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 16, 2017
House Democrats on Monday said they plan to seek an increase in the Pell Grant to make college more affordable but conceded the increase would only be by a couple hundred dollars. The plan is part of a new “Aim Higher” legislative campaign that touches on broad issues of access, affordability and completion, although lawmakers offered few details about the specific policy solutions they intend to introduce.
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 5, 2017
A hungry child knows no politics. That’s what President Ronald Reagan declared in 1985 after approving food aid to famine-stricken Ethiopia, where hundreds of thousands were starving. There has been some progress in parts of Africa, but big challenges remain. In February, the United Nations declared famine in parts of South Sudan, where 100,000 people could die of hunger without intervention. In addition to South Sudan, families are teetering on the brink of famine in Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. Organizations like the World Food Programme are scaling up relief operations to reach the most vulnerable households, but funding shortfalls mean resources aren’t keeping up with the need. People are really facing starvation.
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.
May 2, 2017
The deal reached by Congress this weekend on an omnibus budget for the current 2017 fiscal year included key victories for universities and higher ed advocates. The spending agreement, which funds the government through September, restores year-round Pell Grant funding, a longtime priority sought by student aid groups since its elimination as a cost-saving measure in 2011. The deal also funds the National Institutes of Health at $2 billion more than 2016 levels. And it provides modest increases to college readiness programs TRIO and GEAR UP, which were reduced significantly in the proposed White House 2018 budget plan.
April 28, 2017
Purdue University’s acquisition of Kaplan University is an unexpected tectonic shift in American higher education, revealing both the changing roles of public universities and the dwindling fortunes of for-profit colleges. The deal announced Thursday has the Indiana-based public research university acquiring nearly all of the credential-issuing side of Kaplan’s higher education business -- seven schools and colleges that make up Kaplan University, but not its School of Professional and Continuing Education.
April 24, 2017
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities this week introduced a new online course that seeks to help college administrators design and use proactive student advising systems. Such systems attempt to nudge more students toward graduation and often include the use of technology, such as predictive analytics. Creating a high-quality proactive advising approach can be costly and complicated, said APLU. To help colleges get it right, the group's six-lesson, self-paced course draws on the experience of veteran college administrators.
April 20, 2017
“Computer Science Is Tough Sell to Women” (U.S. News, April 11) casts a much-needed spotlight on the shortfall in women earning degrees in STEM disciplines like engineering and computer science. The STEM degree deficit hardly just affects earnings. A dearth of diversity creates a headwind for discovery and innovation, too. A growing body of research has found that diverse teams are more innovative than homogenous ones, especially within STEM contexts. Compared exclusively to male teams, for example, mixed-gendered teams generate 40% more technology patents.
April 13, 2017
Communicating the value of science is a vital undertaking that will continue long after the March for Science brings together friends and supporters worldwide, said several experts at the 2017 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Forum. “This truly is an opportune time,” said Sarah Rovito, assistant director of research policy at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, during a panel discussion hosted by AAAS on the enduring importance of highlighting scientific discoveries. “The March for Science is really a great first step for scientists to start down a path of continued, sustained advocacy.”