Thursday, June 30, 2022

Ed Department strikes $6B settlement with students who attended for-profits - Natalie Schwartz, Higher Ed Dive

The U.S. Department of Education agreed Wednesday to automatically forgive the federal student loans of roughly 200,000 borrowers to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that the agency delayed granting relief to students who were defrauded by their colleges.  Students will be eligible to receive debt relief if they filed a borrower defense claim against one of the 150-plus colleges listed in the settlement agreement — including large for-profit universities such as Capella and Walden.

Millions of students never finish college. Here’s what loan forgiveness may mean for them - Jessica Dickler, CNBC

Amid talk of massive student loan forgiveness, canceling $10,000 per borrower could eliminate a substantial portion of the debt for students who never graduated, who likely fall into this category because they have lower loan balances. Although President Joe Biden has yet to make an announcement, “the bigger question is how do we ensure we aren’t having this same conversation 10 to 15 years from now?” Castellano.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Middle class, minus debt: Apprenticeships, certificates offer low-cost option to college - Medora Lee, USA TODAY

President Biden weighs canceling student debt ahead of the end of the repayment pause on Aug 31. As he continues to mull his options, others are forging a future with little to no student debt. They've found a path into companies and the middle class via apprenticeships and certifications.

Purdue Backs Off Income-Share Agreements - Josh Moody, Inside Higher Ed

Purdue University has paused new enrollments in its income-share agreement program, a financing mechanism both praised as a bold experiment to make college more accessible and criticized as a predatory scheme that traps students in dodgy and expensive contracts. Known as Back a Boiler, the program was quietly paused earlier this month, with a message posted on Purdue’s website around the same time that President Mitch Daniels announced his forthcoming retirement and a successor was selected through a secretive search process.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Paying for College: Grants, loans and more - Allison Gormly, WTHR

Yes, interest rates for new federal student loans are set to increase for 2022-2023 academic year. If that's still not enough money, enter private loans. "If you do feel that you have a strong enough credit score, go ahead and get pre-qualified. Many lenders will let you know your terms and your interest rate with a soft credit check," Clark said. The better the signer's credit, the better the interest rate.

Here’s a closer look at which stopped-out students are reenrolling in college - Lilah Burke, Higher Ed Dive

A whopping 39 million adults under 65 have left college without completing a credential. But in the 2020-21 academic year, just 2.4% reenrolled in class. That’s according to a recent report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Released early last month, it showed the number of stopped-out students grew by 1.9 million, or 5.3%, since the last time numbers were calculated in December 2018.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Doubling Down on Digital Rights Colleges must take steps to protect the privacy of students and staff attending online meetings - Zachary Michael Jack, Inside Higher Ed

“Do you record class? … Just curious.” The question, chatted in the middle of a recent online session, stopped me cold. I reassured my student that no, I was not recording, and if I intended to do so, I would definitely let them know in advance. Strongly implied in their query were two corollaries that troubled me: 1) that the student’s other professors were recording online sessions held via our campus’s learning management system and 2) that it was not always clear to students how, when and why they were being recorded. And if students are to professors what professors are to college administrators, why had I, as a faculty member deeply concerned with digital privacy, not dared to follow my brave student’s lead, asking tough questions of college administrators who opt to host and record meetings via proprietary video platforms like Zoom?

2 Laid-Off Akron Professors Reinstated After Arbitration - Josh Moody, Inside Higher Ed

Two professors at the University of Akron have been reinstated after being laid off two years ago, following a ruling from two independent arbiters that found the process problematic. The two faculty members—dance professor Robin Pritchard and engineering professor Sue Ramlo—will receive back pay and lost benefits, according to The Akron Beacon Journal, which reported the decision from Akron’s Board of Trustees last week. Pritchard and Ramlo were among 66 faculty members laid off due to what administrators said were budget issues caused by the coronavirus.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

The 'accessibility of job skilling' is at all-time highs, Coursera CEO says - Yaseen Shah, Yahoo! Money

There is “a huge migration of people online looking to learn new skills to get new jobs,” Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda told Yahoo Finance. “The accessibility of job skilling is higher than [ever] before because you can do it online, the availability of credentials, and people can do jobs remotely, especially entry-level digital jobs.”Maggioncalda explained that the job market is “getting tougher” and new skills and credentials can help workers stay competitive and qualify for virtual jobs, which has become a top priority among job seekers. Google search interest for remote work hit an all-time high in June 2022, a recent study from found.

Editorial: University system needs practical vision - Ellwsorth American

As new UMaine System board chairwoman Trish Riley points out in a May 28 commentary in the Portland Press Herald, Maine’s public university system is facing mounting pressures. The population is aging, and fewer students are enrolling. Workforce needs are changing fast. Some programs have proved unsustainable, so too will be relying on reserves long-term. Cuts can have ripple effects. In a recent article about local municipalities struggling to hire, some officials pointed to the elimination of master’s programs in public administration and planning as contributing factors.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

University of Akron reinstates two professors after 'questionable' layoffs criticized - Doug Livingston, Akron Beacon Journal

Two University of Akron faculty members who were among several dozen laid off early in the pandemic two years ago have won back their jobs. The UA Board of Trustees on Wednesday agreed to reinstate dance professor Robin Pritchard and engineering professor Sue Ramlo. The board's decision follows a ruling by two independent arbitrators, who sided with the faculty union and called the reasons given for the Prichard's and Ramlo's layoffs "mistaken" or "questionable at best." 

