Sunday, November 10, 2013

Keeping the Spark Alive: SACC Participates in AAA "Anthropologist Back to School" Workshops in Chicago

A few years ago, an interviewer with the Philadelphia Inquirer polled local citizens about the impact they felt from the annual meeting of a large, national scientific society: the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  The universal reaction of those interviewed was “What Convention?”

When AAA rose to the challenge to generate collateral benefits for local public schools from its gathering in Chicago for its annual meeting, the Society for Anthropology in Community College organized its local members to establish an ongoing connection between the region's community colleges and the students and teachers in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
SACC members will be present (and participating) at several of the "Anthropologist Back to School" workshops on Wednesday morning and at other events that reach out to CPS students and teachers.  You will recognize them by name tags that read “Ask ME About Anthropology in Community College.”

SACC volunteers will also distribute contact information for anthropologists in local community colleges on playing cards to encourage continuing conversations after the AAA annual meeting has left town.  After the meetings, SACC members will evaluate the outcome and build in plans to conduct similar outreach efforts in all the cities where AAA meets annually.

A recent review of higher-education enrolments of CPS graduates indicated that 24% (nearly half of those beginning any higher education) chose local community colleges to start their college careers (‎ ). When CPS graduates entered community colleges, this report indicated that they were only 3–
4% less likely to complete a bachelor's degree than those enrolled in non-selective 4-year colleges. In Chicago, at least, community college is a viable alternative path to a bachelor's degree … and an opportunity to introduce students to the breadth and depth of anthropology.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Anj Petto:

Andrew Petto
Department of Biological Sciences
University of WisconsinMilwaukee

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tales from the First Year, Tenure-Track: Immediate Reflections on the Hiring Process

SACC Guest Blogger Melissa King, Ph.D
San Bernardino Valley College

I’m lucky. After receiving my Ph.D. in spring 2013, I was hired as tenure-track faculty at one of the community colleges where I’d been adjuncting. When I received a phone call of congratulations from HR, I was flooded with relief, knowing that I will have benefits as well as a reliable salary allowing me to pay my student loan debt.  I know how rare my situation is, and I am overwhelmingly grateful. I’m lucky because I am surrounded by an excellent community of faculty and students who have only been generous and kind.  I’m lucky, even dramatically so, in that I consider myself to have been completely unprepared for the community college hiring process and did not understand fully the shift in roles required from specialized Doctoral Candidate to well-rounded, sole, full-time instructor of Anthropology on a campus which was supposedly moving to eliminate the Anthropology program just two years ago.  Let me unpack that in a few blog posts. First, why and how I was unprepared for the community college hiring process and what this says about both grad school and incoming community college faculty ….

In my final year of grad school, the period I most heavily sought employment, I was advised about faculty selection in the academic world by professors, recent graduates who had and had not found permanent positions, and a number of excellent web resources including Dr. Karen Kelsky’s The Professor Is In. From these, I worked on what I understood were the important documents: CV, letter of interest, and teaching statement. I brainstormed statements about future research plans and how my research affects my teaching. In my first interview with a community college, none of this seemed to matter, however. I was totally unprepared for the generalized questions that came nowhere near my areas of specialization. Nor was I asked much about teaching, of which I expected at least a little as community colleges are primarily teaching institutions. I presented myself as a specialized expert who could contribute to a well-rounded department by offering a unique perspective. This strategy failed me. Advisors were surprised at the questions I was asked, but they did not offer revised interview strategies because, I believe, they were simply unaware of what happens in most community college faculty interviews. By sharing my experience, I was perhaps educating them. And why is that? Although the number of articles at The Chronicle of Higher Education increases monthly espousing community college careers as viable for Ph.D’s from R-1 universities, the attitude has not caught on full well in practice. Where the attitude has caught on, tangible evidence of it is nevertheless lacking. Advisors and departments would need to re-strategize their programs to help grad students move equally between specialized and generalized realms of expertise, between teaching and research preparation. Grant-writing seminars could, for example, be directed to both realms.

