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.
June 14, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
Underfunded Independence: How State Aid Programs Are Failing America’s Largest Student Population
Sarah Pingel, The EvoLLLution
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College students who are older, have children, or work full time now outnumber those who don't. And while states collectively provide more than $12 billion to support the postsecondary experiences of 4.5 million-plus students each year, these dollars are largely inaccessible to students beginning or returning to college later in life.

The demands on state budgets are many, and the need to ensure efficient use of dollars to reach state goals is real. Given that no state can reasonably reach attainment needs without increasing degree production among adult learners, rethinking programs that leave them out is a strategic priority to pursue.

Jamie Merisotis
Report: How States Are Planning to Boost Attainment Rates
James Paterson, Education Dive
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More than 40 states have attainment goals and strategic plans to achieve them, but they vary in their ambition, progress thus far, and prospects for long-term success, according to a new report from Ithaka S+R. 

Massachusetts and Colorado have the highest attainment rates across all types of postsecondary credentials, while Oregon is the most ambitious with a goal of having 80 percent of its residents earn at least an associate degree or career-related certificate by 2025.  

Jamie Merisotis
Higher Education Behind and Beyond Bars: A Father and Son Story
Darryl Epps Jr. and Darryl Epps III, The Education Trust
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In March 2000, Darryl Epps and his brother, Darnell, began serving a 17-year-to-life sentence. Unsure of the future, they were determined to make a positive contribution to their family despite being incarcerated.   

Both men exhausted every academic and vocational resource available to them while behind bars. Eventually, they were accepted into college-in-prison programs by Hobart and William Smith College and, later, Cornell University. Their story underscores the benefits that access to higher education in prison can bring to those who are incarcerated and to family members on the outside. 

Jamie Merisotis
Graduation Rates Are Rising, But Is That Because Standards Are Slipping?
Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Since 1990, college students have been working more hours and studying fewer, arriving less academically prepared, and saddled with higher tuition and fees. So why have graduation rates been rising?

One possible explanation, offered in a preliminary working paper, is that colleges are lowering their standards, making it easier for students to earn degrees

Brain Drain: What States Stand to Lose
Susan Milligan, U.S. News & World Report
Google’s Growing IT Certificate
Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed
…And Justice for All: Community Colleges Serving the Middle Class
Richard V. Reeves and Katherine Guyot, Brookings Institution
OER at the Enterprise Level
Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed
Student Ed Tech Entrepreneurs Argue They Know What Classrooms Need
Tara García Mathewson, The Hechinger Report
Taking It to the Hill
Matthew Dembicki, Community College Daily
Business Leaders Take Aim at Austin’s Skills Gap
Bob Sechler, Austin American-Statesman
Job Market Hungry for College Graduates
Cinde Ingram, Asheboro Courier Tribune
Upskilling and Downsizing in American Manufacturing
The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
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