Students at the University of Denver used an anonymous Instagram account to share personal stories about sexual harassment or assault on campus and urge the school to take specific actions to improve safety. University officials issued a five-page response, pledging to preserve funding of resources for gender-based education and violence prevention, improve trauma-informed training for campus staff and students, and enforce punishment of perpetrators based on the university's code of conduct.
Johns Hopkins University president Ronald Daniels announced the school has eliminated legacy admissions. University spokesperson Karen Lancaster said the change has improved diversity, with 19.1% of students eligible for Pell grants this year and only 3.5% with a legacy connection, compared with 9% and 12.5%, respectively, in 2009.
Nudging faculty to take actions to support students and assist their path to graduation is as important as nudging students to take steps such as meeting with advisors to ensure their success, researchers say. To explore the concept, California State University implemented student success dashboards containing interactive student data, which spurred rave reviews and led some faculty to make pedagogical improvements in courses.
Kevin Satterlee, president of Idaho State University, urged state legislators to adopt an outcomes-based approach to higher-education funding rather than basing funding on enrollment. Satterlee said that an outcomes-based approach would be more self-sustaining, and that increases in enrollment, such as those that occurred during the recession, create a strain on the state budget under the current approach.
Speakers at the Association of American Colleges and Universities Conference discussed issues facing diverse faculty and leaders, including how best to support women in positions of power and how to facilitate the recruitment and retention of faculty of color. Support networks, fair salaries, transparency in career progression pathways, and bias training for search committees were all mentioned as ways to help increase faculty diversity.
Middle-class parents are increasingly faced with a choice between providing their children with opportunity by paying for their postsecondary education and paying for their own needs, such as retirement, author Caitlin Zaloom writes in this Q&A. She anticipates a "moment of reckoning" over the situation and says public higher-education institutions must be much more robustly funded to reduce financial pressure on families.
It's unclear whether a prediction that two-thirds of jobs would require more than a high-school diploma by 2020 was accurate, writes Goldie Blumenstyk. While workers have overall become more educated than predicted, it's hard to determine whether a higher education level is actually necessary to do a job or if employers are paying a premium for workers who have a degree, Blumenstyk writes.
A study from the Center for Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University confirms that economic status is a barrier to achieving equal educational outcomes considering students' aptitude, author Peter Smith writes in this opinion piece. Confirmation bias on the part of both students and teachers could be at play, with lower-income students concluding college isn't right for them if they get mediocre grades and teachers expecting many of them to drop out, he writes.
Several high-ranking colleges and universities in Ohio have below-average enrollment of low-income students based on percentages of students receiving Pell grants, a report from Education Reform Now finds. However, C. Todd Jones, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, said the study only looked at first-time, full-time low-income and minority students and not transfer students, which distorts the data.
Higher education tends to focus more on admissions, tuition costs and financial returns than on the quality of teaching and learning, according to Michael McPherson, co-chair of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education. There needs to be more focus on the knowledge and skills students are learning and the quality of teaching to ensure students are truly receiving an education and not just credentials, McPherson says.
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