A national study has found that a gap exists between the experiences of transfers from four-year universities and those from community colleges. But USC’s approach to the transfer process has left only a small discrepancy between each type of transfers, according to many students.The National Survey of Student Engagement, which includes students from both public and private colleges and universities nationwide, found that transfers from four-year institutions were more likely to participate in “high impact” activities, such as studying abroad and researching with a professor, than transfers from community colleges.The study, commonly referred to as the “Nessie,” compared the experiences of “vertical” transfers, who are from community colleges, with those of “horizontal” transfers from four-year institutions. The study aimed to find out as much as possible about campus life, beyond just quantitative data.“We want to change the nature of the conversation about college quality to focus on teaching and learning,” said Alexander McCormick, director of the survey and a professor at Indiana University School of Education’s Educational Leadership and Policy Studies department. “The quality discourse is really about US rankings, and about resources, and doesn’t tell you about what’s going on, on campus.”But to understand how students are affected at schools like USC, some feel the study should factor in socioeconomic status, and say that is an important determinant of what kinds of activities a student will participate in.“For a university like USC, the horizontal transfers are likely to be affluent,” said Alicia Dowd,co-director of the USC Center for Urban Education.This could have some effect on the results, Dowd said, since affluent students are more likely to study abroad and engage in similar activities that require extra expenses.“The Nessie is really measuring only really small differences in behavior … They don’t tell us anything about the value of transfer as a whole,” Dowd said.To help transfer students acclimate to USC, the school offers a separate orientation session for transfer students as well as programs that help specific groups of transfers.“The transfer orientation spends a good deal of time making sure that [transfer students] understand what they’ve been credited for,” said Tom Studdert, director of Orientation Programs at USC. “Also, at transfer orientation, we spend a little more time understanding the culture of student involvement at USC … [and] how it’s different from their previous institution.”In addition to the separate orientation, USC’s SCholars program, funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, seeks out potential transfer students at local community colleges who are at a socioeconomic disadvantage, and tries to acclimate them to the USC campus before they apply. If they are accepted into the program, USC ensures that they find out about available opportunities on campus, said Kenechukwu Mmeje, the program’s director.“Our community college students don’t know about these opportunities, and haven’t been introduced to them in a conventional way,” Mmeje said. “We have students participate in fellowships and scholarships, and it’s a result of our deliberate effort to expose students to those opportunities.”Still, the SCholars program reaches out to only a limited number of students, and many transfers, from both two-year and four-year schools, feel USC should offer more programs to help them find out about resources available on campus.Even so, many transfer students said they do not feel there is a large discrepancy in campus participation between transferring from a four-year university versus a community college.“That’s not the case with me, and I’m a community college transfer,” said Kyle Young, an undeclared sophomore who transferred from Moorpark College. “I could definitely see that being true for other people. At a [junior college], it’s a lot less social. You don’t get to be part of your school spirit.”Instead, many students from both two- and four-year schools say the real discrepancy in experiences is between transfer students and four-year students in general.“I don’t feel like I know enough about the groups I can get involved with on campus, so that’s holding me back from participating in more organizations,” said Leher Pathak, a sophomore majoring in communication, who transferred from Loyola Marymount University.Melanie Irinco, a sophomore majoring in public policy, planning and management who transferred from Los Angeles Valley College, also said she hadn’t been exposed to programs helping transfer students.“I’m sure [the existing programs] are effective, but I would hope there would be more programs,” Irinco said. “Also, I wish they were easier to have access to or even just hearing about them would be nice.”Whether they come from two- or four-year colleges, Dowd said, universities should make an extra effort to appreciate and assist transfer students to help them fit in on campus.“USC has the largest number of transfers of any private university,” Dowd said. “We don’t celebrate that, and we should.”
On a course that gives pause to some of the best golfers in the nation, the men’s golf team was not intimidated as they took home the team championship on Wednesday at the Southern Highlands Collegiate, hosted at the Southern Highlands Country Club in Nevada.The Southern Highlands C.C., nestled in the Las Vegas Valley, is renowned as being one of the nation’s toughest courses. It has played host to two PGA Tour events since it was established in 1999 and served as one of the toughest hurdles of the year for each of the schools that competed in the tournament.“I am so proud of our team,” head coach Chris Zambri said. “This golf course is the most challenging course we’ll play all year. Winning here says that we are a very good team.”Led by junior Rico Hoey and Sean Crocker, the No. 4 Trojans fought back after finishing one stroke out of the lead at the end of the first day of the competition. They took the lead on Day 2 and never looked back, finishing with a final score of +5, 4 strokes better than the No. 12 Florida Gators. USC was one of four top-10 teams to compete in the tournament, along with No. 6 Arizona State (who finished tied for fourth), No. 1 Illinois (T-8th), and No. 8 Alabama (T-13th).Crocker turned in the second-best individual score of the tournament by finishing at -3; his score was his fourth top-eight score this year and his second consecutive top-eight finish — he finished tied for fifth at last week’s Southwestern Jones Invitational. Crocker tied his personal best finish this season, as he also came in second at the season-opening Husky Invitational.Hoey finished in the top-10 for the sixth consecutive tournament, and his final round score of 72 was the Trojans’ best. He birdied two holes on the front nine in the final round, and his final tally is his seventh top-10 of the season. Freshman Justin Suh tied for 14th in the tournament with a score of +3; his finish was his second top-20 finish on the year. Senior Andrew Levitt, who won the individual championship at the Southwestern Jones Invitational, tied for 27th at the Southern Highlands Collegiate with a score of +7. Sophomore Jonah Texeira was USC’s final golfer of record, finishing tied for 47th with a final score of +10.The Trojans, who were already trending upward in the national rankings, expect to see a further boost after their second consecutive team victory, and their third overall in the spring season. The team now looks ahead to The Goodwin, which will take place in Palo Alto between March 24-26 at the Stanford Golf Course.
