3 Main Changes to Help Fill College Classrooms — from fierceeducation.com by Alison Diana

Excerpt:

Reducing Tuition:
Southern New Hampshire University last month announced it will cut the cost of its Fall 2021 campus-based programs to $15,000 or $10,000 per year and use “an increased focus on experiential and project-based learning; a new and more transparent financial aid process, shifting from merit-based to need-based financial aid awards to level the playing field for all students.”

This marks more than a 50% reduction of its fees, according to SNHU. The university also plans to increase its on-site campus enrollment to 4,500 students from 3,000, although it did not say how or if it expects to adapt faculty or administrative staffing.

SNHU is not alone in addressing tuition to encourage people to attend their schools.

 

From DSC:
Reading through the article below, I can’t help but wonder…how might the eviction crisis impact higher education?


 

Losing a Home Because of the Pandemic Is Hard Enough. How Long Should It Haunt You? — from nytimes.com by Barbara Kiviat (professor of sociology) and Sara Sternberg Greene (law professor)
Americans who default on their rent may find it hard to escape lasting effects on their financial future.

Excerpts:

Millions of Americans have fallen behind on rent during the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting the passage of eviction moratoriums and rental assistance plans. But as policymakers have struggled to meet the needs of tenants and landlords, they’ve largely overlooked a crucial fact: The looming eviction crisis isn’t just about falling behind on rent and losing one’s home to eviction. It’s also about the records of those events, captured in court documents and credit reports, that will haunt millions of Americans for years to come.

Just as criminal records carry collateral consequences — preventing people from getting jobs, renting apartments and so on — blemishes on a person’s financial history can have far-ranging effects. Records of evictions can prevent Americans from renting new places to live, and debts and lawsuits related to unpaid rent can follow people as they apply for jobs, take out insurance policies, apply for mortgages and more. The process starts when landlords report late payments directly, file for eviction, sue in small claims court and hire debt collectors to pursue back rent. Those paper trails of unpaid rent and eviction get sucked into the digital warehouses of credit bureaus and data brokers.

 

 

 

Big Changes in the Federal Student-Aid System Are Coming. Here’s Why They Matter. — from chronicle.com by Eric Hoover

Excerpt:

After all, a recent NCAN analysis led the organization to conclude that fewer than half of community colleges and only a quarter of public four-year institutions are affordable for the average Pell Grant recipient.

That’s why the group plans to push for a doubling of the maximum award in the months ahead. “Fafsa simplification and getting more students to apply for aid is a first step,” Warick said, “but we know there are not enough affordable options out there for families considering higher ed. We need a broad investment in the Pell Grant program.”

Also see:

Their Stories Helped Lift a 26-Year Ban on Pell Grants for Prisoners — from chronicle.com by Katherine Mangan
A college education transformed former inmates’ lives. But some critics fear low-quality programs will rush in.

Excerpts:

“Every time we sat before elected officials, sharing expertise and stories about the transformative power of education, we lived a paradox,” Nixon wrote in a statement after the ban was lifted. “The power of our testimony came with the stigma of incarceration. Yet, chins held high, we claimed that we are worthy of educational opportunity. And many educators stood with us — keeping hope alive by providing college behind bars when Pell was not an option.”

Expanding such opportunities has enjoyed growing bipartisan support as a way to reduce recidivism, save taxpayers money, and mitigate the discriminatory effects of mass incarceration and unequal schooling. But some fear that inmates might end up exhausting Pell eligibility on poor-quality programs that are rolled out too quickly, without the wraparound supports and face-to-face contact they say incarcerated students especially need.

 

 

EdSurge Reflects On a Year of Pandemic-Era Education Journalism — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey Young, Rebecca Koenig and Tony Wan

Excerpts:

[Wan] It has never been a better time to be in education. It has also never been a worse time to be in education.

Which is it for you?

The answer depends on where you are in this ecosystem.

[Koenig] If I didn’t know before, I do now: Education is not merely the transmission of knowledge. It is experiences shared and relationships nurtured among people who have not only brains, but also bodies and spirits. Lungs vulnerable to viruses and eyes to screen fatigue. Hearts susceptible to fear and grief and doubt and loneliness.

[Young] There will probably be lessons from all the forced experimentation. But during 2020, there was little time for reflection, only a push to turn in something that looked as much like a college experience as possible.

 

#survivingcovid19 #reinvent #highereducation #futureofhighereducation #60yearcurriculum #costofhighereducation #alternatives #innovation #learningfromthelivingclassroom and many more

 

Higher Ed Faces a Long and Uneven Recovery, Ratings Agencies Warn — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson

Excerpt:

Two financial outlooks for higher ed appeared on Tuesday, and their most compelling parts were the longer-term prospects for the nation’s colleges and universities — because the near-term picture should be clear to nearly everyone by now. It’s not good.

