Higher Education News

Do Fraternities Have a Place on the Modern Campus?

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 2, 2015 - 11:05pm

They were born in an era when college was the domain of well-off white men. Now pressure for reform may be greater than ever.

Categories: Higher Education News

The Mystery of a Pledge’s Death Exposes Fraternities’ Fatal Flaws

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 2, 2015 - 11:05pm

The Clemson sophomore died in a plunge from a bridge, but what put him in danger may have been toxic forces that are inherent in Greek groups' allure.

Categories: Higher Education News

New Leaders Bring Marketing Chops to University Presses

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 2, 2015 - 10:01pm

Most directors used to come from the editorial ranks. No longer, as survive-and-thrive skills are ever more crucial.

Categories: Higher Education News

What I’m Reading: 'In Code' and 'Fading Hearts on the River'

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 2, 2015 - 10:01pm

Samuel Gorovitz, a philosophy professor at Syracuse University, is rereading two books with insights into how we see the world, how the past shapes us, and how we learn from both ancestors and descendants.

Categories: Higher Education News

Suicide and Race

U.S. Department of Education Blog - July 31, 2015 - 9:05am

This post originally appeared on the SAMHSA blog.

In 2013, there were more than 41,000 deaths as a result of suicide in the U.S.  Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death, claiming more lives each year than death due to motor vehicle crashes. Especially alarming, it is the second leading cause of death for young people age 10 to 24.

Suicide rates vary considerably within different population subgroups and are affected by factors such as socioeconomic status, employment, occupation, sexual orientation, and gender identity. For example, the rates of suicide were almost four times higher for men than for women and were highest among Whites. In 2013, suicide rates were 11.7 per 100,000 for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 6.0 per 100,000 for Asians/Pacific Islanders, 5.3 per 100,000 for Hispanics, and 5.4 per 100,000 for African Americans.

However, racial and ethnic disparities can be deceptive.

In July of this year, JAMA Pediatrics published a research paper analyzing childhood suicide trends from 1993 to 2012. One critical issue the authors found was that while school-aged suicide trends have stayed constant, trends on a racial level have changed substantially. In fact, the stable overall suicide rate has “obscured a significant increase in suicide incidence in black children.”

Obviously, this finding is concerning on many levels. However, more research is needed to understand the risk and protective factors for African American children and youth and to see if they are experiencing more exposure to violence, traumatic stress, and/or aggressive school discipline. Another example where more research is needed includes studies on earlier puberty in African American children to determine whether it is a risk for depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. Also, more knowledge is needed from the research lens to determine if there is sufficient evidence that religiosity and social support are in fact protective factors for this population or if the protective factors have changed over time.

It is essential to understand how culture and identity impact development and health.  The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans visits communities around the country to engage with students, families, educators and other partners to better understand how we can work collectively to support African American students.  Toxic stress in urban communities as well as stressors such as micro aggressions in affluent ones are regularly raised as issues by students and the caring adults who support them. According to The National Institutes of Health, one in three African Americans who need mental health care receive it.  To support President Obama’s goal of restoring the country to its role as the global leader in education, and to improve educational outcomes for African Americans of all ages, we must address mental health concerns.

Learning the answers to these and other questions will help us address this troubling trend. Suicide is a serious and preventable public health problem in the United States. SAMHSA is working with our partners across the country on suicide prevention, but we know that we cannot do this work alone and need the help of educators, parents, brothers, sisters, pastors, and many others. Please consider joining the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Also know the signs of suicidal behavior and seek help by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline if you or someone you know is thinking about attempting suicide. If you don’t know where to find help, SAMHSA can help you find local resources for behavioral health through the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator and our toll free helpline 1-800-662-HELP(4357). If you are part of the healthcare and social services workforce, download our newest suicide prevention app Suicide Safe. Together we must address and work to decrease and eliminate suicide in all populations.

Find more information on suicide prevention

Jorielle R. Brown, Ph.D.is Director of the Division of Systems Development at the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and David J. Johns is the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Categories: Higher Education News

What Happened After One College Tried to Make Greek Life Go Coed

Chronicle of Higher Education - July 31, 2015 - 2:59am

Three years ago, Connecticut’s Trinity College told its fraternities and sororities to phase out gender exclusivity by 2016. So far, little has changed.

Categories: Higher Education News

Pell Grants for Prisoners? A Limited Program Sparks Hope for Broader Change

Chronicle of Higher Education - July 31, 2015 - 2:55am

The Obama administration gives programs that work with student inmates hope for growth — and solid funding.

Categories: Higher Education News

3 Things to Know About Higher Education in Prisons

Chronicle of Higher Education - July 31, 2015 - 2:55am

There’s still much to learn, both about how widespread access to education is and about how effective it is in preventing recidivism.

Categories: Higher Education News

In Sign of the Times for Teaching, More Colleges Set Up Video-Recording Studios

Chronicle of Higher Education - July 31, 2015 - 2:55am

Facilities once reserved for film courses or student journalists are now being built to support experiments in online and hybrid teaching across the curriculum.

