Understanding the needs of today’s student

A recent report from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, commissioned by the American Council on Education, revealed that 43 percent of students did not know why their credits did not transfer. This response from students is not surprising given what we know about the institutional permutations and intricacies of the transcript evaluation policy and practice. 

Humanities are shrinking, except at community colleges

Before the pandemic, the humanities were experiencing a period of substantial growth at community colleges but shrinkage everywhere else. And that extends to the entire world. That is the finding of a new study, released today, by the Humanities Indicators Project of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In 2018, the nation’s community colleges conferred 413,246 associate degrees in liberal arts and the humanities, the highest level on record. The number of associate degrees conferred in these disciplines increased almost every year from 1987 to 2018, rising by an average of 4.3 percent annually.

The money not everyone wants

California Community College system budget officers are at odds with faculty members and their union over what is usually a cause for celebration — an increase in state funding. Faculty members are in favor of a budget proposal by the state Legislature that includes $170 million for the hiring of 2,000 full-time faculty members, which would make the system less reliant on adjunct instructors.

For small private colleges, a mixed year in admissions

For most private colleges, (excluding the highly selective Ivies, Amherst, Williams and Swarthmore Colleges, and similar institutions) the admissions season is still going strong. Whether or not they are on the NACAC list, they are still admitting students and trying to get more students to apply. In part, this is because of changes in the NACAC rules that previously barred the recruitment of students who had already accepted an offer. But it’s primarily (they say) because of the pandemic. For most of these colleges, the class of freshmen that enrolled last fall was disappointing in its size.

Who showed up and who didn’t

The College Board used its own data and those of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center to create a sample of nearly 10 million students who represent about 80 percent of all U.S. high school graduates in the last three years. The students attended more than 22,000 U.S. high schools and 2,800 U.S. colleges, resulting in a nationally representative data set for understanding the impact of COVID-19 on college enrollment and retention among recent high school graduates. 

Colorado banned legacy admissions. But what does that really mean for students?

Colorado made news in May as the first state in the nation to ban legacy admissions at its public colleges. But few colleges in the state even consider an applicant’s family ties to a school, so what does the law really change? The answer, advocates say: perception. They hope the law especially helps people of color, as well as low-income and first-generation students see these institutions as open to them.

Bridging the workforce training gap at community colleges

A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate last week would pump federal funding into community college work-based learning programs, helping to provide students with more opportunities to further their education and the support they need to be successful. Senators Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, and Todd Young, a Republican from Indiana, reintroduced the Assisting Community Colleges in Educating Skilled Students to Careers Act — or ACCESS to Careers Act — which would create a competitive grant program for community colleges and states to focus on boosting work-based learning opportunities.