Will Flexible Tuition Help to Increase PASSHE Student Enrollment

New project strategy plan helps PA universities to stand up

by Aishah Aljahdali

Higher education has become more difficult to afford in Pennsylvania. Students are experiencing tuition increases and funding for the Pennsylvania State System of higher education universities has declined in recent years.

Due to budgets cuts from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, the PASSHE has created new programs for areas of need, which are science, technology and health care programs. The new plan system will contain pricing alternatives. This year the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education approved the new strategy’s Pilot plan for Pennsylvania universities to increase:

▪Number of degrees and certificates.

▪Number of working adults.

▪Number of transfer students to at least 4,000

▪Number of Graduates.

▪Number of undergraduates older than 25 to at least 11,000

▪Number of students enrolled in distance education, including online education.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education agreed on a Pilot program plan for six universities: California, Clarion, Edinboro, East Stroudsburg Universities and West Chester. The first step of the policy allows PA universities the flexibility to charge different tuition rates according to the costs of specific programs.

Clarion, Edinboro and East Stroudsburg Universities will charge new fees for specific courses in their nursing programs. California University is to reduce the tuition for active military students taking online classes. West Chester University students at the Philadelphia center campus will receive a 10 percent tuition cut. Edinboro University, which is located near New York and Ohio, will charge out-of-state students more realistic fees to compete with other state Universities.

Pennsylvania Universities Lose Students..

Another issue that PASSHE universities face is the decline of college student enrollment.

PASSHE 14 universities’ enrollment has dropped 6 percent causing suspensions of faculty, elimination of programs and increased recruitment by others schools since the enrollments’ high peak in 2010.The number of enrolled students declined from 119,513 to 112,100 in 2013. The decline is expected to continue in coming years.

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Therefore, the pilot project will give the 14 PAASHE universities the control over tuition rates so that they can stand up on enrollment and have not only the authority, but also the students they need.

The pilot program will be evaluated for two years, to determine the effectiveness of using the policy and if it can be duplicated by other universities. PASSHE Chancellor Frank T. Brogan claims “This is a potential sea change for the Board of Governors and PASSHE,”…The only way we’re going to know if this will work is to study it, vet it and actually employ it, to see if it has the effect we intended it to have.”

The goal expected to be met by 2020.

For more read 

Agenda-Setting in Media

  The agenda-setting concept started by Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw during the 1968 presidential election in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where they examined Lippmann’s idea of structure of the pictures in our heads by comparing the rank-order issues on the media agenda with the key issues of the day on the undecided voters’ agenda. They found the evidence of agenda setting that salience of the news agenda is highly connected to the voter’s agenda. I have personally seen this “theory” actually play out in real life from two large Middle East news station. I noticed; the stories that provide from those two stations are different. I was spending an hour switching back and forth from Alarabiya News to Aljazeera. For example, Alarabiya will usually have a top story dealing with a political or social event in Egypt that tends to lean-to a more conservative angle in a positive way. Flip over to Aljazeera though and it tends to be the exact opposite that Aljazeera usually holding the stories that show a more Liberal point of view. As the “Agenda-Setting Theory” would suggest, it’s not so much that these networks are telling us what is right from wrong or what us should think or believe, it’s more of the stories that they choose to air and the way they are portrayed that tend to create the appearance of being bias. I think, it is time for media to take action on their agenda setting because today or maybe next year it will become a public agenda.

Uses and Gratification

Video

The Uses and Gratifications theory discusses the ways in which individuals utilize various sources of media; for example video games, movies, music, television, and etc; to meet their needs. It recognizes that the audience are active and they use media for many different reasons. These reasons include earning knowledge, social connection, and emotional gratification.
With this video, some individuals who are addicted to the games, talk about the reasons behind the use of this particular type of media. They can connect with peers, they escape to the world of the game, and some even experience feeling good and entertain on playing video games. However, they also acknowledge that they choose to engage in the addictive behaviour when they play not because of the content of the game, but because of the feeling they get from playing it. This typify the hypothesis that the audience are active. Although they acknowledge that they continue playing because video games obtain their needs.

