Top stories in higher ed for Tuesday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
June 12, 2018
12 Rural Tennessee Counties Eye College Completion Rates to Boost Residents' Career Skills
Jason Gonzales, The Tennessean
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Faced with a low number of college-educated workers, 12 rural Tennessee counties are digging into how they can get their residents to complete a degree.

Organized into five regional councils called Completion Councils, the effort is part of a newly launched pilot initiative by Complete Tennessee that focuses on clearing hurdles to obtain a college degree or certificate. The Completion Councils aim to improve the skills of local workers to help attract new business and boost local economies. 
The U.S. Has 6.7 Million Job Openings. Why Aren’t They Being Filled?
Ramona Schindelheim, WorkingNation
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A record amount of job openings indicates that structural unemployment is causing a skills mismatch. Are employers ready to reskill workers to adapt to technological change?

Ramona Schindelheim of WorkingNation speaks with S&P Global Chief U.S. Economist Beth Ann Bovino for insight on why there are so many job openings and still so many unemployed and underemployed Americans.

Lumina Awards Racial Justice and Equity Grants Totaling $1.6 Million
Lumina Foundation
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Lumina Foundation today announced that 19 colleges and universities will receive grant awards totaling $625,000 from its Fund for Racial Justice and Equity, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The Fund was created after last year’s racially motivated violence in Charlottesville on the campus of the University of Virginia.

In December, Lumina committed to funding these one-time grants-ranging from $25,000 to $50,000-in response to what the foundation saw as an urgent need to improve the atmosphere around race on campuses across the country.

"These campuses have shown a willingness and capacity to address racial disparities at a systemic level. They recognize that achieving equitable results is about more than promoting diversity. It's about whether the institution fosters a climate in which every student feels welcome and has the same opportunity to earn a degree or certificate of value, regardless of race or ethnicity," says Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. 

Grand Rapids Community College Growing Middle College Partnerships
Monica Scott, MLive
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Two years ago, Han Le graduated from Wyoming High School's early/middle college program with a diploma and an associate's degree from Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC). Now a senior at Grand Valley State University, she's getting ready to graduate next spring with a bachelor's degree in science and plans to enter medical school.

Le, 21, says GRCC's program saved her tuition dollars, limited her debt, and prepared her for the rigors of college.

Connecting Cashiers to College Degrees
Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed
Five Keys to Boosting Student Retention
James Paterson, Education Dive
Convening Puts Focus on First-Generation Students
Jamal Watson, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Top Georgia Universities Seek More Rural Students
Eric Stirgus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Giving At-Risk Students a Second Chance
Jim Schultz, Redding Record Searchlight
As California Goes?
Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed
American Dreamers
Aurelio Arley Sanchez, Albuquerque Journal
Graduation in an Age of Innovation—and Uncertainty
Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune
Letters to the Editor: Help Kids Early to Boost State’s Future
Megan Sanborn, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel (Maine)
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