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

Indiana-The Free Certificate Movement  Indiana projects that by 2025 the state will have about one million job openings due to retirements and new positions. But there are approximately 1.4 million working-age Hoosiers with a high school education or less. (Inside Higher Ed, March 24)

Illinois Community Colleges Sign Agreement Expanding Opportunities in Career and Tech Education  The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) recently announced that all 39 community college districts across the state have signed on to participate in the Comprehensive Agreement Regarding the Expansion of Educational Resources (CAREER Agreement). This agreement allows community colleges to share the career and technical education (CTE) programs of each institution and provide students with access to programs that might otherwise be unavailable. (eNews Park Forest)

States Step Up With College Affordability, As Federal Policy Moves to Back Burner  For now, college affordability is taking a backseat to other issues demanding attention from the federal government. But across the country, state governors and legislatures are stepping up to find ways to bring college into reach for more students and families.

Legislation reintroduced to Make College More Affordable & Accessible   U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Boozman (R-AR) and Al Franken (D-MN), and U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Tom Reed (R-NY) today announced they are reintroducing bipartisan, bicameral legislation to help make college more affordable and accessible by expanding opportunities for high school students to earn college credit. The Making Education Affordable and Accessible Act (MEAA) would improve access to higher education by providing grants to eligible institutions of higher learning to create dual and concurrent enrollment and early/middle college programs that allow high school students to earn college credits before their high school graduation.

Rethinking return on education investment  Remember when big banks used to offer high-interest but well-branded credit cards to college students? The “10 CDs for a penny” scam? Or worse, student loans marketed to a sophomore mulling a spring break trip who wound up saddled with decades of debt?