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.
January 3, 2019
Academics, Experts Share Diversity Dreams for 2019
LaMont Jones, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
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With 2018 in the rearview mirror and 2019 in the windshield, academics and other authorities share their biggest wish for diversity, access, and inclusion in higher education in the new year.

Now Hiring, With Attractive New Perk: Free College Degree
Kelsey Gee, The Wall Street Journal
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Some of America’s largest companies are proposing that a good job can lead to a free college education, reversing the norm that requires workers to get the degree before launching a career.

Walt Disney Co., Discover Financial Services, and Yum Brands Inc.'s Taco Bell are among the high-profile employers sending front-line workers back to school, often paying the cost of tuition, fees, books, and other expenses upfront and in full. The companies say the benefits of a content and potentially better-trained staff outweigh the costs. 

Three Trends to Watch in 2019 as Houston Tries to Grow Its Future Workforce
Laura Isensee, Houston Public Media
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Unemployment may be at a near 50-year low, but the economic future of Texas could fade if the state doesn’t develop its workforce, especially people of color for middle-skills jobs.

What's more, the gap between companies' needs and workers' skills is expected to continue and lead to millions of unfilled jobs in just a decade. Some nonprofits and school districts in Greater Houston are trying to solve those challenges with new approaches aimed at developing the next generation of workers.

Skipping Free College and Federal Loans
Ashley A. Smith, Inside Higher Ed
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California’s free community college plan wasn’t just about offering a tuition-free year to the state’s students.

It was an opportunity for state leaders and the California Community Colleges chancellor's office to encourage college leaders to support and undertake popular reforms such as using multiple measures to determine students' academic preparedness and forge deeper partnerships with K-12 school districts. But some college administrators are balking at one requirement in the one-year tuition-free legislation that passed last year: participation in the federal student loan program.

Understanding Challenges of Rural Workplace Development
Edythe Hatter-Williams, Lansing State Journal
Commentary: Universities, Business Must Collaborate on Workforce Needs
Devinder Malhotra, The Free Press (Minnesota)
Bill Looks to Put Money Back Into College Fund
Michael Smith, Carlsbad Current-Argus
Opinion: Congress Should Banish College Savings
Marcella Bombardieri, The Boston Globe
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