I was also distressed and disoriented at the coldness with which faculty with whom I’d been working as an adjunct treated me during my first interview. Only later did I learn this is normal, and it prepared me for the next interview, but why had I heard nothing of this beforehand? Supposedly the objectivity forced in these interviews is meant to create fairness in the hiring process so that favorite adjuncts aren’t treated favorably in committee interviews. Yet I wonder if there is a better way to do this. Is it especially the cultural anthropologist in me that resists the notion of objectivity as more fair or moral? How can candidates learn about this process ahead of time and who’s responsible to providing this info? Interviewers I knew from a separate interview committee have since contacted me and explained that they felt uncomfortable as well, having to remain so detached. I appreciated their words but am left with questions about this process. How will I, should I, interact with future candidates about hiring processes?

For the most recent interview, I had decided to change my strategy to present myself as a well-rounded scholar trained in robust departments who would speak not from a specialized position of interest but from a generalized position across the discipline. This approach seemed to work much better. In contrast to the first interview, here I was asked only about teaching. Prepared for the icy atmosphere, I held onto more confidence, and I dressed specifically according to Kelsky’s recommendations. That afternoon, I was called for a second-level interview. I thought, “WHAT?! I did it, yes, but what is a second-level interview?” I admit that I had never heard of a colleague, advisor, grad student, or anyone really mention this strange creature, the “second-level interview.”

My previous conversations and experiences had led me to believe in an academic hiring process that would last a day or two and would involve meetings with departmental faculty, student groups, a campus tour, a random campus roundtable, lecture, and other events, like a series of various interviews and meetings. Scrambling my resources in the week I had to prepare, I came to understand that I would likely meet with a Dean or Vice President, perhaps the union representative, and would casually talk about my fit into the campus. I was told that a second-level interview is pretty much just about finding out which candidate is more likeable. So without years of prep behind me, this was the attitude I took into the interview. Though I was professional, I tried to answer questions in a personable, down-to-earth, and real way. Unfortunately, while that approach suited my personality, it reinforced a mistake I’d unknowingly made much earlier in the process.

You know those third-party HR application systems that community colleges (and some four-years) now use seemingly en masse to accept job candidates? Well, I sadly did not know how serious they are. My first negative impression of generalized HR applications came when I was applying online for a position across the state. The application required three letters of recommendation to be uploaded into the online HR system along with other documents. It seemed odd to me that the school would not value the privacy of references and I felt super weird asking my advisor to provide an open letter for such purposes. This was not the process I’d been trained to expect, where letters of recommendation along with CV’s and so on were to be sent directly to the Chair of a faculty Search Committee, or perhaps that committee’s departmental administration. In the second-level interview, I somehow, despite years of taking on responsibilities that adjuncts need not assume, came across as lazy or uninterested because my HR application, as I found out to my great surprise, was indeed treated as the sole record of my application and the document that superceded my CV. Nowhere on any of the approximately thirty HR applications I’ve filled out was I asked to list publications, presentations, or awards. I had filled this application out half-heartedly, unaware that without proper completion, none of my important documents would ever reach the selection committee. Thinking of it as a hoop to jump through, I was ignorant that it was actually the initial selection process made by HR. I had been honestly led to believe that this HR system played little role in the selection committee’s decisions. I have since discovered a number of bright candidates on the market for a position who were not invited to an interview and who then began doubting their recent revisions to cover letters. Perhaps they should have been rethinking the HR application, since after sharing my experience, I realize I am not the only one who casually filled them out. The reality is that, indeed, perhaps the only document some of the selection committee members or even a Vice President or Dean might see, if one makes the HR cut, is this standard form application minus CV info.

So my questions about preparing grad students and candidates are directed not only to academic departments but also to community colleges. If community colleges wish to hire newly minted Ph.D.’s, how can they inform about the hiring process and how, when, and why should they become informed about the broader culture of the academic workforce, from knowledge of terminology like Associate-In and R-1 to confidentiality of advisor’s recommendation letters and the role of a CV? If I am going to work to make anthropology a public one on my campus, does that include promoting more dialogue within what has been traditionally conceived as a hierarchy of individuals, from community college students to tenured researchers at R-1’s, and what is the place of the hiring process in this as it structures relationships between these loci?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

SACCer Bill Fairbanks: Walking Across America (Richmond, Virginia)

A street marker at the corner of Chamberlayne Ave & Brookland Park Blvd. Richmond, Virginia where I began walking this year. 

