EDU news curated by Kiosk: 3-year degree programs… and other higher ed news

The First 3-Year Degree Programs Win Approval

From Inside Higher Education: “BYU-Idaho and Ensign College will launch truncated bachelor’s degree programs next spring after getting the go-ahead from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities…By eliminating electives, BYU-Idaho will bring five three-year programs online in April: applied business management, family and human services, software development, applied health, and professional studies. Ensign will offer two such programs: communication and information technology. Both institutions are owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and operated by the Church Educational System.”


Biden administration open to more three-year degree experiments

From Times Higher Education: “The Biden administration is signalling its willingness to accept degree programmes with fewer than 120 credits, potentially triggering a rush of consolidations that could further weaken struggling campuses.The idea hit a milestone this summer with one of the six major US accrediting agencies, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, approving pilot three-year bachelor’s degree programmes at Brigham Young University-Idaho and Ensign College. The US Education Department, after allowing prolonged uncertainty over the matter, has now made clear that it sees no basis for interfering with the decision.”


Education beyond high school improves people’s lives in 50 ways

From Lumina Foundation: “Our latest national poll on the value of higher education doesn’t beat around the bush. At a time when many Americans wonder if a college degree is worth it, the poll bluntly asks: What is education really for? Overwhelmingly, people responded that their education has helped lead to greater well-being. In fact, life is better for college graduates in 50 out of 52 ways, says the new Lumina Foundation-Gallup poll, ‘Education for What?’. The results show that more years of education beyond high school make for healthier, more civic-minded people who vote, connect closely with their family and friends, and have good jobs with higher pay that build on their natural talents and interests.”


Google’s Participation Trophies 

From Washington Monthly: “’Under the umbrella ‘Grow with Google,’ the company offers three online professional certificate courses…On its website for prospective students, Google describes its courses as an educational shortcut to a lucrative gig…Unfortunately, my experience earning—and then attempting to peddle—a Google-sponsored certificate was less triumphant…when I presented my shiny new credential to prospective employers in the Washington, D.C., area and scoured job postings in Silicon Valley, my credential was less a foot in the door than a plaintive knock at firmly barred gates. Almost every ‘entry-level’ data analytics job I found required either extensive experience or, alas, a supposedly outmoded college degree.”


Federal watchdog warns about college tuition installment plans

From Washington Post: “Installment plans that let college students spread out tuition payments may also put them at risk of accumulating high fees and debt, according to a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. ‘Colleges and universities should take a hard look at their repayment plans and avoid subjecting borrowers to high fees or coercive debt collection practices,’ CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in a statement Thursday. Most colleges and universities offer monthly payment plans as an alternative to student loans or a way to reduce the amount needed to borrow.”


‘Praying that my health holds out’: Many senior citizens expect to die with college loan debts

From Hechinger Report: “The number of people age 60 and older who still have student loan debt has sextupled since 2004, and the amount they owe is up 19-fold, the think tank New America reports; there are now 3.5 million of them, who collectively owe more than $125 billion in student loans…This is not, by and large, debt that parents assumed to send their kids to college. For three-quarters of federal borrowers 65 and older, it’s money they borrowed for their own educations and have been paying off for decades the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, found.”


Secretaries of Education, Agriculture Call on Governors to Equitably Fund Land-Grant HBCUs

From “U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack today sent letters to 16 governors emphasizing the over $12 billion disparity in funding between land-grant Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their non-HBCU land-grant peers in their states. The 16 governors receiving the letter are: Alabama-Kay Ivey, Arkansas-Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Florida- Ron DeSantis, Georgia-Brian Kemp, Kentucky- Andy Beshear, Louisiana-John Bel Edwards, Maryland-Wes Moore, Mississippi-Tate Reeves, Missouri-Michael Parson, North Carolina-Roy Cooper, Oklahoma-J. Kevin Stitt, South Carolina-Henry McMaster, Tennessee – Bill Lee, Texas – Greg Abbott, Virginia –Glenn Youngkin, West Virginia –James C. Justice, II.”


Higher Ed Should Pay Attention to the Corporate World’s Growing Use of Skills Data

From EdSurge: “In recent years, many colleges have made growing use of real-time labor market analytics to keep up with changes in the workplace and potentially “tune” their curriculum to new job-market developments. With the corporate world increasingly approaching hiring and training from a skills-centered perspective, it will be increasingly important to consider and track how curriculum and course outcomes map to widely accepted skills taxonomies — and to consider how new skills technologies might help students better articulate and communicate their acquired skills to employers.”


Who should shape what Colleges teach?

From The Chronicle: “According to a new national poll from The Chronicle, Americans from both major political parties tend to oppose substantial government influence over what’s taught in college classrooms. Only 37 percent of respondents say that state governments should have a great deal or a good amount of sway. For the federal government, that figure was 32 percent. Many more respondents support this level of influence from internal actors — professors, students, and college administrators — and also from business and industry leaders.”


The Supreme Court Excluded Military Academies From Its Admissions Ruling. Now SFFA Is Challenging It.

From The Chronicle: “Students for Fair Admissions filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the United States Military Academy at West Point for its use of race-conscious admissions policies, challenging the one exception carved out in the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down such policies nationwide…Students for Fair Admissions contends that West Point has ‘no justification for race-based admissions,’ arguing in the lawsuit that the military academy discriminates on the basis of race in its admissions policy and that the policy should be deemed unlawful.”

In UK Education News…

Efforts to reduce UK sector over-reliance on China ‘stalling’

From Times Higher Education: “Nine Russell Group universities had more than 5,000 students from China, and one institution – UCL – had more than 10,000 Chinese students, roughly a quarter of its 44,000-strong student body, explains the report published by the Policy Institute at King’s College London on 13 September…With student numbers from the European Union falling post-Brexit and domestic annual tuition fees of £9,250 set this month to be “worth materially less than £6,000” in 2012 prices, universities have ‘few options other than to recruit international students’ to cover ‘loss-making’ courses at undergraduate level, it says.

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