Top stories in higher ed for Friday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
December 20, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
A California School’s Advisor Hits the Road to Ease First-Year College Students’ Jitters
John Fensterwald, EdSource
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As a freshman and the first in her family to attend college, Dulce Grant was nervous and unsure of herself. Now 27, she’s mentoring other students from her high school who face the same insecurities and pressures. 

In 2017-2018, 1 in 4 freshman students enrolled at California State University, East Bay in Hayward didn’t return the following year. For the 23 CSU campuses statewide, the dropout rate was nearly 1 in 7. Grant, the success counselor at a charter school network called Downtown College Prep, is determined her students won’t be part of that statistic.

Jamie Merisotis
Nestled in a Poor Dallas Neighborhood, Paul Quinn College Aims to Be a National Model for Overcoming Poverty
Carrington Tatum, The Texas Tribune
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Michael Sorrell is on a mission to fight poverty one student at a time. 

Before Sorrell’s arrival as president of Paul Quinn College in 2007, the institution in southern Dallas was plagued by mismanaged finances, plummeting enrollment, and a looming loss of accreditation.

Today, Paul Quinn College is discovering new solutions to poverty by combining work requirements and academics.

Jamie Merisotis
Crisis Reporting From the Front Lines of Technology and Employment
Joe Fuller, Managing the Future of Work
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Can storytelling inform the general public about economic and social trends? The ongoing transformation of work has simultaneously sparked concern in multiple constituencies and spawned a welter of competing and often contradictory narratives about its causes and implications. How can objective data and constructive ideas reach students, employers, and employees?

WorkingNation Founder and CEO Art Bilger explains in this podcast. 

Jamie Merisotis
Faced With High Education Costs, Southern California Students Look to Mexico
Max Rivlin-Nadler, Marketplace
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Rebeca Yanez and Arturo Vasquez are normally carpooling by 7 a.m. to make it to class on time in Tijuana. Yanez says she makes the trip in half an hour.

The high cost of college is a growing challenge everywhere, and the added cost of housing can put higher education out of reach for many individuals. Some Southern California students are finding options across the border in Mexico.

Jamie Merisotis
Too Far Away: Distance Is a Barrier to Bachelor’s Degrees for Rural Community College Students
Larry Gordon, EdSource
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When it comes to transferring from Barstow Community College to the nearest public university 70 miles away, Karla Magana is more worried about the commute than the academics.

She's not alone. Beyond financial and family obligations, many students who start at rural community colleges across California say their education is complicated by the distances.

Jamie Merisotis
Teaching Incarcerated Women: Langston University’s Pell Grant Experiment
Gerard Robinson, American Enterprise Institute
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They are Black, white, Hispanic and Native American, and range in age from their 20s to 50s. Some grew up in Oklahoma City while others are from rural Oklahoma counties. Many arrived to prison with different levels of academic achievement. All of them share one thing in common, though: enrollment in Langston University with assistance from a Pell Grant.

For the first time in both their lives and educational journey, these first-time college students are utilizing and displaying the skills necessary for success in school and the workplace.

Education Deserts
Elin Johnson, Inside Higher Ed
Your Favorite Topics From a Year Covering Innovation
Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Opinion: Bridge the Opportunity Divide With 21st-Century Tools
Sabari Raja and Leilani M. Brown, WorkingNation
Haverford Tackles Loan Debt
Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed
529 Savings for Loans
Madeline St. Amour, Inside Higher Ed
Study Finds Many Advantages to Having Housing on College Campus
Ken Grabowski, Manistee News Advocate (Michigan)
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