Open Access

In light of open access week, I figure I will share a few videos that correlate to the theme, giving a little twist, I don’t know about you guys but am tired of reading, time for a break:

What is open access?

Benefits of Open Access

Open Access 101

The Future of Open Access (If you have the time…)



Education in the Bahamas

In light of previous posts that discussed education in other countries, I felt that as the sole representative of the Bahamas I would share a little information regarding our educational system. I included a 2005 report prepared for UNESCO and IESALC that outlines higher education in the Bahamas (Link below). From the World Bank report, the Bahamas has a little of 347,000 inhabitants.  Therefore, it should be expected that with the population of Virginia Tech roughly being 9% (30k), Liberty University roughly being 33% (100k) and the University of Phoenix roughly being 89% (300k) of our total population, it is easy to see why the report mentioned above indicates the College of the Bahamas (COB) as our only considerable University in the Bahamas of which I am a proud alumnus. I won’t go into the detail of the report, but I will give you my account of how the educational system works in the Bahamas which does not skew drastically from the United States system, as some other countries may have and I will start from Kindergarten through the common end point of a Bachelors degree from the College of the Bahamas; however other institutions such as Nova Southeastern University, University of Miami and the University of the West Indies have graduate offerings provided via an branch campus (usually not in a stand-alone building).

Here’s my best attempt to define education in the Bahamas:

Grade School

1) Gradation of K-12 education is exactly how it is put, in most cases schools start at either Kindergarten and develop from grades 1-12.  The only difference between the Bahamas and the US is that it separates the schools in terms of primary (K-6) and secondary (7-12) education whereas, if I am correct, the US goes elementary (K-5) middle (6-8) and high (9-12) school. Oh BTW, no A/C i.e. heated learning! (This goes for most of the College of the Bahamas and other vocational/training institutions as well, so count your blessings).

2) Every 3 years essentially, there is a standardized test which is GLAT (grade level assessment test) for grades 3 and 6, BJC (Bahamas Junior Certificate) in grade 9 and the BGCSE (Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education) in grade 12, which is usually the basis for admittance into COB and for scholarship application.

3) The SAT is mandatory at some schools, however the curriculum is not prepared for SAT accomodation.

Higher Education

1) As previously mentioned, the College of the Bahamas is the main institution for Higher Education, although there are other institutions that are public and private that includes the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (Certificates) the Bahamas Baptist Community College (Associates Degrees), Success Training College (AA) Atlantic College (AA) Galilee College (AA) etc.

2) There are other institutions that provide MA degrees such as mentioned above that includes UWI, NOVA and UM.

3) What I find most about the Higher Education system in the Bahamas is that it is mainly preparatory for international education especially in technical fields. Usually, this caters to institutions in the US, Canada, the UK and on some occasions Cuba (medical school).

For example: The engineering program in COB is an AA degree called pre-engineering. In pre-engineering, all of the foundational courses of engineering students are offered that are common of all engineering programs. Additionally, for a Construction Management student, one may take Civil Engineering Technology prior to entering a CM program in the US, Canada or UK etc.

4) The population usually comprises of Bahamian students, however other students usually enroll from other close Caribbean nations and some from other parts of the world such as Zambia, India and the UK.

5) The populous at COB is 8,700 students and as I recall, my class sizes were no bigger than 30, if it was it felt like a huge class.

6) 3 credit hours would accumulate to 4 in class hours a week  and a 4 credit hour course would be roughly 6 course hours a week.

7) Tuition is roughly $150 per credit, so roughly full time tuition would be $1800 for Bahamian nationals and for non-Bahamians it is $200 per credit hour so roughly $2400 for a full-time semester.

8) The Bahamas, if it wasn’t already gather from the previous information provided follows the same degree nomenclature in assigning degrees in the US etc. such as AA, BA, MA.

9) In transferring to the US, a 3rd party agency evaluated the coursework performed in the Bahamas against the coursework in the US for transfer of credits.

By no means is this list exhaustive or the same for everyone else, however I am drawing a blank right now regarding what else I can talk about so if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know.


Link to World Bank Report on Population of the Bahamas

Link to PDF Report on Higher Education in the Bahamas


According to, there area a few “party schools” that actually reflect large incomes post-graduation

during the middle of their career etc. Just found this to be an interesting study. Where’s VT on this list I wonder?


Party School: One of the 20 schools on the 2011 Princeton Review Party School Ranking.

Mid-Career Median Salary: Half of the mid-career employees who are graduates of a school will earn more than this salary, while half will earn less. Salaries listed are for full-time employees with only a bachelor’s degree and no further higher education.”

Best Majors for Making Money



I found this to be very interesting and a little relief from reading journals etc., and thought that these facts may be interesting to note.




This video goes over the economic risks being taken to enter into higher education. Something to think about, will we be able to maintain in the higher education bubble in our or our future generations? Is there an expected crash as the housing market had. I believe this is something that needs further investigation and insight.



America is facing a higher education bubble. Like the housing bubble, it is the product of cheap credit coupled with popular expectations of ever-increasing returns on investment, and as with housing prices, the cheap credit has caused college tuitions to vastly outpace inflation and family incomes. Now this bubble is bursting.

Learn more at:


Interesting Resource for Research through VT Libraries

Hey All,

While in a research course, we had an individual from the library to give us a little workshop on usage of library resources and I though that I would share this while its fresh in my head.

Many of you may already know of this resource but if you’re like me and just starting out, this would be excellent for searching through databases without being taken away too far out of your discipline, and if your research is complex and diverse, at least it can help you hone in on particular topics without going crazy searching through databases you are unfamiliar with.

