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‘What Good is a College Education?’ Asks Beyond the Blue/Foundational Studies Program Podcast

By:    Published 10:52 am / March 26, 2012

People have been pursuing higher education and advanced degrees for centuries, but why and to what end? Stephanie Cox and Jennifer Black, lecturers in the English Department, investigate the history of higher education from Socrates to the present day in this week’s Beyond the Blue podcast and Foundational Studies Program sample class, “What Good is a College Education?”.

Listeners can access the website featuring a series of faculty podcasts at or go directly to the Cox/Black presentation. Visitors can download all podcasts and subscribe to receive automatic downloads of new content whenever they open iTunes.

In this podcast, Cox and Black look at what has changed and how the educational process has evolved over the years. Using the fundamentals from their upcoming Foundational Studies Program course, they look at the balance between preparation for a specific career and the value of a broad-based curriculum. Also included — the role that technology plays in the changing face of higher education, and how to focus on what you can get out of a college education at least as much as the process of getting into a college environment.

Cox teaches undergraduate writing courses in the English Department at Boise State. She has a B.A. and an M.A., both from Kansas State University. Black teaches courses in Western Humanities, British Literature and English Composition. She received her Ph.D. from Boston University and has a B.A. and M.A. from Brigham Young University.

In recent years, Cox and Black have been part of a collaboration to study and improve the teaching of writing in online environments. They have co-presented at the Conference for College Composition and Communication, the Computers and Writing conference, and the National Council for Teachers of English conference. They are co-teaching the UF100 course “What is the Value of Education?” — both the face-to-face and online versions — in the fall of 2012.

This podcast is part of a series of presentations related to Boise State’s Foundational Studies Program. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Martin Schimpf provides an introduction to the new general education program that focuses on essential learning and shared experiences. The Foundational Studies Program begins in fall 2012 and features an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on problem solving, communication, innovation and teamwork, ethics and diversity, and disciplinary outcomes. Upcoming podcast topics will be from faculty members on sample Foundational Studies Program classes.

The Beyond the Blue website has been developed to showcase the expertise and innovative spirit that exists in many fields at Boise State. Known for its unique blue turf and nationally ranked football program, Boise State is demonstrating creativity beyond the blue in faculty podcasts intended to introduce a variety of topics to casual listeners.

New faculty podcasts are being added on a regular basis, including:

The website contains bonus video and editorial content about the university, including its growth, research initiatives and student life. A related collection of faculty interviews also is accessible from the Reader’s Corner radio show hosted by Boise State President Bob Kustra on Boise State Public Radio.