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Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: University of Washington

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October 22, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Record-high enrollment at WSU and UW’s three campuses

The WSU campus in Pullman. Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times 2011.

The WSU campus in Pullman. Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times 2011.

Both the University of Washington and Washington State University are reporting record-high enrollments for this academic year, with UW enrollment up 3 percent from the previous year and WSU up 4 percent.

All told, the UW’s three campuses — Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma — now enroll 54,223 students. That’s almost as many people as live in Redmond.

The Seattle campus alone added more than 1,000 students, bringing its total to 44,786. In its most recent count, The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked the UW 12th-largest among public universities that offer doctoral degrees, and that was based on 2012 figures when total enrollment at the Seattle campus was 43,485.

The UW had both the highest undergraduate student enrollment in its history (41,243 students) and also the highest graduate student enrollment (12,980 students) when all three campuses are added together.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, University of Washington, Washington State University

October 17, 2014 at 5:00 AM

UW viral video: Toddler leaves toy alone to avoid an adult’s anger

Move over marshmallow test, there’s a new video showing the struggles of a toddler to control his impulses and it comes right out of the University of Washington.

The new UW video — which has tallied more than 750,000 hits since it was posted 10 days ago  re-enacts an experiment in a study from the UW’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences that is published in the current issue of the journal, Cognitive Development.

The researchers wanted to find out if 15-month-old children could resist the natural urge to copy an adult playing with a toy by figuring out that doing so would make someone else mad at them.

Turns out they can.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: early learning, social and emotional learning, University of Washington

October 9, 2014 at 5:12 PM

UW President Michael Young gets 6.2 percent raise

The University of Washington’s Board of Regents gave President Michael K. Young a raise of 6.22 percent on Thursday, or another $50,004 a year. That brings his salary to $853,508, including a salary of $622,008, deferred compensation of $193,500, a $12,000 per year car allowance and a retirement plan contribution of $26,000. Young also received a 4 percent…

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Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, University of Washington

August 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Best bang for your college buck? UW ranks 6th

A wide range of institutions and publications will be rolling out national — in some cases, international — college and university rankings in the coming weeks. In this space, we’ll take note of some of the most interesting ones.

The national magazine Washington Monthly tries to downplay prestige and play up value in its “Best Bang for the Buck” list, with rankings based on the economic value students receive per dollar. Among national universities, that list puts the University of Washington-Seattle at number 6. Washington State University ranks 45th. 

Among master’s-degree-granting universities, UW-Bothell ranks 5th, and The Evergreen State College ranks 17th. Central Washington University comes in at 29th, and Western Washington University at 32nd.

Among all schools in the country, regardless of the highest degree awarded, UW-Bothell ranks 6th, and UW-Seattle ranks 15th.

The monthly magazine also has a second, broader ranking that looks at more than money.  For that list, it “asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country. Are they educating low-income students, or just catering to the affluent? Are they improving the quality of their teaching, or ducking accountability for it?”

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Comments | More in News | Topics: University of Washington, Washington State University, Western Washington University

August 4, 2014 at 5:00 AM

New UW provost may expand online classes for working adults

Rovy Branon. Photo courtesy University of Washington

Rovy Branon. Photo courtesy University of Washington

An educator who helped develop the University of Wisconsin’s program that allows working adults to earn college degrees online will lead a similar department at the University of Washington.

Rovy Branon has been chosen to become vice provost for UW Educational Outreach, the arm of the university that offers continuing education for professionals, as well as degree programs that allow students with some college credits to finish their degrees online at the UW.

Branon comes from the University of Wisconsin-Extension, where he led the development of that school’s Flexible Option program, a competency-based online degree program that gives students credit for skills they have learned in previous jobs. He also helped develop eCampus, a gateway to online degree programs throughout the University of Wisconsin system.

Is that a signal that the UW will continue to expand its online offerings for working adults who want to finish their bachelor’s degrees? Perhaps.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: online degree, University of Washington

July 14, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Computer scientist hopes to customize teaching and learning

Educators have been struggling for decades to resolve a fundamental problem: Students who are in the same grade because of age often vary greatly in skills, abilities and experiences, even on the first day of kindergarten.

Teachers are told to differentiate their instruction so that each student gets what she needs ­ a good idea in theory, but hard to pull off in a real classroom because teachers also vary in skills and abilities.

