SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, August 2, 2006

News & Product Updates

Defense Grant Produces Disappointing Results

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security earmarked millions of dollars to be given in the form of grants to education institutions. The purpose was to create programs that would recruit and train students in cyber security. It was hoped that these programs would produce a crop of highly trained security professionals that would enter the workforce and protect network systems in both the public and private sector. One such grant of $2 million was given to the Community College of Allegheny County and Carnegie Mellon University.

A recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the program was cut off before it ever really got off the ground. It was designed to enroll 1,000 students, but over the course of three years, only 70 have shown interest and only 30 have completed the curriculum. Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington D.C., called it a case of academic pork...(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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Senate Approves Technical Education Bill

The U.S. Senate has passed legislation to renew the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, a program that supplies federal grants to community colleges and high schools to provide job-training for low-income students. Despite President Bush’s opposition to the bill, it now moves on to the House of Representatives.

The law was last reauthorized in 1998. Mr. Bush has called the program ineffective and called on Congress to scrap it, though he has not threatened a veto. This year, states received about $1.3 billion from the program, of which about 40% has gone to community colleges...(The Chronicle of Higher Education)

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Tech Focus in High School Can Lead to Higher Ed

The Department of Education’s statistical arm issued a report that details the postsecondary educational experiences of students who concentrated in career and technical education in high school and graduated in 1992. The report is based in part on data collected in the National Education Longitudinal Study and was produced by the National Center for Education Statistics.

According to the report, most of the students had enrolled in postsecondary education by 2000, and a majority of those students had started out at a community college. Of the students who attended a college or university, 50 percent had earned a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2000, and 26 percent had received a bachelor’s or higher degree...(National Center for Education Statistics)

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