Launch Global Education
Odyssey newsletter: acorns . credits . books

Volume 1  Issue 29

 by Michael Wagner

 Knowledge Pilot, Launch Global Education

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Each week I try to share the key topics that are taking place in the world of higher education, college admissions, and college counseling. And one thing that always in the news is the topic of college rankings. I am not a big fan of college ranking publications and I advise the students I work with not to place too much emphasis on them. There is a link to a very good article this week on rankings, and another we have included as a bonus article. They are worth a read.

And as our regular readers know, we place a high value on lifelong learning. This week we share an article that outlines many higher education resources—make sure to check out the recommended books.



bubble centered in level

Graduation rates level off

When college completion rates are calculated, they are done within admissions data cohorts. In the newest information release, the six-year bachelor’s completion rate based upon the 2016 cohort shows that college completion rates in the U.S. are leveling off. Natalie Schwartz of Higher Ed Dive breaks down the data.

College completion rates stall at 62.3%, report finds

Learning about higher education

The changing landscape of higher education is fast and furious. The topics are vast, and information is abundant. It is reflected in the list of books that are featured in this article by Michael T. Nietzel, Senior Contributor for Forbes Magazine. Perhaps there will be a book that piques your interest.

The best higher education books of 2022

Retaining credits during the transfer process

It is not uncommon for students to attend more than one institution during their college journey. Yet when students transfer, there is not a system in place to help students retain credits, meaning that students often lose credits toward their degrees while moving from one institution to another. Martin Kurzweil and Sarah Pingel at Ithaka S+R, report for Insider Higher Ed, on how a system of credit accountability is needed. Kurzweil and Pingel are the co-authors, with Chau-Fang Lin, of Holistic Credit Mobility: Centering Learning in Credential Completion.

Earning credit from multiple sources is the norm in higher ed

Emphasis on rankings takes away from the goal of finding the right fit

When it comes to students beginning the process of thinking about colleges and creating college lists, it seems the emphasis is always placed on looking at college ranking resources. However, many people are not familiar with how the rankings are determined. In this straightforward article Steven Mintz, professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin and writer for Inside Higher Ed explains.

What’s really wrong with the college rankings: They fail to measure the quality of the academic experience

And here is a bonus article by Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.

What Will Happen to ‘U.S. News’ Rankings?

Tip of the Week

girls lounging and reading

Reading for pleasure

During this time of year, it always seems that the news feeds are abundant with anything that can be categorized into a list. One type of list that always gets my attention is those that highlight the best books of the year.

I always tell students the best way to build one’s vocabulary is to read. With many students approaching the end of the first term and an upcoming holiday break, now is a great time to grab a book. I advise students to break reading down into small portions of time, such as 30 minutes a day, and to immerse themselves in a book that interests them. Perhaps the book is on a topic they want to learn more about, or maybe it is just a great story. The point it to read.

Here is a link to the Young Adult section of one of my favorite resources for selecting a book of the year from the editors of NPR:

Books we love: Great reads, thoughtfully curated by NPR

Before you go...

pile of acorns

I believe everyone is passionate or enthusiastic about something. But when I come across someone with a passion that is something I would never think of it becomes even more intriguing to watch and learn. This was never more evident than when I came across this story from CBS correspondent Faith Salie featured on CBS Sunday Morning.

Becorns: Whimsical creations sculpted from Nature

I enjoy creating the Odyssey Newsletter because there are so many interesting topics to share. The difficult part is selecting the best ones each week! I hope that the stories provide a good variety of topics that readers find both informative and interesting--like the NPR resource for selecting a great book from this year’s selections. It is my sincere hope that everyone will grab a good book over their holiday break and read. And please consider giving a book as a gift.

As always, we invite you to share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues and let us know if there are topics for the Odyssey newsletter that you want to learn more about.

Have an enjoyable week ahead.  


Mr. Michael J. Wagner

Michael Wagner, MAED is a founder and the Knowledge Pilot for Launch Education.  Mr. Mike has assisted hundreds of students around the world on their college pathways.