Categories: Higher Education News

Shooting Tests Ties Between a University and Its City

Chronicle of Higher Education - July 30, 2015 - 2:57am

The crisis in Cincinnati highlights the tensions of being an ambitious institution in an economically depressed area.

Categories: Higher Education News

3 Themes From a Senate Hearing on Campus Sexual Assault

Chronicle of Higher Education - July 30, 2015 - 2:55am

Lawmakers focused on a bill's proposals regarding confidential advisers for victims, campus agreements with the police, and due-process rights for accused students.

Categories: Higher Education News

Even Though Colleges Love to Hate Blackboard, It Might Sell for $3 Billion

Chronicle of Higher Education - July 30, 2015 - 2:55am

The company is facing tougher competition, but it still could command a rich price because of a major retooling of its products and strong investor interest.

Categories: Higher Education News

Librarians Leap to the Aid of Researchers Whose Funding Will Soon Depend on Open Access

Chronicle of Higher Education - July 30, 2015 - 2:55am

Federal agencies are putting new rules into effect this fall, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.

Categories: Higher Education News

Barbershops Cutting Into the Achievement Gap

U.S. Department of Education Blog - July 29, 2015 - 9:12am

On June 29, staff from the Department listened and learned with a group of over twenty barbershop owners from around the country who were in Washington, D.C. for a hair battle.

As we celebrate, engage and Read Where You Are today, you might see tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts already on “newsfeeds” with great photos of reading in barbershops. What you might not know, and I am proud to share, is how this all began – when the Department of Education starting chatting with barbers about how we can use all of our tools, scissors included, to cut the achievement gap. At a meeting earlier this year about the importance of summer literacy, a colleague smartly mentioned a need to engage everyone in the community. Our brainstorming left us with a long list, and a colleague specifically mentioned barbershops knowing the important role they play in communities across our country, and especially in communities of color. I immediately thought of a friend, who also happens to be a barbershop owner from Washington Heights in New York City who has made it his priority to give back to his clients, their families and the larger community. As we often do in meetings, I took my “next steps” and reached out to my friend, excited about what could be in store. My work at ED is rooted in who I am, as a student, mentor, tutor, Posse Scholar and American raised in a working class neighborhood in Brooklyn. Having grown up around beauty salons and barbershops, I know what happens there and what’s been happening since has the potential to make a very big difference. In fact, my mother is a hair stylist and has worked in the field for decades.

On June 29, thanks to some truly remarkable small-business barbershop owners, staff from the Department listened and learned with a group of over twenty barbershop owners from around the country who happened to be in Washington, D.C. for an industry event, a hair battle. Our conversation was about how to understand how barbershops can do more to help the students and kids we all care about, how barbers as individuals could be empowered, and how barbers can make a difference.

The two hour meeting was one of the most powerful meetings in my career. These barbers walked us through all that they are doing both formally and informally on a daily basis to change the lives of young people living in their communities – offering free haircuts for good grades, coaching sports teams, mentoring and employing at-risk and disconnected youth, teaching classes in correctional facilities, hosting holiday parties, etc. They are acutely aware of the powerful and influential role they play in their communities, which are often low-income and communities of color.

Like the ED staff in the room, the barbershop owners were there to learn too. They needed to know key statistics, data points and free resources that they could share with their clients while they had them in their seats to drive home the importance of reading. They wanted to be introduced to the Administration’s Place-based work, and the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force efforts, so they had an idea of the federal infrastructure that existed in their communities already. They wanted to learn from other groups and communities to better understand where they might fit in.

One month later, I am in awe of how quickly an idea, a conversation and a few phone calls have become a truly inspired effort of barbershop owners committed to make a difference. They are joining our #readwhereyouare Day of Action and were some of the first to tweet and Instagram. I have spent most of my career behind the scenes, working on strategic partnerships, working predominately with the corporate and philanthropic sectors. Today, as these barbershop owners create more awareness and helping kids read as you read this blog post, I can say with certainty that what is ahead of us is going to be big and I remain inspired, excited, and eager to see how these men are going to change lives.

Danielle Goonan is a Special Assistant working on strategic partnerships in the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education

Categories: Higher Education News

Fears of Commitment Dash Boston’s Dream of a Campus-Based Olympics

Chronicle of Higher Education - July 29, 2015 - 2:59am

Many university leaders saw the city's Olympic bid as a potential fund-raising boon. But few felt comfortable showing public support for the effort.

Categories: Higher Education News

Cincinnati Shooting Tests the University’s Twitter-Savvy Chief

Chronicle of Higher Education - July 29, 2015 - 2:55am

Few college leaders are as active on social media as Santa Ono, who has stepped carefully online since a campus police officer killed an unarmed man.

Categories: Higher Education News

Why Cornell Tech Wants to Import Israeli-Style Entrepreneurship

Chronicle of Higher Education - July 29, 2015 - 2:55am

The new applied-science campus in Manhattan hopes to channel the bold start-up ethos of its partner, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

Categories: Higher Education News

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