November 7, 2018
Democrats have taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in eight years. And one of the biggest losers of the midterm elections may be Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. With a Democrat running the House education committee, DeVos likely faces the most scrutiny since her confirmation hearings nearly two years ago.
October 23, 2018
In August, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a plan to move two crucial bi-partisan—and independent—research-related agencies out of Washington, D.C., and restructure them as smaller subsidiaries of the Office of the Chief Economist. It was an announcement that bewildered many USDA observers—and even the agencies’ approximately 690 employees, some of whom were made aware of the news as we were reporting it. At the time, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said the department planned to move the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which is responsible for funding agriculture research at land-grant universities, and the Economic Research Service (ERS), which publishes non-partisan research reports on trends in food and agriculture, out of the nation’s capital to save money on payroll and rent, move researchers closer to the agricultural community, and improve ERS’s poor job retention rate.
October 11, 2018
California State University, Fresno was one of eight universities nationwide awarded a grant by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities to support student success through community partnerships. The $50,000 award will support expanding a partnership between the University, Fresno Unified School District and the State Center Community College District to build student success in mathematics along the educational pipeline. The grants, known as collaborative opportunity grants, are supported with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and will support the eight universities’ efforts to leverage community partnerships to improve students’ access to, success in and completion of college. “The end goal of this work is to help students to succeed in university math classrooms and become good consumers of the mathematics they learn,” said Dr. Rajee Amarasinghe, chair of the Department of Mathematics. “We are exploring new ways by disrupting silos to connect high school, community college and university math professionals to pool their skills to create high impact math classrooms.”
September 19, 2018
Preparing a diverse STEM workforce requires engaging students at all levels. But the first round of Alliance winners is skewed toward higher education, specifically, running from 2-year community colleges through graduate training. In addition to Hodapp’s project, NSF gave $10 million to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, based in Washington, D.C., and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. They are pursuing a three-pronged attempt to improve the skills of STEM faculty members at dozens of universities in mentoring minority students, grow the ranks of minority STEM faculty, and promote diversity throughout academia. Another $10 million Alliance award, based at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, will help community college students in California and three other states overcome deficits in math as the first step into a STEM major. A fourth $10 million Alliance grant, based at the University of Texas in El Paso, will support expansion of a 12-year-old computing alliance among academic institutions that serve a large number of Hispanic students.
September 19, 2018
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) recently announced grants to eight public universities that are forging community partnerships to improve students' access to and overall success in college. Supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Collaborative Opportunity Grants provide each institution with $50,000 to "collaborate, accelerate and improve implementation efforts," as well as additional support and resources from APLU and USU. Four of the grantees — University of Cincinnati, George Mason University, the University of Texas at San Antonio and Wayne State University — are receiving funding for the first, time, while the other four — California State University, Fresno, Cleveland State University, the University of Memphis and the University of South Alabama — were awarded Collaborative Opportunity Grants in 2017 and are receiving additional funding to expand their projects.
September 19, 2018
Many graduates who had majored in liberal arts, social science, or education expressed buyer’s remorse. They were more likely than science and engineering majors to say they wished they had chosen a different field of study to prepare for their ideal job, a Pew Research Center study found in 2014. “They’re getting this message from home: ‘The main thing is, you’ve got to get a job,’” Catherine W. Howard, Virginia Commonwealth University’s vice provost for community engagement, said at a recent event held by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. “These parents have experienced the hardships of the downturn.”
September 10, 2018
Entrepreneurship and workforce development have long been priorities of community college and vocational programs, but as the APLU report indicates, four-year universities are now widely considering them under their purview as well.
August 29, 2018
If students across the country judged the value of college by headlines alone, they would come away with a bleak view of higher education. Rising costs. Diminishing value. Questionable career prospects. It’s a small miracle students enroll in college at all. Yet despite the widespread cynicism about higher education, more people are going to college than ever before. They know investing in their future offers something far more promising than headlines suggest. Students who enroll cite increased earning potential and improved job prospects as their top reasons for pursuing a degree. The value of a college education has never been higher. The close link between college attainment and wages, employment prospects, and job satisfaction is as strong as ever. Even many of the most strident critics of higher education still strongly encourage their own children to pursue a college education. But we need to widen our view beyond individuals to gauge the full value of higher education.
August 22, 2018
Opposition is growing to the Trump administration's proposal to move the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of the Washington metropolitan area. Orlando McMeans, chair of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) and vice president for research and public service at West Virginia State University, said Friday that the board is concerned with the proposed move. "In particular, moving NIFA — the premier agricultural science entity in the world and the linchpin of the 156-year agricultural research, education, and extension partnership between the federal government and the land-grant university system — raises important questions that need to be addressed before further executive action is taken," McMeans said.
August 16, 2018
Data increasingly drives the modern world. From picking your seat on an airplane to buying a car to purchasing a product online, consumers are able to read reviews and examine every detail before making a purchase. There's a wealth of consumer information at our fingertips.