college

Best of “Higher Ed:” How Much Is Too Much On A College Application?

This episode was originally published on Sept. 23, 2018.

High school seniors have something extra added to their workload in the fall semester. Those who are going on to college have to navigate the college application process. In this episode of KUT’s podcast “Higher Ed,” Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT’s Jennifer Stayton dissect that annual dash to compile transcripts, test scores, essays and teacher recommendations.

In an effort to set themselves apart from other applicants, students may be tempted to show breadth and depth in everything they have tackled in high school.

“I think if you’re just vomiting out a long list of activities and successes and awards and things, I think that then gets blurred over,” says Ed. ” I think the thing that an individual should be doing here is telling a story. They should be telling a story about their recent history – the highs and the lows and how they see themselves as having changed through their education up to that point.”

Ed says he believes that story should also include students’ assertions about why they think they are a good fit for the schools where they apply. He encourages specificity about what has attracted a student to a particular institution ( think “the soft serve ice cream in the dining hall”!) rather than generic platitudes about a school.

Listen to the full episode for more suggestions about navigating the college application process (are interviews still recommended or not?) as well as the new puzzler. Lefties unite! This puzzler is all about the digits on our left hand.

This episode was recorded on Aug. 9, 2018.

Texas Standard: April 10, 2019

Texas is in the spotlight again over race in higher ed admissions. What a settlement with Texas Tech Medical School means for affirmative action. Also we’ll take a look at the links between health and wealth. And just in time for tax season, a bill to keep the IRS from providing online free tax filing. Plus the matador fighting to keep both the bulls and the sport alive and a Politifact check about the criminal activity of migrants here illegally. All of that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 5, 2019

As the president travels to the border, a democratic presidential candidate from Texas makes headlines with his pushback, we’ll have details. Also, is climate change accelerating the issue at our southern border? We’ll get the view from Guatemala. And what’s called the achievement gap in educational testing, and the attempt to close that gap for Texas kids. And a UT campus shuts down greek life altogether. Part of a trend? Also, Texas farmers hoping to cash in over the buzz surrounding CBD sales. Plus the week in texas politics and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 18, 2019

Wallace Hall fought a bitter battle with the University of Texas alleging corrupt admissions policies. Considering new revelations, was he right all along? We’ll have a conversation with the former University of Texas regent about a college admissions process once dubbed affirmative action for the advantaged. Also, when it comes to performance based pay for teachers, do some teachers have a built in advantage over others? And a ruling in a case that could hold gunmakers liable in the wake of mass shootings. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 13, 2019

The biggest college admissions scandal ever? With a Texas coach one of 50 charged over corruption in college admissions, what’s fair versus what’s legal? Why the federal probe of wealthy parents securing spots at elite colleges and universities for their own kids may or may not bring reforms in higher ed. Also, were pilots warnings about the safety of the Boeing 737 Max ignored by authorities? The Dallas Morning News makes some stunning discoveries. We’ll talk to one of their investigators. Plus why a new album by Houston’s own Solange matters way beyond the music itself. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 11, 2019

Political lightning round: capitalist or socialist? High profile Democrats get a grilling in an unlikely venue as SXSW gets political. Democratic luminaries shining bright this weekend at what many think of as a music and film festival. We’ll hear who was making news and what it means for election season 2020. Also, an infectious disease specialist says San Francisco is beating HIV, why not Houston or other southern cities? Plus the $7,000 film: director Robert Rodriguez gets back to his DIY roots with a scrappy new release about a budding filmmaker. All of those stories and then some today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 4, 2019

Texas has 44 billion dollars set aside for education: the biggest such endowment in the U.S. So why is the state spending less on schools? We’ll have the latest. Plus, in Texas’ biggest city, concerns growing over recent shootings involving children. Police are focusing on gangs, but heath workers want to look at something different. Also, millennials now more than a trillion dollars in debt thanks to college. How the price of higher ed is shaping up to be a factor in the forthcoming political season. Plus an iconic oasis in West Texas reopens, are you ready to take the plunge? All that and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 19, 2019

Two dead and five police officers wounded after a botched drug bust. Now the police chief in the state’s biggest city wants to end no knock raids, we’ll have the latest. Also, drug money and corruption rampant in Mexico, but also bad on this side of the border. We’ll talk to a reporter from the New York Times about how drug money’s greasing the wheels in the Rio Grande Valley. And a struggling elementary school in Odessa and a calculated risk to keep it from getting closed down. Plus The University of Texas tries to recend a PhD and a Texas judge says not so fast. We’ll get schooled on the matter. All those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 22, 2019

