Archive for October, 2013

Updated Nov. 1–I led a workshop at this week’s Transnational Association for Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) annual conference in San Diego on transfer issues and resources for dealing with transfers and graduate admission problems. Thanks to all those who attended and contributed to this important discussion.

The workshop explained how transfers between nationally and regionally accredited institutions should work and how to meet the challenge when they don’t.

The two sample letters attendees requested are provided below:

Transfer Advice to Students

Model Letter to Institutions Denying TRACS Transfers 

The six regional accreditor transfer guidelines are found at the Accreditation link.

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Edgar Bronfman, a CEO who understands the value of a liberal arts education for business and the marketplace without selling out to pragmatism, offers his insights in Inside Higher Ed from his experience leading Seagrams.

“In my experience, a liberal arts degree is the most important factor in forming individuals into interesting and interested people who can determine their own paths through the future.

“For all of the decisions young business leaders will be asked to make based on facts and figures, needs and wants, numbers and speculation, all of those choices will require one common skill: how to evaluate raw information, be it from people or a spreadsheet, and make reasoned and critical decisions. The ability to think clearly and critically — to understand what people mean rather than what they say — cannot be monetized, and in life should not be undervalued. In all the people who have worked for me over the years the ones who stood out the most were the people who were able to see beyond the facts and figures before them and understand what they mean in a larger context.

“. . . The work place of the future requires specialized skills that will need not only educated minds, but adaptable ones.

That adaptability is where a liberal arts degree comes in. There is nothing that makes the mind more elastic and expandable than discovering how the world works.”

Read more in Inside Higher Ed :

Liberal arts are the best preparation — even for a business career (essay).

Edgar M. Bronfman was chief executive officer of the Seagram Company Ltd. and is president of the Samuel Bronfman Foundation, which seeks to inspire a renaissance of Jewish life.

Thx to Rob Sentz at Economic Modeling Specialists, Intl./CareerBuilders.

Thomas Nagel’s provocative little book, Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False, challenges reductionistic materialsts who claim to offer the only scientific explanation to the origins of life.

Below are some quotes from Nagel’s introduction to whet your appetite for his arguments against “the consensus of scientific opinion.” (Curiously, this common phrase, “consensus of scientific opinion, “so often invoked by reductionistic materialists themselves, is self-contradictory. A consensus of opinion is typically invoked as an argument from authority [in this case claiming validity because it is held by a supposed majority or mob], but it is most certainly not a scientifically derived conclusion itself–it is, rather, just another opinion, another belief that may or may not be warranted. It has no privileged status or authority in matters of science, theorizing, or factual claims because even majority opinions can be very, very wrong and even delusional–but I digress).

Nagel writes,

“My target is a comprehensive, speculative world picture that is reached by extrapolation from some of the discoveries of biology, chemistry, and physics–a particular naturalistic Weltanschauung that postulates a hierarchical relation among the subjects of those sciences, and the completeness in principle of an explanation of everything in the universe through their unification. Such a world view is not a necessary condition of the practice of any of those sciences, and its acceptance or nonacceptance would have no effect on most scientific research. Continue reading