Many of you know our friend and long-time SACCer, Bill Fairbanks, has been walking across the country. He took time off during the winter but is back, walking again. We meet up with him in Richmond, Virginia. If you would like to follow his daily updates, please contact him to get on his list at


Bill's Daily Update

Daily Update: Wednesday June 5, 2013

 It seems to have been a long layoff since I last walked on October 26, 2012. I had hoped to began earlier this year, but various issues continued to surface so we didn't leave Los Osos until May 19. We then attended the graduation of our grandson, Matt Irons and his girl friend Elizabeth Kopaskie, from the University of California during the week of May 20 before heading east. Along the route we stopped to visit some friends and relatives.

 Today I began walking where I stopped last year, the corner of Chamberlayne Ave. and Brookland Park Blvd. in Richmond, Virginia. I continued north on Chamberlayne (U.S. Highway 1) for about three miles. This neighborhood was an interesting mix of stately old homes and reasonably new, perhaps 1980s, brick apartments that looked to be in good shape. There were reminders of a gentile past such as the street makers in the picture, and a Presbyterian seminary. By 10:30 a.m. beggars had already taking their positions at the intersection to solicit money from vehicles stopped at red lights on Chamberlayne and Brookland Park Blvd. As I walked north a reasonably well dressed middle age man was striding briskly toward me. He gave the appearance of a man walking for exercise. When he reached me, he stopped to ask if I had money for a meal. Youths and the number of handicapped people I saw indicated this neighborhood was not as gentile as it appears.

 Yesterday we had to get our Ford Flex serviced in Richmond and after that Carole went to a quilt shop while I got a haircut. A Black woman gave me the haircut, and when I told her I had walked up the Jefferson Davis Highway last year, she said she wouldn't go into that section. When I mentioned going by JJ's Restaurant & Lounge she said she was once convinced by a friend to go to JJ's. They asked her how many piercings she had. She replied her ear piercings were the her only piercings. Next she was asked how many tattoos she had. When she said "None," she was told this was not the right night for her to be here. She said she has never been tempted to go back. I didn't tell her I also walked along Hull Street.

As I walked today, I wondered what she would have said about this section of Chamberlayne. On Chamberlayne I passed a nice (from an architectural standpoint) elementary school. It appeared to have been built in the 1920s and the building seems to be well maintained. After passing it, I thought I should have asked the principal to comment on a statement we heard on the television set in the motel's breakfast room this morning by a Congressman ( I didn't get his name, which house or his party) who asserted the primary problem with schools is working mothers. He seemed ignorant of the complexities of the interrelationship between families and the success of children in schools. For example, parents of either sex may not be able to assist their children with home work, motivate and insist their children take responsibility for their homework, and help their children develop behavior patterns that keep them out of trouble at school, etc.

 Later today as I walked north on U.S.1 (now the Washington Highway), I was walking on a four lane road with no shoulder and high grass abutting the roadbed, I saw a crew from the Department of Transportation coming toward me mowing the weeds. When I passed them, one of the men, stopped and told me I should be walking on the other side of the road. I told him pedestrians should always walk facing traffic. I mentioned that law enforcement officers who stopped to see if I was OK, said I was doing it right.

The man then said I shouldn't be walking at all. I should be teaching people the Bible! Interestingly, he had no knowledge of the depth of my understanding of the Bible. My initial thought when leaving him was I will leave that to people who know the Bible better than I or who are more ignorant of it than I. Then the anthropologist in me came out and I gave some thought to ignorance. Anthropologists look at traits that permeate cultures from top to bottom. Could ignorance be one such trait? A congressman and a transportation truck driver. How is ignorance encouraged and rewarded in the U.S.? As Americans I would supposed we all speak from ignorance, at least occasionally.

 It was a great first day of walking, sunny with the temperature around 80ยบ F., Chamberlayne was flat, and the Washington Highway gently rolling. The lack of shoulders in places was my only problem, but they were manageable. I walked 14 miles and even stopped at a coffee shop.Yes, a great day.

Bill and Carole Fairbanks

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Who Are You? Social markers of identity in Mumbai

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Mumbai, India as part of a sabbatical project this past January for three weeks. While there, I wrote a daily blog of my experiences and perceptions. Here are some thoughts on public identity markers from February 1, 2013. I invite your comments!