When a suspect dies in police custody in Texas, what’s the public’s right to get answers? Critics call it the dead suspect loophole. We’ll take a closer look. Also coming up this hour, a military uprising in Venezuela. Four officials are kidnapped before troops loyal to the president put it down. A coup in the works? What might it mean for the region, and for Texas? And as some kids from Marfa get their school projects ready for a literal launchpad, a Texas researcher takes a lead position in crafting a roadmap for the next decade of space research. We’ll meet him and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 21, 2019

Tomorrow marks one month of the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history. We’ll talk with correspondents statewide to gauge the impact on Texas. Also a new space race heating up, score one for the home team. Plus one of the deadliest tree diseases in the U.S. reaches epidemic proportions in the Lone Star State. An expert tells us what to do and what not to if we hope to save our oaks. All that and a whole lot more, today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 7, 2019

Crisis on the border? Depends on who you ask. We’ll check in with McAllen’s Mayor to find out what he’s seeing and what he’d tell President Trump. Also, Texas’s largest school district gets some harsh attention from the Governor. How we got to this point and what’s next. And it’s game day. The college football national championships will bring in big money for the coaches and schools. How should players benefit? Plus the telenovela bridges country lines and generations. We’ll explore the cultural phenomenon. And space exploration in 2019 could definitely be out of this world. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Higher Ed: Does It Really Matter Where You Go To College?

In this episode of KUT’s podcast “Higher Ed,” Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT’s Jennifer Stayton discuss a provocative question: does it really matter where you go to college?

The short answer to that question is “no.” Ed says he believes students can get a good education – even a great or superior education – at many accredited institutions of higher learning.

But Ed says when it comes to students finding their way and growing, he believes the right fit with the right institution is more important.

“If you’re in an environment where you do not feel that it resonates with you,” says¬† Ed,” then I don’t think you’re going to have that experience of growth….I think there is a difference between thriving and learning.”

Ed says a high profile school might have a name that is easily recognizable. But he says that brand awareness is not a guarantee of a good experience for every student.

“How meaningful is that name? It’s about what does that institution do for you.” says Ed. “You meet a lot of people that constantly are name-dropping their school…. they’re living in the past. I want individuals that are looking ever forward and trying to make things better.”

So who then bears the responsibility of making the higher education experience as effective as it can be – the institution, or the student?

“I think that both parties have to bring something to the table, and I think that maybe there are people that will find that is a little bit controversial,” Ed says. “And that there are students that appear on a campus and just now feel entitled to feel great and feel good and to have a nice ride.¬† And that’s not what it’s about.”

Listen to the episode to hear more of Ed’s thoughts on having as expansive a college experience as possible beyond just classroom learning. It is also time to reveal the answers to the last round of riddles and pave the way for the return of the puzzler.

This episode was recorded on Oct. 30, 2018.

Texas Standard: December 4, 2018

A Texas Representative is leaving the state house’s ultra-conservative group. We’ll take a look at what the move could say about the upcoming Texas legislative session. Plus, the Texas Attorney General is accusing San Antonio’s police chief of violating the so-called sanctuary cities law. What happens now? And a Texas-based non-profit has been making big money housing immigrant children. A new investigation explores. Plus we’ll introduce you to U.S. Representative-elect Veronica Escobar. Why she says El Paso is the new Ellis Island. And we’ll take a look at a list of 31 of the most powerful people in Texas. You might be surprised. All of that and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Higher Ed: Why The College Major May Matter Less Than We’ve Always Thought

Choosing a major. It is a rite of passage for higher education students, and it can feel like a … dare we say it … major decision with lifelong implications. In this episode of KUT’s podcast “Higher Ed,” Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT’s Jennifer Stayton discuss what could – and sometimes should – go into choosing a major plan of study.

Sometime in a student’s higher education career, a decision has to be made about a major – that set of courses that a student chooses in order to study a subject more deeply. For students, the decision can feel like a significant, irrevocable one that can impact the rest of their lives. But Ed suggests dialing back the stress to make that one, perfect decision.

“The major itself is not as important as the experience and the growth opportunities that come from that major,” says Ed. “That’s why you hear so many people, especially in the liberal arts and science, talk about how it doesn’t even matter what your major is. As long as you’re involved and interested and engaged, you will have that growth experience that will allow you to become better and to figure out the next thing you do, and that leads you to the next thing…. because you’re constantly going toward your passion.”

