Editor’s Note

Selling Higher Education
Frank Shushok, Jr.

“At universities across the country, it seems ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ is still the name of the game, and it’s expensive. It’s not just the physical plants we’re selling either– its the promise of jobs. Truth told, I’ve been somewhat startled by the strength of this narrative. High-impact practices such as internships, undergraduate research, and study abroad are especially touted because these experiences lead to ‘good jobs.’ As one admissions recruiter offered, ‘we find that students who do these things are very attractive to employers’…”

Featured Articles

Peter Block Talks Community, the Consumer Culture, and the Promise of Learning

Peter Block & Frank Shushok, Jr.

Peter Block has devoted his career to developing, nurturing, and sustaining community. He identifies himself as someone who translates ideas from many different areas and makes them accessible to people. One of the points Block makes in this interview with Frank Shushok, Jr. is that it is more effective to focus on what people are good at, what they love to do, than their deficiencies. With regard to higher education, he encourages us to develop genuine community– genuine interdependence to construct something with others– learning, in the case of the classroom.

440 Pearl Street: Autism on (and a Block Away from) Campus
Lee Burdette Williams

Long-time student affairs professional Lee Burdette Williams has a new job. She works a residential program for college students, most of whom are on the Autism Spectrum. More and more children are being diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum, and with improved interventions, even more of those are going to attend college. So how are we going to respond with their (many, complicated) needs? Lee reminds us that we have an economic, legal, and moral imperative to figure this out.

Beyond Trigger Warnings: Preparing for Engaged Learning within an Ethic of Care

Rebecca Flintoft and Christopher Bollinger

The authors explain how trigger warnings are a problematic response to concerns about potentially trauma-inducing content. Trigger warnings can potentially silence teaching and learning about sensitive issues that we as a society most need to address. They can also cause some students to avoid learning situations entirely so they won’t be uncomfortable. Flintoft and Bollinger argue that we all need to recognize the positive impact of discomfort on learning and separate it clearly from the experience of trauma, which disrupts learning.