February 5, 2018
For many low-income students, a small amount of money—$300 or $600 or $900—can make the difference between dropping out and receiving the diploma. Rather, financial challenges for many students do not stop when they receive scholarships, loans or income from jobs. Financial distress can follow students throughout their college journey. A winter heating bill, a dead battery, the cost of a textbook or a family member in need of medicine can derail students—many of whom are in good academic standing. Given this, how do we rethink financial aid to improve completion, not just access?
January 31, 2018
Math departments fail too many calculus students and do not adequately prepare those they pass. That is the message heard from engineering colleges across the country. Calculus has often been viewed as a tool for screening who should be allowed into engineering programs. But it appears to be failing in that regard, too. That is, it is preventing students who should be proceeding from going on, and it is letting students through who do not have the mathematical preparation that they need.
January 26, 2018
The U.S. Senate education committee got into the weeds of higher education policy again Thursday, examining how the federal government could open up innovation by colleges and universities. But the biggest buzzword that emerged from a two-hour hearing -- “guardrails” -- signaled the focus of Democrats and expert witnesses on the quality protections that should come with opening up federal aid to nontraditional providers, as congressional Republicans have proposed doing. The tension over that specific issue reflects a larger divide between the parties that applies to many questions involved in an update of the Higher Education Act.
January 26, 2018
Math is widely seen as a barrier for students. When the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities announced this week that it will work with a dozen institutions to study various approaches for using active-learning techniques in introductory math courses, it called those courses “the most common roadblock to a degree” in the STEM disciplines. The project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, is focused especially on helping students from underrepresented minorities succeed. By examining the 12 universities’ approaches, it aims to develop models “that can work at virtually any institution.”
November 14, 2017
The University of Hawaii at Manoa has been singled out for a national award for its success in raising its four-year graduation rate. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities named UH Manoa the winner of its 2017 Project Degree Completion Award on Sunday during its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. “Public universities are working hard to substantially increase the number of students who don’t just enroll in college, but actually make it across the finish line and earn all the benefits a college education provides,” association President Peter McPherson said.
August 28, 2017
Over the past few years, Boise State University has launched several new programs designed to keep new students in school. The school’s retention numbers are increasing — and on Thursday, it earned BSU a nomination for a national award. BSU is one of five finalists for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities award honoring innovative student retention efforts.
June 8, 2017
President Trump plans to rework college-accreditation and student-aid policies in a bid to encourage greater use of apprenticeship training in higher education, a White House official said on Wednesday. Mr. Trump, who promoted the value of apprenticeship training throughout his presidential campaign, will outline the strategy next week at a meeting with the nation’s governors. The announcement will include both "very strong administrative steps" that the White House is taking on its own as well as suggestions for further congressional action, said Reed S. Cordish, assistant to the president for intragovernmental and technology initiatives.
June 8, 2017
The Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) have awarded 12 public universities $50,000 each in Collaborative Opportunity Grants to scale up existing partnerships with public and private community stakeholders.
June 6, 2017
Think of the typical college student. For many, the thought conjures a tableau of young adults strolling a leafy quad. They bask in the freedom of student life as they ease their way into adulthood. The real world awaits them. Think again. While this picture may have been broadly representative of college students in generations past, it’s badly outdated for today’s students. College students are now more likely to work, have family commitments and come from low-income backgrounds than in earlier generations.
May 31, 2017
Not every student walking away with a liberal arts degree from the University of Utah -- or any other institution, for that matter -- feels confident picking a profession or finding a job in an often tepid market. So the university has introduced an option growing in popularity -- a certificate program, what it has labeled as “degree-plus.” Though certificates often are geared toward older adults returning to academe and seeking to diversify their skill sets, the University of Utah has concentrated on recent liberal arts graduates, largely in the humanities and social sciences.