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.
January 11, 2019
In This Writing Assignment, Students Tell Their Professor How to Improve Their Education
Beth McMurtrie, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Chuck Tryon is not alone in feeling that a wide gulf sometimes separates him from his students. Many undergrads at Fayetteville State University, a historically black college, are first generation, former military, or working adults. That wasn't his experience in college. And graduate school, he says, frequently fails to prepare future instructors to teach in diverse classrooms.

Tryon's solution was to come up with a writing assignment in which he asked students how they would change either his course or their university’s “educational mission.” Their ideas have fostered conversations on such topics as mental health, financial literacy, and creating an engaged classroom.

Millions of College Students Are Going Hungry
Adam Harris, The Atlantic
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The blight of food insecurity among college students is real, and a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlights the breadth of those affected.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the main federal program that helps low-income people buy food. But the report found that 57 percent of eligible students had not participated in SNAP in 2016. The study cites the complexity of SNAP rules, with many college officials believing students were ineligible for food assistance benefits.

Soaring Demand for Medical Assistants Prompts Innovative Training Solution
Ramona Schindelheim, WorkingNation
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Medical assistants are generally the first people a patient sees in a doctor's office after the receptionist. The demand for medical assistants is expected to grow 29 percent over the next seven years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, much faster than the average projected growth for all occupations. 

To meet this demand, UCLA Health has partnered with UCLA Extension to create a unique medical assistant program. The UCLA Medical Assistant Program (MAP) combines the theory and practical experience necessary to prepare students to transition successfully into a career as a medical assistant.

Worries Grow About Outsourcing of College Degrees
Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed
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Dozens of colleges, including many with widely known brands, outsource parts of degree programs to other institutions or private companies. Under federal rules, colleges can offer degree programs in which up to 50 percent of instruction is outsourced, including through unaccredited entities.

A proposal from the Education Department would remove that cap entirely, potentially allowing colleges to completely outsource curriculum and instruction for degree programs. That possibility is alarming consumer advocates who worry it will give low-quality operators backdoor access to federal student aid money.

Commentary: Is This Higher Education’s Golden Age?
Steven Brint, The Chronicle Review
Viewpoint: Colleges Must Make Case for Value
Ramon S. Torrecilha and Lynn Pasquerella, Boston Business Journal
Putting Data to Work
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