Top stories in higher ed for Wednesday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
April 8, 2020
Jamie Merisotis
College During COVID-19: It's Improvising Online for Students and Professors
Liv Martin, The Star Tribune
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Tyler Totten's chemistry lab class at the University of Minnesota Duluth is no longer hands-on. Instead, he watches a video of his instructor doing the experiments. Aveda Institute student Gem Russell now practices hair styling on a mannequin, not an actual client.

In the world of COVID-19, this is the new reality for much of higher education. For students and instructors alike, the unexpected switch to remote learning has meant improvising on the fly—and finding new ways to virtually make human connections.

Jamie Merisotis
How America’s College-Closure Crisis Leaves Families Devastated
Michael Vasquez and Dan Bauman, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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In the last five years, about half a million students have been displaced by college closures, which together shuttered more than 1,200 campuses. 

Many of those affected are working adults living paycheck to paycheck. But college closures don’t just disproportionately hurt older students. They have severely hit low-income students, too: Nearly 70 percent of undergraduates at closed campuses received need-based Pell Grants. Black and Hispanic students also bear the brunt. About 57 percent of displaced students are racial minorities. 

Most of the closures have one thing in common: It was a for-profit college that shut down. 

Jamie Merisotis
Photo: Mark Shaver
Students Without Laptops, Instructors Without Internet: How Struggling Colleges Move Online During Covid-19
Beth McMurtrie, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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For many students, college remains an emotional lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic—something to hold onto as their lives get more difficult. While few colleges have the resources to effectively handle the large-scale shift to remote learning forced by COVID-19, rural, small, and cash-strapped institutions are getting by on a shoestring. 

The situation means that teaching-center directors and instructors with experience in online learning have been putting in long hours supporting their colleagues who, in turn, must surmount physical, technical, and emotional obstacles to reach students.

Jamie Merisotis
Diplomas Are Great. But Does High School Set the Stage for Success?
Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, The Christian Science Monitor
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High schools are often judged by how quickly they get students across the finish line. But a few states are attempting to measure how well certain schools set up their students for college and workplace success.

The goal is to assess high school quality more fairly, to see how much value schools add, and to give credit to educators who are meeting the needs of students facing bigger barriers.

A Conversation With Kevin Kropf of Drury University
Christine Temple, Springfield Business Journal
Podcast: Manufacturing a Response
Rachel Unruh, Skilled America Podcast
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