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.
September 16, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
How Vocational Education Got a 21st Century Reboot
Erick Trickey, Politico Magazine
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Suriana Rodriguez is only 19, but she’s already lined up a full-time job at IBM. After her junior year in high school, she interned at the tech giant’s Poughkeepsie's campus for $17 an hour. For a year, Rodriguez worked 40-hour weeks as an apprentice test technician, examining IBM mainframes to confirm they work before shipping them to customers.

Rodriguez’s opportunities came to her thanks to her high school, Newburgh Free Academy P-TECH. It’s part of an innovative public-school model that combines grade 9-12 education with internships and tuition-free community college. P-TECH, which stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School, has spread to 10 states and 17 countries since its founding in Brooklyn in 2011. 

Jamie Merisotis
Let’s Focus on Quality and Equity in Higher Education for Incarcerated Students
Wayne Taliaferro, Medium
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Access to higher education for people in prison has gained new levels of attention and support. The boost in momentum is catapulting issues like restoring Pell grant access into policy conversations in a way that it arguably hasn’t been before.

The tireless efforts of advocates and other champions deserve the credit for this, but the devil is still in the details. Just as the efforts to arrive at this moment were intentional, so must be the policy design that follows. And for that same reason, quality and equity should be central.

Jamie Merisotis
Welding Won’t Make You Rich
Paul Tough, The Atlantic
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In recent years, some politicians and media figures have been making a sustained and often vociferous public case against higher education. Instead of college, their argument often goes, young Americans should pursue a career in the skilled trades. And there is one trade that gets held up more than any other as an example of the opportunities awaiting those who shun college: welding.

One of the many odd things about the rhetoric that posits welding as the antithesis of college is that in order to become a welder, you actually have to go to college. You can learn the basics in a high-school shop class. But to do it well, you have to master multiple precise manual skills. That includes a pretty deep scientific understanding of the metal you’re working with and the electrical and chemical processes you’re using to manipulate that metal.

Jamie Merisotis
To Retain College Students, Look to Academic Support and Campus Activities, New Report Finds
Rebecca Koenig, EdSurge
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What keeps college students coming back for more? A new report on the effects college programs have on student retention attempts to answer that question.

Academic advising meetings, Greek life, supplemental instruction, scholarships, and tutoring are the programs that correlate most with improved student retention rates, according to the Civitas Learning study of nearly 1,000 initiatives at more than 55 colleges and universities.

Quick on the Uptake
Ellie Ashford, Community College Daily
‘Choosing College’
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
Providing Opportunity in Juvenile Centers
Angela Mennecke, Community College Daily
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