Social entrepreneurship: one approach to higher ed bubble bust

January 9, 2012

Higher ed leaders gather at ASU Feb. 10-11 to address issue

Economists are not alone in their worry of an impending higher education bubble bust. Given the drastic increase in cost and decrease in relevance of a college degree over the past decades, Ashoka U Exchange participants – faculty and students across disciplines, administrators and social entrepreneurs – are united in their conviction that cosmetic changes to their institutions are not enough. Download Full Image

Co-hosted by Ashoka, the world’s largest association of social entrepreneurs, and Arizona State University, Ashoka will bring together more than 100 colleges and universities from 15 countries to discuss the "so what?" of higher education for an event at ASU, Feb. 10-11.

In debates on the higher education crisis, there has been much talk of the need to cut costs. However, in a world of accelerated change, we can’t afford not to educate the next generation of leaders to effectively address the world’s daunting social and environmental challenges. Social entrepreneurship education is one approach, gaining rapidly in popularity.

Interest in social entrepreneurship has experienced a mostly quiet, but dramatic growth in higher education over the past few years. Ashoka U Exchange participants see disruptive innovation as an opportunity for colleges and universities to become more entrepreneurial, identifying ways to leverage the entire spectrum of institutional resources for social impact, and creating a world-changing educational experience that makes a difference. Participants come to share new educational methodologies and strategies to catalyze universities as drivers of global social change.

The February event will highlight:

• the importance and impact of developing ecosystems for social entrepreneurship. Keynote speakers: Len Schlesinger (Babson College), ASU President Michael Crow and Scott Cowen (Tulane University).

• TEDx talks from Barbara Bush, president of Global Health Corps; Peter Diamandis, CEO of X-Prize and chairman of Singularity University; Liz Dwyer, education editor from GOOD Magazine; and Dale Stephens, founder and chief educational deviant of UnCollege.

• emerging trends workshop that showcases the relationship between technology and education with the founders and senior leaders from Google +, Knewton and KNO, moderated by Richard Culatta, deputy director, Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education.

• innovation awards that recognize programs and practices at the forefront of social entrepreneurship education.

• pitch competition (ASU Innovation Challenge) that will show how students are creating their own jobs and addressing social problems at the same time.

For information about attending, contact Renata Chilvarquer.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

ASU, Oregon researchers measure academic growth of students with disabilities

January 9, 2012

Editor's Note: Arizona State University men’s basketball will take on the University of Oregon at 8:30 p.m., Jan. 12, in Tempe. The women’s teams play at 2 p.m., Jan. 14, in Eugene, Ore. Read more about ASU's collaborations with Pac-12 schools.

Measuring the academic growth in reading and mathematics for students with disabilities is the focus of a five-year research project underway at the University of Oregon, in partnership with Arizona State University. Download Full Image

Researchers at the schools have received a $11.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Educational Sciences to develop and test various approaches for measuring these students’ achievement growth. ASU’s portion of the grant is almost three and a half million dollars.

Stephen N. Elliott, Mickelson Foundation Professor of Education and the founding director of the Learning Sciences Institute at ASU, is a co-primary investigator on the grant.

The Learning Science Institute (LSI) is designed as a university-wide initiative to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among ASU researchers and to provide support for investigators who conduct externally-funded research on learning, the conditions and behaviors that influence it, and innovations that can maximize it.

Other co-primary investigators on the grant are Gerald Tindal and Joseph Stevens of the University of Oregon and Ann Schulte of North Carolina State University.

The work will be conducted through the National Research and Development Center on Assessment and Accountability for Special Education, headquartered at the University of Oregon.

The LSI hosted the first meeting in December to kick-off the grant work.  Attending were three PIOs, representatives from the Arizona Department of Education; and Joanna Gorin, Roy Levy and Alexander Kurz, all of ASU. 

“In this project we will conduct five major longitudinal studies of the growth in academic achievement of all students, with a keen focus on students with disabilities” says Elliott.  “We’ll study nearly a million students with disabilities in grades 3 to 8 from four states – Arizona, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

“Most of these students with disabilities are receiving the majority of their reading and math instruction in general education classrooms and are being held to the same achievement standards as their non-disabled peers.  Yet we know from the last 10 to 11 years of achievement data that fewer than 40 percent of students with disabilities are proficient in reading and math, according to their home state’s achievement standards.

“Educational leaders, parents and educators want to know why this is happening and what are reasonable achievement growth expectations for students with a wide variety of disabilities.  Our studies will address these questions and also provide other researchers and educational stakeholders technical advice on how best to measure and characterize the academic growth of these students.

“These studies have the potential to significantly influence educational policies and practices.”

Written by Sarah Auffret

Lisa Robbins

Editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications