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.
June 18, 2018
The College-Graduation Problem All States Have
Adam Harris, The Atlantic
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Across the country, black and Latino adults are far less likely to hold a college degree than white adults. Can better support for colleges that serve a high percentage of minorities change that?

For some states, it could be as simple as diverting more resources to campuses that primarily serve minority students. 

Colleges also can help by focusing on groups of people with very specific needs. Detroit's Wayne State University, for example, recently launched a program that forgives the debt of former students with an outstanding balance of less than $1,500 and no degree, and allows them to return to school. 
Innovative Grants Help Workers Transition Into New Careers
Ellie Ashford, Community College Daily
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More than 10,000 Virginians have earned workforce credentials to help them attain in-demand jobs and big wage increases, thanks to a state grant program that covers two-thirds of the cost of community college training programs.

The effort has been especially helpful at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) in far western Virginia, where nearly 80 percent of students receive some sort of federal financial aid.

MECC created a 15-week lineman training program in order to take advantage of the state grant program and help students qualify for jobs with utility companies. Of the 15 students in the first cohort, 14 earned all eight industry-recognized certifications in the program. The students are a mix of recent high school graduates, laid-off coal miners, and people who were not in the workforce.

At Women's Prison, a Vision for Success
Laurie Mason Schroeder, The Morning Call
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"Ashley" is an inmate at Cambridge Springs state prison near Erie, Pennsylvania. The 35-year-old spends most of her day in a state-of-the-art optical lab, working alongside 20 other highly trained women who make all types of glasses. At night, when she's locked up, Ashley writes letters to her five children. 

Inmates at the correctional facility make more than 15,000 pairs of eyeglasses a year, and a position in the optical lab is a coveted job requiring months of study. Prisoners who make the grade leave prison with the skills they need to start a career. 

While women in other correctional facilities find their job training choices limited to so-called “pink collar” jobs such as cosmetology and clerical, prisoners at Cambridge Springs can become certified opticians—a career with a median income of around $35,000 and a less than 2 percent unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Virtual Advisers Help Out With College Admissions
Elissa Nadworny, NPR
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Some high schoolers think of applying to colleges as almost a full-time job. There are essays and tests, financial documents to assemble, and calculations to make. For high-achieving students who come from low-income families, the challenge is particularly difficult. 

Research shows that 1 in 4 juggle the writing, the studying, the researching, and applying completely on their own. One approach to make this whole process easier: pair students up with someone who can help, a mentor or adviser, virtually. 
At 39, Father of Three Goes to College
Ashley Sloboda, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (Indiana)
Parents Complete Medical Office Assistant Program
Laren Randall, U.S. News & World Report (Mississippi)
Smoking Gun on Anti-Asian Bias at Harvard?
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
Commentary: PWIs and HBCUs Need to Create Partnerships, Not Competition
Brandon C.M. Allen and Levon T. Esters, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Breaking the Cycle
Jon Mark Beilue, The Edinburg Review (Texas)
BOCES Students Graduate, Ready to Enter the Workforce or Receive More Education
Andrew Kuczkowski, Glens Falls Post-Star (New York)
Editorial: Coach Up Our Future Workforce
The News-Press Now (Michigan)
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