Walking down the street or in a mall in San Diego, I have little idea who is walking beside me. Of course, there are some markers of socio-economic status based on clothes, shoes or handbags, but the rest is mostly style. Style only can tell you so much about a person. In India, it is much different. What you wear, and how you wear it, may announce to the world your ethnic heritage, state of origin, and religion.

Sari styles from Wikipedia;
I don't know know why they
draw such masculine women.
I can't claim to know much about the varying identity markers, but here are some of the interesting things I've picked up on since I've been here. For women, a sari generally means you are more traditional (of the 'Old India' as they say) or dressed up for a special event. Saris are most often worn as everyday dress by women over 30 or so. Of course, you know it as a long piece of colorful fabric, about 3 meters/9 feet long, wrapped around the waist and draped over the shoulder. A tightly-fitted cutoff shirt, the choli, is worn underneath, and often the midriff is bared from the sides. The design of the fabric and the way you wrap your sari denotes your region of origin (for a very basic outline of some of these wrapping styles in Wikipedia click here.) Saris are most common for Hindu women. A Catholic woman, on the other hand, wears a Western "house dress" to distinguish herself from a Hindu.

If you are a Muslim woman, you may cover your clothing with a black garment when you go out in public, called hijab. The choice of hijab may be dictated by a woman's particular sect of Islam, her age and marital status, or may be imposed upon her by her husband who has the right to ask her to wear it. She may wear a chador, allowing her face to be uncovered, a burka which allows only a slit for the eyes, or varying types of head scarves and face coverings. I've seen scarves and face coverings (not exactly veils, but more like bandit masks) in all colors and white, aside from the traditional black. Colorful ones are most usually worn by younger women.

Behind a Bohra Muslim woman, Chor Bazaar
One sect of Islam, called Bohra, allows women to wear a colorful garment that covers the body like a burka and a matching head piece that frames the face. To an outsider, the Bohra Muslim women look like colorful Quakers. To give you an idea of how much can be "read" by a Mumbaikar based on clothing alone, the garments not only say Bohra Muslim, they say specifically the Shia sect of Islam, Gujarati speaker, vegetarian, likely in business, moderate to progressive values.

Sharanam girls in salwar kameez
While Western dress is worn most often by high school and college aged kids, a secular middle ground is occupied by the salwar kameez. This is a three piece set, a tunic, pants, and scarf. The salwar is ubiquitous, worn by all ages, and does not denote religion or ethnicity. It is fashion. Like the sari, the salwar kameez is colorful and feminine, and can be casual or quite formal. Karen, Camille and I - and all the Sharanam girls - wore salwar kameez to the Child Reach Annual Day dance show, where more formal dress was requested. (Note: These are friends who care for abandoned girls at a family shelter home called Sharanam.)

For men and children, there are also identity markers. Men mostly wear Western dress in Mumbai, but it is also very common to see Muslim men in tunics and caps. If a Muslim man is wearing white, it is prayer day (Friday). If a man has a large red bindi (dot made with red pigment) on his forehead, he is Hindu and has gone to temple that day. Punjabi Sikhs are identified by their turbans, wrapped in a specific style. A taxi driver owns the taxi if he is wearing a white uniform; works for someone else if he is wearing khaki.

Muslim school boys at the park
School children can be identified immediately by their uniforms: Urdu schools, government schools, private schools and Catholic (or "Convent") schools each have a different uniform. Just looking at the child can tell a person what your resources are: do you have enough money or a good enough family to send your child to a private or Catholic school?

It strikes me that in a highly stratified society, it helps to know who you're dealing with immediately. A person can temper his level of language (formal or informal) and mode of interacting very quickly based on his perception of the other person. In a place where women have many restrictions, clothing and other outward manifestations of identity can pinpoint, basically, what you should and shouldn't be doing. In the U.S., where we are bred to be independent and individualistic, we tend to care less about who you are and where you come from than where are you going and how you will get there. Our clothes do not reflect history, beliefs and social roles, but our choice of how we wish to represent ourselves. You can be an Anglo girl wearing kente cloth or an Asian woman wearing an embroidered huipil from the Yucatan, and it has nothing to do with your family background. I imagine that without these markers, Indian people without much exposure to Western dress must be fairly lost when they first arrive in the U.S.

