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.
May 28, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
Apprenticeships at SFS Offer Lessons for Building Worker Pipeline in Greater Cleveland
Olivera Perkins, The Plain Dealer 
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Employers in Cleveland feel stifled by a skills gap between what they need and what local schools are producing. There isn’t a coordinated regional effort to build a talent pipeline; rather, it is a go-it-alone environment where companies, schools, and nonprofits often work in silos to train workers.

But there is one company, Swiss manufacturer SFS, attempting to change that culture. The company has had an auto parts plant in Medina since 2000. It strives to keep an emphasis on hands-on training for students, who could eventually be hired as permanent employees. 

Jamie Merisotis
Boosting Aid With a Tax on Business
Ashley A. Smith, Inside Higher Ed
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Lawmakers in Washington State are taking a novel approach to funding higher education with a new scholarship program that will make tuition at the state's colleges and universities free for thousands of low-income families.

The Washington College Grant, which will be fully funded through an increase in the state’s business and occupation tax, guarantees financial aid for more than 110,000 low- and middle-income Washington residents. The grant will help students pay little or no tuition.

Jamie Merisotis
The College Dropout Crisis
David Leonhardt and Sahil Chinoy, The New York Times
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Why do some colleges do so much better than others when it comes to college completion? Part of the answer involves structure. Many colleges publish “degree road maps” that guide students through a course of study. And more colleges are pushing students to take enough classes to graduate in four years, instead of thinking of college as open-ended. 

Other institutions collect data on their students, study that data, and use it to remove hurdles for students. They deepen students’ connections to other people on campus.

Jamie Merisotis
Her Parents Were Farmworkers. She Was a Teen Mom. A Viral Graduation Photo Made Her Story Known
Rina Nakano, WTVF
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A graduation photo shoot by a woman commemorating her farmworker parents went viral over the weekend. 

Erica Alfaro, who earned her master’s degree from San Diego State University, posed in her cap and gown with her parents in the California strawberry fields, one of several locations where they have worked 10 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Alfaro is a survivor. She became a mother at age 16, dropped out of high school, and entered an abusive relationship. College offered a lifeline to a better future. She hopes her story will inspire other first-generation students to never give up on their dreams.

Lubbers: Hoosier Employees Must Prepare for Higher Ed
Merritt McLaughlin, Inside INdiana Business
Adults Seek Flexible Options for Colleges
Ellie Ashford, Community College Daily
Non-Traditional Grad Makes the Most of McDaniel College
Catalina Righter, Carroll County Times
What Colleges Can Do About the ‘Dropout Crisis’
Beth McMurtrie, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Opinion: Why Associate Degree Completion Matters for Virginia
Kathleen (Katybeth) Lee, Richmond Times-Dispatch
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