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.
July 12, 2019
The Education Dept. Wants Accreditors to Compete. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Eric Kelderman, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Buried in the U.S. Department of Education's 400-plus pages of proposed regulations are changes meant to spur competition among the nation’s accrediting organizations—the groups that are supposed to be overseeing the academic quality and federal compliance of their member colleges. 

Notably, the proposed rules would allow the seven regional accreditors, whose membership is largely limited to particular states, to accredit colleges outside their geographic boundaries.

The idea of abolishing the regional boundaries of this group of accreditors is not a new one, and it has some support even among those who are critical of the department’s reasoning. Others fear it will cause institutions to seek only the accreditor that provides the least oversight.

Jamie Merisotis
From the Warehouse to IT: Amazon Offering 100,000 Workers Tech Training
Amy Scott, NPR
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Amazon employees who are filling boxes in warehouses may be the industry's next engineers.

The company announced yesterday that it will spend more than $700 million to train 100,000 employees for higher-skilled jobs over the next six years.

These training programs will be offered to workers throughout all levels of the company, not just those in warehouses. Participants can pick one of several programs, ranging from learning skills for other jobs at Amazon to earning certifications that could be used outside the company.

Jamie Merisotis
Many College Students Are Too Poor to Eat
Adam Harris, The Atlantic
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Food insecurity is a growing college-completion issue on campuses across the United States. But no one can agree on the exact scale of the problem. Now lawmakers are introducing a bill to change that.  

The new bill, called the Closing the College Hunger Gap Act, would require federal data collection on food and housing insecurity. According to the bill's sponsors, the goal is to produce a real, consistent national window on where student hunger is happening, where it's the worst, and which schools are creating interventions that make a difference. 

These States Are Leading the Way With Programs to Create Jobs for Workers Lacking a College Degree
Art Bilger, CNBC
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Generations of systemic barriers to economic opportunity and social mobility have made it exceedingly difficult for people in lower-income and underserved communities to earn college degrees, certificates, industry certifications, or other quality credentials needed to compete for jobs in today's ever-changing workforce.

Multi-tiered collaboration can lead to opportunities to level the academic and economic playing field for many disenfranchised individuals, arming them with the skills needed to attain economic security and a quality life. Several states already are making connections with local business leaders to tackle this crucial issue, many through exposure to paid, career pathway learning opportunities.

Blog: How Do We Make Every American College Graduate Employable?
Julie Brosnan and Mary Alice McCarthy, New America
Fundamentals of Student Support
Pete Wheelan, Strada Education Network
The Downside of Reduced Student Borrowing
Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed
Creating a National Workforce of Trained Welders
Adrienne M. Selko, IndustryWeek
The Future of Work in America
McKinsey Global Institute 
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