Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Why Western Governors U thinks microcredentials are the path to degrees - Hallie Busta, Education Dive

Projections that the pool of traditional students will shrink, wariness of continued tuition increases and limited growth in state support for higher education are prompting institutions to shake things up. In many cases, that means making themselves available throughout learners’ lives as their education needs change. Doing so requires strengthening connections with local employers. Already, colleges and businesses are coming together to map the skills needed on the job to those offered in a certificate or degree, and some are even developing shared credentials.

DYI Education Gaining Steam - Tamara Holmes, Yahoo

In fact, a new study suggests many people across the world are instead embracing a hodgepodge of do-it-yourself learning options.  To collect the data, Pearson conducted an online survey of 11,083 people between the ages of 16 to 70.  An overwhelming 81% of respondents said they believe learning will become more of a self-service affair as people get older. Among U.S. respondents, 87% said learning does not end after graduation. Education is also viewed as a way to pivot in one’s life, as 73% of U.S. respondents said they like to reinvent themselves by learning new skills, and 52% said they planned to pursue a second career, start a business or take classes after retirement.
FULL GLOBAL LEARNER SURVEY REPORT: https://www.pearson.com/corporate/news/global-learner-survey.html

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Incredible Shrinking Higher Ed Industry - Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

Higher education enrollments have been falling for years, a well-documented outcome that can be attributed to some combination of a strong U.S. economy, changes in birth rates and, perhaps, growing doubts about the value of a college degree. Another decline is also unfolding -- this one attributable to a mix of economic and political forces: the number of colleges and universities in the United States is at its lowest ebb since at least 1998. Data released by the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics Friday included statistics on a range of topics, including total head count of enrolled students through 2017-18 and the number of colleges and universities in the most recent academic year, 2018-19.

At Tech’s Leading Edge, Worry About a Concentration of Power - By Steve Lohr, NY Times

Computer scientists say A.I. research is becoming increasingly expensive, requiring complex calculations done by giant data centers, leaving fewer people with easy access to the computing firepower necessary to develop the technology behind futuristic products like self-driving cars or digital assistants that can see, talk and reason. The danger, they say, is that pioneering artificial intelligence research will be a field of haves and have-nots. And the haves will be mainly a few big tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, which each spend billions a year building out their data centers. In the have-not camp, they warn, will be university labs, which have traditionally been a wellspring of innovations that eventually power new products and services.

Roosevelt University is a poster child for the troubled small college - LYNNE MAREK, Crain's Chicago Business

Intense competition and a shrinking pool of students have contributed to declining enrollments and revenue.  To understand the plight of many small universities and colleges across the country, but especially in Illinois, consider the case of Chicago's historic Roosevelt University in the South Loop. The school's student enrollment peaked during the past decade in 2014 and has since declined, dragging down its tuition revenue along the way. It's posted operating deficits every year since 2014.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Barry Dunn inks message following SDSU enrollment release - FRANKIE HERRERA, SDSU Collegian

Collegian note: South Dakota State President Barry Dunn released the following statement after the South Dakota Board of Regents officially released enrollment numbers.  Campus Community, Earlier this morning the South Dakota Board of Regents released its fall 2019 numbers, followed by the university’s own news release. Enrollment for South Dakota State University is 11,518 students for fall 2019, down 4.9% from last year and 8.1% overall from two years ago. As I said Sept. 10 during my State of the University speech, overall headcount is going to be a continuing challenge at SDSU for a number of years.

Sac State budget shows lack of reserves - Max Connor, State Hornet

New science complex means less money for other departments, Athletics and HR continue to run deficits. The Ernest E. Tschannen complex took out $18 million from Sac State's general reserve fund. The 2019-2020 budget shows a luck of funding for urgent campus needs. Sacramento State’s budget for the 2019-2020 year is just under $358 million, nearly $333 million of which was allocated by Gov. Gavin Newsom in July, according to an email from Sac State President Robert Nelsen last week.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Dunleavy budget cuts prompt Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference to take 1-year hiatus - Michael Armstrong, Homer News

After an 18-year straight run, the annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference will go on hiatus for one year and won’t be held in 2020, the Kachemak Bay Campus announced on Tuesday. Sponsored by KBC, the local branch of Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage, the conference held at Land’s End Resort in mid June brought together nationally recognized writers and poets with students attending from Alaska and the Lower 49 states. Faculty also included local writers and poets, including Rich Chiappone, Erin Hollowell and Nancy Lord. About 150 students attended, many of them visiting from out of town.


UMD budget shortfall ticks up slightly - Adelie Bergstrom, Duluth Tribune

The university's "structural imbalance" for fiscal year 2020 is estimated at about $4.14 million, up from $3.98 million in June, at the end of fiscal year 2019. The University of Minnesota Duluth’s budget deficit will increase slightly this year, according to its annual budget allocation letter from the University of Minnesota system. The deficit — which the University of Minnesota system refers to as a “structural imbalance” — was estimated at $4,174,167 going into fiscal year 2020, which runs through June 30.


Friday, October 11, 2019

Budget cuts forces Ramapo to readjust - By TYLER BARTHO, Rampo News

As part of budget cuts, Gov. Phil Murphy froze $235 million in spending on July 8, $1 million of which was part of Ramapo College’s budget. Ramapo, whose operating staff made no official comment, has had to scale back in several fields.


University of Idaho faces $14 million budget shortfall Meredith Spelbring, Argonaut

The University of Idaho is facing a projected $14 million budget deficit, due to an overall increase in university benefit costs and a decrease in tuition revenue. The total projected deficit is the result of two factors — a change in tuition revenue, due to the university’s recent full-participation in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program, a program encompassing a collection of western states designed to allow students to study at participating universities at a decreased rate, and an increase in overall cost of benefits for university employees.