Greece’s Ministry of Culture announced on Friday that two important discoveries have been unearthed on Evia and Tinos islands with the support of the Institute for Aegean History (INSTAP) and the University of Athens respectively.Following a two-year excavation near the town of Karystos on Evia (Euboea) an important prehistoric settlement dated mainly to the Late Neolithic Age was discovered.ALSO READ: Five major ancient shipwrecks discovered off small Greek island in the AegeanThe settlement presents evidence of habitation and use both during the Late Neolithic and in the beginning stages of the Early Bronze Age, while it is believed to be able to provide valuable information to archaeologists about the details of human life and the technology used during that time.Parts of the foundations for the walls that were unearthed near Karystos, on Euboea. Photo: Greek Ministry of Culture and SportsAccording to the report the buildings have stone walls, stone tables and desks, and there appears to be an oven alongside an array of portable objects. The excavation team, whose project is funded by the Norwegian Institute of Athens, has uncovered two clay anthropomorphic figurines, several polished and cut-stone tools, artifacts made of different types of stone as well as human and animal bones.Tiled roof of the 5th century. B.C. Photo: Greek Ministry of Culture and SportsMeanwhile, a grave steles site dated back to the Classical Years were discovered during another excavation conducted at a Classical era cemetery in Xobourgo on the island of Tinos.The steles are considered to be of high importance as they will provide information on the classical sculpture history of the island. These high quality works, several still intact, are the link between the history of ancient sculpture and the tradition of modern Tinos sculpture.Grave stele depicting a man with his slave (4th century BC) Photo: Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports“The cemetery is situated at the southeastern foothills of Xobourgo and was the main cemetery of ancient settlement that developed in the Classical era,” the Greek Culture Ministry’s announcement wrote.“The settlement, established just before 1,000 BC, was surrounded by huge walls and was initially used as ‘refuge settlement’. Later, it developed into the most important settlement of Tinos which constituted the main economic and political centre of the island until its abandonment at the end of the 4th century BC.”ALSO READ: The ancient past of Peristeri will soon be open for exploration! Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
The 2016 SEI CERT C++ Coding StandardThe Software Engineering Institute (SEI) wants to help developers create safe, reliable, and secure C++ solutions. The organization announced its 2016 edition of the SEI CERT C++ Coding Standard designed to provide rules for secure C++ coding. It includes 83 new programming rules that take into account C++ features that are not in the C programming language. “This newly released C++ standard adds to our previously released C standard secure coding guidance for features that are unique to the C++ language. For example, this standard has guidance for object oriented programming and containers,” said Robert Schiela, technical manager of secure coding for the SEI’s CERT Division. “It also contains guidance for features that were added to C++14, like lambda objects.”Avast: Majority of PC users are at risk due to outdated softwareAvast released its Avast PC Trends Report Q1 2017 and revealed that 52% of the most popular PC applications running on PCs, like Flash and Java, are out of date. This puts PC users at risk since their laptops and desktops are exposed to vulnerabilities and malware. This data was gathered anonymously from 116 million Windows desktop and laptop users running AVG TuneUP’s automatic software updater feature. Avast found the most out-of-date programs include: Java (Runtime 6 & 7), Flash Player (ActiveX), Foxit Reader, GOM Media Player, Nitro Pro, and WinZip. The full report can be reviewed here. OpenSSL launches new website, changes license The OpenSSL project is changing its license to the Apache License version 2.0. The OpenSSL team is also launching a new website, working with corporate collaborators to facilitate the re-licensing process. “This re-licensing activity will make OpenSSL, already the world’s most widely-used FOSS encryption software, more convenient to incorporate in the widest possible range of free and open source software,” said Mishi Choudhary, legal director of Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and counsel to OpenSSL. “OpenSSL’s team has carefully prepared for this re-licensing, and their process will be an outstanding example of ‘how to do it right.’ SFLC is pleased to have been able to help the team bring this process to this point, and looks forward to its successful and timely completion.” Intel is beginning to square in on AI with the announcement of a single cross-Intel organization: The Artificial Intelligence Products Group (AIPG). According to the company, AIPG strengthens its focus on AI, and will include engineering, labs, software and resources as it continues to work on its AI portfolio: The Intel Nervana platform. In addition, the company says it will be creating an AI research lab to explore architectural and algorithmic approaches for the future generation of AI. More information is available here. CoreOS extends CoreOS TectonicCoreOS wants to extend its enterprise Kubernetes solution to support more environments. In addition to AWS and bare metal environments, the company announced preview availability of Microsoft Azure and OpenStack. CoreOS is also extending the container image registry Quay to manage and store Kubernetes apps. “We are seeing many companies embracing digital transformation, with part of that effort made possible by embracing a modern cloud native infrastructure that includes the use of containers and container orchestration. CoreOS has consistently promoted this transformation, and the announcements the company has made extends their solution across more of the environments where customers are likely to deploy their cloud native applications,” said Al Gillen, group vice president of software development and open source at IDC. “Embracing products such as these solutions from CoreOS will help enterprises take the next steps needed to take full advantage of cloud native deployments.”