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.
September 24, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
How Kalamazoo Is Fine-Tuning Its Groundbreaking Free College Program
Erick Trickey, Politico Magazine
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Alexia Jones was in fourth grade in 2005, when anonymous donors in her hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan, made an extraordinary commitment. They established the Kalamazoo Promise program to pay for a free college education for students like Jones once they graduated from Kalamazoo’s public schools.

Jones now works as a “reconnection specialist” for the program that helped her get a college degree. The Kalamazoo Promise hired Jones as part of a major retooling to try to get more of its disadvantaged students to finish a post-high-school degree. Free-college programs, it turns out, don’t lead everyone to get a college degree. For students in poverty, and for many students of color, the cost of college is a huge barrier—but when you remove it, other barriers reveal themselves.

Jamie Merisotis
Meet Waffle House’s Poet Laureate. She’s Touring Georgia High Schools to Promote College Access.
Lindsay Ellis, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Karen Head, an associate professor and poet at the Georgia Institute of Technology, didn’t go to college until she was 27. Neither of Head’s parents graduated from high school, though both later got high-school equivalency diplomas. Higher education, for her, was never a foregone conclusion.

That changed when Head enrolled at DeKalb College, taking classes at night. Her professors urged her to think big, and she did—earning four degrees in 11 years. 

Today, Head is using her story to put others on the path to college. 

Jamie Merisotis
Cultivating Hope Through Education in the Hoosier Hills
Focus Magazine
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The city of Columbus, Indiana, is headquarters to a Fortune 500 corporation and the unlikely Midwestern mecca of modern architecture. At the same time, many adults in the region are unemployed or underemployed. The reasons vary, but they include health problems, family problems, transportation problems, and, lately, drug addiction.

After years of grappling with these issues piecemeal, the counties and towns of southeastern Indiana are now tackling them in concert. The lever is education—specifically, connecting industries, educational institutions, and social service agencies to help adults get not just bachelor’s degrees, but associate degrees, industry certifications, and high school equivalency diplomas.

Jamie Merisotis
A Newark Student Dreams of Completing College. But First He Must Survive Summer ‘Boot Camp.’
Patrick Wall, Chalkbeat
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This summer, Yamin Reddick sat down in front of a computer in a windowless college classroom and braced himself for the day ahead. At 8:30 a.m., another eight-hour round of classes would commence, followed by homework late into the night. Then a few hours of sleep, wake up, and repeat.

That grueling schedule had become Reddick’s life ever since he earned a diploma from Newark’s Central High School in June and, days later, started a six-week summer program at Rutgers University-Newark. Known around campus as “academic boot camp,” it’s designed to prepare disadvantaged high school graduates for the rigors of college.

Racial Equity and Workforce Development
Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed
Lifelong Learning Starts Young: The Virtual Lab School and the 21st Century Land-Grant Mission
Stephen M. Gavazzi, Cynthia Buettner, and Sarah Lang, The EvoLLLution
Something to Chew On
Douglas Guth, Community College Daily
The Challenge of Running the Office of Federal Student Aid ‘More Like a Business’
Ben Miller and Jason Delisle, Center for American Progress
More SAT Test Takers But Lower Scores
Greta Anderson, Inside Higher Ed
Opinion: Higher Education Is a Great Equalizer
Cynthia Larive, Santa Cruz Sentinel
Billionaire Makes Good on Promise to Settle Debt for Morehouse Graduates
Janet Kline, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
What Will It Take to Solve the Student Loan Crisis?
Daniel M. Johnson, Harvard Business Review
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