Carnival of College Admissions

This is the first time goSwoop has hosted the Carnival of College Admissions.  I hope you enjoy all the links that the participants have shared.

Carnival_Ride

I spent a majority of last week working out of the office vs. the typical Boston cafe circuit.  I thought it would help me concentrate.  I consciously decided not to fire up Pandora, Tweet Deck, GMail, multiple Gchat windows and stay away from the steady flow of people looking for a seat with an outlet.  My conclusion; I think I may be a lost cause.   Elizabeth King from Elizabeth Online had some advice for students on Building Concentration for Testing, so I tested it out.  You should too!

If  you are suffering from information overload there are some really helpful tools that can help.  I don’t know about you, but I personally only really want to consume content that is relevant and I care about.  Two really helpful tools you might want to try that have reduced information overload for me are  Google Reader and using an RSS feed to read your favorite blog.

It’s summer and many of us will inevitably spend a lot of time in front of our computer screens which may call for a little inspiration at times.  Sarah Scrafford put together a list of 100 Incredibly Inspiring Blog Posts for Educators that is sure to provide you with a few laughs and give you the boost of motivation you need.

Choosing a Program: CIS, MBA & Medical

Below you will find links to programs students should consider pursuing.  Sarah Scrafford from Computer Colleges recently posted an article on 100 Open Courses on Computer Information Systems and Security.

Adam Markus, the Graduate Admissions Guru, talks about why ranking matters and what to consider when looking at the Rankings For the 41 “Top 20″ MBA Programs Worldwide.

For students who are unsure of what program to pursue, The College Planning Coach offers a great perspective on Important College Admission Step: A Surprising Career Opportunity for Michigan Youth using the lack of physicians in the state of Michigan as a case study.

It’s all about the Benjamin’s:

Our economic situation has forced us all to think much more about fiscal decision making and that reins true for decisions about paying for college.  The Smarter Wallet outlines Paying for College: How To Pay For School On Your Own.  The article lists out the opportunities you should explore when deciding how to pay for college.

With four year college tuition prices increasing, you might expect students protest for a tuition freeze, right?  Guess again, Mark Montgomery authored an article about University students pushing for Tuition Increases.

Traditionally students who can not afford full tuition at a four year institution consider attending community college because it is much less expensive.  But before exploring that route you should check out  the article written by Maria Garza from Wiser Side of Life who helps us understand The Hidden Cost of Community College.

Peter Baron from Admissions Quest shares an article titled Steady Application Numbers- Increased Aid Applications: Confirmation of what we’ve been hearing.

And alas, there are always scholarships for those students who are motivated.  This week we’re sharing an article by College Degrees to build awareness that Distance Education Programs Offer Scholarships.

Other Cool Articles:

It is always good to see which celebrities have invested in a solid education.  Check out 10 Hot Celebrities Who Got their MBA or Business Degree MBA Info.

Check out an aticle by Ruoall Chapman on Everything you need to know about how to Make Online Beats.

Are you a big documentary film watcher?  Check out the 15 Best Websites for Free Documentaries by Ace Online Schools.

Add a book to your reading list on Studying Success in Education: Jay Mathews? Work Hard, Be Nice.

Photo by: William K. Daby

H-1B Visa Program’s Effect on the Foreign Technology Workers in the US

The NY TimesRoom for Debate Blog has been discussing the issue of ‘does the US need foreign technology workers?‘ The conversation is an interesting one because it seems that all of the participants view the H-1B worker visa program as a significant problem to the future success of the US. The underlying argument of the conversation is that the current immigration policies of the US (specifically the H-1B program) promoting growth of the US economy or are they making it easier for employers to move more jobs to low-cost countries?

I find this discussion to be an extremely important one as it has an immediate effect on the US job market for international student graduates but also because if the US becomes viewed less and less by prospective international students as ‘a land of some opportunity’ rather than ‘the land of opportunity’ we may see students flocking to other premier education destinations such as the UK, Canada, Australia, Western Europe over the United States.

The participants in the conversation included:

Vivek Wadhwa, an executive in residence for the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University and a senior research associate in the labor and work-life program at Harvard Law School.

Norman Matloff, professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis.

Guillermina Jasso, professor of sociology at New York University, research fellow at IZA Bonn and a principal investigator on the New Immigrant Survey.

Ron Hira, assistant professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology and co-author of “Outsourcing America.”

Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association.

John Miano, lawyer and computer programmer

Nearly all the participants in the conversation allude to the fact that the H-1B visa program is flawed in one way or another.

In one camp we have a group that sees the issue with the H-1B visa program as not truly finding the ‘best and the brightest’ talent from around the globe. US companies are using the H-1B visa program as a way for companies to exploit cheap foreign labor rather than having to hire ‘expensive’ American labor.

Norman Matloff writes that ‘The world’s “best and brightest” should be welcomed, but most H-1B workers are not in that league. Meanwhile many of our own best and brightest are squeezed out of the market once they become expensive.’

