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.
May 16, 2017
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is starting a push to repeal the federal ban on tracking the educational and employment outcomes of college students, Politico reports. The prohibition was enacted as part of the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The legislation they plan to propose would allow the federal government, families, and prospective students to glean more “accurate and complete data” about students at a particular college or in a certain major, whether they graduate on time, and what kinds of jobs they land upon graduation, among other things.
May 15, 2017
A bipartisan group of senators is proposing a major overhaul of the way the federal government collects data on college students, setting the stage for a showdown over how to balance student privacy with a growing interest in measuring college outcomes. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), Bill Cassidy (R., La.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.)—all members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee—on Monday introduced legislation that would overturn a decade-old ban on collecting individual student data that track enrollment, completion and graduate success.
May 3, 2017
Accrediting agencies are facing intense scrutiny from academics, policy makers and the general public, with the latest salvo being the decision by Northwestern University’s school of journalism and communications to ditch its accreditor.
April 11, 2017
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in February met with Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, along with 11 presidents of four-year, public universities. She also met with leaders of historically black colleges and universities that month.
April 10, 2017
As tuition costs continue to rise and states rethink their investments in higher education, colleges are under increasing pressure from prospective students and lawmakers to disclose outcomes like on-time graduation rates and earnings potential for particular majors. The information now available is often incomplete—or even outright wrong. But efforts are under way to change that, even if progress has been piecemeal.
April 3, 2017
Various higher education and library organizations representing thousands of colleges, universities nationwide Thursday sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Michael O’Reily, urging them to uphold the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order. The groups believe that the strong net neutrality protections set by the order are essential to protecting freedom of speech, educational achievement and economic growth, according to the letter.
March 16, 2017
Creating a campus culture of data use can drive institutional initiatives to improve student learning and increase degree completion. That is the latest analysis coming from two higher education organizations this week. The Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and the Institution for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) have released 14 brief case studies that “spotlight the importance of student-level data in the development and implementation of programs and strategies to improve student learning and increase degree completion,” according to the APLU website. Each case study explains how the college, university or system “turned student data into actionable information and tools that improved student decisions and outcomes.”
December 19, 2016
Craig Lindwarm, director of congressional and governmental affairs for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), points out that over the last several years, public four-year schools have spent more per student than is covered by tuition increases. If the federal government offered states matching funds to reinvest in higher ed, that could ease the burden on institutions and students. “Institutions are doing their best to absorb the costs and not completely pass them on to students,” Lindwarm says. “Still, most students are directly impacted by state disinvestment in higher ed. We think a federal policy to encourage and incentivize states would be very successful in impacting accessibility and affordability.”