Top stories in higher ed for Monday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
July 22, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
College Students Are Increasingly Forgoing Summers Off to Save Money, Stay on Track
Charlotte West, The Hechinger Report
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Towson University student Christelle Etienne isn’t whiling away the days of summer at the pool or hanging out with friends from high school. Instead, she’s sitting in a classroom at Montgomery College taking classes in anatomy and physiology.

A growing number of students have started to forgo long summer breaks to cut costs and stay on track to graduation. And since many four-year institutions largely shut down between May and late August thanks to an academic calendar that predates the industrial era, many are going to community colleges. 

Jamie Merisotis
Photo: LA Johnson
'I'm Drowning': Those Hit Hardest by Student Loan Debt Never Finished College
Elissa Nadworny and Clare Lombardo, NPR
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Most days, 25-year-old "Chavonne" can push her student loan debt to the back of her mind.

Between short-term office jobs in the Washington, D.C., area, she drives for Uber. But once in awhile, a debt collector will get hold of her cellphone number—the one she keeps changing to avoid them—and it all comes back fresh.

The one thing that could help Chavonne earn more money, of course, is securing a college degree. But because she's in default, she doesn't have access to federal student aid that could help her go back and finish. It's a vicious cycle for Chavonne and millions of other students who leave college with debt and without a degree.

Jamie Merisotis
Grades Can Hinder Learning. What Should Professors Use Instead?
Beckie Supiano, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Susan D. Blum has been teaching college students for 30 years. For much of that time, she was a conventional grader. But finals week at the University of Notre Dame this past spring found Blum, a professor of anthropology, wrapping up her courses in an unconventional way. Instead of giving an exam, she held short one-on-one meetings with each of her students to discuss what they had learned. 

Blum has come to the conclusion that grades are meaningless, even harmful. Grades, Blum is now convinced, are a barrier: between students and professors, between students and learning.

Jamie Merisotis
College in Prison: What I Learned This Week
Gerard Robinson, American Enterprise Institute
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Last week, as part of a convening by the Vera Institute for Justice, correctional and higher education stakeholders came together to share their hopes, challenges, and best practices about participation in the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program (SCPPP). 

The speaker lineup at the conference included a compelling mix of program administrators and advocates, some of which are formally incarcerated men and women. The American Enterprise Institute highlights some of the gathering's key takeaways concerning prison, practice, policy, and people.

Projecting Future Skill Shortages Through 2029
Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Tom Lee, American Action Forum
Inside College-Employer Partnerships: The Importance of Trust
Linda Head and Brooke Polk, The EvoLLLution
How Promise Programs Can Help Former Industrial Communities
Michelle Miller-Adams and John C. Austin, Brookings Institution
Al Lawson Introduces Bill to Fight College Hunger
James Call, Tallahassee Democrat
Equity Audits Would Strengthen Colleges and Universities
Rosa M. García, Center for Law and Social Policy
New Report Finds Stark Inequity in Chicago Higher Education
Sara Weissman, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
University of Maryland Summer Camp Strives to Diversify Computer Science
Sara Weissman, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Johns Hopkins Launching Program to Help Working Adults Learn to Code
Morgan Eichensehr, Baltimore Business Journal
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