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 4, 2018
UMaine Partners With Bangor Savings, Northern Light Health in Pilot Workforce Program
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The University of Maine is working on a national initiative to promote interpersonal job skills needed by students. As part of the effort, the school plans to pilot the use of "digital badges" as a way to connect students with those skills to employers at Bangor Savings Bank and Northern Light Health.

The university will offer coursework and activities to develop the skills, and Bangor and Northern Light have pledged to consider job applications of UMaine students who earn the credentials.

Maximizing Success for First-Gen Students
Emma Whitford, Inside Higher Ed
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First-generation students make up a third of all college students. Yet only 27 percent of this group graduates within four years. And while an increasing number of colleges recognize a need for student support services aimed at first-generation students, a new report says real progress requires institutional shifts, not just adding new programs. 
Colleges and Businesses Connect to Prep Students for the Workforce
Lydia Nusbaum, WSFA
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Community colleges across Alabama are reaching out to area businesses, asking how they can prep students to meet the state's labor demand. Many institutions are either modifying their programs or creating new ones to keep up with local industries. 

As part of a statewide education initiative, the Alabama Workforce Council’s Statewide Educational Attainment Committee has set of goal of adding 500,000 highly skilled employees to Alabama’s workforce by 2025.
It’s Not Back-to-School Time for Too Many College Students
Omar Butler, EdSource
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Education is the most reliable escalator out of poverty and one of the best tools to improve systemic inequalities. Yet, on college campuses across the country, far too many students, especially low-income and first-generation students, are not going back to school at all. 

In this commentary, Omar Butler of College Track cites the need for more comprehensive support systems to help students get to and through college. 

Essay: On the Future of Work(ers)
Darren Walker, Ford Foundation
Can ‘Nudges’ Make Students Study More? Maybe Someday
Doug Lederman, Inside Digital Learning
New Tool for FAFSA Completion
Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed
The Hole in a Key Higher Education Accountability Rule
Preston Cooper, American Enterprise Institute
Commentary: Community College Affects Generations
Robert Garza, San Antonio Express-News
Math Pathways: Expanding Options for Success in College Math
Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness
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