EDU news curated by Kiosk: Stackable credentials and other higher ed news

Flexible stackable certificates: The Future of Education

From UPCEA: “New adult learners view traditional four-year programs as not worth the cost and time since they lack preparation for job skillsets. A University of Chicago study found that 56% of Americans agree with the statement ‘A four-year college education is not worth the cost because people often graduate without specific job skills and with a large amount of debt to pay off.’ … Stackable credentials are attractive to adult learners as they allow for gaining competencies in multiple areas which can be built toward credit or non-credit programs. Studies conducted by many states have shown that from 32% to 43% of certificate earners are reenrolling in college and stacking credentials.”


Shaping the future of education using stackable credentials

From Times Higher Education: “‘There’s been quite an explosion in microlearning,’ said Graham Bell, director of digital education at Cranfield School of Management. Microlearning programmes offer learners the flexibility and autonomy to study the modules they choose and in the order they prefer … Microcredentials provide individuals with a portfolio of courses that can have a real impact on their careers. However, concerns persist among learners regarding how microcredentials are recognised by employers. Fortier pointed out that applicant tracking systems currently have limitations in recognising non-traditional qualifications, despite their increasing popularity as an affordable way to acquire skills.’


Partnerships to offer microcredentials are growing, but higher ed is losing out

From eCampus News: “Companies partnering externally to provide training or professional development to employees increased by 26 percent between 2022 and 2023, according to a new study from Collegis Education and UPCEA. … In addition, the report… revealed that more than 61 percent of companies without external training partnerships are interested in developing them… Companies working with four-year colleges to provide employee training and professional development dropped by nearly 10 percent between 2022 and 2023, and community colleges also saw a decrease of 7 percent in training partnerships.”


Differential Tuition Is Popular. But Is It Equitable?

From Inside Higher Education: “Historically, differential tuition has been applied to majors that are expensive to offer, such as engineering, business, nursing and computer science…There is no publicly available information on the impact of differential tuition … However, analyzing just one university’s data, George and her team did find that Pell-eligible students were less likely to enroll in a major with a higher tuition rate than one that charged the standard tuition. Some universities hope to circumvent this issue by putting a portion of the revenue from their tuition differentials into scholarships or financial aid.”


Just 16% of community college students transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree

From Higher Ed Dive: “Just one-third of students who started at community colleges transferred to four-year institutions, and fewer than half of those students earned a bachelor’s degree in six years, new research from a trio of organizations found…Community college entrants in 2007 had a bachelor’s degree attainment of 14% — meaning this level of degree completion has only climbed 2 percentage points for students who start at these institutions.” 


As states drop degree requirements, does a 4-year diploma’s value change?

From Higher Ed Dive: “In March 2022, then-Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan unveiled a ‘first-in-the-nation’ program rolling back degree requirements for thousands of government jobs… Since then, at least 19 other states have followed suit…Across many industries, paid job listings that did not require a degree grew on the platform at a much faster rate than those that did — 354% faster in financial services, 282% faster in accommodation and food services, and 240% faster in technology, information, and media. But loosened degree requirements haven’t necessarily translated to hiring decisions. According to the LinkedIn study, growth in hiring nondegree workers in those sectors was much slower than the listings might suggest.”


Colleges Were Already Bracing for an ‘Enrollment Cliff.’ Now There Might Be a Second One.

From The Chronicle: “The consensus view is that America will hit a peak of around 3.5 million high-school graduates sometime near 2025. After that, the college-going population is expected to shrink across the next five to 10 years by as many as 15 percentage points…In recent months, the Census has updated its forecasts — instead of rebounding at some point in the mid-2030s, the number of 18-year-olds is now projected to contract after cresting at around 4.2 million people in 2033, shrinking to around 3.8 million by 2039. After that, the Bureau doesn’t anticipate the population of 18-year-olds will exceed 4 million people in any year this century.”


How a liberal billionaire became America’s leading anti-DEI crusader

From The Washington Post: “In hours of interviews with The Washington Post, Ackman, who is Jewish, argued that campus responses to the Oct. 7 attack had been lackluster compared with the solidarity shown post-George Floyd. To Ackman, the contrast exposed the hypocrisy of the movement for ‘diversity, equity and inclusion,’ or DEI — which includes race-based hiring goals and diversity trainings he called ‘unhealthy’ and the ‘root cause of antisemitism.’ ‘Say whatever you want about me being a powerful person,’ Ackman said. ‘I don’t want to advantage my own group at the expense of another. What I want is fairness.’”


HBCU Graduates Owe More Debt, Earn Less Than Peers

From Inside Higher Education: “Students who attend historically Black colleges and universities earn $16,600 less on average than peers from non-HBCUs a decade after starting college, according to a new brief from the Institute for College Access and Success.The brief draws on data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. It found that the median annual salary for students who went to HBCUs was $37,920, compared to $54,557 for non-HBCU students. Meanwhile, student loan borrowers who attended HBCUs owed 130 percent more than their original loan balance a decade after entering repayment, compared to borrowers from non-HBCUs, who owed 67 percent of their original loan balances on average.”


US universities seen as unwelcoming to dropouts

From Times Higher Education: “A research team from the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado Boulder put thousands of dropout students through a professional mentoring programme to see what difference it made. The answer: virtually none…The reasons for students not returning were varied, and included many of the familiar challenges of cost, uncertainty and obligations to family and jobs. But the mentoring experiment made clear, Dr Gurantz said, that US higher education as a system looks needlessly unfriendly to dropouts trying to work their way back.”


Burnout, Excessive Workloads Plague Teaching and Learning Workforce in Higher Ed

From Campus Technology: “Increasing workloads are taking a toll on mental health and morale among teaching and learning professionals in higher education, according to a new Educause survey. Nearly two-thirds of overall respondents (65%) reported having an excessive workload — and the higher the position level, the greater the workload. Eighty-four percent of C-level executives and assistant or associate VPs called their workload excessive, followed by 73% of directors and 71% of managers.”

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