Mapping out a ‘Credential As You Go’ movement For higher education

A new initiative called “Credential As You Go” aims to shift this status quo by making it easier for students and workers to earn recognition for their learning—in increments smaller than the colossal college degree. Its goals include creating a national credentialing system designed around what the journey through higher education and job training actually looks like for many people: intermittent, nonlinear and unpredictable.

Partnership aims to address teaching shortages within South Carolina

In an effort to address the dearth of teachers in the rural schools districts across South Carolina, the University of South Carolina (UofSC) College of Education held discussions over the last few years with the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), a non-profit, around ways to address the crisis. At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, around 700 teaching and service positions remained vacant within the state of South Carolina. Between the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school year, 6,000 teachers did not return, according to the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA).

Redefining ‘Value’ in higher education

Gates Foundation issues report calling for a new definition of value, and for clear ways for students to identify it. The emphasis is on promoting economic mobility for all. The 115-page report being released this month is consistent with those goals. It calls for the release of more information to help students make better choices about where to go to college, eliminating “completion gaps” and “removing affordability as an impediment to postsecondary value.”

The cost of doing nothing

Georgetown University researchers estimate in a new report that the United States loses billions of dollars annually because of inequities in higher education. The report, conducted in partnership with the Postsecondary Value Commission, an initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and managed by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, found that it would take $3.97 trillion to close racial and socioeconomic gaps in college degree completion in the country. But after that initial investment, the United States would gain $956 billion per year in increased in tax revenues and GDP and cost savings on social assistance programs.

REL Report: Predictors of college readiness and early college success on Guam

Education stakeholders on Guåhan (Guam) are concerned that many students may be underprepared for college when they graduate from high school. A new REL Pacific study examined predictors of college readiness and early college success among students who graduated from Guam public high schools and enrolled at Kulehon Kumunidåt Guåhan (Guam Community College) or Unibetsedåt Guåhan (University of Guam) between 2012 and 2015.
Key findings include:
• About 23 percent of students demonstrated college readiness and early college success by meeting all three indicators examined in the study. For individual indicators, 30 percent of students enrolled in only credit-bearing math and English courses during their first year of college, 43 percent earned all credits attempted during their first semester of college, and 74 percent persisted to a second year of college.
• Students with higher high school grade point averages were more likely to meet all three indicators and each individual indicator.
• Students who completed a high-level math course during high school were more likely to meet all three indicators and two individual indicators: enrolling in only credit-bearing math and English courses and earning all credits attempted.
The findings suggest that high school grade point average and completion of a high-level high school math course could be two ways to assess college readiness at high school graduation. Examining differences in academic preparation practices across high schools could inform efforts to ensure that students are prepared for college when they graduate from high school.

The DEI pathway to promotion

Colleges and universities say they value diversity, equity and inclusion, but the faculty members doing this work are seldom recognized for it in any career-advancing way. That’s about to change at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The Faculty Council there just overwhelmingly approved a new path to tenure and promotion centered on DEI work.

Proposal to drop entrance exam requirements at public universities advances in Illinois legislature

Big changes could be coming to admissions at public universities in Illinois after two expansive bills cleared the state Senate Higher Education Committee in recent days. The two pieces of legislation aim to make a degree more accessible: The first would allow residents to apply to any of the state’s 12 public universities without submitting SAT or ACT scores, while the other would guarantee well-performing community college students a spot at the University of Illinois.

Redesigning college admission and financial aid through a racial equity lens

The National Association for College Admission Counseling has created a commission to reimagine admissions through a racial equity lens that will release three reports by this summer: a guide for colleges centered on racial/ethnic inclusion, a related guide for postsecondary institutional leaders, and recommendations for federal and state policy makers for an equity-based college transition.

How colleges can ensure this year’s high school graduates aren’t left behind

Nationwide, the community college sector saw a 21% decline in first-time students this past fall. Preliminary data shows big decreases among students from low-income and diverse high schools like Riverside, where 65% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch. Some would-be first-year students stayed home out of fear they’d contract the virus or spread it to vulnerable family members. Others stuck around to support siblings with online learning. And some chose to work after a parent was furloughed or had their hours cut.