A Brief Primer on College Success Programs—Challenges and Successes

by Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scientist During my career, I have evaluated dozens of college access programs and worked with hundreds of practitioners on improving their programs and measuring efficacy. These programs are in operation because the academic system, from pre-K to graduate/professional school, is slanted to those who have the wherewithal, both financially and academically, to navigate elementary, secondary, and postsecondary … Continue reading A Brief Primer on College Success Programs—Challenges and Successes

Blow It Up?

by Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scientist We have a chance. COVID-19 has provided an unusual opportunity to rethink how we educate people at the postsecondary level in the United States, if not the world. Let us hope this type of opportunity does not present itself again, but over the next few years, the sheer financial weight associated with the pandemic will cripple … Continue reading Blow It Up?

The Utter Ignorance of Higher Education

by Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scientist They watched. They listened. They acted. And once they understood the depths of the pandemic from the experts, college presidents at some of our finest institutions decided it was okay to open up their campuses to students. Brown University was the figurehead for opening up, stating in an open letter that they would open carefully … Continue reading The Utter Ignorance of Higher Education

Skills Versus Degrees: The Administration Got This One Right

By Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scientist, Educational Policy Institute On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order that would allow the federal government to hire by merit rather than by degree. “Degree-based hiring is especially likely to exclude qualified candidates for jobs related to emerging technologies and those with weak connections between educational attainment and the skills or competencies required to perform them. … Continue reading Skills Versus Degrees: The Administration Got This One Right

Why are COVID-19 Data so Inconsistent?

Today, June 5, the United States reached the 110,000 COVID-19-related death mark. As a policy analyst and researcher, I follow the data very closely. In fact, I am in Day 80 of tracking new daily cases, new daily deaths, and total deaths for the virus, which I then repurpose into charts on Facebook and Twitter. The frustrating part is that I’ve found the numbers erratic, … Continue reading Why are COVID-19 Data so Inconsistent?