Education

Professor Timothy Sands
4:33 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Virginia Tech Names New President

Timothy Sands

After a unanimous vote, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors this afternoon named the university’s next president.  

55-year-old Timothy Sands, the provost of Purdue University will be the 16th president of Virginia Tech.

Sands holds an endowed chair in engineering at Purdue—and specializes in the growing field of nanotechnology, with applications for many high-tech uses.  He’s published more than 250 refereed papers, and has been granted 16 patents in electronic materials. Last year he  served as Purdue’s acting president.  

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Education
4:30 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Physical Education Guidelines

In an effort to fight early obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and related ailments, the Virginia State Board of Education is moving forward with proposed guidelines for physical education as required by the General Assembly. 

 Audio FileVirginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports that the new rules will apply to public elementary and middle schools in the Commonwealth.Edit | Remove

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Liberal Arts Curriculum
11:40 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Humanities in Action

Liberal arts colleges represent about 4% of the entire cohort of college students who are going to be educated in one year. That’s a very small percentage that schools and even business leaders would like to see increased.

 

Gary Phillips is Dean of the College at Wabash College in Crawfordsville Indiana where they have been researching the impact of the “Humanities” on college students, graduates and the society at large.

They’re still mining the data of a study of 19,000 students from 49 institutions and Phillips says there are some key components of an effective liberal arts curriculum. "Undergraduate research with faculty, diversity experiences, service learning, high academic challenge and rigor; direct engagement with faculty and staff-who get into the lives of students up to their elbows-and provide opportunities to think diversely and engage persons different from them.”

Phillips calls those, “High Impact Practices,” and says their research shows measurable results in many student outcomes,  “Cognitive skill development, critical thinking, a sense of well-being, an ability to navigate conflict in diverse settings. We see when these high impact measure art put in place students change.”

Phillips says the age-old tension between breadth and specificity in education is one where a pendulum swings from one side-technical specific training--to the other-the humanities. He says it is the duty of liberal arts schools to make sure there is breadth.  “And that you also have represented in the majors that you have specificity and you have to have balance for effective education to take place.”

Phillips says there are important questions that need to be addressed when we consider the education of our children, “What is it that we are preparing the student to become in this day and age. What kind of man, what kind of woman. What kind of civic contributor. What is it about the human condition in our country that necessitates thinking about what we’re doing with therm in the classroom.”

Phillips says there are many attributes in a student of the humanities that employers look for beyond the task specific skills, “…individuals who can think about moral choices, who can write, who are able to communicate; who are able to discern differences and able to make a reasoned and informed judgment about their own culture and their set of values in contrast to others.”

20th at 7 p.m.
 

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SCHEV Recommendations
4:41 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Virginia's Higher Education Budget

Virginia’s colleges and universities may not get all—if any—of the funds they are requesting for news construction projects. 

But the State Council for Higher Education is recommending that lawmakers make maintenance a major priority in the new biennial budget.   The Council is also recommending continued funding of "Top Jobs 21"—a major education initiative started by Governor McDonnell.

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Fralin Center for Science and Health Professions
4:01 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Virginia Western Community College Dedicates New Building

Virginia Western Community College celebrated the newest building on campus Wednesday, a center for students of science and health professions.

Governor Bob McDonnell joined Virginia Western President Robert Sandel, Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan and Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s community college system, to dedicate Virginia Western’s Horace G. and Ann H. Fralin Center for Science and Health Professions.

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