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 17, 2019
Roiled Over Rules on Regional Accreditors
Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed
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Trump administration officials say that the rules governing college accreditors have become too prescriptive and too limiting of innovation in postsecondary education, a challenge they're trying to tackle by overhauling the regulations for the higher ed watchdogs.

But a proposal offered as part of a regulatory rollback by the Education Department could create huge disruptions for the regional accreditors that oversee more than 3,000 colleges across the country. The department wants to require that regional accreditors operate in no fewer than three but no more than nine contiguous states, a standard multiple organizations would fail to meet.

At CCBC Catonsville, 'Pushy Moms' Help College Kids Succeed
Cody Boteler, The Baltimore Sun
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For many students at the Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville, transferring to a four-year college can be an overwhelming process. That's where a program called "Pushy Moms" comes in. 

Pushy Moms is an intensive mentoring effort that pairs students with a local working mom who helps guide the students during the transition from a year or two at the community college to starting at a four-year school. All of the women in the program have helped their own children apply to college and use that experience with the CCBC students, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college. 

Ending Ban on Pell Grants for Prisoners Is Said to Yield ‘Cascade’ of Benefits
Emma Pettit, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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For 25 years, almost no pathway has existed for incarcerated Americans to receive Pell Grants. A new report says that reopening this pathway would allow hundreds of thousands of people to take college courses, creating “a cascade of economic benefits.

The report from Georgetown Law School’s Center on Poverty and Inequality and the Vera Institute of Justice describes a domino effect: With access to Pell Grants, more incarcerated people could afford to take college classes while in prison. When they are released, they’d be less likely to reoffend and more likely to look for work. Businesses would have a larger pool of potential job applicants, the report says, and more former prisoners would get better-paying jobs.

Looking to the Student-Centered Future of Higher Education
The EvoLLLution
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Innovations in teaching and learning have caused sweeping changes in postsecondary education. At the same time, many of those innovations are not being equitably distributed across all student populations.

In this interview, Louis Soares of the American Council on Education reflects on some of the broad shifts that occurred across the postsecondary environment in 2018 and what higher education leaders must do to best accommodate the needs of today's learners. 

Survey: Employers Want 'Soft Skills' From Graduates
Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, Inside Higher Ed
Educational Attainment, Foundational Skills, and Worker Earnings
Neeta Fogg, Paul Harrington, and Ishwar Khatiwada, New England Journal of Higher Education
Comparing and Contrasting Competency-Based Programs
Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed
Opinion: It’s Time for the Legislature to Invest in Training and Education Beyond High School
Kimberly Perry and Sabah Randhawa, The Bellingham Business Journal
As OER Grows Up, Advocates Stress More Than Just Low Cost
Jeffrey R. Young and Sydney Johnson, EdSurge
North Carolina Must Embrace Innovation in Higher Education
Catherine Truitt, North State Journal
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