News Update August 30, 2005

CT News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Campus Technology

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News for Tuesday, August 30, 2005

* California Community Colleges Automate Transcripts Statewide
* NSF Awards $52 Million to Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
* Survey Finds College Study Habits, Results, Differ by Gender
* U. Minnesota Hosts State Fair ‘Tele-dermatology’ Examinations
* RateMyProfessors.com, SwitchTextbooks.com Hook Up
* ‘Best Run’ School in Princeton Review Survey? Princeton

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California Community Colleges to Automate Transcripts Statewide

The California Community College (CCC) system is moving
forward with plans to automate the way it manages
transcripts and transcript requests. Its proposed
CCCTran System will enable the 2.9 million student-community
college system to enhance transcript security and turnaround
time among its 109 campuses, and “trading partners,”
including the California State University (CSU) system,
the University of California (UC) system, and California
Student Information Services (CSIS). CCC awarded Xap Corp.
a contract to develop and implement the system.

Catherine McKenzie, a spokeswoman for the CCC’s Chancellor's
Office, said, "As the largest college system in the country,
we expect the CCCTran System to set the industry standard
for efficient transcript processing.” Transcript costs are
expected to decrease from the current $6-$10 for a
conventional manually-issued transcript to $0.50 per
electronic transcript, she added. The new system will
be a centralized service for securely transmitting
transcripts “in real time” from CCC member schools to
authorized educational institutions--regardless of
current student information systems or business practices
for transcripts.

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NSF Awards $52 Million to Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

National Science Foundation has awarded $52 million
during the next five years to support operations at
the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. The PSC is a
leading partner in the TeraGrid, NSF's program to
provide national cyberinfrastructure for education and
research. Built during the last four years, the TeraGrid
is the world's largest, most comprehensive distributed
cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research.

The TeraGrid integrates high-performance computers,
data resources and tools, and high-end experimental
facilities at eight partner sites around the country.
NSF director Arden Bement said TeraGrid would “(unite)
the scientific and engineering community so that larger,
more complex scientific questions can be answered.
Solving these larger challenges will, in turn, motivate
the development of the next generation of
cyberinfrastructure."

The $52 million award to fund PSC's operations is part
of a five-year, $150 million NSF award - announced last
week--to support the eight TeraGrid partner institutions,
which in addition to PSC are: Argonne National
Laboratory/University of Chicago, Indiana University,
the National Center for Scientific Applications, Oak
Ridge National Laboratory, Purdue University, San Diego
Supercomputer Center, and Texas Advanced Computing Center.

For more information, visit: http://www.teragrid.org


Survey Finds College Study Habits-Results Differ by Gender

America's female college students study more, are more
likely to read their textbooks thoroughly and earn "A"s,
and expect to graduate in less time than their male
counterparts, according to a study of 1,800 college
students at four-year and two-year colleges. Conversely,
male students study one-third less than women, party more
often, are more likely to earn a "C" or less in their
courses, and expect to take longer to graduate. The
study was commissioned by the Association of American
Publishers to help publishers and educators understand
students' study habits, and better determine what impact
they have on academic achievement.

"We've generally taken for granted that hitting the books
translates to better grades and a more successful college
experience. This research confirms that hard work matters,
and quantifies the difference between those students with
a set of solid study habits and those without," said Eric
Weil, managing partner, of Student Monitor, a research
firm which conducted the study. Among the differences:
men are more likely to skim through a textbook while
women are more likely to read their textbook thoroughly;
and more than one in four men find themselves studying
late at night.

Bruce Hildebrand, executive director for higher education
at the AAP said: "Currently, only one-half of all public
four-year college and university students are graduating
in four years or less, increasing their debt and putting
a strain on campus resources. As a result, colleges and
universities are under increasing pressure to improve
student engagement and to help students graduate more
quickly. Publishers, in turn, are being called upon to
produce more sophisticated tools for teaching and learning.
We wanted to find out what more publishers
could do to make their products better meet the needs of
students.”

For more information, visit:
http://www.publishers.org/highered/index.cfm


U. Minnesota Hosts State Fair ‘Teledermatology’ Examinations

The University of Minnesota is mounting a telemedicine
demonstration at the Minnesota State Fair to screen fair-g'ers
remotely for signs of skin disease by a panel of dermatologists.
The U. of Minnesota Medical Center’s “teledermatology” project
will enable fairg'ers and the dermatologist to have
live face-to-face conversations. Special exam and digital
cameras will be used to obtain visual images of the patient's
skin problem. The demonstration will use videoconference
systems by Video Guidance, Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minn.


RateMyProfessors.com, SwitchTextbooks.com Hook Up

The founders of SwitchTextbooks.com, an online textbook trading
company, announced said they would work with their newly acquired
site, RateMyProfessors.com, in a “cooperative effort.”
Patrick Nagle and Will DeSantis said RateMyProfessors.com would
continue to be a free service while also offering students
the ability to switch textbooks legally through a secure online network.

"Our service eliminates the routinely incurred financial
headache students experience while purchasing textbooks,”
said Nagle. Our service will save students hundreds of dollars per
semester." DeSantis added, “It is important that the student
body recognize that we are on their side. As former college
students, we understand the value of a dollar. Therefore,
RateMyProfessors.com will continue to be a free service.
Likewise, SwitchTextbooks.com is aimed at saving students
time and money."


‘Best Run’ School in Princeton Review Survey? Princeton

The annual survey of student preferences conducted by the
Princeton Review found Princeton University highest rated in
answer to the question, “How smoothly is your school run?”
Runners-up were Whitman College, Wabash College, Middlebury
College, and Claremont McKenna College.

The Princeton Review is a New York City-based company known
for its test prep courses. It is not affiliated with Princeton
University or the Educational Testing Service. The company said
it surveyed 110,000 college students at 361 colleges to
determine its rankings in multiple categories.

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Online Resources

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