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

‘Anemic’ State Funding Growth  Nationally, state support for higher education increased 1.6 percent from 2017 to 2018, its slowest growth in five years.

2018 Illinois 60 BY 25 Network Conference: Scaling for Impact Illinois students should be graduating high school ready with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in life after high school—college and career. Today all high school graduates need some postsecondary education and/or training if they are to have options and opportunities in the job market. The Illinois 60 by 2025 Network is an ever-emerging network of communities in Illinois that are committed to the goal of ensuring that 60% of all adults have a college or career credential by 2025.

State Spending on Higher Education Has Inched Upward. But Most Public Colleges Can’t Celebrate  State appropriations for higher education increased nominally over the last year, according to an annual survey. But the small rise and wide variations across the nation underscore why many public colleges still have reason to fret about their states’ economies.

One-Third of Nation’s Best High School Students Don’t Finish College  The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce estimated that one-third of nation’s top-performing high school students do not obtain a college degree, though nearly all of these students attempt college. However, top-scoring students tend to graduate at a rate of more than 80% when attending a selective institution, according to the center. (Education Dive)

Unprepared and Confused  A new study says students don’t feel confident they can find a job or succeed when they land one. (Inside Higher Ed)

Is Education the Most Effective Health Care?  Americans spend $5,000 more per year on medical care than people in other rich countries, yet live shorter and less healthy lives. One economist argues that the most cost-effective dollar in health is the one spent on education. (Politico)

New Effort to Reform College Admissions  A think tank and a legal organization, the Learning Policy Institute and EducationCounsel, are starting a new effort to promote the use of rigorous high school assessments in college admissions decisions. (Inside Higher Ed)

Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce recent report    should be a call to action for higher education leaders. It shows that among the 1.5 million high performing high school graduates (SATs above 1000) who attend college 500,000 of those enrollees never obtain a degree. Sort of throws the “they are not prepared” excuse out the window. If colleges can get those students to graduation over 10 years (5 million students) it would be a $400 billion dollar boost to the economy. The report makes some suggestions on how to do that.

Stackable credentials are a hot topic in higher education. However a recent study by the respected CCRC  at Columbia shows that while certificates and degrees clearly have labor market value the picture is much less clear for stackable credentials.

Outmigration  This infographic shows Illinois’ large college student migration problem, which has been termed a major brain drain for the state.

New Bid to Overhaul College Admissions  High schools are adopting new, sophisticated assessments. Educators see in these projects a way to change college admissions as well, yielding more diverse classes. (Inside Higher Ed)

The Key Higher Ed Issues for States in 2018  For the first time since the American Association of State Colleges and Universities started tracking the top state concerns impacting higher education 11 years ago, changes to federal policy tops the list. (Education Dive)

Rural Recruiting Problems  A recent accreditation policy has many colleges — particularly in rural areas — struggling to find qualified instructors to teach popular dual-credit courses for high school students. (Inside Higher Ed)

Pew Survey Highlights Need for K-12, University Partnerships in STEM Promotion  Pew reports only about a third of workers over the age of 25 have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field; but while only 13% of the U.S. workforce was employed in a STEM job in 2016, 40% of non-STEM workers said they were interested in the field at some point. (Education Dive)

2018 College Changes Everything Conference®  Call for Proposals  The Conference Planning Committee is making a call for interest session proposals for the 2018 conference. Help make this conference a valuable professional development experience by sharing with colleagues your best practices, perspectives, and knowledge.  Proposals are due by March 9, 2018.

Why Are Women Still Choosing the Lowest-Paying Jobs?   The vocational programs that tend to attract females also lead to the least-lucrative professions. That’s hurting them—and the economy. (Atlantic)

Early-Childhood Program Linked to College Success  Inner-city children who participated in an intensive childhood education program in Chicago from preschool to third grade were more likely to get a college degree than their peers who did not, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health.

Gov. Bill Haslam touts education gains, says Drive to 55 two years ahead of pace Gov. Bill Haslam plans to seal his legacy on education through his final budget, boosting teacher pay and placing more money into higher education.  Meanwhile, the governor in his final State of the State address said that Tennessee’s efforts to get more adults earning college degrees is paying off.

Seeking Feedback on School Quality/Student Success Indicators  Stakeholder groups shared their recommendations during the State Board meeting in January for how the state should measure school quality and student success in the new balanced accountability system. ISBE is requesting feedback on the recommendations provided for the P-2, Elementary-Middle Grade, and the College and Career Readiness indicators. Please submit feedback to no later than Feb. 16.

IBHE: There is a Need for Bold Changes to the Illinois’ Higher Education System  Illinois Board of Higher Education Leaders discuss how the organization is poised to catalyze bold changes this year. (State Journal-Register)

How Students Use Federal, State and Institutional Aid to Pay for College: A Primer for State Policymakers  This new primer explores the main sources of support — including federal grants, state assistance programs, loans and institutional aid — that are available to students today. In addition to this national overview, when clicked, each state on the map will show a one-page profile capturing state-specific financial aid information across a variety of common metrics.

A.A. Degrees and the Labor Market  While 670,000 students earn two-year degrees from community colleges each year, just 32,000 job postings in 2016 specifically asked for an associate of arts degree, according to a new report from the American Enterprise Institute. (Inside Higher Ed)

The College Enrollment and Completion Patters of Gateways Credential Holders – Executive Summary Findings from the study will help to expand the field’s understanding of current education and professional development pathways for early childhood educators, which will help target efforts to increase the number of educators who receive Gateways Credentials from postsecondary institutions. Ultimately, this work will support ongoing efforts to align and increase the quality of the state of Illinois’ comprehensive early childhood education system beyond the life of the grant.

NM May Become the First State in the Nation to Make Students Apply for College  Students in New Mexico would have to apply to a college or commit to some other post-graduation plan in order to graduate from high school, under a bill working its way through the state’s legislature. If it became law, New Mexico would be the first state in the nation to require its students to spell out what they’re doing after high school. (CNN)

Moody’s: Lackluster State Support Will Strain Public University Budgets  In a note to investors, the credit rating agency said marginal increases in state funding are a “credit negative” for public colleges and universities, meaning the limited financial support could be a factor in future ratings. (Washington Post)