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Shooting at College Kills Seven; Group to Create ‘Ivy-League-Equivalent’ For-Profit College

Tragedy At California School. Oikos University, a small Christian school in California, experienced tragedy on Monday after a gunman killed 7 students and wounded 3 others. The alleged shooter is One Goh, who was previously expelled from the school and is said to have had behavioral and anger-management problems. The 43-year-old Goh—who told police he was upset about his expulsion and being teasing for his poor English speaking—was looking for a female administrator when he entered campus. He reportedly told students and a secretary to line up against a wall before shooting them.  Goh, who surrendered quietly at a nearby supermarket after the shooting, is scheduled to be arraigned today. [The LA Times] [The Daily Beast]

Creating the Next Ivy League Contender. The Minerva Project led by Ben Nelson, the inventor of photo-sharing site Snapfish, has announced a plan to create “the first elite American university to be launched in a century.” With a $25 million investment from leading venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, Nelson plans to offer an education that he says will rival Ivy League schools but come at a lower price and with more innovation. A note from the group’s website states: “Minerva is specifically attracted to accomplish things that have never been done before. For those who enjoy well-trodden paths, this is not the best environment.” The details are still pretty fluid, but it will be a for-profit institution with completely online instruction. Curriculum will emphasize academic credentials as selection criteria, rather than the athletic skill or alumni connections that the group claims are used at other highly selective institutions. The Minerva Project plans to admit its first class of 200 students in 2014, charging about $20,000 for the “privilege” of attending. There is also an addition $11,000 charge for room and board, despite the courses being taught completely online. [Inside Higher Ed]

Education in the “App-mosphere.” Distance learning is now even closer than a computer. Through a free iPad application called Khan Academy, students can access video tutorials on a variety of subjects. The Khan Academy delivers more than 2,700 videos and even offers video on standardized test prep, such as the SAT math section and the GMAT. Videos are streamed with narration text in real time and allow students to learn material from basic fractions and geometry to the Vietnam War and the Big Bang Theory. The Khan Academy app’s next project is to add interactive exercises. [USA Today]

Higher Ed Woes. The public university system in New Jersey is struggling, with leaky ceilings, power outages, and stagnant fighting between state Democrats and Gov. Chris Christie. State lawmakers have been working on a deal to give these institutions between $1 billion and $3.5 billion in state bonds, but Christie has ignored the deal and instead proposed a costly merger of Rutgers University at Camden and nearby Rowan University. Some state legislators have refused to support Christie’s measure until the bond issue is passed, mainly because of the funding that would be required to initiate and complete the merger. Lawmakers have to pass the measure by the end of the summer to have it ready for a public vote in November. [Wall Street Journal]

Jeff Raines is a journalism intern with Campus Progress. You can follow him on Twitter @Jeff_Raines.

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