Second Chance Pell helps deliver degrees to over 9,000 incarcerated students — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak

Excerpts:

“Some programs may start as a real passion of an individual faculty member,” she said. “But in order for them to be sustainable, programs need cross-college support. Students need things like academic advising and access to library services. We’re seeing more and more of that, which is terrific.”

The existence and funding of such programs benefits people both in and out of the prison system. Inmates who participate in correctional education programs are 28% less likely to return to prison after their release than those who don’t, according to a 2018 meta-analysis of research. And research suggests that offering postsecondary programs could reduce levels of violence in prison.

 

Higher ed investments in student systems doubled last year, report finds — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz

Dive Brief:

  • Higher education investments in student technology systems doubled in 2021 compared to the year before, marking the largest annual increase over the past decade, according to a new report from the Tambellini Group, a technology research and advisory firm.
  • However, many college leaders are hesitant to invest in modern cloud student systems because most of these products still lack the functionalities institutions seek. The Tambellini Group based its findings on technology spending by more than 3,600 U.S. institutions.
  • Vendors are adding new tools and enhancements to their student technology systems to respond to increased pressures on colleges to improve their enrollment, retention and other student success metrics. That includes by providing engagement analytics and automated alerts.

Also from highereddive.com:

 

Private colleges’ net tuition revenue from first-year students declined in 2021-22, study finds — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
The revenue drop comes as tuition discount rates for first-year undergraduates rose to 54.5%, NACUBO found. Selective colleges discounted less than others.

Dive Brief (emphasis DSC):

  • Tuition discount rates for full-time first-year students attending private nonprofit colleges rose 2.1 percentage points to average 54.5% in 2021-22, a new record high, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
  • Average tuition discount rates also climbed for all undergraduates attending private nonprofits, increasing by 1.4 percentage points to 49%, an annual NACUBO study released Thursday found. That measure hit its highest recorded mark as well.
  • Net tuition revenue from first-time undergraduates fell for just the second time in 10 years, with colleges that aren’t selective in admissions struggling most.

Also relevant/see:

Smaller and Restructured: How the Pandemic Is Changing the Higher Education IT Workforce — from educause.edu by Jenay Robert

 

Native American Students Can Now Attend U. of California Tuition-Free — from chronicle.com by Abbi Ross

Excerpt:

Native American students who are California residents will no longer have to pay tuition or fees at one of the nation’s largest public-university systems — a decision that some say is a long-overdue acknowledgment of past harms.

The University of California system said this week that all in-state students who are members of federally recognized Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native tribes will have tuition and fees — about $14,000 each year — waived starting this fall. Then, on Wednesday, one of California’s recognized tribes announced a $2.5 million scholarship fund that will cover tuition and fees for in-state students from unrecognized tribes.

From DSC:
Given the atrocities that have occurred within our nation in the past, this is an excellent step in the right direction.

 

From DSC:
There are many things that are not right here — especially historically speaking. But this is one WE who are currently living can work on resolving.

*******

The Cost of Connection — from chronicle.com by Katherine Mangan
The internet is a lifeline for students on far-flung tribal campuses. Too often, they’re priced out of learning.

Excerpt:

Affordable and reliable broadband access can be a lifeline for tribal colleges, usually located on or near Native American reservations, often in remote, rural areas across the Southwest and Midwest. Chartered by their respective tribal governments, the country’s 35 accredited tribal colleges operate in more than 75 campus sites across 16 states, serving more than 160,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives each year. They emphasize and help sustain the culture, languages, and traditions of their tribal communities and are often the only higher-education option available for Native students in some of the nation’s poorest rural regions.

Also relevant/see:

Tribal Colleges Will Continue Online, Despite Challenges — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
Other institutions could learn from their calculus.

Excerpt:

Two years after tribal colleges shuttered alongside institutions nationwide, many remain largely, if not fully, online, catering to students who’ve historically faced barriers to attending in person. Adult learners — especially single mothers who may struggle to find child care, or those helping to support multigenerational households — make up the majority of students at more than half of the 32 federally recognized institutions in the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program. These colleges are also often located in low-income, rural areas, where hours of daily commute time (and the cost of gas) can prove untenable for students simultaneously working part- or full-time jobs.

Also relevant/see:

Why Tribal Colleges Struggle to Get Reliable Internet Service — from chronicle.com by Katherine Mangan and Jacquelyn Elias
For tribal colleges across the country, the pandemic magnified internet-access inequities. Often located on far-flung tribal lands, their campuses are overwhelmingly in areas with few broadband service providers, sometimes leaving them with slow speeds and spotty coverage.

