Higher Education News

Beyond High School Diplomas: Educators Aim Towards College Completion

U.S. Department of Education Blog - March 9, 2015 - 10:03am

Nationally, just 18 percent of all 9th graders complete four year degrees within 10 years. There needs to be a real sense of urgency as we move forward in creating and sustaining greater college access and completion for all students, which is why it is so important that we address this issue at the federal, state and local levels.

As we prepare students to succeed as adults, we know that most will need advanced learning beyond their high school diplomas to get good jobs. For some, that may mean completing professional certificate programs. Others will go on to earn advanced degrees. Schools and community partners need to track and support students’ completion of advanced learning beyond high school as the new aspiring standard for public education.

This was the most important message that we took away from the “On Track to College Completion” forum hosted by the U.S .Department of Education’s regional office in Chicago on Feb. 25.  

As educators from Rockford Public Schools 205, we had the chance to connect with leaders of other school districts and partner organizations from 17 communities spanning Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Led by Greg Darnieder, senior advisor for college access to Secretary Duncan, we discussed current innovations and practices for college access and completion.

This forum began with an authentic example of how Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has progressed toward that new standard. The district’s efforts over the past nine years have led to a near-doubling of its percentage of 9th graders earning a four-year college degree within 10 years of starting high school, according to research from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (CCSR). Darnieder and Aarti Dhupelia, chief officer for college and career success for CPS, discussed how the district’s progress came about, and what it means for other schools and students throughout the country.

Since 2011, RPS 205 has worked with community partners to redesign our five high schools into college and career academies that are better preparing students for college and the workforce. This effort is beginning to reap great results: More 9th graders are on track to graduate in 4 years, attendance has improved and graduation rates have increased.

The session helped us make some much needed connections. For example, RPS 205 is working with Alignment Rockford, a community partner, to develop a site-based scholarship program modeled after the Kalamazoo Promise, which funds college for Kalamazoo Public Schools graduates. This forum gave us the opportunity to meet Janice Brown, founder of the Kalamazoo Promise and get her direct insights about starting a similar initiative.

The session was also a catalyst for sharing information about effective college access and completion resources. They included data sources like the National Student Clearinghouse and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, which may be used to collect and monitor college completion rates, as well as the federal GEAR UP program, which helps low-income middle and high school students to enter and success in post-secondary education.

This is very rewarding work, but it’s not easy. We’re all experiencing some of the same challenges to prepare our students for success in the 21st century economy. Exchanges like this one are vital to leverage best practices and to collaborate to develop new strategies.

David Carson is Executive Director of College and Career Readiness for Rockford Public Schools 205 and Janice Hawkins is Principal of Guilford High School in Rockford Public Schools 205.

Categories: Higher Education News

Behind One Research University's Rise: Opportunism, Geography, and Good Fortune

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 9, 2015 - 2:55am

Want to reproduce the strategies that helped Northeastern University expand its research portfolio? Some are broadly applicable, but others are specific to the institution.

Categories: Higher Education News

An Iconoclastic Researcher Makes a Badly Needed Antibiotic Breakthrough

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 9, 2015 - 2:55am

It took Slava Epstein years to convince grant reviewers that his simple idea was worth the investment. His persistence may spur an upheaval in biomedical research.

Categories: Higher Education News

Students Are Making Demands to Spur Campus Change. What Do They Really Want?

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 9, 2015 - 2:55am

Many activists have issued long lists of reforms that they see as needed to strengthen diversity. Colleges have responded by opening discussions, and students say changes are slow.

Categories: Higher Education News

Charges of Sexual-Assault ‘Cover-Ups’ Gain New Power on the Big Screen

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 9, 2015 - 2:55am

A documentary excoriates colleges for not doing enough to protect students from "a shocking epidemic of violence."

Categories: Higher Education News

The Week

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:01pm

What you need to know about the past seven days.

Categories: Higher Education News

Science Philanthropy Alliance Names Its First President

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:01pm

Marc Kastner, a physicist and former dean of science at MIT, will lead the coalition.

Categories: Higher Education News

Connie Clery Turned Grief Into Activism, and Is Pleased by the Results

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:01pm

The mother behind the Clery Act talks with The Chronicle about the legacy of her work.

Categories: Higher Education News

Scholars Re-Examine Arab World’s ‘Facebook Revolutions’

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:01pm

Bloggers who help spur the protests of the Arab Spring were sidelined by Islamist parties and military regimes. How are social media being used today?

Categories: Higher Education News

25 Years Later, Has Clery Made Campuses Safer?

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:01pm

The law made safety a major issue for colleges, but the reports it requires offer a narrow view of the actual risks—and can’t lower those risks much at all.

Categories: Higher Education News

An Innovator Moves From Harvard to Boise State; and Other News About People

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:00pm

Gordon Jones is leaving his post as managing director of Harvard’s i-lab to be dean of a new college at the public institution in Idaho.

Categories: Higher Education News

At U. of Kansas, Social-Media Policy Leads to More Conflict

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:00pm

The angry reaction to a professor’s bitter tweet prompted the regents to try to limit employees’ online behavior. Now faculty members feel a chill.

Categories: Higher Education News

College à la carte: The 'unbundling' of higher education will allow students to earn new kinds of educational credentials.

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:00pm

Following other sectors, higher education has begun to "unbundle." Will it mean the end of the residential experience?

Categories: Higher Education News

What Adjuncts Need

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:00pm

Job security, health and retirement benefits, and offices would help a lot.

Categories: Higher Education News

One Trustee's View From the Trenches

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:00pm

To understand the challenges facing board members today, look no further than Penn State, Anthony Lubrano writes.

Categories: Higher Education News

Social-media skirmishes: More colleges are deciding how—and whether—to regulate faculty speech.

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:00pm

How can institutions protect themselves while upholding scholars’ freedom of speech?

Categories: Higher Education News

Ph.D. or Microdegree?

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:00pm

How one early adopter turned a new kind of credential into a new job.

Categories: Higher Education News

Leading Beyond the Hierarchy

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:00pm

The seven traits of a "leader in balance."

Categories: Higher Education News

Adjunct advocacy: Contingent faculty members are demanding—and getting—better working conditions.

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 8, 2015 - 10:00pm

Contingent faculty members are demanding—and getting—better working conditions.

Categories: Higher Education News

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