September 11, 2017
Much of higher education policy focuses on “traditional” college students—those who started college at age 18 after getting dropped off in the family station wagon or minivan, enrolled full-time, and stayed at that institution until graduation. Yet although this is how many policymakers and academics experienced college (I’m no exception), this represents a minority of the current American higher education system. Higher education data systems have often followed this mold, with the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) collecting some key success and financial aid metrics for first-time, full-time students only.
September 7, 2017
As Labor Day wound to a close, college press offices were busy. News had broken over the weekend that the Trump administration planned to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, known as DACA, with a six-month delay to allow Congress time to attempt a legislative fix.
September 6, 2017
UT has been recognized as having one of the nation’s leading initiatives to improve student graduation rates after increasing degree completion by 10 percent over four years. The University is a finalist for the 2017 Project Degree Completion Award, which is awarded by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to institutions who work to improve student success rates. Senior vice provost David Laude said hundreds of people across the University have worked together in the past five years to help students graduate on time.
June 14, 2017
The Department of Education appears to be planning to keep around one of the most high-profile higher ed initiatives of the Obama administration. Department staff are taking steps to update the data feeding the College Scorecard, a tool that allows prospective students to look at measures like the debt burden of an institution's graduates, by September of this year, according to higher ed groups. That would be counted as a victory by proponents of more transparency in higher ed, even though the Scorecard wasn’t among the Obama efforts the Trump administration promised to eliminate.
June 12, 2017
The future of accreditation depends on the idea that, while it is important to track graduation rates and other performance indicators, it is more important for accreditors to regulate the quality of education and pathways to content mastery, according to a recent op-ed by Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors Executive Director Joseph Vibert.
June 2, 2017
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities is encouraging its 237 member institutions to equip its campus police departments with body-worn cameras -- or at least test the technology. The organization released a policy brief on body-worn cameras Thursday, pointing to research that suggests the cameras increase police accountability and transparency, and raising awareness about issues related to cost, privacy and data management, among others. Body-worn cameras are already in use at several campus police departments across the country.
May 18, 2017
A new bipartisan bill introduced this week in the United States Senate and House of Representatives aims to increase transparency on higher education outcomes. The College Transparency Act of 2017 proposes a student data reporting system that tracks outcomes such as enrollment, completion and post-college success. It would overturn a ban on federal student-level data collection that came about with the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
May 18, 2017
Facing a vast array of food and nutrition security problems in the U.S. and abroad that pose significant humanitarian, environmental and national security risks, a commission of prominent researchers and leaders from public universities, government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector announced a comprehensive, coordinated effort to solve these challenges. While many important efforts are being undertaken to address the vast array of problems that comprise food and nutrition insecurity, a truly comprehensive, holistic approach that fully engages arguably the world’s greatest scientific and educational resource in food and nutrition security – public research universities – has been lacking before now.
May 17, 2017
New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by a bipartisan group of legislators that would allow the government to measure the educational and professional outcomes of students from colleges and universities, according to reports from the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. Advocates for the bill, including Association of Public and Land-grant Universities President Peter McPherson, said the data collected now was far too incomplete and might paint a false picture for students and parents who rely on it, saying the data only currently tracks students who start and finish at the same institution and attend all time. In light of the increasing number of non-traditional students, this should be amended even if the final legislation does not take its current proposed shape. The current view of student outcomes may be too skewed.
May 16, 2017
A bipartisan group of senators Monday introduced legislation to overturn a ban on a federal data system that would track employment and graduation outcomes of college students. The ban written into the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act has meant that while colleges report data at the institutional level, efforts to evaluate outcomes at a more targeted level have been stymied. While the bill has support from some Democrats and Republicans alike, its passage remains in doubt because opposition to a federal data system remains on the right and the left, based on privacy concerns and philosophical differences over the role of the federal government in higher ed.