That’s the big puzzle that University of Washington computer science professor Zoran Popović hopes to solve with insights gained over the last five years of developing computer learning games that adapt to the skills of individual players so they progress more efficiently toward mastery.

Popović directs the university’s Center for Game Science.

He also is the founder and chief scientist at Enlearn, a not-for-profit organization started with money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which partnered with the center in May. Enlearn is developing a commercial application for the interactive technology aimed at the global K-12 market.

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Comments | More in Math and science, News | Topics: math instruction, Seattle Public Schools, technology

June 9, 2014 at 5:00 AM

New videos offer research-based tips to boost early learning

eyegaze

A diagram from the training modules shows a father using eye contact to interact with his child.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) is putting its research into action by offering parents and other caregivers virtual lessons in how they can support early brain development.

A series of free online training modules is now available on the I-LABS website. Some of the tips:

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Comments | More in News | Topics: Bezos Family Foundation, early learning, University of Washington

April 7, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Looking to complete that degree? UW adds another online option

Mark Weber / Op Art

Mark Weber / Op Art

The University of Washington has OK’d the second of two online bachelor’s degree completion programs — one that’s expected to appeal to a broad swath of adult students wanting to earn a diploma from the UW.

The degree, a bachelor of arts in integrated social sciences, is meant to be a flexible, low-cost option for adults who have already earned about two years of college credit or an associate degree.

The classes will be taught by UW faculty members and will include popular upper-level classes from all of the disciplines that comprise the social sciences — including anthropology, communication, economics, history and political science.

The program will cost $199 per credit for Washington residents, or about $9,000 per year for full-time study. (For a comparison, undergraduates who attend the UW full-time in person pay about $12,400 a year in tuition and fees.) Out-of-state students will pay about 10 percent more.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: bachelor degree, higher ed, online learning

April 2, 2014 at 5:00 AM

New law should alleviate some tuition surprises

M. Ryder / Op Art

M. Ryder / Op Art

A new state law requires the state’s four-year universities and colleges to do a better job of notifying students if their program is going to become fee-based, which usually causes a spike in tuition costs.

It also requires administrators to work with students and create clearer criteria for which programs fit into the fee-based category.

The law, signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last week, stems from a controversy that arose more than a year ago when the University of Washington moved a number of graduate programs into the fee-based category.

Fee-based programs are not subsidized by state funding, and students bear the full cost of the program. When a program becomes fee-based, students in that program often aren’t eligible for some types of financial-aid assistance.

Some academics say the switch to fee based is symbolic of a philosophical shift — a belief that higher education, and especially graduate degrees, benefit only the people who receive the training, and not society as a whole.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: higher ed, tuition, University of Washington

April 1, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Guest: Double-majoring helps students balance passion and practicality

Imana Gunawan

Imana Gunawan

We’ve heard it before: Studying the arts in college doesn’t provide financial stability and is a waste of time. Even President Obama hinted at that sentiment in his State of the Union address when he made a comment about the earnings of art history majors.

For many students, the arts are an identity. Some may have taken ballet classes or sketch self-portraits for fun. But as these students venture into higher education, many end up not pursuing the arts because of practical, personal or financial reasons.

Students who can afford it have a clear solution: double-majoring. In Washington’s state schools, pursuing two majors generally costs the same as one, if students can pack their coursework into four years. Many students who study two majors must enroll in a costly fifth year of classes, however.

School administrators and state legislators would do well to provide financial and institutional support for students pursuing two majors. Interdepartmental scholarships from the school or even state-provided financial aid can go a long way in helping undergraduates get the most out of their education.

Jordan Rohrs is a University of Washington senior majoring in business with minors in music and dance. He wanted to double-major in business and dance and minor in music, but the cost stopped him. Rohrs said he would have to pay an additional $12,000 tuition and stay an extra year to complete the two majors and minor.

Yet even now in pursuing his dance minor, Rohrs’ biggest challenge is balancing classes to maintain skills in both fields. Both the dance department and the business school only offer certain required courses at select times, he said.

“To try and bring yourself to an adequate level by doing both (business and dance) is difficult,” Rohrs said.

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Comments | More in Guest opinion, Opinion | Topics: arts, double major, higher ed

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