Top stories in higher ed for Thursday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
December 5, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
Photo: Rici Hoffarth
Program Aims to Help Missourians Go Back to College, Finish Uncompleted Degrees
Marissanne Lewis-Thompson, St. Louis Public Radio
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In Missouri, more than 75,000 people have two years worth of college credits under their belts but no degree. Officials with the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development hope that will soon change. 

Missouri is joining 20 other states in the "Degrees When Due" initiative, a nationwide effort that offers colleges and universities tools to work with students who hit pause on their higher education. 

Jamie Merisotis
Why Isn’t It a No-Brainer to Embed ‘Certifications’ Into Bachelor’s Degrees?
Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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At community colleges, the idea of students earning industry and professional certifications as they pursue their education is often standard operating procedure. At four-year colleges, not so much. 

A new project aims to change that way of thinking by encouraging more bachelor’s-level institutions to embed certifications into their curricula.

Jamie Merisotis
Photo: Zoë van Dijk
Student Loan Borrowers With Disabilities Aren't Getting Help They Were Promised
Clare Lombardo and Cory Turner, NPR
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Hundreds of thousands of borrowers—more than enough to fill a city the size of Pittsburgh—are eligible to have their student loans erased because a disability keeps them from working. Many will likely never get the debt relief they're owed.

Borrowers and advocates say the U.S. Education Department doesn't do enough to inform borrowers of their rights, and those who do apply for help have to navigate a years-long, bureaucratic obstacle course. 

Jamie Merisotis
When College Becomes a Benefit of Employment
Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge
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These days working in a fast-food restaurant or other service-industry job often comes with a new benefit: a college education.

More employers are offering tuition assistance to workers or even letting them take courses for free. Big-name companies such as Starbucks, Walmart, Chipotle, and McDonald's are hoping the move will attract workers and keep them from leaving so quickly; for colleges, the efforts can be a source of new students, especially for new online programs.

This podcast explores the viability of these education-as-a-benefit programs and if they actually help employees build the skills and competencies needed for better jobs. 

Preparing for Another Recession?
John O. Harney, New England Journal of Higher Education
Is Blockchain the Future of Academic Credentials?
Wesley Jenkins, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Blog: A Tale of Two Interns
Andy Orr, New America
Education Alliance Completes Statewide Tour to Raise Attainment
Cassidy Rue, Arizona Education News Service
The State of 10 Cities
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Out of Poverty, Into Health-Care Jobs
Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed
Building a Teacher Pipeline
David Ogul, AACC 21st Century Center
Blog: The Hidden Costs of Wasted Talent: Part 1
Peter Smith, Rethinking Higher Education
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