EDU news curated by Kiosk: The web of college transfers…and other higher ed news

The transfer maze

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The transfer mess is one place where the public loses its faith in higher education. Eighty percent of students enter community college intending to transfer, but only 25 percent ultimately make the leap — most of the time to less-selective public institutions. … At four-year institutions, a lot of offices have a hand in transfer, but no one really owns it. The admissions office and the registrar typically establish the framework for student intake and processing transfer credits. But admissions officers and the registrar are not in charge of essential support systems like advising, career counseling, or tutoring.”


New functionality in CUNY transfer explorer

From Inside Higher Ed: “Credit loss and lack of transparency around transfer policies and credit applicability can stymie a student’s journey to degree completion … To address these challenges directly, Ithaka S+R and the City University of New York began collaborating in 2019 on the Articulation of Credit Transfer (ACT) … An outcome of this collaboration is the groundbreaking CUNY Transfer Explorer (CUNY T-Rex), a public, student-supporting transfer tool that provides, in real time, transparent and clear information on how course credits and credits for prior learning (CPL) earned through trainings and exams transfer and apply across CUNY institutions. … Since its launch in 2020, CUNY T-Rex has had over 110,000 unique users.”


In other news…

Biden administration releases guidance on affirmative action

From Inside Higher Ed: “The Departments of Education and Justice, which released the guidance together, encouraged colleges to thoroughly review and update their admissions policies to ensure compliance with the Supreme Court’s finding that considering race as a factor ‘in and of itself’ was illegal. But they also stressed what many legal experts have pointed out since the decision was handed down: that considerations of how an applicant’s race has affected their individual experience could still be considered when making admissions decisions, and that the court did not deny the value of diverse student experiences on campus.”


Judge dismisses suit to halt Biden’s student debt relief for longtime borrowers

From The Washington Post: “A federal judge on Monday denied a bid by two conservative groups to block the Biden administration from canceling the federal student loans of more than 800,000 people who have been in repayment for more than 20 years. The Cato Institute and Mackinac Center for Public Policy filed a lawsuit earlier this month, saying the administration violated federal law by failing to produce the forgiveness policy through the traditional rulemaking process and offer the public the opportunity to comment. The groups also claimed the policy would harm their recruitment efforts and asked the court to stop the federal government from canceling any debt as the case proceeds.”


Partnerships, yes. OPMs, not so much.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Higher-ed leaders continue to rely on partnerships with vendors for campus operations, but as a new Chronicle and P3•EDU survey shows, colleges’ interest in deals with private companies for online-program management (OPM) has fallen precipitously in the last year. … This year only 29 percent of respondents identified OPM partnerships as areas of major interest. In 2022 that answer hit 41 percent, and in 2019 it was 42 percent. It’s hard to know for sure what prompted the drop, but it’s safe to assume at least two factors contributed:

  1. More colleges are developing their own expertise in running online programs in cost-effective ways.
  2. The U.S. Department of Education plans to more actively scrutinize and perhaps regulate them as third-party-servicer arrangements.”


Scared of AI? Don’t be, computer-science instructors say.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “To computer scientists, the rise of artificial intelligence is no different than the advent of the pocket calculator or the Google search engine … Bruno Ribeiro, an associate professor of computer science at Purdue, gives students unique coding problems that seem simple on the surface but have slight variations that often trip AI up. He then has students identify where the program went wrong and fix the code. ‘At the end of the day, what they really learn is how to think and how to check things and how to verify if something is right or something is wrong,’ Ribeiro said. ‘In my classes I tell them, ‘Look, if ChatGPT gives you the answer, that’s great, but if it’s wrong, you are responsible for it.’”


First came ChatGPT. Then came the over-the-top sales pitches.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The software marketplace-and-review website G2 reported this year that out of 145,000 software products, the top three fastest-growing ones are AI tools. And a target market, it appears, is higher education. Vendors have rapidly rolled out products geared for various college operations. In a poll of more than 700 LinkedIn members, 55 percent reported receiving multiple pitches a week, or having ‘lost count.’ Their roles ran the gamut: Admissions director. Ph.D. student. Associate director for equity and inclusion. Chief budget officer. Research analyst. Assistant vice president for facilities services. Assistant athletics director.”


ASU sets new record for largest student enrollment in university history

From Arizona’s Family: “Arizona State University has set a new record for the largest student enrollment in university history, with more than 144,000 students enrolled for the upcoming semester. That includes 9,000 freshmen from Arizona, which is also a record. First-time campus immersion (on-campus) enrollment will be more than 80,000 for the first time in ASU history. In addition, more than 25,000 first-year students are Hispanic/Latino, which the university says reinforces its commitment as a diverse and Hispanic-Serving Institution.”


Conference realignment is sweeping college sports. Here’s why it matters.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The Pac-12 Conference appears to be disintegrating, and much of the focus has been on the on-field effects of the exodus of several big-time college sports teams to other conferences. But the radical change could also carry consequences far away from the stadiums. … Athletes are already experiencing a mental-health crisis, especially as they balance classes and competition … Now, students who were used to traveling only a few hours for games may have to take a five- or six-hour flight every other week … The NCAA continues to face several lawsuits challenging the organization’s ban on direct pay for athletes … If the number of conferences continues to decline, the case for paying athletes will gain strength …”


Colleges spend like there’s no tomorrow. ‘These places are just devouring money.’

From The Wall Street Journal: “The nation’s best-known public universities have been on an unfettered spending spree. Over the past two decades, they erected new skylines comprising snazzy academic buildings and dorms. They poured money into big-time sports programs and hired layers of administrators. Then they passed the bill along to students. … Pennsylvania State University spent so much money that it now has a budget crisis—even though it’s among the most expensive public universities in the U.S.”


In UK Education news:

Marking boycott leaves international students in limbo

From University World News: “Among the thousands of students at British universities affected by a marking and assessment boycott (MAB) are many international students, unsure about whether they will be accepted for job offers or postgraduate study places, or even allowed to stay in the country, until they get their final results. The dispute between academics and university bosses over pay began in April and looks set to drag on into the autumn terms unless there is a sudden change of heart by the Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA), or unless members of the University and College Union (UCU) give up the fight.”





Weekly Education Email Newsletter

Our weekly email delivers all the latest news from the world of higher education direct to your inbox.