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June 6, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Neil Gaiman has a message for graduates: “Make Good Art.” That's the point of his stirring 2012 commencement address at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, widely disseminated across the Internet, which is like David Foster Wallace's “This is Water” for a different generation, a call for self-expression and the courage to invent your own life. These, of course, are classic tropes to share at a graduation; I think of the 2005 Stanford University commencement at which Steve Jobs warned , “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.” And yet, Gaiman's speech is inspiring not because it offers any cautions, but rather because it eschews the whole idea of caution, suggesting instead that it's in our best interest to break - or even better, to ignore - the rules.
April 26, 2014 | By James Barragan
The NCAA and its member institutions often refer to "student-athletes," but the front side of the term isn't often highlighted in a sports section. We asked officials from the Southland's Division I universities to point us toward their best and brightest - the teams that made classroom performance a priority. Here is what we found at Loyola Marymount: The Seaver School of Science and Engineering at Loyola Marymount is not for the faint of academic heart. But it's where a fair share of Loyola Marymount athletes - 27 of 395 to be exact - focus their studies.
August 5, 1993
It seems apparent that the state's position on higher education has changed for the worse. A letter from my local community college, explaining the new tutition breakdown for students with baccalaureate degrees as opposed to students without, has caused me to rethink my position on extended education programs. Throughout life, we are taught the benefits of completing any job started. Unfortunately, graduates have the misfortune of following an outdated philosophy. The state has determined that graduates will be charged $50 per unit, while non-graduates $13, thus making the averge class cost $150 for graduates and only $39 for the non-grad.
April 19, 2014 | By Jason Song
Jonathan Lee stood by the large prints of Ein Liz, a female action figure he'd spent the better part of a year creating. The Art Center College of Design senior hoped his pieces would catch the eye of one of the hundreds of possible employers who would inspect students' work during the annual graduation show last week. The 25-year-old admitted to feeling nervous but tried to temper his expectations as representatives from Disney and Google approached his display. He plans to send resumes later.
June 11, 2010
Many high school and college graduates get an "A" for social consciousness, having opted to wear "green" caps and gowns as they accept their diplomas this month. But what they're really getting is a postgraduate course in greenwashing, and the cynical ways corporations will exploit their desire to protect the environment. Local high schools, as well as prestigious universities such as UC Berkeley and Yale, are opting for environmentally friendly graduation garb made from recycled plastics or biodegradable materials.
June 19, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
Present diploma. Smile. Shake hands. Repeat - 528 times. Over and over, Occidental College President Jonathan Veitch handed a diploma to a graduate and shook a hand. Some walked quickly across the stage while others moseyed - creating an accordion effect in the assembly line of hands he'd have to shake. By the last names beginning with B, he sighed deeply and wiped his brow. The sun now draped the amphitheater and his gown was growing heavy. His smile never wavered. Only 508 more hands to shake.
May 19, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - President Obama urged graduates of a celebrated historically black college Sunday to use their education to help others and to work for "something larger than yourself," citing the example of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. In the commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Obama urged graduates headed to law school to make sure they "defend the powerless" during their careers. He said new physicians should find ways to "heal folks in under-served communities," and business school graduates should consider "putting people to work, or transforming a neighborhood.
April 19, 2012 | By Karin Klein
The call to lower graduation standards in the Los Angeles Unified School District reminds me of a conversation I had with a representative of the construction industry seven years ago, back when the school board was first considering requiring all students to take the full series of college-preparatory classes in order to earn a diploma. His group favored the switch to a college-prep requirement because the sequence of courses known as "A through G" would also prepare students better for jobs that don't require a college degree.
December 14, 2009 | By Don Lee
The unemployment rate dropped last month for men and women, blacks and whites, lifting hopes that the long dry spell in the jobs market may be coming to an end. But for recent college graduates and other young adults, the labor situation didn't just remain dire -- it got worse. For 20- to 24-year-olds, the jobless rate rose four-tenths of a percent to 16% in November, even as unemployment nationally slipped to 10% from 10.2%. And data from the Labor Department show that the unemployment figure for college graduates in that age group was 10.6% in the third quarter -- the highest since early 1983 and more than double the rate for older college-educated workers.
For the first time since plans were announced to transform Camarillo State Hospital into a four-year university, the old mental hospital had the feel Friday of a college campus. Maybe it was the sea of 300 black-robed graduates from the Ventura campus of Cal State Northridge who marched in the shadow of the bell tower at the former hospital complex.
