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News 08-30-2002

Technical Grads Have Highest Starting Salaries

Despite the economic downturn in the technology sector, students graduating with technical degrees are typically offered the highest starting salaries compared to their peers holding other degrees, according to a new job market survey by the New York Times. Starting salaries in the New York area for graduates with bachelor's technical degrees ranged from $38K to $52K. The range for the next highest group, business degreed grads, was $30K to $35K. However, job seekers continue to believe that enrollment in a business program will help them secure good jobs. Nearly two in five job seekers interviewed think that recruiters are most likely to hire candidates with a business degree (38 percent). A business program is a top choice among current students (29 percent) and among those who plan to enroll at a college/university during the next year (30 percent).

Sponsor: James Oliverio Featured Keynote Speaker at Syllabus fall2002

James Oliverio, Professor and Director of Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida, will lead off the first day of Syllabus fall2002's main conference as keynote speaker on November 4. Oliverio's interest in immersive collaboration and the use of visualization and multi-modal technologies to increase understanding and retention promises to be an enlightening, thought-provoking session. Syllabus fall2002 will be held November 3-5 at the Boston Marriott Newton Hotel in Newton, Mass with pre-conference seminars on November 3 and a vendor fair scheduled for November 4.

For further conference details and to register, go to

U. Conn. Adopts Online Alcohol Ed Program

The University of Connecticut said it mandate alcohol education for its students starting this September. All first-year students will take a three-hour interactive course, AlcoholEdu, developed by Outside The Classroom, Inc., which provides online health education for colleges and universities. The university will also make AlcoholEdu available to other campus groups, including athletic teams, Greek-letter organizations, and disciplinary referrals. "Binge drinking and other high-risk alcohol consumption can be a major problem for young men and women, especially early in their college careers," said John Saddlemire, dean of students at the university. "Research has shown that the strongest motivation for behavior change comes from relevant information delivered to students in effective and non-threatening ways. AlcoholEdu for the first time makes it easy and practical to provide this preemptive education to all our first-year students and other selected groups."

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eCollege Will Integrate XanEdu Coursepacks

Course management system provider eCollege formed a partnership with XanEdu that will integrate XanEdu coursepacks into the eCollege AU+ online teaching platform. In the XanEdu system, faculty members can create and edit their own coursepacks, and then add the coursepack link to any unit inside their eCollege AU+ course shell. The integration will enable faculty to enhance their courses with high quality content, while reducing research and course development efforts. For students, it will simplify access to professors' custom coursepacks via a single integrated course login. XanEdu provide users access to more than 5.5 billion pages of articles, case studies and content from thousands of publishers.

Penn State Offers Comm Certification Online

Penn State launched a five-course Web-based communications studies certificate. "Given the heavy impact of communications in our lives, it makes sense not only to offer a certificate in communications, but to use current communications technology to do it," said Dean Doug Anderson. The program grew out of a request from campus executives who wanted a collection of theory-based courses on which they could build their own communications programs and retain students. The courses in the program are: mass media and society, mass media history, law of mass communications, news media ethics, and the mass media and the public. "We have put solid resources into this endeavor," Anderson added. "This is not an adjunct activity, but an integral part of the faculty's teaching load."

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Bells & Whistles: Smart Laundry Equipment

Students and administrators at the University of Delaware recently attended "Laundry 101," a part-educational, part-entertaining presentation designed to create awareness of the benefits of water conservation and environmental responsibility. Of course, the session wasn't entirely altruistic. It was sponsored by appliance king Maytag Corp., which contends its high efficiency washers and dryers can save colleges and universities precious resources -- water, energy and dollars. U. Delaware, in drought-seared Newark, Del., installed Maytag gear in 55 campus laundry rooms. The result? The university is in a position to save 3.5 million gallons of water a year, at a savings of about $71,000, says Marsha Penhaker, deputy program manager for the Energy Star conservation program. Another view: the water saved by the university within the next year will be more than its 250 resident assistants will be able to consume in a lifetime, says Maytag.

Awards, Deals, Contracts, in Higher Education

Networks: Merit Network, Inc., provider of Internet connectivity to all of Michigan's publicly funded universities, selected Cogent Communications' GigE (1000Mbps) network to deliver ultra-high speed Internet access to students, faculty, and staff. Among the challenges that Merit has faced is Internet traffic that has doubled every year for the past four years while the student body size has remained relatively stable. Cogent's network runs off an 18,500-mile long haul backbone and metropolitan network and was built specifically for IP data, so it avoids some commercial network costs associated with voice infrastructure, the company said.

E-Commerce: The University of Cincinnati signed an agreement with Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., and infiNet Solutions to implement QuikPay electronic payment software. Using the system, the University's 34,000 students and their parents will be able view tuition and fee statements and make payments online. Ohio State and the University of Illinois are also users of the system. QuikPay allows schools to present billing statements directly from their website with single sign-on. Students and their parents are then able to securely view and pay a consolidated billing statement directly from the school's Website.

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