Ed also believes timelines that require students to declare a major at a specific point in time during their college career can discourage academic exploration and excitement about discovering new fields of interest.

“I’d like to see people declaring majors when they really are intellectually fired up about the thing, rather than it’s time to do it.”

Listen to the full episode for more about the process of academic discovery that can lead to declaring a major. It is also time for the solution to the puzzler about escaping a room while avoiding scorching heat and a fire-breathing dragon. Think it can’t be done? Wait til you hear the oh so simple solution!

This episode was recorded on Sept. 28, 2018.

Texas Standard: October 1, 2018

A deal between the U.S. Mexico and Canada goes down to the wire with agreement reached at the eleventh hour, and yet it’s NAFTA no more. What used to be called the North American Free Trade Agreement has a new name and some new rules. We’ll walk thru the changes in what’s now being called the USMCA. Also, did you catch the Texas gubernatorial debate Friday night? Don’t worry, we’ve gotcha covered. And two years after a new law and protests over the concealed carry of firearms on Texas college campuses, what’s happened and what hasn’t? We’ll take a look at that and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Higher Ed: How Much Is Too Much On A College Application?

High school seniors have something extra added to their workload in the fall semester. Those who are going on to college have to navigate the college application process. In this episode of KUT’s podcast “Higher Ed,” Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT’s Jennifer Stayton dissect that annual dash to compile transcripts, test scores, essays and teacher recommendations.

In an effort to set themselves apart from other applicants, students may be tempted to show breadth and depth in everything they have tackled in high school.

“I think if you’re just vomiting out a long list of activities and successes and awards and things, I think that then gets blurred over,” says Ed. ” I think the thing that an individual should be doing here is telling a story. They should be telling a story about their recent history – the highs and the lows and how they see themselves as having changed through their education up to that point.”

Ed says he believes that story should also include students’ assertions about why they think they are a good fit for the schools where they apply. He encourages specificity about what has attracted a student to a particular institution ( think “the soft serve ice cream in the dining hall”!) rather than generic platitudes about a school.

Listen to the full episode for more suggestions about navigating the college application process (are interviews still recommended or not?) as well as the new puzzler. Lefties unite! This puzzler is all about the digits on our left hand.

This episode was recorded on Aug. 9, 2018.

Texas Standard: September 17, 2018

Less than a month do go before the deadline for registering to vote in the midterms, do you know if you’re registered? We’ll have a Texas primer. Also, a border patrol officer has been arrested and charged with the murders of 4 women. The victims all worked as prostitutes. We’ll tell you what authorities are saying. And with Florence and before that Harvey, the greatest threat: flooding. Has our current hurricane rating system left us twisting in the wind? Plus Texas beat USC this weekend, but once upon a time, USC pushed Texas across the line to desegregate the gridiron. We’ll hear how and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 29, 2018

A Texas police officer convicted of murder in the shooting death of a black teenager leaving a party in a Dallas suburb. Is this a turning point? Police across the Lone Star State have embraced body cameras for greater transparency, but its rare for footage to be decisive in a case alleging unwarranted use of police power. Yesterday’s murder verdict was an exception. We’ll hear why and what it could mean going forward. And a noisy goodbye from the person overseeing federal efforts to curb abuses and excesses in student loans. He claims the Trump administration is unraveling protections for students. Plus the case for taking Wednesday’s off on this hump day edition of the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 4, 2018

Two years after Fisher vs. University of Texas, the Trump administration urges colleges to drop consideration of race in admissions, we’ll look at the implications. Also, how a debate over water flowing from Georgia to Florida is trickling into Texas. And 20 years ago this summer, a Texan trying to save his job not only struck paydirt, his little well would change the world, we’ll hear how and why. And a modern day dinosaur from Texas who took over TV screens around the world. Fire up the grill and grab a lawn chair, the Texas Standard is back on the air:

Texas Standard: April 27, 2018

Can the Governor force a disgraced ex Congressman to compensate taxpayers for the costs of a special election to replace him? We’ll explore your questions. Also, the National Rifle Association is coming to Dallas for its national convention next week. A writer for the Dallas Morning News says its coming full circle in a sense, since two texans turned it into the group it is today. We’ll hear how and why. Plus, an idea to get more future teachers to turn their sights to rural Texas. And an unlikely pick from an unlikely place: football’s Cinderella story from San Antonio. Also, the man convicted of murder who’s helping the wrongly accused get of jail. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard: