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.
September 27, 2018
Closing the Skills Gap With Digital Badges
Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed
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Seven colleges and universities are working with industry partners to develop digital badges aimed at helping underserved students display their skills and gain employment as part of a pilot project called #TeeUpTheSkills.

Employers participating in the project have agreed to look at the résumé of any student who acquires the badges deemed necessary for different job pathways. The employers also will track short-term hiring outcomes.
A Utah High School Student Was Happy Working at KFC. But With This Program’s Help, He’s a Pre-Med Senior in College
Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune
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With the help of the Utah College Access Corps (UCAC) program, Franco Jin has gone from working at a fast-food restaurant to the first in his family to attend college. He's now a senior pre-med student at the University of Utah. 

As part of the UCAC program, recent college graduates take jobs in high schools to help students navigate the tricky task of applying for college, completing entrance exams, and securing financial aid. The effort will be going statewide soon, making Utah the first state in the nation to have such an extensive college-access program.

A University Draws Rural and Native Students From the Vastness of Alaska’s Interior
Chris Quintana, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Navigating college life for students from Alaska's most rural regions can be challenging. The University of Alaska at Fairbanks helps guide them through that process with a number of targeted resources, including a summer intensive program for rural high-school students and an indigenous studies-center on campus.

It also has a special dormitory just for Alaska Native students. The facility accepts a maximum of 20 students to offer a sense of a tight-knit community. Native students are given other small amenities, too, including large refrigerators to hold traditional foods like caribou or salmon.

Report Examines Degree Completion for Parents With Young Children
Tiffany Pennamon, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
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A new study says gaps in completion outcomes for college student-parents largely stem from the significant amount of time they must spend on childcare, work, and other responsibilities. 

Improvements in financial aid systems and a greater investment in on-campus childcare centers or programs could make a substantial impact on student-parents' completion rates, according to the report. 
Built in Detroit: Strengthening the Motor City’s Talent Pipeline
Melanie D'Evelyn, Higher Learning Advocates
U of M and FedEx Expand Tuition-Free Degree to Indy Workers
Meagan Nichols, Memphis Business Journal
Universities Invest in Cybersecurity Pathways to Add to the Workforce
Eli Zimmerman, EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education
The Case for College Data Transparency
Jesse O’Connell, Medium
A Different Path to a Degree
Dusty Rhodes, NPR (Illinois)
Free-College Realities
Ashley A. Smith, Inside Higher Ed
Barriers to Loan Forgiveness
Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed
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