Who Influenced Whom? Two-Step Flow Theory

The Two-Step of Flow theory has made an impression on the world of mass media. A 1944 study focused on the process of decision-making during a Presidential election campaign. Elihu Katz and Paul F Lazarsfeld in their book Personal Influence: The Part Played By People In The Flow Of Mass Communication expected to find practical support for the direct influence of media messages on voting. They were surprised to discover that personal contacts were mentioned far more frequently than exposure to the radio or a newspaper as sources of influence on voting behaviour. With this data, Katz and Lazarsfeld developed the Two-Step Flow Theory of Mass Communication.The theory suggests that the information provided by media texts does not flow directly from the text into the minds of its audience. Rather, it is filtered through opinion leaders and is then communicated to the public via the media.

The Two-Step Flow Theory suggests that information does not flow from the media text straight to the audience but rather, within that cycle, other people tend to have perspectives that affect the audience. Certain people have considerbal influence over how people gain opinions about specific media texts, such as which films people decide to watch as opposed to the actual film giving them a related opinion. For example, if someone was talking about the Batman films and said that they were amazing, others might also watch the films and have the same opinion. In this case, a Two- Step Flow that associated with the theory has affected the viewers.

To conclude, the Tow-Step Theory  has improved our understanding of how the mass media is associated with decision-making. The theory refined the ability to predict the influence of media messages on audience behavior.

Stop DO These Things

We live overwhelming lives. Today, free tools are availableto create campaigns, send emails, gain knowledge, and raise awareness of issues. But, many tools and platforms offer too many options for people and organization to process, are they are distracted from achieving their goals and objectives. “StopDoing These Four Things” is the title of Chapter 11 in Brian Reich’s book Shift & Reset .It is about how to stop do things that distract organization or people from the important issues and critical work that needs to be done. This chapter provides steps that organization and people should consider.

Stop giving gifts:

I agree with the author’s statement “receiving the right gifts is more important than receiving a big gift,” because there are many nonprofit organizations and charities focusing more of their growing rather than improving the way they work. I believe that donating money to charities is helpful, but not as much as providing them with knowledge and support for solving their issues. I think that it is time for nonprofit organizations and charities to deal with their issues and focus on using technology and community response to start reshaping their business that everyone want to see.

Stop creating new organizations:

This step is retaliated to first one. I totally agree with the author that we need to stop creating organizations and start to solve issues first by looking through which organizations are most affective and worthy of continuing to operate. For those who are struggling they need to find an expertise to help them improve. For example, by giving people the opportunity to volunteer or give opinions, can provide solutions for charities’issues. I think it is a good idea for them to start.

Stop Using Social Media:

In this step, I think charities should stop relying on social media and start to create their own platform—not just to help the organization in donating, raising awareness, or complaining but also in fixing issues and supporting with knowledge from their fans and volunteers.

Stop creating case studies:

I agree with the author when he said the “case study is just a snapshot” Living in a challenging world, organizations should start to focus more on the future and looking ahead rather than living in the past, because we live in a world that is changing and moving fast. Learning from the past and making improvements to everything you do by gaining knowledge, using your thinking and experience that you have, and working with effective tools will help to go forward. We need to not think about the past and look ahead. It is time to shift our thinking and stop doing incorrect things. I understand these are small shiftsthat should be considered, but they are still important.These shifts will impact our business, our attitudes, and help us to leada successful life.

Social Media As a Tool of Mobilization

Brian Reich in his book Shift and Reset explained how today’s hyper-connected society is affecting the way people behave and how social media and the new  technology have changed the old ideas of business and productivity. In chapter 8, “Shift Your Mobilization Efforts and Perform the Right Actions,” Reich suggests that mobilization it is an important method for helping accomplish goals. He gives the example of Social media as a tool of mobilization. However, I disagree with Malcolm Gladwell in his article when he said that “Social media is not the reason behind the revolution in Tunisia and Egypt. ” Since I am from the Middle East , I lived through each moment of those revolutions and I saw that social media was a big tool in spreading this revolution from Tunisia to Egypt. Through those revolutions, people shared their opinions when they were out on the street. They were in the place and at the moment of action, so every tweet and video or picture that was posted through social media was true. I agree with Biz Stone quote about Gladwell’s claims when he said, ” It would be absurd to think Twitter is not complementary to activism,” Yes, social media is a tool and a hugely effective medium. Without it, people in the Middle East couldn’t use their voices freely as in other countries that allow free speech for their citizens. So, social media has a big effect on the results of the revolution in the Middle East. Social media is a medium of mobilization.