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The Top 10 Higher Education Issues We All Agree On

Forbes – Ama Nyamekye

“It’s easy to see how extreme partisanship could extend beyond for-profit colleges into core higher education. Raucous debates about immigration and freedom of speech are highly relevant to colleges and universities. So as we witness today’s inauguration of President Trump, it’s important to recognize that the many challenges and opportunities facing higher education lend themselves to bipartisan consensus – perhaps more than any other area of public policy. Because areas of agreement in higher education far exceed areas of disagreement, both sides of the aisle ought to be able to support a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act that will materially improve outcomes – particularly for the nearly half of working adults (and especially young adults) who feel that no matter what they do, they’re unable to get ahead and, in fact, are falling behind, and whom traditional colleges and universities are not adequately serving. One area of agreement is that rankings are far too important in setting direction for America’s colleges and universities. To draw attention to this fact (and, cravenly, to draw rankings-obsessed readers), what follows is a ranking of what we all agree on as President Trump takes office.”(more)

The Higher Ed Learning Revolution: Tracking Each Student’s Every Move

NPR – Eric Westervelt

“On campuses today almost every educational interaction leaves digital traces. Assignments and feedback are given through online portals; debates and discussions happen via learning management systems as well as in classrooms, cafes and dorm rooms. Those and other digital crumbs give technologists the opportunities to examine the processes, practices and goals of higher education in ways that were largely impossible a decade or so ago. We’ve reported here and here on Stanford physics Noble Laureate Carl Wieman’s “active learning” revolution.”(more)

Personalized learning: How kids are getting into college by mastering their skills

The Hechinger Report – Brian Stack

“A student-centered personalized-learning model known as competency education has gained traction over the past five years as states have developed policies to promote its adoption in both elementary and secondary schools. Born from the notion that the old system has significant limitations and flaws in both its structure and its execution in the schools of today, competency education uses a student’s ability to transfer knowledge and apply skills to organize learning. Students refine these skills based on goal-setting, ungraded feedback known as the formative assessment. When they are ready, the students demonstrate their understanding by performing thoughtfully developed tasks that determine how much learning has taken place. This evaluation is called the summative assessment.”(more)

Today’s Students May Be Emotionally Unprepared

The New York Times – MARC BRACKETT

“Regardless of all the honors classes and A.P. courses they took in high school, or the science, technology and engineering classes they cram into their college curriculum, students today will not be fully prepared to compete in an increasingly global business environment. The problem — and the solution — is not intellectual. It’s emotional. American teenagers are in psychological trouble. For the first time, college students today are facing more stress than their parents, according to a recent report by the American Psychological Association.”(more)

Proposed Changes to Higher Education Act Clear House

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“A number of bipartisan higher education bills have been passed by the House of Representatives in an effort to provide solutions to elements of the Higher Education Act currently in need of an update. In all, five bills were passed by the House which address some of the issues within the Higher Education Act, including a simplification for the application for federal student aid, making information about colleges and universities readily accessible, and offering benefits for historically black colleges those who serve Hispanic students…One of the bills, sponsored by US Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, seeks to help students and their families obtain the necessary information they need to choose a college. The bill will create a US Department of Education tool called the College Dashboard, which will be available online and will include key data pertaining to financial and economic statistics on universities across the country.”(more)

Why STEM needs liberal arts

University Business – Kathy A. Krendl

“STEM needs liberal arts as much as liberal arts need STEM. A reason for this is because the marketplace is demanding it. Many of our corporate partners are asking for graduates who can work in teams, have good communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills and can work in a collaborative environment. What we have encountered is that graduates from traditional engineering programs, for example, have a lockstep curriculum – they are great mechanical or chemical engineers – but rarely are these engineers trained to think about different perspectives or look at the big picture.”(more)