Top stories in higher ed for Wednesday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
September 13, 2017
State Innovations for Near-Completers
Lexi Anderson, Education Commission of the States
Of the 16.4 million credentials needed by 2025 to meet workforce demands, more than one-third will be drawn from individuals with some college credit and no degree. A new report from Education Commission of the States explores strategies on near-completers in Indiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee and offers policy recommendations for state leaders.
Photo: Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Tennessee Is Investing In a Program That Helps Adults Finish Their College Degree. Will It Boost the Economy?
Laura Santhanam, PBS NewsHour
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A decade ago, Lara Mechling dropped out of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville midway through her freshman year. It's a decision that would haunt her for years.

In August, the 29-year-old mother got a second chance. Thanks to a program called Tennessee Reconnect, adults who either didn’t finish their postsecondary education or never enrolled in the first place can earn a college degree, tuition-free.

Tennessee Reconnect could ultimately help roughly 900,000 adults across the state finish their college degrees — and, advocates say, potentially attract more employers to Tennessee while boosting the state’s economy.

Making Higher Education Matter In Today's World
Geoffrey Riley, John Baxter, and April Ehrlich, Jefferson Public Radio
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Author Cathy Davidson argues that the American university is stuck in the past and its approach to education is wholly unsuited to the era of the gig economy. On this episode of The Jefferson Exchange, Davidson discusses why we need a revolution in teaching and learning. 

"Transfer Maze" Awaits California Community College Students, Advocacy Group Says
Mikhail Zinshteyn, EdSource
California’s community college students face frustrations on the path to a four-year degree, enduring confusing and competing policies that result in a small share of students actually transferring to a Cal State or University of California campus. 
Job Training and Community College Put Coal Miners On a New Path
Hari Sreenivasan, PBS NewsHour
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Coal miners in the heart of Appalachia face unemployment and uncertainty as the expansion of automation and natural gas threatens the industry that’s been an economic bedrock. But a West Virginia nonprofit called the Coalfield Development Corporation is bringing hope — and new work experience — by matching displaced workers to sustainable jobs in agriculture or carpentry while helping them pursue associate degrees. 

Community College Challenges Frustrate State Lawmakers
Michael Martz, Richmond Times-Dispatch
With DACA In Doubt, This Counselor to Latino Students Is Busier Than Ever
Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
Top Rating for U.S. On Skills Training
Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed
Using Tuition Resets to Combat 'Sticker Shock'
Allie Bidwell, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
Blog: Avoiding the PSLFiasco: Part Three
Rachel Fishman and Clare McCann, New America