“You can be driving from a nearby town, and as soon as you hit the reservation, the internet and cellphone signals drop off,” said Cheryl Crazy Bull, president of the American Indian College Fund and a member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation. “Students would be in the middle of class and their Wi-Fi access dropped off.”

Worsening matters, many students have been limited by outdated equipment. “We had students who were trying to take classes on their flip phones,” Crazy Bull said. Such stories were cropping up throughout Indian territory.

 

“Unpaid internships should be illegal:” Why colleges should reconsider unpaid internships. — from newamerica.org by Mauriell H. Amechi and Iris Palmer; with thanks to Goldie Blumenstyk for this resource

Excerpts:

College leaders must do more to facilitate access to paid work experience, especially for historically underserved, low-income, and racially minoritized student populations.

  • Require all internships offered through career services to be paid. The inequitable practice of not paying interns makes such opportunities impossible to access for many students. Colleges should require that internships they offer be paid for by the employer or through matching funds from the college. Paying interns for their time is the right thing to do and the best way to start creating access for all students.
  • Maintain some on-campus internship opportunities to ease transportation and care needs and offer on-campus care.
  • Provide shuttles, transit passes, or travel stipends to internship sites.
  • Consider working with employers to make internships renewable across semesters.
  • Consider student populations that are typically excluded from internships.
  • Document what works to create sustainable funding streams.
 

Bridging the digital divide in online learning — from tonybates.ca by Tony Bates

Excerpt:

The problem
At the start of the pandemic, in Oakland, California, 40 miles north of Silicon Valley, only 12 percent of low-income students, and 25 percent of all students, in Oakland’s public schools had devices at home and a strong internet connection.

The outcome
Two years into the pandemic, Oakland has been able to connect 98 percent of the students in the district. As of February, the city had provided nearly 36,000 laptops and more than 11,500 hot spots to low-income public school students.

Also from Tony, see:

Getting into the online learning industry

Three years ago, I wrote a blog post called ‘So you want to be an educational technologist…’ in which gave some advice on how to get into and develop a career as an educational technologist. In that article, I noted that I didn’t have much experience to guide people going into the corporate training area, and this article by Matthew Lynch does exactly that. This article complements nicely what I wrote earlier.

 

How a Statewide Entrepreneurship Contest Launched 3 Indianapolis High Schoolers into a Million-Dollar Business — from the74million.org by Tim Newcomb

Excerpt:

If not for a statewide pitch competition for entrepreneurial students, three Indianapolis high schoolers likely wouldn’t have started their business. And they certainly wouldn’t have seen that company, Find Ideal Applicants, earn $20,000 in early-stage investment that valued the company at $1.5 million.

State leaders “wanted to see if they could intersect students with entrepreneurship and innovation,” he says. Students learn how to see a problem as an opportunity and come up with a plan. Wettrick says the faster students understand the benefits of learning from their mistakes, the more success they will have sooner in their lives.

 

Intel plans to pump $100M into Ohio and US higher ed — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

Dive Brief:

  • Technology giant Intel will provide $50 million in grants to Ohio colleges over the next decade, and it will spend another $50 million for development of STEM curricula at other two- and four-year institutions across the U.S.
  • The latter investment will be matched by the U.S. National Science Foundation, which is giving $50 million for research and curriculum initiatives. The entire pot of money will help establish semiconductor manufacturing education at institutions nationwide.
  • State leaders and the company are touting the funding as an opportunity to bolster workforce development amid a national worker shortage in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
 

The art of writing funding applications — from itsnicethat.comby Isra Al Kassi
Applying for funding is a skill with its own unique processes and vocabulary that many find insurmountable. But fear no more: TAPE Collective’s Isra Al Kassi is here to offer her tips for navigating that tricky terrain in a way that works for you.

Excerpt:

With more and more creatives breaking free from institutions and traditional employment there is a greater demand than ever to secure funding to turn a passion project into a sustainable endeavour. Whether tripping over the language used, or being overwhelmed with the sheer information asked for, applying for funding is rarely a straightforward process and comes with barriers which has creatives losing hope at ever having the resources to attempt an application.

It’s true what they say: writing funding applications is a skill. There’s a procedure and language in place which you, unfortunately, have to learn and use but that’s not to say that your passion, and urgency shouldn’t seep through those very words. Ultimately there is a need for your project to exist, and a need for it to be funded: express that clearly.

