Ineffective Colleges & Universities: Go Green and Gold

The following combines information from government and standardized testing company resources, years of experience with college fairs/marketing, working with, through, against and in spite of school administrations, direct consumer-query challenges to college admissions teams, and that acquired via numerous other strategies employed to understand the business of college education.

The school colors are green and gold. The pom-poms shake and free gifts are offered generously at the Fall college fairs. Prospective students and their families are offered free tickets to home football games with one hand, and marketing or application materials with the other. The high school counselors scurry around the gym, their faces glowing, proud of the events they coordinated.

Two days later, the newspaper reports the contents of an interview with a local university President. The President quite reluctantly responded to queries about the school’s very poor graduation rates, the high percentage of students they allow to matriculate into remedial courses (paying full tuition to take non-college credit classes), and regarding their apparent failure to work with the regional high school systems so that their incoming students would be better prepared to start college work.

Interestingly, if you look at historical student performance statistics, for the vast majority of schools these findings are not new (good or bad). What may be new is that increasing numbers of prospective applicants are looking at graduation rates, the average number of years taken to graduate, as well as average post-graduation student debt, and school-assisted job placement effectiveness. Unfortunately, under duress, college administrations are casting blame upon the students.

Of course, too many students reach campuses believing that every week should include sports entertainment and elements of contemporary “Animal House” experiences, with a modicum of adjustments for the schools’ specific missions, the local environments, and reflecting the student bodies. However, most incoming students actually understand the true objectives of their attendance. That said, the admissions committees are professionals, as are those employed to teach, counsel, perform research, manage finances, and provide all other administrative support. By history, the institutions know exactly who they recruit and accept; their student body profile. They know the student body strengths as well as the distribution of academic, social and financial challenges they will face with their students. As such, by accepting the students and their money, they are saying “We are able [in every manner] to successfully instruct, develop, graduate and deliver these student-customers to quality positions in the market.”

But, colleges and universities have not been effective. The average school graduates only fifty percent of its students in six (6) years, and most cannot afford to spend more than six years in college, thereby never graduating. Schools do not want to be accountable to “helicopter parents” who wish to kept in the “progress loop” regarding more than unpaid bills. Additionally, as many senior leaders are unwilling or unable to explain the shortcomings of their business models, educational institutions simply blame the failures on the students and all those associated with them (family, guardians, associates, prior …

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Rocketetry Experiments Apologia Science Curriculum

Every action triggers an equal reaction in the opposite direction. There are many experiences that can use this principle, and it's my goal to take you beyond your Apologia science curriculum experience, by making science fun and easy for you.

Have you ever kicked a brick wall? Off course you ended up hurting your toe. As strange as it may sound, when you kicked the brick wall, the stationary wall fired an equal reaction force in the opposite direction, and therefore you felt the pain. Kick harder and it will hurt more- equal reaction force, you see?

This law has been explained by Sir Isaac Newton centuries ago, and came to be known as his Third Law of Motion. This is the same law that is at work when rockets are launched. If you have searched for cool rocketry experiments in the Apologia science curriculum and other homeschool programs, you will be glad that you found me. Let me show you a fun way of using balloons to simulate the launching of rockets.

Single-Stage Balloon Rocket: Take a twenty-foot long nylon fishing line and tie one end to a window or something strong. Pass the free end of the line through a plastic drinking straw and tie the free end to another strong object such as another window or a bed. The fishing line must be stretched and not left hanging loose. Now blow a long balloon and secure the mouth with a clothespin. Tape this balloon to the straw in such a way that the length of the balloon is parallel to the length of the straw.

Now remove the clothespin and observe what happens. When you remove the clothespin, air is pushed out of the deflating balloon with great force in one direction. Therefore an equal force is executed on the balloon in the opposite direction, and the balloon moves. The same principle is used in launching rockets into the air.

If your Apologia science curriculum experience stops here, let me take you further. Some rockets that need to go higher use double fuel tanks or double stages. In the next experiment, I will teach you how to make a cool double-stage balloon rocket.

Double-Stage Balloon Rocket: This experiment is similar to the single-stage balloon rocket experiment; only pass the fishing line through two straws instead of one. Make a one-inch ring out of a Styrofoam coffee cup by removing the base of the cup. Now blow a long balloon just enough so that it can fit snugly inside this Styrofoam ring with the rounded head of the balloon extending a little beyond the ring. Secure the mouth of this balloon with a clothespin. Tape this balloon to the straw on the left hand side with the balloon head pointing to the right.

Now inflate and tape a second long balloon lengthwise to the straw on the right hand side. Twist the mouth-end of the balloon to form a one inch tail. Now pass this tail through the …

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