April 17, 2014 | By Gary Klein
Toa Lobendahn has practiced only 14 times at USC, but the freshman's performance during spring workouts has put him on track for a possible starting role on the offensive line in the fall. With senior Aundrey Walker and third-year sophomore Jordan Simmons sidelined while recovering from ankle and knee surgeries, respectively, Lobendahn took full advantage of the long look he received at guard. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Lobendahn has worked daily against veterans such as junior defensive tackle Antwaun Woods and senior linebacker Hayes Pullard . "It's not easy when you're supposed to still be a senior in high school," USC Coach Steve Sarkisian said Thursday.
April 7, 2014 | By Mark Brilliant
The NCAA must be feeling a bit like Dr. Frankenstein these days: assailed by college football and men's basketball players who reject the NCAA's precious, but mostly mythic, notion that they are student-athletes. At Northwestern University, a group of football players scored a first-round victory before the National Labor Relations Board in a campaign to be recognized as "employees" eligible to unionize. For some college football fans, this evokes disturbing images of burly 18- to 22-year-old player-proletarians marching on picket lines instead of lined up on offensive or defensive lines, much less seated in classrooms.
March 30, 2014 | By Emily Koss
"Emily, would you please put a bowl of water on the floor so I can drink like a dog?" It was a sweet and funny request, and I was happy to do it. But it was also a reminder, once again, that I work for a 4-year-old. You've probably heard about the vast array of problems facing my generation as we graduate and attempt to enter the job market. As a 24-year-old recent college grad, I can tell you that what you've been hearing is true. I graduated last May with unpaid internships waiting for me in Mexico, Spain and Nicaragua.
March 16, 2014 | By Jason Song
The nearly two-minute UC Irvine video looks like an appeal to prospective students, featuring a montage of undergraduates walking around campus, dancing in classrooms and celebrating big basketball victories. But the target audience becomes obvious at the end, when 7-foot-6 freshman center Mamadou Ndiaye looks directly into the camera while towering over a cardboard cutout of Barack Obama and says: "Mr. President, we should play ball together. " The video is the latest and perhaps most visible attempt by a university to attract a high-profile graduation speaker.
March 4, 2014 | By Jason Song
UC Irvine officials have decided to hold a series of smaller graduation ceremonies, in addition to one at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, at which they hope President Obama will be the keynote speaker.  Administrators have invited the president to give the main address at the baseball stadium on June 14. A UC Irvine vice chancellor visited Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to deliver about 10,000 letters from students and alumni, asking Obama to attend....
February 24, 2014 | By Karin Klein
It was confusing when, several years ago, Bill Gates blasted American education for failing to produce enough graduates in science, technology and engineering. Really? Not enough workers in those fields? At the same time that he was making these statements, I knew computer programmers and biologists who couldn't find jobs and others who were facing stagnating and falling wages. Yet, as with many positions Gates takes on education  - often backed by sizable contributions to bolster his vision  - this one took off and clung.
May 5, 2013 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - Speaking to the graduating class of Ohio State University in Columbus on Sunday, President Obama called on the students to embrace the school's motto, “education for citizenship,” and to press the government to act. He encouraged students to work to narrow the income gap between the middle class and the wealthy, to improve education for children and protect them from gun violence, and to better the environment, among other things....
February 18, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
Five years ago, UC Merced students successfully persuaded First Lady Michelle Obama to speak at their commencement ceremony that spring. They had bombarded her with hundreds of valentines and pulled every possible political string between Central California and Washington. To their delight and surprise, she accepted and addressed what was the new school's first graduating class. Now, UC Irvine is hoping similar tactics will work with her husband. The Orange County campus has asked President Obama to deliver the school's commencement address on June 14, possibly at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
February 12, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
In December, Ben Villarreal graduated with a bachelor's degree from Samuel Merritt University's nursing program in Oakland. In short order, he received two job offers at UC hospitals with programs for new graduates. But with less than a month to go before his start dates, the 22-year-old said he is concerned that he could lose both promising opportunities. As of mid-February, California's Board of Registered Nursing still hadn't given him the go-ahead to take the nursing exam needed to get his license and start a new job. "I've been told my application is on my evaluator's desk with hundreds of others," he said.
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