Higher Education

Career-minded students seek competency degrees

Career-minded adults are turning to “competency-based” degrees, reports U.S. News.  Online programs that award credits for mastery of skills and knowledge can provide a faster, cheaper route to a degree. President Barack Obama is a fan of the idea. “If you’re learning the material faster, you can finish faster,” he said in a speech last […]

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Professors on food stamps

Some adjunct professors make less than minimum wage, reports Matt Saccaro in Salon. Instructors with PhDs are earning less than fast-food workers, said Miranda Merklein, an adjunct at a Santa Fe community college. “If it’s a three credit course, you’re paid for your time in the classroom only,” said Merklein. “So everything else you do […]

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Vo-tech grads head to college

Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical senior Jonathan Berry fires up an oscilloscope in the electronic engineering shop. Berry will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute. (Photo: George Rizer for the Boston Globe) Massachusetts’ well-regarded vocational schools are sending more graduates to college, not to the workforce, reports the Boston Globe. Once viewed as a place for student slackers with […]

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U.S. lags in vocational credentials

Americans earn fewer vocational degrees than our competitors overseas, notes Kyla Calvert on PBS NewsHour. That’s the key to why the U.S. isn’t first in the world in college degrees. “Yes, we lag our peers in helping adult students develop skills that are valued today and tomorrow in the market place,” responds U.S. Undersecretary of […]

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Cal State fears tidal wave of transfers

California State University could stop admitting first-year students and become a transfer-only institution, said Board of Trustees Chairman Lou Monville, reports the Los Angeles Times. High demand from community college transfers and limited funding could change the mission of the 23-campus system, he said in a discussion of the preliminary budget for 2015-16. . . […]

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Colleges get break on default penalties

Only 21 colleges with high default rates — 20 for-profits and one public adult education program — are set to lose access to student aid this year. Many more were at risk. At the last minute, the U.S. Department of Education decided to omit some defaulted loans when calculating default rates.  The rate is based […]

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Ratings may reward colleges for selectivity

Colleges should be rewarding for educating students, not for selecting only the best, said Andrew P. Kelly, who directs the American Enterprise Institute’s Center on Higher Education Reform, at hearings on the president’s proposed college ratings system. Unfortunately, our ability to measure the “value-added” by a college program is almost nonexistent, and the measures that […]

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Adjunct faculty consider unionization

Andrew Nelson earns $22,000 a year — with no benefits — teaching three courses per semester at East Central College near St. Louis and Lindenwood University, reports AP. He drives as much as 100 miles a day and works 50 hours a week during the nine-month school year. Tired of low wages and no job security, adjunct faculty […]

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Relentless mentoring keeps students ‘On Point’

On Point for College is helping New Yorkers get into college, reports the Syracuse Post-Standard. A personal touch and “relentless” mentoring has helped thousands of first-generation students. It all started, Ginny Donohue says, when a friend of her daughter sought advice on how to get into college. He was chronically homeless, living from couch to couch. She […]

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College doesn’t pay for everyone

 This chart explains why college isn’t for everyone, writes Chris Matthews on Forbes. “The bottom quarter of earners with a college degree don’t make more money than the average high school graduate.” Over the past 40 years, the cost of a degree has increased 12-fold, while graduates’ inflation-adjusted earnings have stayed the same. It’s possible those […]

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