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2011 March

Chronicle of Higher Education

Omari Simmons, associate professor, law school

‘Social Capital’ and College Counseling: If college counseling for underrepresented students does not become a crucial part of education reform, then reform will not bear nearly enough fruit. So writes Omari Scott Simmons in a forthcoming article in the Notre Dame Law Review. Mr. Simmons, an associate professor at Wake Forest University’s School of Law, argues that policy makers must do more to account for “social-capital deficits” among low-income, minority, and first-generation students in public schools. Generally, “social capital” is a term used to describe the benefits one accumulates based on his or her relationships with other people.

“Vulnerable students overwhelmingly lack access to social networks that provide valuable information to navigate the complex college admissions and financial-aid processes,” writes Mr. Simmons, who is also director of the Simmons Memorial Foundation, a North Carolina nonprofit group that helps prepare under-privileged students for college. “Yet the nation’s public schools exacerbate the problem by not providing adequate college counseling support to their most needy students, particularly successful students who demonstrate college potential.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Experts: Don’t be parent and friend: “Parents should definitely be parents,” said Christy Buchanan, professor of psychology at Wake Forest University and an expert on parent-child relationships, when asked about singer Billy Ray Cyrus’ troubled relationship with this pop-star daughter, Miley.…There are repercussions for relinquishing the parental role in favor of being “just a friend.”

Those include increased problem behavior and lower academic and social success.

“Children also will not necessarily appreciate or respect parents who play only the friend role — so although being ‘the parent’ can create conflict in the short term, in the long term the parent-child relationship is likely to be better when parents give children the [loving] guidance and discipline children need in order to succeed in the world,” she said.

USAToday

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Are Ivy League diplomas still worth the price of admission?: …High-end salaries are a direct benefit of a high-end education, says Amanda Griffith, assistant professor of economics at Wake Forest University.”Research suggests that educational expenditures and peer quality are related to future success in the labor market. Students that graduate from top institutions can expect higher average salaries.”

USAToday

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Governors head to D.C., minds set on economy: Governors from both parties often agree on issues where they think the federal government is encroaching on states, said John Dinan, a political science professor at Wake Forest University. For example: A provision in last year’s health care law bars states from reducing Medicaid eligibility until 2014 — giving governors little flexibility to deal with their budget woes. “Even on this issue, where partisan lines run pretty deep, there are issues that all governors should be able to recognize,” Dinan said. “You’re not seeing them taking on the essence of the Affordable Care Act.”