Higher Education News

Do Your Students Have Criminal Records? Is It Even Fair to Ask?

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 1, 2015 - 10:01pm

Most institutions do inquire, a step that critics see as discouraging ex-convicts who could benefit greatly from a college education.

Categories: Higher Education News

In Football, Stigma of Concussion Creates Incentives to Hide It

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 1, 2015 - 10:01pm

Even as more concussions are reported to the NCAA, colleges have become cautious about what they say publicly.

Categories: Higher Education News

In New York, a Prison Record Is a Barrier to College

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 1, 2015 - 10:01pm

College applicants who admit past convictions meet tacit barriers to educational opportunity.

Categories: Higher Education News

With Survival at Stake, Small Colleges Reach for Lifelines

Chronicle of Higher Education - March 1, 2015 - 10:00pm

In the recession’s aftermath, the institutions are adapting to a new market.

Categories: Higher Education News

Visit to Virginia Elementary School Underscores Commitment to Early Ed

U.S. Department of Education Blog - February 27, 2015 - 2:49pm

Secretary Duncan walks and talks to a student at Patrick Henry Elementary School in Alexandria, VA. (Paul Wood/U.S. Department of Education)

Secretary Arne Duncan and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Learning Libby Doggett stopped at Patrick Henry Elementary School in Alexandria, VA., Wednesday to talk about the importance of early education with a group of parents, teachers, local administrators and community leaders. The school runs a PreK-5 program and has eight preschool classes.  Teachers at the event didn’t hide their enthusiasm for the benefits that preschool brings to their classroom.

“The majority of my students this year have attended preschool. And I have not had a classroom like this. Ever,” said Lori Shabazz,  Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teaching Award winner in 2014 and kindergarten teacher at the school. “I’ve been teaching kindergarten for 19 years.”

In years past, she had to devote most of her time to remediating students who weren’t ready for kindergarten. Students came to her class unprepared both academically and socially—up to 86% of them failed assessments. But this school year has been different. For the first time ever, she has been able to dedicate most of her class time to a kindergarten appropriate curriculum. And the results have been remarkable.

“Each kindergarten teacher should get this experience. That has a class that’s ready for kindergarten,” she said.

Duncan used the opportunity to not only learn more about how the early learning program has transformed the school culture, but also to talk about the administration’s vision for changing the education landscape in the country through ESEA reauthorization. A critical component of the plan includes expanding early learning opportunities for children nationwide—especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We as a nation can take the next step… And work together to make sure every child enters kindergarten ready to be successful. And our kindergarten teachers around the nation will tell us when that happens, amazing things happen in classrooms,” he said.

Patrick Kerr is a member of the Communications Development division in the Office of Communications and Outreach

Categories: Higher Education News

At Conservative Confab, Colleges and Activist Groups Seek to Connect With Students

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 27, 2015 - 2:55am

"People already know what they want to do," said one official at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "We’re going to teach you how to make it happen."

Categories: Higher Education News

Senate’s Revamped Sexual-Assault Bill Puts More Pressure on Colleges

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 27, 2015 - 2:55am

Building on legislation that never came to a vote last year, the new bill would require colleges to do more to protect victims and the due-process rights of all parties.

Categories: Higher Education News

Big-Data Project on 1918 Flu Reflects Key Role of Humanists

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 27, 2015 - 2:55am

Humanities scholars and computer scientists team up on a study of a century-old pandemic, with echoes of current outbreaks.

Categories: Higher Education News

The Ever-Growing World of College Rankings

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 27, 2015 - 2:55am

New entrants in the ratings game say they focus on how students fare after college, rather than on the quality of those who enroll.

Categories: Higher Education News

Make Your Own College Rankings

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 27, 2015 - 2:45am

Try your hand at The Chronicle's College Rankings Mash-Up Machine.

Categories: Higher Education News

New Guidance to Help Protect Student Privacy in Educational Sites and Apps

U.S. Department of Education Blog - February 26, 2015 - 10:27am

When signing up for a new technology, digital service, or app, there’s a simple little check box near the end that most of us don’t give much thought. But for schools and districts, agreeing to a terms of service agreement could have big implications for student privacy.

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Education released model terms of service guidance to help schools identify which online educational services and apps have strong privacy and data security policies to protect our students.

Some terms of service agreements are a tough read, even for lawyers, so the hope is that our new guidance will help school officials decide what’s right for their school and students.

Today’s guidance helps officials look for provisions that would allow the service or company to market to students or parents, provisions on how data is collected, used, shared, transferred, and destroyed, and it also guides schools on making sure they’re satisfying parental access requirements, as well as proper security controls.

Read the entire guidance here, and check out the training video below:

Learn more about student privacy by visiting the Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center.