Tuition hike, staff cuts and program reforms recommended in ECC budget - Janet Gramza, the Buffalo News

The financial pressure keeps building at SUNY Erie Community College. The proposed 2022-23 budget for the college includes a 3% tuition increase. It forecasts that enrollment will keep dropping. And it warns of “a large number” of job cuts if more faculty and administrators don’t take a retirement incentive offered earlier this year. The budget proposal also stressed the need to make reforms recommended by a consultant in April, including phasing out less popular programs of study and reducing duplicate operations and redundant staffing at ECC's three separate campuses.

Friday, June 24, 2022

US Coursera learners are focusing on people skills and dropping tech - Amber Burton, Protocol

From 2021 to 2022, proficiency in leadership and management on Coursera increased from 40% to 67%. The sharp increase can be attributed to an increased business focus on mastering more human-focused skills following the disruption caused by the pandemic, according to Coursera. Skills such as resilience, project management, decision-making and storytelling became increasingly popular among U.S. business learners on the platform in the past year. The most popular human skills related course in the U.S. was The Science of Well-Being, a class focused on helping people learn habits to increase productivity and happiness, Leah Belsky, the chief enterprise officer of Coursera, shared in a comment to Protocol.

Pa. State System considering a big change in how it splits up millions of dollars, chancellor says - BILL SCHACKNER, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Leaders of Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities are weighing a change in allocating hundreds of millions of dollars in yearly state appropriation to more closely focus on student success, generally, and support first-generation, low-income and underrepresented minority students. The State System of Higher Education’s board of governors will meet in special session Wednesday morning in Harrisburg to consider what leaders, including Chancellor Daniel Greenstein, hope will help reverse enrollment declines from households with incomes $75,000 and less — part of a demographic for whom the State System was founded in 1983 to serve.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Fake Online University Impersonates UNO, Scams Students - Marie Fazio, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate

City University of New Orleans, a fake online university claiming to be an accredited virtual school affiliated with the University of New Orleans, has been scamming thousands of dollars from people since at least the beginning of last year, according to prospective students who say they paid fees but never began classes. UNO officials are aware of the situation and say they've been trying to take action, with limited success.

The Future of Higher Ed Immersed in Web 3.0 - Ray Schroeder, Inside HIgher Ed

Not everyone agrees about what Web 3.0 will be, let alone how it will impact higher education, but the time to begin preparing is now. It does not yet exist, even in a single sandbox model. Yet it is hugely important for the future of higher education to prepare for, and lead, in creating the new platform. The log-ins and authentications for most every site will be long gone. Websites, as we know them now, will also be gone. Artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (XR), nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) will run on a blockchain backbone that will enable privacy, security, smart contracts and a host of relationships that are not possible today. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Coursera Global Skills Report 2022 Reveals Decline in U.S. Technology and Data Science Skills - Coursera

The acceleration of digital transformation, inflation, and global instability are driving increased demand for digital and human skills needed to thrive in the new economy, according to Coursera’s latest Global Skills Report. The report shows U.S. proficiency in technology and data science skills are declining and lag behind countries in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. However, U.S. learners showed higher proficiency in essential business skills including marketing, leadership and management, and strategy and operations. “The Great Resignation and automation are mandating stronger investments in human capital, as institutions must prioritize developing the high-demand digital and human skills required to build a competitive and equitable workforce,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO.

Microcredentials are poised for great growth in the global economy - Laura Ascione, eCampus News

Microcredentials aren’t new, but their potential is growing–and, in some cases, they may grow to be a preferred form of postsecondary education and training. Microcredentialing is among one of EDUCAUSE’s six key technologies and practices identified in its 2022 Horizon Report as having a significant impact on the future of postsecondary teaching and learning.   The demand for upskilling and reskilling, driven in part by the growth of data- and analytics-based jobs, is also supporting the potential of microcredentials‘ impact.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

U of Arkansas System is combining 2 online colleges to boost growth. Will it work? - Natalie Schwartz, Higher Ed Dive

System trustees voted late last month to approve the shutdown of eVersity and transfer its assets to the acquired institution, now called the University of Arkansas Grantham, or UA Grantham. UA Grantham is now a public institution. The system began the transition process in January, when eVersity stopped accepting new applicants and communicated with existing students about their options to finish their programs by the summer term or transfer to Grantham at the same tuition rate.

E-learning: Scope and applications of online learning in next five Years - Ayantika Pal, Financial Express

Although E-learning has been around for over a decade, it’s become a familiar term over the last couple of years. As the demand for remote learning grew during the pandemic, E-learning rapidly replaced the physical classroom. Even now with students heading back to schools and colleges, E-learning  has made a place for itself in the education space and is here to stay. According to recent research reports, the demand of global E-learning Market size & share is expected to reach to USD 374.3 Billion by 2026 from USD 144 Billion in 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.6%. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

A Crosstown Merger in Philadelphia - Josh Moody, Inside Higher Ed

On June 1, Saint Joseph’s University officially merged with the University of the Sciences, making the crosstown campuses one institution under the Saint Joseph’s name. For Saint Joseph’s, absorbing the robust suite of health care offerings at the University of the Sciences allows for an immediate expansion of academic programs, drawing on the expertise of faculty members already on campus. For the University of the Sciences, the deal offers continuity for students amid financial challenges in recent years that led both Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service to downgrade the institution as its endowment funds dwindled.