Three of the "Five Ks" in Sikhism
In an interesting example of Indian identity markers, practicing Sikhs (from Punjab) are required to wear five "articles of faith"at all times. If they do not possess all of these items, they are not considered to be "practicing." The five articles are also known as the "Five Ks," for each begins with the letter K in Punjabi. They each have symbolic resonance for a practitioner. A Sikh must have with him (or her) at all times: uncut hair (men tie theirs in a turban daily); a wooden comb; an iron bangle (with a silver tone, uncommon for Indians who prefer gold); Sikh boxer shorts (making the wearer ready for battle at any time); and a kirpan, or ceremonial dagger of 4"- 6". Sikhs are recognized throughout history for their fierceness and willingness to put themselves in harm's way. This is lost on Americans, generally, who don't associate turbans with strength, power and the struggle against evil. Karen says that they employ plastic daggers for getting through security at airports, to maintain their identity while also being able to board a plane. It's hard enough nowadays to board a plane in a turban; they know the dagger wouldn't be a good thing to argue over with security agents.

Carrying clean laundry
out of dhobi ghats
Another way to identify people is based on what they carry. It seems everyone is carrying something here, especially if they work for someone else. Women and men carry bulging bags of laundry on their heads; children carry backpacks and schoolbooks if they are lucky, cheap barrettes or earrings to sell if they are not; men carry all shapes and sizes of boxes, bags, and trunks in addition to metal racks, sugar cane, chairs, bamboo scaffolding, etc. on their shoulders, backs and heads. If you are a tiffin-wallah, you carry a six foot metal rack piled high with lunch boxes on your shoulders. If you are a "coolie" (yes, they use that word) in Crawford Market, you carry a large, shallow basket on our shoulders in which to place all the wholesale items that a customer wants to buy.

On occasions where it is hard to determine your identity, Indians can get flummoxed. For instance, Karen (my friend, and the Executive Director of the Aasha Foundation) and I accompanied B (one of the Sharanam girls) to an art school, where she may enroll in a certification course in photography. We spoke to a very friendly and kind faculty member who stepped out of his class to answer our questions and take us on a tour of the school. (Karen said this probably would not have happened had we been Indian.) But before he warmed up to us, he was very hesitant to give us information until he understood just what our relationship to B was. Faculty member: "So, you are from where?" Karen: "I live here in Mumbai, in Bandra.""And she (B) is from...?" "Also Mumbai." (Look of puzzlement. Chat about something else.) "So, you do what exactly in Mumbai...?" "I consult on projects (purposefully vague answer)." (Look of puzzlement doesn't abate.) "So, you are her...?" Karen: "I'm family." Finally, he seemed to get it, that Karen was ultimately responsible for B and would provide the financial and academic support she needed to succeed in the program. After that, he relaxed and invited us to see the school. Making that connection clear is always important, Karen says. Without family and the kind of support children need to complete educational programs, schools of all kinds are less likely to accept a student. If Karen and B had worn the same type of sari, it might have been a little easier for him.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Every basic textbook in physical anthropology and, I suspect, just about every course outline contains a major section on Mendelian genetics. Now don’t get me wrong—I love genetics. (My undergraduate degree is in Zoology and I’ve taught courses in biology and genetics.) But I find the teaching of Mendelian genetics in introductory physical anthropology courses to be very frustrating. First, it’s been almost 150 years since Gregor Mendel published the results of his experiences, and genetics has moved on—an understatement if there ever was one. Today is the age of genomics and epigenetics and I suspect that introductory courses in genetics barely mention classical Mendelian genetics outside of its inclusion in a historical introduction. Much of Mendelian genetics is overly simplistic and, in many cases, simply wrong. I recently read that only 2 percent of all human genetic traits, including abnormalities, are inherited in a classic Mendelian fashion, yet our students leave us thinking that 3:1 ratios explain everything, from skin colors to cancers. Second, the weeks that we spend on genetics means weeks that we cannot devote to important topics that are central to anthropology. I want anthropology students to learn about primates and fossils and not how to work Punnet squares. And finally I am not convinced that detailed knowledge of Mendelian genetics is really necessary to the understanding of evolutionary theory.

