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.
January 9, 2019
Car Repairs and Rent Checks: A Bold Plan to Keep Michigan Students in College
Ron French, Bridge Michigan
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About 1.2 million Michigan residents reside in economic limbo, often over-qualified for high school graduate jobs but stopped short of the qualifications needed for college degree-required jobs. The lack of a completed degree costs them, on average, hundreds of thousands of dollars over their lifetimes, and in turn hobbles the economic progress of the state as it scrambles to fill jobs that increasingly require a post-high school degree or certificate.

Yet Michigan’s college financial aid system is geared toward traditional college students straight out of high school. In fact, Michigan offers no financial aid for people who are more than 10 years out of high school.

A resolution may be in the works: a "life needs" scholarship called Michigan Reconnect that offers financial aid to nontraditional college students.  

Students Earn Credits, Gain Jobs Through GRCC Training Program
Erin Albanese, School News Network
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Gybran Vazquez knew he wanted to change the trajectory of his life. He was applying stripes to parking lots for an asphalt company, but dreamed of what else he could be doing with his career.

Vazquez is getting closer to the life he wants after graduating from Grand Rapids Community College Job Training classes and devoting 34 hours a week for 18 weeks to learn about residential construction.

More than 300 people graduate each year from the fast-paced, full-time programs, which aim to produce highly skilled new employees with appropriate credentials for jobs.

Ricketts Proposes Scholarship for High-Need Professions
Chris Dunker, Lincoln Journal Star
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Connecting Nebraskans to specific career areas where the state needs more talent is a priority for Gov. Pete Ricketts. Earlier this week, he announced a state-funded scholarship program designed to make that happen. 

If the state Legislature funds the effort, the Nebraska Talent Scholarships program would offer $4,000 in annual scholarships to college students enrolled in math, engineering, health care, and computer information systems at the University of Nebraska, state colleges, and community colleges.

Betting on Niche Programs
Ed Finkel, Community College Daily
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Programs like nursing, welding, computer science, and communications are found at many community colleges. Other degree and certificate offerings like slot machine repair and gunsmithing technology may not be as prevalent, but they are an important and growing part of both their respective academic catalogs and local employers' recruiting pipelines.

Purdue’s Online Strategy, Beyond ‘Global’
Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed
Opinion: Learning in 2069?
Joshua Kim, Inside Digital Learning
Elevating First-Gen Student Success
Sarah Whitley, Higher Learning Advocates
The 25 Best Jobs of 2019
U.S. News & World Report
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