Thursday, October 10, 2019

How Student Debt is Disrupting Life Chances and Widening the Racial Wealth Gap Institute on Assets and Social Policy - Brandeis University

The current higher education financing regime sediments and exacerbates inequality, and
student loans adversely affect the Black-White racial wealth gap.6 Black students—and students at for-profit universities, who are more likely to be students of color—often face the greatest challenges as they try to finance their degrees with student loans. They take on more loans, amass higher amounts of loans, and experience greater difficulty in paying off loans.7 Frequently without family financial wealth to support repayment and facing ongoing discrimination in the labor market,8 Black borrowers are much more likely to experience longterm financial insecurity due to student loans. Would anybody knowingly design a system where, two decades after starting college, many Black borrowers still are paying on virtually all of their student loans, while for the typical White borrower, a minimal debt burden remains?

Liberal arts degree? No degree at all? You are the perfect candidate for a tech job - Eric Rosenbaum, CNBC

For the past two years as many as 1 million tech jobs remain unfilled. Tech executives on the CNBC Technology Executive Council say it has become harder to fill tech positions, so candidates with liberal arts degrees, or no college degree, are now being hired. “Tech companies and enterprises who depend on digital technologies to drive their primary mission are in a virtual arms race to hire and retain tech-skilled workers,” one executive told CNBC.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

95 percent disabled kids are out-of-school - Mitch Rankin, Cryptopolitan

In some of the world’s poorest countries, up to 95% of disabled children are out of school, despite education being a basic human right. In developed countries, this rate is not much lower at 90%. Almost 93 million children are out of school because of a disability. These students are excluded because of discrimination, lack of training in inclusive teaching methods among teachers, and a lack of accessible schools catering to their needs. The internet creates an environment free from discrimination and can level the playing field and allow disabled students an equal opportunity to a good education.

Student Debt Reinforces the Racial Wealth Gap, Study Finds - Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed

 burden of student loans on young black people is a crisis that requires immediate policy action, argues a paper released Wednesday from the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University. The report finds that 20 years after entering repayment, the median white student borrower has paid back 94 percent of their student debt. The median black borrower, meanwhile, still owes 95 percent of their student loans, or roughly $18,500. Black borrowers experience more discrimination in labor markets and are more likely to support older relatives. But the hourly income gap between white and black workers is dwarfed by the size of the wealth gap, the report finds. In fact, the earnings gap has narrowed over the last 25 years, but the wealth gap has continued to grow.


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Morehouse Cuts Its Costs - Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

For the next nine months, the historically black college in Atlanta will not match retirement contributions for employees, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Morehouse will also have a monthly furlough day for most professional staff and faculty members. The college’s president, David A. Thomas, said he is among those affected. A “small amount” of staff members are to be replaced as well, according to the Journal-Constitution. The $3 million in targeted savings is to be put toward paying down $5 million in unpaid tuition and fees owed by current students.


Lifting the Curtain on Student Income-Share Agreements - By Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed

Income-share agreements are drawing attention from lawmakers, although relatively few students so far have signed up for the loan alternative. Two organizations with markedly different approaches are looking to change that. The contracts obligate students to pay back a portion of their future income for a set number of years rather than take out student loans to cover unmet financial need. The concept was first tested in short-term programs like coding boot camps but increasingly is being pushed as an option for students at traditional colleges as well.

Monday, October 7, 2019

How the Value of Educational Credentials Is and Isn’t Changing - Sean Gallagher, Harvard Business Review

A revolution in credentialing appeared underway, with colleges’ core product — the traditional degree — about to be swept aside by digital substitutes and disruptive start-up companies. Even more recently, this narrative has been amplified by reports that certain blue-chip companies such as IBM, Apple, and a number of others no longer “require” degrees for certain positions. Yet by many measures, the value of a traditional degree today is as strong as ever in the job market. Innovation in degree delivery is occurring, but it is often being led by traditional, incumbent institutions, often in partnership with technology firms.

3 tested ways to increase student access and success - By Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive

College officials and researchers share initiatives that institutions can use to help admit and graduate a more diverse student body. College can be a springboard to success, yet its doors often aren't as easy to open for many low-income and underrepresented minority students. And though many institutions have vowed to increase access, pervasive equity gaps have persisted or even widened. But a handful of efforts have allowed colleges to admit a more diverse class and help them persist. At an event hosted by the Education Writers Association at the University of Michigan's main campus in Ann Arbor earlier this week, we learned from a handful of college officials and researchers about what initiatives are paying off, and why.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Defining quality non-degree credentials is crucial to putting students on a path to success - Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, National Skills Coalition

Non-degree credentials, such as certificates, industry certifications, apprenticeship certificates, and occupational licenses, are a key component of state economic development and credential attainment goals, helping workers obtain better jobs and serving to reconnect them to further postsecondary education and training opportunities. In Expanding Opportunities: Defining quality non-degree credentials for states, National Skills Coalition (NSC) proposes a consensus definition of quality non-degree credentials (quality NDCs) and criteria developed in consultation with twelve leading states and national organizations, that states can adopt for their own quality assurance systems in order to make sensible budget and policy decisions and advance equity, putting students on a path to success.

Becker College Recalibrates Operating Budget - Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

Becker College in Worcester, Mass., on Tuesday acknowledged taking personnel action to address its operating budget. The college, a small, career-focused private institution, released a short statement saying that less than 3 percent of its employees were affected. It did not say whether that included any faculty members.