If you go to this link – it will take you to the subject guides for each individual program of study and help you refine your searches.

Another link is Ulrich’s web which can help you find a research journal, investigate whether it is active, non active and whether it is refereed or not.



I got this link as apart of my GTA workshop on ethics and thought that these were very interesting to share. I hope it keeps us all mindful in our future professional engagements.

8 Astonishing Stats on Academic Cheating

Every student will face down the temptation to cheat on an assignment in his or her lifetime. By this point, turning in fake papers, copying the work of others and outright plagiarism has sadly grown inescapably woven into theeducation sector. Unsurprisingly, statistics abound regarding the whats, hows and whys behind academic dishonesty — and many will surprise those who find such actions deplorable.

  1. 60.8% of polled college students admitted to cheating. An admittedly informal 2007 poll conducted by the popular website CollegeHumor revealed that 60.8% of 30,000 respondents — most of them within its core demographic — confessed to cheating on their assignments and tests. This lines up closely with a questionnaire sent out to Rutgers students as well, to which 68% of students confessed that they had broken the university’s explicit anti-cheating rules. And the number only seems to swell as the years progress, with freshmen the most likely to fudge their way through class.
  2. The same poll revealed that 16.5% of them didn’t regret it.Probably the most disconcerting find that the very same CollegeHumor poll unearthed is the fact that 16.5% of those who admitted to cheating felt no guilt whatsoever for their breach of ethics. It did not go into any details regarding why, of course, but one wonders if today’s culture of entitlement and success without regard to the well-being of others plays a major role in such callous attitudes. With so many scholarships, awards, internships and other incentives at stake, it’s entirely possible that those reporting no regrets considered their actions justified when rewarded for their “success.”
  3. Cheaters have higher GPAs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a poll conducted at Fordham University noted a significant gap between the GPAs of cheating students and their honest counterparts. Cheaters, on average, boast a 3.41 average. Non-cheaters average at 2.85. As mentioned with the previous statistic, many probably feel compelled to compromise their school’s ethics policies in their own self-interest — especially considering the significant number of academic rewards hinging on one’s GPA. What makes this statistic so upsetting is the amount of opportunities being robbed from honest students whose averages may not measure up, but at least they came about them without resorting to plagiarism, copying and other cheating strategies.
  4. The public is more concerned with cheating than college officials. The Ad Council and Educational Testing Service discovered that 41% of Americans and 34% of college officials considered academic cheating a serious issue. They attribute the surprisingly low numbers to a decreased stigma surrounding the actions and an increase in emphasizing a stockpile of rewards and honors over hard work and dedication. Though their fact sheet does not offer any specific numbers, they noted that men and women are equally likely to cheat in an academic setting; math and science classes inspire the most incidents. Engineering and business majors, fraternity and sorority members, students on the extreme ends of the GPA scale, freshmen and sophomores are all more likely to cheat, and there exists no real difference along gender lines. However, men seem to admit to it slightly more than women.
  5. Cheating college students likely start in high school. If not before. According to the very same Ad Council and ETS study, between 75% and 98% of college students who confessed to cheating reported that they set such a personal standard in high school. The organizations conducting the poll, however, believe that the motivation to cheat can start as early elementary and middle school. After kindergarten, teachers, parents and administrators place much heavier emphasis on grades and awards, placing considerable pressure on students to do anything necessary to stay ahead of their contemporaries.
  6. In fact, 85% of them think cheating is essential. Even college students that don’t cheat still think it a valuable strategy to scoring the best grades, internships, scholarships and awards possible. AU.S. News and World Report survey noted the phenomenon, revealing that 90% of those polled didn’t believe that they or others would get caught — and subsequently punished — for their actions. In his study of 1,800 college students, Professor Donald McCabe noted that 15% turned in a fake term paper (either from a mill or a website), 84% cheated on written assignments and 52% plagiarized one or more sentences for a paper.
  7. 95% of cheaters don’t get caught. As another study conducted by Ad Council and ETS confirmed, many of the suspicions that college students held about getting caught for their crimes. This gives them even more incentive to lie their way through classes rather than actually put forth the effort and learn something. Websites such as allow professors to check whether or not their students have handed over a fake paper, but it cannot help cheating on tests, quizzes and non-written assignments.
  8. Top-tier paper mill website average about 8,000 hits a day.ETS and Ad Council’s research quotes founder Kenneth Sahr as stating that his website receives around 8,000 hits a day. Even accounting for innocent, curious onlookers and suspicious educators and parents double-checking a student’s work, this does illustrate the prevalence and high demand for pre-written term papers, homework and other projects. and its ilk often post disclaimers citing their services as “for critique” or “research” purposes only – yet their copy almost always tends to suggest otherwise. Some schools have launched campaigns against their services, though such measures put little to no damper on the overarching popularity.


I’ve already submitted two mission statements in the forums section in scholar, however I believe that this one has a greater impact than most and deserves to be blogged for full recognition as I had no idea that an institution of higher learning like this actually existed. I probably thought that it existed somewhere, however it’s good to know that it exists. I’ve posted the mission statement and the a video that made me want to post this via the blog.

Hopefully this works, had problems syncing with my other blog trying to post this last week. Cross my fingers….
Mission Statement

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.


21st Century vs. 20th Century Education

Know your past, enhance your future.



I have reviewed these videos on you-tube when searching about grading beliefs of various lecturers and hope that these preentations have some effect on how we view assessing students.

Doug Reeves

Rick Wormeli