As a result of thoughts my unit in genetics has slowly been reduced. This semester I spent about a half hour on Mendel as a part of the unit on the history of evolutionary theory, and another half hour at the midpoint of the course on DNA and genomics in preparation for discussions of comparative molecular biology and comparative genomics, including Neandertal genomes and all that good stuff.

Needless I feel guilty with the evisceration of my genetics unit. However, this past summer an opinion piece appeared in PLoS  Biology by Rosemary J. Redfield of the University of British Columbia titled “‘Why Do We Have to Learn This Stuff?’—A New Genetics for 21st Century Students.” Redfield is a bacterial geneticist and she is talking about the lower division major’s course in genetics within their Biology Department. She writes (bold mine):

"…geneticists need to step back from the current curriculum and decide what 21st century students really need to know about genes and inheritance. These decisions should be based on how students will use what they learn, and not on what we as geneticists value. Then we can develop specific learning goals—lists of skills we want students to gain from our teaching. Only then will we be ready to develop a syllabus, and to create the textbooks, assessment tools, and validation tools we’ll need. At the same time, we should be promoting parallel changes at earlier levels; the brief time high school and first-year university students devote to genetics shouldn’t be wasted on Mendel’s laws and Punnett squares."

 Shortly after this article was published, an editorial piece appeared in Scientific American titled “Hidden Meanings in Our Genomes—and What to Do with Mendel.” The author was Ricki Lewis, the author of Human Genetics: Concepts and Applications, a well-known textbook in introductory genetics. She writes:

"And so the story of the monk and the beautiful illustrations of the tall and short pea plants with their wrinkled and round, green and yellow peas that have festooned chapter 4 in my textbook for 10 editions will probably be buried in an appendix in the 11th. For in this post-genomic age, there’s simply too much else to discover, in both the obvious and no-so-obvious terrain of our genomes."

I am now engaged in rethinking my genetics presentation in introductory physical anthropology along with colleagues from our neighboring college, Rebecca Stein and Rebecca Frank. I presented some of this as the Austin SACCFest and Laura Gonzalez suggested that I post the topic on the SACC blog in hopes that we can get a good discussion going.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Update on Filtered Twitter Streams

Some time ago we had a discussion on this blog and elsewhere about the (valuable) uses of Twitter. Since then I've noticed where people have used it for things like commenting on sessions at annual meetings, and more. In my earlier posts I shared an example of how one could embed a widget in their blog/web page that provides a re-sizable window showing tweets that are filtered by user, by hashtag, or by group. One third-party service that provided the ability to create this feature was Hootsuite; because of a change at Twitter, this Hootsuite service no longer works. But you can at least create such widgets via Twitter itself. And here is a relevant example, filtering tweets by user @bobmuckle (Yay! Bob!) whose tweets are always well worth following. I've used Bob's feed, along with several others (including #sacc_l, #bdlant) in my anthro and soc courses. If you have questions, please ask them! If you have suggestions... please share! Thanks! Brian

Friday, May 25, 2012

The New Connecticut ConnSCU System of Higher Education

The Community College system in Connecticut is now under significant change at the state level.  Since Jan. 1, 2012 we have been merged with the University System under a new entity known as ConnSCU (following the example of Minnesota's system, MNSCU.  We will now begin a process, mandated by the legislature, and under the actions of the new Board of Regents, to develop a set of common core standards for general education, to put in place a guaranteed system of transfer and articulation between two and four year institutions in our new State system.  

In the midst of this, disciplines such as anthropology may not fare well, as the new standards put the focus on "outcomes" irrespective of the disciplines within which they might have traditionally been expected to show up.  One program example has already come to my attention based on such principles and standards, in which there were no general education requirements (or suggested electives) to be taken as classes in sociology or anthropology!  I was told that these are "second tier" courses, and they would be taken after the associate degree level, at the four year instituion.  

I will be watching (and participating in) this process very carefully as it makes me more than nervous to think that anthropology (and sociology) may have a diminished place at the associate degree level.  It also challenges me to think about how to become more publicly articulate at the institutional level around the intrinsic value of our discipline for the "core" of general education.

See: Eastern Connecticut State University's Liberal Arts Core as a recent example of an insitution's work, prior to the ConnSCU merger, to develop this outcomes/core approach. 

See: Southern Connecticut State University's up-coming workshop to address this process as it also leads to articulation between high schools and higher education.