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Students on the autism spectrum are often as smart as their peers — so why do so few go to college?

The Hechinger Reports – Meredith Kolodner

“Richard was one of the brightest kids in his high school class. His parents figured college was the next step, but that dream was nearly cut short in his first semester. Miscommunication with a professor resulted in an argument over handing in a paper he wasn’t finished with. Richard stormed in and out of the classroom several times, trying to retrieve the paper. The incident left the professor feeling afraid, some students in the room shouting at Richard and college administrators unsure whether to bar him from classes. Richard is on the autism spectrum. There are ways to manage intense reactions such as his, but — like most people — neither the professor nor the students in that class knew anything about them.”(more)

Not All STEM is Equal

The Huffington Post – Jim Conwell

“As engineering and other STEM degrees become more fashionable due to the benefits they provide – good jobs and starting salaries – more colleges and universities find themselves developing programs to serve this need. The reason is simple economics – students want to leave college with jobs, and STEM majors—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—continue to be in demand. Colleges want to build pipelines of students. Students, however, shouldn’t be misled. Not all STEM is equal…There is a difference between a STEM curriculum and a college that “now offers an engineering degree.” So what tend to be the differences?”(more)

Why International Students Benefit from Going to College in America

Forbes – Daniel R. Porterfield

““Education is all a matter of building bridges,” said the novelist Ralph Ellison. As the president of Franklin & Marshall College (F&M), I see such construction happening every day. More than one-third of our current first-year class comes from at least 1,000 miles away—and 14 percent of our entire student body is made up of international students, hailing from 55 countries. Such international reach reflects the increasingly global character of today’s American campuses…philosopher Martha Nussbaum believes we must cultivate in undergraduates capabilities like “the ability to assess historical evidence, to use and think critically about economic principles, to assess accounts of social justice, to speak a foreign language, to appreciate the complexities of the major world religions.” These are characteristic values of American colleges and universities—qualities of education that the international community is increasingly coming to see as essential for our interdependent multicultural world…it also benefits American students to attend colleges with global student bodies. Again and again, U.S.-born students describe the transformational value of learning with and from peers from around the world…Everyone wins when tomorrow’s global leaders spend their formative years learning intensively, sharing cultures, solving problems and building bridges, together.”(more)

Here are the five critical skills every new college graduate should have

The Washington Post – Jeffrey J. Selingo

“Last week, my new book, There Is Life After College, was released by HarperCollins and I’ve been asked several times since then by students, parents, employers, and others about the skills every new college graduate needs to succeed in today’s competitive and ever-changing job market. Here are five critical skills every new college graduate should have:.”(more)

Rate of increase in degree-holders continues to lag behind national goal

The Hechinger Report – Jon Marcus

“The rate by which Americans are earning two-and-four year degrees continues to lag stubbornly behind what’s needed to meet national goals, and declining college and university enrollments threaten to make things worse, according to a new report…Why it matters: The country is behind schedule in its goal of increasing the proportion of people with degrees to 60 percent by 2025…increasing the percentage of degree-holders is essential for the nation to compete.”(more)

Rate of increase in degree-holders continues to lag behind national goal

The Hechinger Report – Jon Marcus

“The rate by which Americans are earning two-and-four year degrees continues to lag stubbornly behind what’s needed to meet national goals, and declining college and university enrollments threaten to make things worse, according to a new report. But a change in the way the figure is being calculated has caused a one-time leap in in the percentage of adults considered to have higher educations. The proportion of people with two- or four-year degrees eked up slightly, from 40 percent in 2013 to 40.4 percent in 2014, the most recent period available, the Lumina Foundation reported. That’s compared to about 38 percent in 2008, when a coalition of policymakers set a goal of reaching 60 percent by 2025.”(more)