Ron Hira says that ‘Loopholes enable employers to hire H-1B workers at below market wages and bypass American workers, never even entertaining their applications for a position. In fact, some firms replace American workers and their contractors with guest workers on H-1B and other visas, at times even having their American workers train their foreign replacements.’ Ron goes on to explain that after a recent audit by the Department of Homeland Security, ‘more than one in five H-1B visas were granted under false pretenses, either outright fraud or serious technical violations.’

John Miano explains ‘when the annual quotas on H-1B visas are exhausted, one often hears lobbyists arguing that the world’s best and brightest are being shut out’ but in reality ‘the people who seek H1-B visas and may be barred by the quotas are not extrememly highly skilled workers.’ He sums up the H-1B visa program as ‘a cheap labor program being marketed as a program for the highly skilled.’

In another camp the argument is that the enitre visa program from student to H-1B to permanent resident status is causing foreign born workers to live as second class citizens resulting in an exodus of highly skilled talent.

The argument by Vivek Wadhwa is that a major portion of technology start-up success has been derived from foreign born workers, $52 billion worth in 2005. But even though we are increasing the number of H-1B visas every year we are failing to increase the number of permanent residency visas resulting in 500,000 foreign born workers stuck in what he calls ‘immigration limbo’. If these workers have to live as second class citizens while awaiting a permanent residency visa most will decide to leave for their home countries where they may make less money but experience a higher quality of life. Mark Hessen takes a completely different approach to the issue and looks at it from a start-up company standpoint. He believes that foreign born workers by their immigrant status alone tend to be risk takers and because many have scientific backgrounds with a focus and ability to invent breakthrough products and services. The problem however that he sees is that by having a quota of only 65,000 H-1B visas per year, US start-up companies are being deprived of the quality talent they need to grow. Ultimately he says that ‘to maintain our competitive edge, we have to remain a magnent for global talent. Shutting our borders to these entrepreneurs is counterproductive. The more of them we can attract, the more jobs for everyone.’

Listening to all sides of the issue on immigrant workers in the US tech space I can understand the obstacles that the US faces ahead. I am a huge advocate for international students to remain in the US after they graduate to participate in the US economy and workforce. It seems to me that there are major issues with the H-1B visa program but ultimately what needs to happen for the US to stay competitive is to find and embrace the highest quality foreign talent (much of which is already studying in US colleges and universities) and allow them to cultivate their skills which as seen in the past can create an incredible amount of jobs and prosperity for American workers. Unfortunately we will have to deal with the fact that corporations will worry about their bottom lines more than the future success of the US and therefore until proper oversight can be administered to the H-1B visa process smaller start-ups need to fight to get H1-B visas for the talent necessary to make their companies succeed.

Hopefully we can solve this issue with a positive result as the future of a country completely compsed of immigrants is at stake.

Photo by Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

Technology and International Student Recruiting Meet-Up #3

logo_821Tech & Int’l Student Recruiting Meetup #3 was held this evening at Suffolk University and there was a lot to cover after last month’s cancellation due to heavy snow. However, April showers did not hinder the dedicated from showing up tonight.

It was great to hear from the admissions recruiter and social media specialist from Bentley University on how they are integrating social media in int’l student recruiting. Search Marketing Specialist from iProspect shared valuable insight about establishing a strategy to measure SM initiatives.  And we discussed process mapping to gain a better understanding of where prospective students and their parents are living on the web and how to engage with them more effectively with social media tools.

Thanks to everyone who came despite the rain, hope to see you all next month. Big thanks also to George Comeau and Suffolk University for providing a great location and space for us to meet.

Very much looking forward to seeing you all Monday, May 18th for Tech & Int’l Student Recruiting #4.

Links from April 6th discussion:
BlueFuego – The Web in Higher Education: What’s Different?
Stanford University YouTube Channel
SXSW Education thread on Twitter #SXSWED

Recession Woes in Recruting? Get Personal with Prospective Students

As the economy continues to affect the ability of prospective international students (and domestic students for that matter) to afford tuition, we all know how important it is to turn as many accepted students as possible into deposits. NPR has an ongoing series this week investigating the impact of the economy on higher education. One of the pieces titled, Colleges Work Harder to Lure New Students shows how some schools are employing traditional marketing initiatives to create personal connections with accepted students.

Let’s take a look at one of the techniques described in this article and see how we might be able to enhance it through the use of social media!

Becker College in Worcester, MA is having a group of freshman students call prospective students encouraging them to apply to the school as well as calling accepted students and selling them on enrolling in the school. This is an absolutely great idea because it is all about creating personal connections. Current students are able to answer any questions the prospective student may have about the social life, academics, ect. while being able to have a great impact on the decision making of the student due to their ability to easily relate to one another as students.

So how can we take this model and potentially make it more effective? The millennial generation prospective student thrives off of personal connection. If you don’t believe me ask one of your students how many friends they have on Facebook, AIM, MSN Instant Messenger, cell phone book and so on. These millennials love to interact quickly whether it is a status update on Facebook, a wall post on Facebook, text message, a chat conversation on AIM, etc.

So if this is the type of conversation that these prospective students embrace why not get in touch with them this way as well as over the phone?

One idea is to continue leveraging the ability of your current students to personally connect with your prospective students via social networks. Have your current students ‘friend’ these prospective students on Facebook and Orkut and begin conversations that way. This medium of connection can prove to be so much more effective becuase not only can students verbally interact but they can share links to blogs, videos, podcasts, websites, Facebook page, online applicatoin and any other convincing material you want to share with prospective students.

It’s also important to understand how effective the results can be when we the admissions office take the initiative to get in touch with students! Think about this point when you are creating your Facebook page, YouTube channel, podcast page, blog and aren’t getting the results that you expected.

In order to achieve results we need to take the initiative to get in touch with our audience! If we can take anything away from this difficult recessionary period it should be to realize how effective our recruiting can be when we make an effort to get personal with our prospective students!

Photo by Aussiegall

Technology and International Student Recruiting April Meetup

global_70354191The Technology and International Student Recruiting Meetup facilitates an open discussion about ways US college admissions offices can use the social web to more effectively engage and recruit international students.

Our objective is to share a wide variety of perspectives in a conversation that includes social media gurus, current international students, admissions recruiters, college marketing folks, entrepreneurs and web developers. We believe these conversations can help pioneer the next generation of international student recruiting and ultimately reinvent the way US colleges recruit students from around the world.

With the cancellation of the March Meetup due to snow, we have a lot to cover from the last two months in Technology and International Student Recruiting. I thought we ought to get the conversation started early to have a direction for the April 6th Meetup.

Twitter and Facebook seem to command the attention in most of the conversations I am involved in lately. The response to the new Facebook page design seems mixed. Personally, I am comfortable with it. I would be interested to hear how it has affected you. Information overload? How do you feel about having no real control over the changes that were made if you put a lot of resources into your old FB page?

Has Twitter hit mainstream status? In the social media community “so what’s next” seems to be a phrase I hear more and more often. If Twitter has gone mainstream what does that mean for us? How powerful is Twitter as a tool and how are you using it?

What about interactive video? Lets talk about how we can use qik, Seesmic, PermissionTV and YouTube.

Anyone want to chime in on the elephant in the room that is the economy? Lots of talk about reform in Higher Education with the Obama Administration. What does this all mean for US college and university international recruiting efforts?

Please join the preliminary discussion. Looking forward to hearing your perspective and seeing you all on April 6th!

We ask only that you bring a willingness to share your experience and ideas with the group. We encourage you to come with questions and look forward to having you join the conversation!

FORMAT:

6:00p-6:30p
Networking & Refreshments (WHOLE FOODS)

6:30p – 8:00
Discussion (topics decided by group)
Please feel free to submit discussion topics prior to the Meetup!

8:00p – 8:30p
Wrap-up

73 Tremont Street
Amenities Conference Center
Boston, MA 02108

Hope to see you there!

Social Media Club Boston – change-dot-gov Panel

If you haven’t been to a Social Media Club Boston event definitely consider making it to the next one!  Here is Sandy @skalik, one of the organizers of SMC Boston with a little info about the event…

more about “Qik | SMC Boston [change-dot-gov]“, posted with vodpod

You Don’t Have to Use it Yet; Just Be Open to Social Media

I was at the Social Media Club – Boston event last night where the topic of conversation was “Change dot Gov”.  The panel included Brad Blake, the Director of New Media Strategy for the commonwealth of Massachusetts, Matt Viser, a political reporter for the Globe, Brian Reich, a consultant, author, blogger and State Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan.

While listening to the panel, I was struck by how similar the rhetoric used by State Senator  Jennifer Flanagan was to some of the admissions offices I talk to.  Senator Flanagan, while having a constituency that includes an older demographic argued that she receives enough e-mails, talks to enough people while out and about in her community and through the use of her website and blog views Social Media as yet another tool that requires too much time without providing enough benefit for her constituents.

I think her argument can transition well into the international student recruiting space.  Like Senator Flanagan some of our offices may be concentrating our recruiting efforts in countries where students don’t have the same kind of access to the internet or high bandwidth as the developed nations.  This means we don’t need to start using certain tools of social media  just yet because let’s face it, we will be wasting our time.  However this barrier to using social media by developing nations will soon be knocked down.

So how should this affect the way our offices embrace social media?  We need to stay on top of what’s available and how it works. Our prospective students are only becoming more knowledgeable digital natives meaning they have grown up using all this great Internet technology, especially web 2.0 technology.   While next year and the year after prospective students may not require you to engage them exclusively through social media there will come a time where that will be the only way to effectively recruit.

Twitter for example may in fact be the worst tool to recruit international students right now but as it’s global popularity grows, agents in developing nations will begin to pick it up, potential university partners will pick it up, prospective students and so on.  So jump on Twitter and get used to how it works.  Understand how it can be used as a viral tool.  Understand how you can meet new people and develop relationships using it.

My recommendation to admissions offices is not to worry too much about using all the tools right now but to keep up with what’s out there and more importantly how these tools work!

Photo by David Ohmer