as new product and service offerings. She said such diversity is viewed as providing career growth, promotion potential and relocation opportunities.

For more information, visit: http://www.universum.se

Wharton webCafe Earns High Satisfaction Ratings

A survey of students of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania found that 97 percent rated the school's web-based virtual meeting application -- dubbed web Cafe -- as valuable to their education experience. Since Wharton began using webCafe in 1998 as part of the school's student intranet, use of webCafe has expanded to 5,200 users, 99 percent of full-time MBA candidates, all executive MBA students, and almost all Wharton undergraduates. webCafe is one component of Wharton's plan to reshape its business education. The school's Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab is exploring methods of learning and instruction using interactive multimedia and real-time simulations. This August, it is opening Jon M. Huntsman Hall, which Wharton claims will be the largest and most sophisticated instructional technology center at any business school.

For more information, visit: http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/learning

Fed Says Slowing Education Crimps Growth

The educational standards of American workers are likely to stagnate over the next 20 years, which could restrain economic growth, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston said last week. Addressing a conference on Education in the 21st Century, Fed economist Yolanda Kodrzycki said the educational standards of 25-34-year-olds have changed relatively little since the early 1980s, compared with improvements in previous decades. "Unless new policies offset the effects of existing demographic and educational patterns, improvements in labor quality are likely to contribute less to economic growth in the United States in the coming two decades than has been the case since the 1960s or so," she said. Improving labor quality, reflected in a more highly educated work force, is important because it helps increase productivity growth, or the amount of output per hour worked.

HWS Colleges Unveil High-Speed Network

Hobart and William Smith Colleges has completed a campus-wide network upgrade to a Gigabit Ethernet-based network, offering its users a secure high-capacity facility to support new distance learning and field learning initiatives. Prior to the migration, connectivity and resources were available only on a first-come, first-serve basis. Users could not rely on network services or integrate technology within their learning programs. In addition to increasing bandwidth, one goal of the Colleges was to allocate bandwidth and network access to provide every student with around-the-clock, reliable access to applications and resources. The new network is powered by Enterasys' Matrix E7 intelligent switching platform and NetSight network management software.

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