 

US Department of Labor announces availability of $55M in grants to provide pre-release training, employment services to incarcerated people
Funding aims to improve employment opportunities, meet needs of local labor market

WASHINGTON – Each year, state prisons release approximately 573,000 people who need the resources and support to re-enter and find stable employment in their communities successfully.

Pre-release services have proven to help reduce the likelihood that formerly incarcerated people will return to prison and help these individuals fully reintegrate into their communities. To support this effort, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of $55 million in Pathway Home 3 Grants that seek to reduce barriers to employment by providing training and employment services to incarcerated individuals before their release from state correctional facilities, or county or local jails. Funds will also support continued comprehensive services post-release.

Authorized by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Pathway Home 3 Grants will fund projects to serve adults convicted under federal, state or local law and who are scheduled for release within 20 to 270 days from the time they enroll in the project.

The department’s Employment and Training Administration will award up to 15 grant projects – ranging from $1 million to $4 million each – to teach returning citizens foundational skills such as job readiness and job search strategies, and to provide apprenticeships and occupational training leading to industry-recognized credentials.

Organizations seeking grants must partner with a state correctional facility or a local or county jail. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with employers, industry organizations or union partners to commit to providing work experience, onsite job-related mentoring and post-release employment opportunities for participants. Successful applicants will provide training that leads to in-demand skills to meet the needs of local employers.

Building on the findings from the Linking Employment Activities Pre-Release implementation study, the grants are designed to help eliminate the time gap between release from prison and enrollment into a workforce development reentry program leading to skills-based employment.

Learn more about the Department of Labor’s Reentry Employment Opportunities program.

 

Amazon Boosts Upskilling Opportunities for Hourly Employees by Partnering with More Than 140 Universities and Colleges to Fully Fund Tuition — from press.aboutamazon.com

Excerpt:

  • Amazon employees in the U.S. will benefit from new Career Choice partnerships with Southern New Hampshire University, Colorado State University–Global, Western Governors University, National University, and numerous local universities
  • Amazon also partners with GEDWorks and Smart Horizons to provide employees with free high school completion and GED preparation, Voxy EnGen and goFLUENT to provide English language proficiency training, and Outlier to provide college preparation courses
  • New benefits are part of Amazon’s Career Choice program and move the company closer to meeting its Upskilling 2025 pledge—a $1.2 billion commitment to upskill more than 300,000 Amazon employees by 2025

Also see:

Amazon’s announcement is an eye-catching development in the yearslong effort across higher education to enroll more adult learners and increase the share of the U.S. population that has some education beyond high school. While the jury’s still out on whether tuition-benefit programs deliver on all their promises, as most are relatively new, they have become an increasingly popular offering for major corporations. Last fall, Amazon announced a $1.2 billion investment to expand its efforts.

Amazon employees will have choices. They can enroll at a local participating college and take a few courses en route to a certificate or credential, or they can enroll in a full associate- or bachelor’s-degree program

 

Web Accessibility on a Budget: How to Get Started for Free or Little Cost — from boia.org

Excerpt:

How to improve web accessibility for little to no cost:

  • Get a free accessibility assessment.
  • Learn what accessibility updates you can make yourself.
  • Use free assistive technology and accessibility tools.
  • Read content and continue learning from the accessibility community.
  • Publish an accessibility statement.
  • Create a long-term plan to full accessibility compliance.

Also related/see:  The #accessibilityChecker hashtag on Twitter.


 

Google wants 20,000 Americans to have higher-paying jobs — from protocol.com by Amber Burton
Google’s Career Certificate Fund is aimed at creating a sustainable model of support for American job seekers.

Excerpt:

The program is designed for students to pay zero upfront costs for the three to six-month courses, but Google certificate students are expected to repay program costs if they land a job that pays at least $40,000 annually. While the exact amount of the monthly payments was not shared in the announcement, Google said it will be low no-interest payments for Social Finance to reinvest in the program for additional participants.

Our new $100 million Google Career Certificates Fund — from blog.google by Sundar Pichai

It’s another promising example of how the entire ecosystem — from private companies to nonprofits — can work together to help more Americans access economic opportunities.

Addendum on 3/2/22:

 

Amazon Gift Signals Confidence in Community Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Suzanne Smalley
The company is giving $3 million to kick-start a computer science bachelor’s degree program at community and technical colleges throughout Washington State.

Excerpt:

Amazon is funding a pilot that will support the launch of new computer science bachelor’s degree programs at community and technical colleges in Seattle and across Washington State, an investment meant to address a workforce shortage plaguing the e-commerce giant and other employers who can’t find qualified candidates for unfilled computer science positions.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian