Cyber-Plagiarism Not as Foolproof as Students May Think

Posted on Sep 27, 2014

Published in the September 26, 2014 Noozhawk. “Isn’t it funny,” the student’s essay began, “how life itself is not just a fight for survival, but more a fight for mastery? Some people are satisfied with just survival, but others …” I had assigned my freshman composition class at Allan Hancock College the task of writing a critical analysis of Jack London’s novel, The Call of the Wild. This particular essay, which focused on...

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Triumph for part-time faculty, unions

Posted on Sep 27, 2014

Published in the September 25, 2014 Santa Maria Times. The Santa Maria Valley Union Picnic and Celebration of Sept. 1 was an amazing success, far surpassing the expectations of its organizers. On Aug. 29, I wrote that a new Labor Day tradition would be starting in Santa Maria. Thanks to the efforts of the Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College, and the people at UDW Local 3930, Laborers Local 220, UFCW Local 770, SEIU Local 721,...

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A as the New C = Teaching as a Popularity Contest

Posted on Sep 15, 2014

Published in the September 12, 2014 Noozhawk. “A C is acceptable college work,” a professor told me many years ago, when I was a first-year undergraduate. He went on to say that a B was considered above average, and an A was reserved for truly exceptional efforts. He gave few Bs and fewer As. A C was the most common grade he gave. Nearly all of the professors he knew graded the same way. This was in another era, when 75 percent of the...

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American Higher Education a System Built on Sand

Posted on Sep 1, 2014

Published in the August 29, 2014 Noozhawk. The American system of higher education is widely regarded as the world’s best. More than half of the top 100 universities in the world are American. In 2013, Fareed Zakaria proclaimed in Time magazine that American higher education is “the envy of the world.” But beneath the congratulatory façade lies a darker reality: The American college and university system is built on a foundation of sand....

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