Colleges Column

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New York University, which in 1890 established the nation's first graduate school of education, plans to support its efforts to train able teacher candidates by establishing a $100,000 scholarship fund.

Noting the "special responsibility" of colleges and universities to help strengthen secondary and elementary schools, John Brademas, nyu's president, said the new fund would provide up to 50 scholarships of $2,000 each and would be supplemented by additional financial aid based on students' need.

Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of an applicant's minimum combined score of 1100 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, academic records, and demonstrated interest in the teaching profession.

The education program is now conducted within the School of Education, Health, Nursing, and Arts Professions, organized in 1974 to reflect "the broadened focus of nyu's teaching programs in allied professions," according to a spokesman.

In a study that the researchers suggest bears on the use of test cutoff scores in admission decisions, black graduate students at the University of Florida were found to have higher grade-point averages than white students whose scores were the same on the Graduate Record Examination (gre).

"At any given level of gre scores, black students outperform white students. At a gre score of 800, the black student may have a 3.4 grade-point average; the white student with the same gre will have a 3.19 average," said Richard R. Scott, a psychologist, who conducted the study with a colleague.

The researchers compared scores and grade-point averages for all 96 black students in the unversity's graduate school in 1980 with those of randomly selected white students. "What it really comes down to is the cutoff point for black students can be lower than the cutoff point for white students and still lead to good performance," Mr. Scott said. He said the gre "tends to devalue the skills and resources which contribute to the eventual high performance of blacks, and exaggerates the skills and resources of whites."

The 37-member group of college presidents that drafted the new eligibility rules for freshman athletes approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in January says it may want to modify them.

Members of the group, which has held several meetings during the past month, say they may propose barring all freshmen from intercollegiate competition, at least in basketball and football.

Yale, Harvard, and Princeton Universities, and Dartmouth College are all reporting significant drops in applications s freshman class--from 10 percent at Yale to 4 percent at Dartmouth. Officials at the schools attribute the decline to economic conditions and population trends.

Columbia, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania report slight application increases, and Brown University reports an increase of 13 percent.

Although women make up only about 2.3 percent of all working engineers nationwide--an increase from 1976 when they comprised 1.6 percent--the number of women entering one engineering field is reportedly growing rapidly.

Chemical engineering is by far the most popular of the engineering fields for women, according to faculty members at Louisiana State University, where there are 106 women students in a chemical-engineering program of 368.

Some 1,580 women graduated with degrees in chemical engineering from accredited university engineering programs in 1981, compared to 999 in mechanical engineering and 960 in electrical engineering, according to the bulletin of the American Association of Engineering Societies.

The increased interest of women in chemical engineering is apparently surging first at the high-school level, where they are swelling enrollments in chemistry classes, according to a spokesman for the National Society of Professional Engineers.

"Girls are astute enough to see that chemists and chemical engineers tend to make more than teachers and nurses," says Geoffrey Pierce, a professor of chemistry at Louisiana State.

Roughly half the nation's college graduates pursue some form of graduate education, according to a study of recent trends in graduate and professional education prepared for the National Commission on Financial Assistance by scholars at Stanford University.

Though many students in recent years have been shying away from graduate programs because of their fear of accumulating too many debts, one of the study's findings suggests that "generally, graduate students are frugal borrowers."

Cumulative graduate loans incurred by doctoral students averaged $5,500 after 3.3 years of study, while those of students enrolled in M.A. programs averaged $7,250 and those in M.S. programs $5,600.

A recent survey of graduate students at Princeton University indicated that average total loans for those who had borrowed range from $4,600 to $7,000.

A Stanford University survey found that half the graduate students responding expect to carry total educational debts--graduate and undergraduate--averaging $9,500.

Among the trends noted in the report:

The number of doctorates awarded each year peaked at about 34,000 in 1972-73, and it has declined by roughly 2,000 since then.

The number of master's degrees awarded each year peaked at about 318,000 in 1976-77 and has declined by more than 15,000 since then.

The number of first professional degrees awarded each year--primarily degrees in medicine and law--increased throughout the 1970's and is expected to continue climbing somewhat above the number currently graduating (about 70,000).

The proportion of women among graduate students has risen steadily over the past decade, from 40 percent to 50 percent.--mm & sr

Vol. 02, Issue 25

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