In their predictions, both Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings note the various ways that institutions are in pain right now: The pandemic has undercut tuition revenue, as colleges have seen sliding enrollment or have had to discount tuition heavily to bring in students. The proceeds of auxiliary services — such as student housing and dining — “remain the hardest-hit revenue stream,” Moody’s says, given that such income can account for 5 to 30 percent of a college’s operating revenue.

 

The Digital Divide for Tribal College Students — COVID, CARES Act, and Critical Next Steps — from diverseeducation.com

Excerpt:

In this episode staff writer Sara Weissman shares a story that focuses on the digital divide for Native Americans by bringing in voices of tribal college leaders and their students during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service. Hear first-hand how students from Diné College and other institutions are currently affected. Carrie Billie (Big Water Clan), President & CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and Dr. Cynthia Lindquist (Star Horse Woman), President of Cankdeska Cikana Community College in North Dakota, break down the data and lay out critical next steps necessary to address the digital divide.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service.

From DSC:
When will there be justice!? Let’s join in and make amends and provide the funding, concrete assistance, products, and services to Native American colleges, universities, and communities. Some potential ideas:

  • For the short term, could there be Loon balloons deployed immediately to provide free and stronger access to the Internet?

Could Project Loon assist Native American colleges, universities, and communities?

  • Could our Federal Government make amends and do the right thing here? (e-rate program, put Internet access in, make policy changes, offer more grants, other?)
  • Could Silicon Valley assist with hardware and software? For example:
    • Can Apple, HP, Microsoft, and others donate hardware and software?
    • Can Zoom, Adobe, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and others donate whatever these communities need to provide videoconferencing licenses?
  • Could telecom providers provide free internet access?
  • Could MOOCs offer more free courses?
  • Could furniture makers such as Steelcase, Herman Miller, and others donate furniture and help establish connected learning spaces?
  • How might faculty members and staff within higher education contribute?
  • How could churches, synagogues, and such get involved?
  • Could the rest of us locate and donate to charities that aim to provide concrete assistance to Native American schools, colleges, universities, and communities?

We need to do the right thing here. This is another area* where our nation can do much better.

* Here’s another example/area where we can do much better and make amends/changes.

 


Addendum on 12/7/20:

 

From DSC:
Our oldest daughter told me about this great/cool WIN-WIN situation here! I thought it was so cool, that I wanted to pass it along. What a great way to help communities, students, folks who want to read/write/produce art and more!


 

Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery: Chicago's only black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space

Powered by Bookshop: Supporting local, independent bookstores.

Chicago’s only black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space, Semicolon Bookstore and Gallery is committed to nurturing the connection between literature, art, and the pursuit of knowledge; while also using the power of words to better our community.

 

Wall Street Journal article entitled, Is this the end of college as we know it?

Americans aren’t turning their backs on education; they are reconsidering how to obtain it.

Is This the End of College as We Know It? — from wsj.com by Douglas Belkin
For millions of Americans, getting a four-year degree no longer makes sense. Here’s what could replace it.

Excerpt:

For traditional college students, the American postsecondary education system frequently means frontloading a lifetime’s worth of formal education and going into debt to do it. That is no longer working for millions of people, and the failure is clearing the way for alternatives: Faster, cheaper, specialized credentials closely aligned with the labor market and updated incrementally over a longer period, education experts say. These new credentials aren’t limited to traditional colleges and universities. Private industry has already begun to play a larger role in shaping what is taught and who is paying for it.

For more than a century, a four-year college degree was a blue-chip credential and a steppingstone to the American dream. For many millennials and now Gen Z, it has become an albatross around their necks.

What has embittered so many millennials is that they played by the rules and still got stuck. Ben Puckett, a 30-year-old pastor in Michigan, earned a B.S. in physical therapy before a Master’s degree in divinity. He is $95,000 in debt. 

“I went to college because I was told by parents, friends, teachers and counselors that it was the only way to ensure a good future,” Mr. Puckett says. “At 18 years old, how was I supposed to defy what my school, parents, society, friends were saying about going to college?”

 

Financial aid officials share how they’re advising college students now — from educationdive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
We asked administrators how they are guiding students and families through a process made more complex by COVID-19.

Excerpt:

This uncertainty among students and families has compounded an already complex process. Education Dive contacted several financial aid experts and asked them one question: What changes in the financial aid process should colleges account for during the pandemic, and how should they communicate those changes to students, families and the public?

 

Coronavirus weaves uncertainty in pre-K — from educationdive.com
Early childhood programs were particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, from the immediacy of school closures to future state funding.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In a school year disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, early childhood was particularly impacted. Forced to close their doors, preschool centers struggled to adapt and survive. And state budget cuts due to the recession exacerbated by the pandemic may also impact these programs for years to come.

