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 30, 2019
Seeking a Community, Black Students Turn to Online Chats
Zipporah Osei, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Moneta-Kai Price, a senior at Rutgers University, once had trouble connecting with other Black students on the New Brunswick campus, so he started a group chat. It's now a sounding board for events, community, and activism.

At Rutgers and other campuses, other Black students have created similar virtual communities. The message boards may go beyond simple communication; they create a virtual space for these students on campuses where they're in the minority. Students spread information about Black-student events, ask questions about which classes they should take, and share jokes and struggles alike. 

From High School Dropout to College Freshman
Dakota Pawlicki, Today’s Student/Tomorrow’s Talent
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Nyla Wills dropped out of high school as a sophomore about six years ago to help care for her ailing mother and work to support the family.

Wills never gave up hope of continuing her education, however. And in 2017, a Goodwill Excel Center offered her a way to get back on track. The educational program is specifically designed to provide a high school diploma and industry certifications or college credit to adults while addressing the real-life factors that get in their way.

Giving Students a Say
Tara García Mathewson, The Hechinger Report
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Michael Mota is a senior at Vertus High School, an all-boys charter school in New York whose hallmark is a program that blends online classes with more traditional classroom teaching. Students spend about half their time in computer labs doing online coursework. It's here Mota decides whether to tackle math or science lessons, taking into account his own interests and responsibilities. 

Personalized learning is seen as a way to close achievement gaps, increase student engagement, and offer a better education to today's students. Yet it doesn't have a consistent script and every school does it differently. 

America’s Hidden Workforce Returns
Eric Morath, The Wall Street Journal
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Like many adults with disabilities, Nathan Mort has often struggled to find and hold a job. His fortunes turned several years ago when he was hired by a local food distributor, Gordon Food Service. The position allowed him to stop collecting federal disability benefits and move into his own home.

Mort is part of a wave of disabled Americans joining or returning to the U.S. labor force, breaking a long-running trend that had pushed millions to the sidelines of work. These workers have benefited from a tight economy with a very low overall unemployment rate as employers in many sectors tackle a shortage of available workers by becoming more creative about whom they recruit. 

Report: Students Struggle More at Community Colleges
Brandi Addison, Midland Reporter-Telegram
Experience Wanted: Job Fairs Target Older Workers
Roberta Baker, New Hampshire Union Leader

Five Takeaways From 24 Hours at a Major Teaching Conference
Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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