Categories: Higher Education News

Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness for America’s Students and Families

U.S. Department of Education Blog - February 26, 2015 - 9:17am

In a recent video, the New York City Rescue Mission proved just how invisible America’s homeless are. Have the Homeless Become Invisible? illustrates the challenge. In this social experiment several people came face to face with their relatives and loved ones dressed as homeless persons on the streets of Soho. Not one individual recognized his or her loved ones.

Imagine walking past your brother or sister, homeless and on the streets, and not knowing them. Most Americans don’t want to believe it but homelessness in our country is tragically pervasive. And according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 41% of the homeless population is comprised of families with children. is comprised of families with children. The National Center on Family Homelessness estimates that more than 2.5 million children experience homelessness each year.

But, there’s good news: communities aren’t standing idly by as homeless students and their families struggle. Recent briefs issued by the National Center for Homeless Education demonstrate that collaborations between housing authorities and school districts can help to break the cycle of homeless for families and children.

Schools are probably a family’s most trusted institution and when local housing agencies and foundations enter into partnership with them, they can reach families earlier in their housing crisis. These collaborations also provide school leaders opportunities to deal more effectively with the academic and social needs of the students

A pilot program at McCarver Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington is an example of a partnership between the school, the local housing authority, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and several other local agencies. This project brought fifty families to the school, attending conferences, volunteering, and working with caseworkers. In return, these families received vouchers to help cover the cost of housing.

During the course of the program, parents have made considerable progress toward financial stability, family incomes have almost doubled, and students have made gains in educational performance. Between the first and second years, the percent of students in the program reading at grade level nearly doubled and remained on par with all McCarver students in year three.

Two other demonstration projects have entered into similar collaborations. Working closely with Boulder Valley School District and the St. Vrain Valley School District, the Boulder County Housing Authority used funds received from a HOME grant to identify families at risk of becoming homeless to set financial and educational goals. Families in the program signed an agreement to allow case managers to work with them to support their children’s academic success. Case managers participate in various school meetings, modeling appropriate behavior for the parents and encouraging their involvement in their children’s schools. This unique support system has resulted in increased financial self-sufficiency and additional academic support, including free and low cost computers and Internet access.

In December 2014, Hamilton Family Center entered into a partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District to address family homelessness in the school system. When a teacher, counselor, social worker, or nurse learns that a family is in crisis, they call the Family Center hotline. Within three business days, staff arrive at the school and work with the family to assist with finding housing.

With funding from Google and other donors, the Hamilton Family Center is able to serve approximately 10 families a month. Through this new partnership, teams work together on issues of educational performance, truancy, and emotional development with homeless or at-risk students.

According to Secretary Duncan, “Schools, with additional support from local community organizations and governments and private foundations, are a critical link to help stabilize the family by reducing mobility, supporting enrollment and attendance, providing homework support, and improving student achievement.”

All families, especially those living in unstable or inadequate housing and high poverty, deserve efficient and integrated resources to help them achieve economic stability and educational success.

Programs like the ones in Tacoma, Boulder, and San Francisco demonstrate that homeless families don’t need to remain invisible. The outlook for these families with children can improve dramatically when the barriers that keep them hidden are removed.

Elizabeth Williamson is an Education Program Specialist in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Communications and Outreach in Philadelphia, PA.

Categories: Higher Education News

A Distinction Washington U. Wants to Lose: Least Economically Diverse

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 26, 2015 - 2:56am

The St. Louis institution ranks well below its peers in admitting Pell-eligible students.

Categories: Higher Education News

For Better or Worse, Universities Make Greater Use of Smaller Lab Animals

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 26, 2015 - 2:55am

Data collected by the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals suggest that animal use in university labs rose nearly 73 percent from 1997 to 2012.

Categories: Higher Education News

Opening Up Admissions at a Rich Private College is Holden Thorp’s Latest Challenge

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 26, 2015 - 2:55am

Once the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s chancellor, Mr. Thorp is trying to raise admission of low-income students at Washington University in St. Louis.

Categories: Higher Education News

Program's Extra Support for Community-College Students Is Paying Off

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 26, 2015 - 2:53am

The City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs sharply increased graduation rates of students who needed remedial classes, a new study finds.

Categories: Higher Education News

Why a Branch Campus Failed

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 25, 2015 - 12:10pm

Britain's University College London is closing its facility in Australia. The closure is a reminder of the financial hurdles and other challenges such overseas ventures face. 

Categories: Higher Education News

A Climate Crusader Melts, Exposing a Profitable Link to Harvard’s Name

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 25, 2015 - 2:57am

Revelations about Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon raise questions about the use of his tenuous tie with the university.

Categories: Higher Education News

Today Is ‘National Adjunct Walkout Day.’ Will It Make a Difference?

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 25, 2015 - 2:57am

An academic-labor historian considers whether the day’s actions will strengthen adjuncts’ hopes for improving their working conditions.

Categories: Higher Education News

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