Now, as many children prepare to start school for the first time, they’ll be doing so without the physical school.

To help you get up to speed on the issues, we’ve gathered our recent coverage on coronavirus’ impact on early childhood ed in one place.

 

Supreme Court: Public money can be used for religious education — from educationdive.com by Linda Jacobson

  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Tuesday in favor of a Montana mother who wanted to use the state’s tax credit-funded scholarship to send her children to a Christian school, giving school choice advocates, …, a major victory.

From DSC:
I’ve always wondered why the funding couldn’t follow the K12 student — no matter where they go. We’ve been getting hit twice if and when we send one of our kids to a Christian-based school. We always pay our taxes, but then we have to turn around and also pay for Christian-based education. Perhaps this will give our youngest daughter a chance to attend a Christian-based high school in 2021. Otherwise, I’m not sure how we are going to afford it. 

 

From DSC:
On the positive side…

What I appreciate about ‘s article is that it’s asking us to think about future scenarios in regards to higher education. Then, it’s proposing some potential action steps to take now to address those potential scenarios if they come to fruition. It isn’t looking at the hood when we’re traveling 180 mph. Rather, it’s looking out into the horizon to see what’s coming down the pike. 

6 Steps to Prepare for an Online Fall Semester — from chronicle.com b

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Plan for a multiyear impact. If colleges are forced to maintain online-only instruction in the fall and to defer reopening their campuses to in-person instruction to January 2021, the impact will be felt for years. College leaders should start thinking now about how to manage and potentially adjust spring-2021 (and beyond) course offerings, course sequencing, and degree requirements to avoid saddling students with graduation delays and the accompanying direct and indirect financial costs. In addition, colleges should anticipate a smaller-than-normal entering first-year class in fall 2020 (and thus a larger-than-normal enrollment a year later) and devise strategies to help mitigate the resulting stresses on admission rates and classroom and dorm capacity for first-year students entering in fall 2021 and beyond.

If instruction remains online-only in the fall, colleges won’t be able to afford that sort of inefficiency. College departments should start now to identify opportunities for collaborations that would draw on the collective wisdom and labor of faculty members from multiple institutions who are teaching similar courses. This would lessen the burden of migrating teaching materials and techniques to an online format.

From DSC:
I’ve often wondered about the place of consortiums within higher ed…i.e., pooling resources. Will the impacts of the Coronavirus change this area of higher ed? Not sure. Perhaps.

On the negative side…

I take issue with some of John’s perspectives, which are so common amongst the writers and academics out there. For example:

Conversely, an entire generation of current college students is now learning that it can be pretty boring to be one of several hundred people simultaneously watching a Zoom lecture.

You know what? I did that very same thingover and over again — at Northwestern University (NU), but in a face-to-face format. And quite frankly, it’s a better view on videoconferencing. It’s far more close up, more intimate online. I agree it’s a different experience. But our auditoriums were large and having 100-200+ students in a classroom was common. There was no interaction amongst the students. There were no breakout groups. The faculty members didn’t know most of our names and I highly doubt that the well-paid researchers at Northwestern — who were never taught how to teach in the first place nor did they or NU regard the practice of teaching and learning highly anyway — gave a rat’s ass about body language. Reading the confusion in the auditorium? Really? I highly doubt it. And those TA’s that we paid good money for? Most likely, they were never taught how to teach either. The well-paid researchers often offloaded much of the teaching responsibilities onto the teacher assistants’ backs. 

Bottom line:
Face-to-face learning is getting waaaay more credit than it sometimes deserves — though sometimes it IS warranted. And online-based learning — especially when it’s done right — isn’t getting nearly enough credit. 


Addendum: Another example of practicing futures thinking in higher ed:

 

ACE receives ED funds to explore blockchain’s potential — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt:

“This work is about exploring the potential of blockchain technology to give learners greater control over their educational records,” said Ted Mitchell, president of ACE, in a statement. “It’s about enabling more seamless transitions between and across K-12, higher education and the workforce. This initiative will explore how this nascent technology can break down barriers for opportunity seekers to fully unlock their learning and achievement.”

 

Tips for decoding college financial aid offers — from nytimes.com by Ann Carrnes

Excerpts:

Schools often use different jargon for the same types of aid or loans. Student advocates offer suggestions on how to figure out what you’ll pay.

After the college acceptance letter comes the financial aid offer. But beware: The offers are not always easy to decipher, and different colleges often use different jargon for the same types of aid or loans.

Among the colleges that offered a common type of federal loan, for instance, researchers found more than 100 terms for the loan, including two dozen that didn’t even mention the word “loan.”

To compare aid offers, student advocates recommend that you…(see the details in the article)

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian