EDU News Curated By Kiosk: Transfer students and other higher ed news

Learner Centered Credentialing

From Kiosk: “The 15th anniversary ASU GSV Summit just wrapped in San Diego a couple of days ago and aside from AI and mental health, a theme of startups, investors and panels was the portability of credit and helping the 40.4 million Americans with “some college, no degree.” While some argue that education is immune to disruption, the reality demands a shift towards solutions that empower learners to connect with tangible outcomes and a sustainable learning future. This necessitates reimagining the transcription of credit (or course or credential) attainment and the portability of the information.”

View the full article from Kiosk.


The U.S. Wants Colleges to Fix a ‘Broken’ System for Transfer Students

From The Chronicle: “The nation has an urgent need to create a more seamless pipeline for students to transfer from community colleges and earn four-year degrees. That was the message at a summit hosted by the U.S. Education Department, which brought together more than 200 officials from community colleges, four-year institutions, and state governments to discuss what it described as a ‘broken’ system for transfer students. … The Education Department is asking states and institutions to craft clearer policies for how credit transfers work, offer proactive advising and support for transfer students, and utilize data and technology to remove barriers to graduation, according to a department resource sheet.”

View the full article from The Chronicle.


Transfer Students See Low Acceptance Rates At America’s Top Colleges

From Forbes: “How many transfer students apply to the nation’s leading institutions? How often are they accepted? And how do those outcomes compare to the admission of first-year students?.. One obvious pattern emerging from these data is how much more common transfer admissions are at top public universities compared to top private institutions. Public universities constitute five of the seven schools accepting more than 20% of their transfer applicants, and they were the only institutions that accepted at least a third of transfer applicants. Columbia University, which ranks fourth, is the only Ivy League institution to accept more than 15% of transfer applicants.”

View the full article from Forbes.


Few community college students go on to earn 4-year degrees. Some states have found ways to help

From AP News: “Only 13% of federal financial aid recipients who enrolled in community college in 2014 received a bachelor’s degree within eight years, the data found. Hundreds of thousands of those who enroll annually at the more affordable two-year schools plan to transfer to a four-year program … Frequently, students lack the guidance they need to navigate the transfer, and their credits don’t transfer the way they planned. … CUNY relies on an online transfer explorer, known as T-Rex, that makes it easier for students to see which of their courses will transfer between campuses.”

View the full article from AP News.


Can Virginia colleges offer a model to California on getting community college students to earn university degrees?

From Ed Source: “Steve Perez faced a daunting challenge as he considered where to attend college. …Rejected from his top choice, Virginia Tech, he was considering community college … he worried whether he would be able to successfully transfer to a four-year university, knowing it would be up to him to take the right courses and successfully apply for admission. … All of that changed when his high school counselor told him about ADVANCE, a partnership between Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University that is anchored by dual admission to both schools. Students start at the community college but are immediately accepted to George Mason before even taking their first community college class.”

View the full article from Ed Source.


Gen Z are increasingly choosing trade schools over college to become welders and carpenters because ‘it’s a straight path to a six-figure job’

From Fortune: “Enrollment in vocational-focused community colleges rose 16% last year to its highest level since the National Student Clearinghouse began tracking such data in 2018. What’s more, the same data shows a 23% surge in students studying construction trades in 2023 compared to the year before, and a 7% increase in HVAC and vehicle maintenance and repair programs. Why the shift? ‘People are starting to pay attention,’ Mike Rowe, the CEO of MikeRoweWorks Foundation, a charity that challenges stigma and stereotypes against no-degree jobs, told Fox Business.

View the full article from Fortune.


Traction for the Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree

From Inside Higher Education: “Several dozen college administrators, faculty leaders, accreditors and others gathered at Merrimack College to share progress reports on their efforts to create three-year bachelor’s degrees. … Last fall, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities approved three-year bachelor’s degree programs developed by Brigham Young University–Idaho and its affiliate Ensign College. … Tom Bordenkircher, vice president of accreditation relations at the Higher Learning Commission, delivered welcome news: that after significant ‘study,’ beginning in September, the agency will consider granting approval to any institution seeking to offer a ‘reduced-credit bachelor’s degree’ in any program.”

View the full article from Inside Higher Education.


A Cautionary AI Tale: Why IBM’s Dazzling Watson Supercomputer Made a Lousy Tutor

From the 74 Million: “For all its jaw-dropping power, Watson the computer overlord was a weak teacher. It couldn’t engage or motivate kids, inspire them to reach new heights or even keep them focused on the material — all qualities of the best mentors. It’s a finding with some resonance to our current moment of AI-inspired doomscrolling about the future of humanity in a world of ascendant machines. ‘There are some things AI is actually very good for,’ Nitta, a computer researcher at IBM’s Watson Research Center said, ‘but it’s not great as a replacement for humans.’… For all its power, Watson was not very engaging. Perhaps as a result, it also showed ‘little to no discernible impact’ on learning. It wasn’t just dull; it was ineffective.”

View the full article from The 74 Million.


Undergraduate degree earners

From NSC Research Center: “The number of undergraduate degree earners fell for the second year in a row in the 2022-23 academic year (-2.8% or -99,200 from a year earlier), after many years of gradual increases. First-time completers, accounting for 73.3 percent of all completers in 2022-2023, fell by 73,600 (-2.8%). More students earned a certificate this year than in any of the last ten years. That growth in certificate earners is made up entirely by a 6.2 percent (+26,900) increase of those earning their first-ever award, building on last year’s growth (+6.5% or +26,700 from 2020-21) for a two-year increase of 13.1 percent (+53,600).”

View the full article from NSC Research Center.


‘Game-Changing Crisis’: Lawmakers, Experts Vent FAFSA Frustrations

From Inside Higher Education: “Currently, FAFSA submissions for the coming academic year are down by about 40 percent compared to the previous year, leading to worries that fewer high school seniors will opt to attend college in the fall. Those who complete the FAFSA are 84 percent more likely to immediately enroll in college, said Kim Cook, a witness and chief executive officer of the National College Attainment Network, which tracks FAFSA data and works to help students get to and through college. ‘The data portend a catastrophic decline in college enrollment this fall for the high school class of 2024 unless something changes very quickly,’ Cook added.”

View the full article from Inside Higher Education.


Harvard and Caltech will require test scores for admission again

From The Washington Post: “Harvard’s undergraduate school had previously said it would remain test-optional through the 2025-2026 application cycle. But on Thursday, it said students applying to the college for fall 2025 admission — hoping to join the graduating class of 2029 — will now have to submit standardized test scores as part of their admissions package. Dartmouth College, Yale and Brown universities announced similar changes in recent weeks, after officials cited data suggesting that SAT and ACT scores were the best predictors of students’ academic performance at their schools — and that making the tests optional could further disadvantage applicants from more challenging backgrounds.”

View the full article from The Washington Post.


Creative arts courses at English universities face funding cut

From The Guardian: “Ministers will cut funding for performing and creative arts courses at English universities next year, which sector leaders say will further damage the country’s cultural industries. The cuts, outlined by the education secretary, Gillian Keegan, in guidance to the universities regulator, will also reduce funding for Uni-Connect, which runs programmes aimed at widening access to higher education for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to £20m, a third of its 2020-21 budget.”

View the full article from The Guardian.

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