Higher Education (College)

11:05am

Thu May 22, 2014
NPR Ed

Rethinking The Commencement Speech Tradition

Entertainer and entrepreneur Sean Combs delivers Howard University's commencement speech during the 2014 Howard University graduation ceremony in Washington, on Saturday, May 10, 2014. Some suggested that Combs, who attended Howard in the late 1980s but did not graduate, was a poor choice of speaker.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Speakers bow out amid protests. Colleges continue their obsession with celebrity speakers. As this year's graduation season churns on, is it time to rethink this once noble tradition that many schools now see as a marketing opportunity?

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5:11am

Wed May 21, 2014
NPR Ed

Commencement Mashup: The Speech In 8 Easy Steps

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:59 pm

Dick Costolo, Amy Poehler and Neil deGrasse Tyson all appear in NPR's commencement speech mashup.
YouTube

A noble institution? A good show? A tedious quarter-hour of lame jokes told under the hot sun? The American commencement address can be all of these things.

We skipped and slogged through 50 of the most popular commencement speeches on YouTube - looking for inspiration, wisdom, amusement, corny jokes and clich├ęs - to bring you this mashup of highlights and lowlights.

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7:40am

Tue May 20, 2014
NPR Ed

The 25 Most Promising Graduation Speeches Of The Year

The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever

Every year, for the past eight years, I've read hundreds and hundreds of graduation speeches, all told more than 1,000.

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7:28am

Tue May 20, 2014
NPR Ed

Is This Any Way To Pick A College?

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 1:31 pm

This dog went to a top-ten college...for dogs.
Martha T Flickr

There are more than 7,000 colleges in the U.S., and 21.8 million students enrolled in them. That's potentially 21.8 million opinions about what makes a school "the best."

The penalty for a bad choice can be huge. The cost of a degree continues to soar, graduation rates vary widely from college to college, and a growing body of evidence suggests that picking a supposedly "top" school doesn't necessarily pay off later in life.

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6:32am

Mon May 19, 2014
NPR Ed

What We Learned From The Best Commencement Speeches Ever

Conan O'Brien's 2011 commencement address at Dartmouth College was one of those speeches that was so good it drew news coverage.
Jason R. Henske AP

Something funny has happened to the familiar commencement address in the past 10 years. That something is YouTube. Steve Jobs' 2005 address at Stanford, to take just one example, has been viewed upwards of 20 million times.

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