Top stories in higher ed for Thursday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
October 3, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
An Author of ‘Academically Adrift’ Strikes Again
Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Few higher education books of the last decade were as influential as Academically Adrift by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. It documented how little time students were actually spending on their college coursework—and how little they were learning.

Critics of the book argued that Arum and Roksa drew too many conclusions from a limited set of data. Arum is now back with a new project to measure the complexity of learning inside the classroom.

Jamie Merisotis
North Seattle College’s Applied Baccalaureate in App Development Delivers Full-Stack IT Skills to Local Learners
Michael Prebil, New America
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While it’s easy enough for well-educated Seattle residents to find a job in their city’s tech sector as soon as they have the skills for the job, it can be difficult to find the right place to get those skills and credentials—especially bachelor’s degrees—in the first place. Even with a new building that doubled its enrollment capacity, the University of Washington’s world-renowned undergraduate computer science program can’t keep up with demand.

To help fill that gap, Seattle’s community colleges are ramping up their bachelor’s degree offerings. First piloted in 2005, Washington state’s community college bachelor’s (CCB) programs provide an important new vehicle for upskilling local talent in in-demand careers.

Jamie Merisotis
The Students Disappearing Fastest From American Campuses? Middle-Class Ones
Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report
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Alec Scicchitano may have been considered middle class, but it was still going to be hard for him to afford college. And it was. In his first two years in college, he got only a small break on tuition. Scicchitano started burning through his savings, though he at least saved money on room and board by commuting from home.

The proportion of middle-class students like Scicchitano at colleges and universities has been quietly declining, sharply enough that some institutions—worried about the effect on campus diversity and their own bottom lines—have started publicly announcing special scholarships to cover all or most of their tuition.

Jamie Merisotis
Finding Ways to Keep Working Students in College
Community College Daily
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Working part time or full time is a reality for most community college students, but some colleges are using various initiatives to ease working students’ academic and financial burdens to ensure that they don’t drop out, says a new report.

The study, from the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), highlights efforts of three community colleges that leverage work-based learning, prior learning assessments, flexible scheduling, and childcare to keep learners on the path to a degree or credential.

Blog: Critical Digital Learning Scholarship and Higher Ed Insiders
Edward J. Maloney and Joshua Kim, Technology and Learning
Region's Economy: The Future of Women’s Work
Julie Heath, Cincinnati Enquirer
Essay: The Myth of the STEM Pipeline
Wendy L. Hill, Inside Higher Ed
More Lower-Cost Degrees, From Purdue, Kaplan and edX
Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed
Commentary: A New Skills Deal for America
Gerald Chertavian, RealClearEducation
Blog: Kids in Class
Matt Reed, Confessions of a Community College Dean
Profile of Very Low and Low-Income Undergraduates in 2015–16
National Center for Education Statistics
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