Here are some new resources and news for the field of higher education.

Student Success: Possible ways to boost low-income student grad rates. 
Two new studies suggest many colleges may be too quick to write off low-income students and community college transfers, but money and extra support change the equation, at least for some. (Inside Higher Ed, February 8).

“Ed Department proposes to report accurate grad rates for low-income students.” Learn more about the possibility of tracking how many of the students who share billions in Pell Grants actually succeed.

The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2015: Students From Low-Income Families.” Among students taking the ACT in 2015, 440,389 were from low-income families earning less than $36,000 per year. Half of these students failed to meet any of the four college-readiness benchmarks compared with 31 percent for all students. The readiness indicators of low-income students have remained largely unchanged for six consecutive years. Test takers from low-income families were less likely to have completed a core curriculum of four years of English and three years each of mathematics, social studies, and science. (Source: ACT).

“The Elusive Goal of On-Time Graduation”: A surprisingly tiny minority of U.S. college students actually get their four-year degrees in four years—but a pioneering program at the University of Hawaii wants to change that. (Source: The Atlantic).

“Seizing the Moment: Community Colleges Collaborating to Improve Student Success.” (Higher Ed for Higher Standards). 
The programs highlighted in the report show what is possible when community colleges take action and collaborate deeply with K–12 schools to align expectations and promote college readiness for all students.

Illinois Higher Education Compact: Illinois Board of Higher Education, in its 2017 budget request, has called for foundation funding for higher education in 2017 to right the ship and stop the bleeding and equally importantly, the creation of an “Illinois Higher Education Compact.” The compact requires what President Barack Obama asked for through the creation of a partnership between Illinois’ political and higher education leaders that provides a promise of stable, adequate funding over multiple years from the state in exchange for higher education’s commitment to do the hard work necessary to increase its efficiency and effectiveness and improve student outcomes. It was good to hear the president support changes in how governing takes place, that applies to bringing the compact to reality. 

Please mark your calendars to attend the sixth annual College Changes Everything (CCE) conference. The state’s premier college access and success event. This one-day conference focuses on effective practices and showcases resources available to help with increasing college access and college completion for students in support of the state’s Goal 2025: to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. The conference will take place at the Tinley Park Convention Center in Tinley Park.