Higher Ed

In their lively and entertaining weekly discussion of issues related to higher education, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore the topics of higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. Ed and Jennifer practice what they preach, too, by introducing math puzzlers and brain teasers to keep listeners on their toes.

High school seniors have something extra added to their workload in the fall semester. Those who are going on to college have to navigate the college application process. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton dissect that annual dash to compile transcripts, test scores, essays and teacher recommendations.

The author of a summer op-ed in the New York Times (no, not that op-ed!)  believes girls would benefit from more drilling on math to "break the cycle of dislike-avoidance-further dislike" and help them build confidence in their math skills (which research has shown are pretty similar to boys' math skills).  In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton  discuss the op-ed's call for gender-based additional academic practice and how to undo lingering biases about gender and academic performance.

Remember those old film strips in school that would advance frame by frame, fueled by an annoying beep? Instructional media has certainly improved quite a bit since those days. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss if better videos make for better learning.

The episode was originally posted on May 20, 2018.

Business and industry sometimes say they find students are not prepared for work – or the working world in general – when they graduate from college. Liberal arts institutions, meanwhile, say they are preparing flexible and well-rounded students who are ready to tackle anything.

How can this disconnect be bridged? Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I explore the relationship between academia and industry in this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed."

This episode was originally posted on Feb 4, 2018.

A lot of people have input when it comes to formal education: teachers, students, administrators, staff and parents for starters. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss who out of all those groups, though, is actually in control of the quality of the education provided.

This episode was originally posted on Jan. 28, 2018.

Those in higher education have a lot on their minds these days: the new tax law, immigration, affordability, the cost of education and how these things impact teaching and learning. Educators are also thinking about how people discuss those topics.

In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how people with different opinions can have fruitful and thoughtful conversations in and out of the classroom.

This episode was originally posted on Jan. 21, 2018.

We know what it means to "like" something. But does that word carry extra meaning in education and learning? What does it mean when students say they "like" a class or fear a teacher doesn't "like" them? In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore perceptions and realities of "likes" in education.

This episode was originally posted on Dec. 17, 2017.

There has been an ongoing debate in education about a staple of the school landscape: homework. Do students get too much? Too little? What role does - and should - homework play in education? In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss all things homework.

This episode was originally posted on Dec. 10, 2017.

"Whaddya get?" That's the question students often ask each other after graded exams or papers are handed back. Competition among students persists in education. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss if that kind of competition is ever productive or useful for learning.

This episode was originally posted on Dec. 3, 2017.

Puzzlers can be fun and challenging and can also help us think about some of life's bigger questions. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger puzzle through solutions to some especially tough riddles.

This episode was originally posted on Nov. 19, 2017.

T-E-S-T. That word almost always strikes fear in the hearts of students. They're worried about doing well, getting a high grade and comparing their performance to that of their classmates. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore stressful test culture.


This episode was originally posted on Nov. 12, 2017.

Our path through formal education is pretty prescribed through the early years.  But in middle school, high school, college and beyond, students have more latitude in choosing their own classes and course of study. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss who knows best when making those decisions about which classes to take: students? parents? teachers?


This episode was originally published on Oct. 22, 2017.

In a recent episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger answered a listener's question about how to know when it's the right decision to transfer schools. In this episode, they take that discussion a step further to answer a related and important question: How can students know if they're getting a "good" education? What does it even mean to describe an education as "good"?


This episode was originally published on Sept. 17, 2017.

Sometimes, a relationship doesn't feel like a good match. You can't put your finger on it, but it just feels like it's time to move on. That feeling can crop up in personal relationships, as well as in our relationships with schools. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger answer a question from a listener who wanted to know whether transferring from one college to another is the right decision.


American Council on Education

From Texas Standard.

Dr. Diana Natalicio has been called “the voice, the face, the strength and the sheer rock” of the University of Texas at El Paso. Now, after 45 years at the university and 30 years as its president, she has announced plans to retire.

Remember that old adage about what happens when we assume something? (Hint: break the word down into smaller parts and you'll get it!). Seriously, making assumptions can impact how we approach and learn information. Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I spend this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed" exploring why we make assumptions; how they affect learning and problem-solving; and how we can approach education with a more open mind.

Commencement speeches: Some are boring and not very memorable; some are inspiring and stay with graduates for years to comes. During this 2018 commencement season, Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I spend the episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed" discussing the good, the bad and the memorable from commencement addresses.

The end of the school year is a busy time for students, faculty, staff, and families. Finals exams are looming; seniors may be on the hunt for a job; and many students have to say goodbye to friends and teachers. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I discuss the origins of stress; the role it can play in education and learning; and how to successfully manage it (both in and out of school).

Jonathan Baker

From Texas Standard.

Tulia is an agricultural hamlet of 5,000 souls in the middle of the Texas Panhandle, just under an hour south of Amarillo. It’s where 18-year-old Tawnee Flowers grew up and went to high school.

A college student requested a "Higher Ed" discussion about meaningful student-teacher relationships – both how to form them and how those relationships could impact grades and behavior. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how students and teachers can best engage each other to ensure that dynamic goes well.

Asking for help can be difficult or embarrassing sometimes, and for a variety reasons we don't always do it when we should. But the truth is, everyone needs help sometimes, including students - who can occasionally  use a hand with a tricky subject. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the most effective ways to ask for and use help in education.

One of higher education's biggest challenges in the coming years may be to prepare students to flourish in a world with many careers and positions that don't now exist. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how higher education can be ready for this new reality.

Students and young scholars may not have had as much time in the classroom, but that doesn't mean their work lacks insight, value and rigor. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the valuable contributions younger learners can make, and how society can better regard and embrace their thinking.

This episode was originally posted on Oct. 1, 2017.

Sometimes school can feel like a really solitary endeavor. Writing papers and reading are usually done solo. But teachers at all levels of formal education also assign group projects or presentations. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the pros and cons of learning solo and of working with a group - both in school and beyond.

With so much information available to us so quickly and easily these days, it might feel as if there is just too much to learn. But encountering massive amounts of information is not the same as actually discerning and then learning what is essential. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss information saturation.

Making decisions – large and small – is not always easy. We are called upon to make countless decisions in life, but when do we receive effective tools for doing that? In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how lessons from our formal education can help us make better decisions.

Note: This episode was originally released on Sept. 17, 2017.

Sometimes, a relationship doesn't feel like a good match. That feeling can crop up in personal relationships, as well as in our relationships with schools. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger answer a question from a listener curious about how to know when it is time to move on.

Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in August, schools along the coast and in Houston were closed for weeks. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how students, teachers, and schools can rebound when their school year is disrupted.


Some alumni just love the schools they attended and cannot wait to go back for Homecoming and Reunion. Other alumni say "good riddance" as soon as they get their diploma and never want to hear from their schools again. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss what keeps alumni connected to their schools and how social media has impacted that relationship.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

The cost of college continues to creep higher and higher – and financial aid isn’t keeping up.

More Texans are receiving those hefty student loan bills in the mail after graduation, but is college still worth the investment?

Nonprofit online college WGU Texas took the temperature of how Texans are feeling about the state of higher education in their annual poll, which you can read here.

Josh Blank of Strategic Research Associates conducted the study, and he says most Texans are still on board with higher ed.

Pages