Top stories in higher ed for Tuesday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
February 19, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
The End of the Remedial Course
Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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At a time when growing numbers of first-generation, minority, and older adult students are going to college, the California State University system, the nation’s largest public-university system, this year eliminated all freestanding remedial courses.

Next year, the state’s entire community-college system will do the same. The moves, which are being watched by reformers and instructors nationwide, will have especially far-reaching consequences for open-access colleges and those that accept the vast majority of students who apply.

Jamie Merisotis
Even at Top Colleges, Graduation Gaps Persist for Poor Students
Melissa Korn, The Wall Street Journal
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Elite colleges nationwide have increased the number of low-income students they enroll in recent years, but getting those students to graduate has been more challenging. Colleges and universities say the gaps aren’t due to weaker academic abilities of low-income students, but rather to financial and cultural challenges.

Schools including Xavier University in Cincinnati and Denison University in Granville, Ohio, have expanded financial aid to cover things like lab fees and textbooks and set aside funds for sorority dues and emergency car repairs. The University of Missouri now pays full tuition for Pell grant recipients who hail from inside the state. And Clemson University will offer summer courses to some students this year in an effort to ease freshman-year pressures.

Carthage College Will Begin Mandating Career Training in Fall
Corri Hess, Wisconsin Public Radio
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Carthage College President John Swallow believes many students fear a disconnect between the education they receive during college and the job market they will ultimately enter. In response, Carthage is using a $15 million gift to mandate that all students take career training courses. 

The Aspire Program will blend existing and new resources, empowering students from their first days on campus to form a career plan, build a professional network, and gain valuable hands-on experience.
A Quality Guarantee for Today’s Students: Recommendations to Improve College Accreditation
Antoinette Flores, Center for American Progress
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For the past 70-plus years, the federal government has relied on accrediting agencies to serve as gatekeepers to the $120 billion in federal student aid that it awards each year. Legislation set by Congress tasks these independent, nonprofit membership associations with protecting both students and taxpayers from low-quality and fraudulent institutions. 

As policymakers begin working to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, they have an opportunity to ensure that accreditors are helping all students receive a high-quality education that meets their needs. With this in mind, the Center for American Progress has developed several recommendations designed to improve the U.S. accreditation system.
Jamie Merisotis
How Blockchain Is Helping Dallas Students Tell Their Story
Tom Vander Ark, Forbes
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With growing interest in demonstrated competence over seat time and pedigree, some high schools want to present a more complete picture of a young person's capabilities. In Texas, Dallas County high schools are going to deploy an extended transcript to more fully share career readiness information. 

The additional information and added sources can make transcript security and portability a greater challenge. Manoj Kutty thinks blockchain technology is a key part of the solution. 

Alexander's Loan-Repayment Overhaul
Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed
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Student advocates have long voiced concern about the complex set of options borrowers must navigate to repay their student loans. Student loan borrowers are faced with nine repayment plans based on their income, in addition to a standard 10-year loan-repayment plan.

There's a growing consensus that Congress should reduce those options to one income-based option on top of the standard plan.

Senator Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate education committee, would go one step further, calling for loan payments to be automatically deducted from borrowers' paychecks.
Fighting the Stigma About Community Colleges
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
How College Kids Use Food Pantries to Help Food Insecurity
Bailey Loosemore, Louisville Courier Journal
The College of Southern Idaho Wants to Offer Weekend Classes
Julie Wootton-Greener, Twin Falls Times-News
Opinion: Adult Tuition Grants Have Merit
Jefferson City News Tribune
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