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U of Queensland student wins 3MT competition

The PIE News - 12 hours 37 min ago

A research student from the University of Queensland has won the Universitas 21 Three Minute Thesis competition for discussing his work on a treatment that can heal child burns victims three days faster than conventional antimicrobial dressings. 

Cody Frear’s thesis focuses on a vacuum treatment which removes rogue cells and promotes growth of new cells and blood vessels. 

Entrants were challenged to present their thesis to a non-specialist audience with a three minute video, in a bid to win a top prize of $2,500. 

“The calibre of each and every presentation was superb”

“I was thrilled and not a little shocked to learn that I had won. The calibre of each and every presentation was superb, so it was an honour even to be placed in the same category as the other finalists,” Frear said.

“After spending a good chunk of my life recruiting patients, collecting data, and stumbling my way through statistics, it has been phenomenally rewarding to see this work resonate with so many people.”

The competition was judged by a panel of education industry professionals including associate professor Caroline Daley from the University of Auckland and The PIE’s deputy editor Kerrie Kennedy.

“Cody Frear’s presentation was a perfect example of what the 3MT is all about. Incredibly important research on paediatric burns was explained to the judges, and the general audience, in an engaging, lively and at times humorous way,” said Daley.

Kennedy praised the overall calibre of entries to the competition. 

“It is encouraging to know that there is an abundance of fascinating and potentially vital research being conducted by students of various backgrounds and disciplines all around the globe,” she said. 

Second place was given to Emma Elliott from the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, whose research addresses how we assess memory and thinking problems after a stroke.

The People’s Choice Award was won by Chidinma Raymond from the University of Nottingham’s School of Life Sciences. Raymond’s research is designing new detection tests to combat the Hepatitis B virus.

The post U of Queensland student wins 3MT competition appeared first on The PIE News.

Marketing firm breaks down personas of adult learners to help colleges recruit better

Inside Higher Ed - 14 hours 4 min ago

Adult learners can’t be lumped into a one-size-fits-all category, according to Leanne Davis, assistant director of applied research at the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

That’s why Lipman Hearne, a Chicago-based marketing firm with a focus on higher education and enrollment, surveyed adult learners and created four “personas” to better understand them.

Kirsten Fedderke, senior vice president and account director at the firm, said while much of what they found in the survey matches common assumptions about adult learners, some data point to nuances of the population that are often ignored.

For example, while respondents said their top reason for enrolling in college was to have a good job, the next three reasons were more emotional, like “be confident and prepared for life” and “be well-rounded and professionally responsible.”

“We were also surprised by the positive nature of the emotions,” said Suzanne Grigalunas, Lipman Hearne's enrollment marketing specialist. “When you look at the marketing materials out there, it addresses the anxiety and fear, and students are excited.”

Four Personas of Adult Learners Reinventors: Interested in prestige, are exploring several career options, want part-time programs that are mostly online

Scholars: Interested in the traditional academic experience, very certain of their career path, want full-time and on-campus programs

Change makers: Interested in customizing their education, want emotional benefits, uninterested in prestige

Seekers: Interested in a pathway to a job, want emotional benefits, more likely to feel stressed

Adult learners make up about 27 percent of the nation's undergraduate student population. As enrollment continues to decline overall, and the U.S. population skews older, some argue that institutions will have to attract adult learners to survive.

“Re-engaging adult students is not low-hanging fruit, but it is definitely something that we need to be able to do if we want to meet workforce demands,” Davis said. “Basically, we just need to be able to rethink delivering higher education.”

Most institutions are set up for “traditional students” -- those ages 18 to 24. Recruiting 18-year-olds, however, is much different from recruiting adults, said Marie Cini, president of the nonprofit Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

Lipman Hearne received 1,006 responses to its 2018 survey of people ages 25 to 54 with a high school diploma or associate’s degree but no four-year degree. Those surveyed were at least considering working toward a degree in the next few years, and some already had credits or were enrolled in a two-year program.

Most respondents were employed full-time and lived in suburbs or cities. More than half were married or have families.

Over all, the survey found that the price and flexibility of programs must be communicated early on. Adult learners who took the survey were also concerned about fitting in and wanted credit for the experience they gained while working. A good portion also were interested in programs that weren’t solely online.

A large number -- 82 percent -- also said they wanted to enroll at the most affordable place that admits them. Beyond that, though, those surveyed said they'd pay more over all for a degree if the annual cost was lower.

“It is important to know who you’re targeting, because not all adult learners are the same,” said Cini.

Using the four personas -- the reinventors, scholars, change makers and seekers -- Fedderke said institutions could identify what types of students would be a good fit, and then target them using information from the personas.

“At a high level, it helps put a face to audience that I think is often thought of as very monolithic,” she said.

Carolyn Hebert, director of marketing and public relations at the public, online Charter Oak State College in Connecticut, said marketing teams need to go beyond segmentation.

“The more we can define things like mind-set for segments of the population, the better marketing experience we can deliver -- however, it doesn’t go far enough,” Hebert said in an email. “We are beginning to see tech platforms using AI that provide higher ed institutions with the ability to leverage data from different sources in real time to allow us to deliver a highly customized communications experience to each individual.”

Grigalunas agrees that hyperpersonalization is necessary, but she said that personas can serve as frameworks for future planning.

Lipman Hearne surveyed the landscape for similar marketing reports and found that the application of personas was missing, Grigalunas said. Their report also digs into the mind-sets of adult learners and their emotional drivers.

“As demographics are changing, it’s needed by the institutions to really think more broadly about who their prospective student really is,” Fedderke said, noting that few established pipelines exist to get students into higher education once they fall outside of the “traditional recruitment funnel.”

Few institutions were talking to adult learners in a “way that made sense to them,” she said, so it’s important to take another look at marketing.

Cini agreed that segmenting different characteristics into personas would be helpful to better target messages from colleges.

However, she said the issue is “more complex than that.”

“Just marketing isn’t going to bring more adults in,” she said. Institutions need to look at what they’re offering and how it’s offered, as well. This information could help inform institutions of what those target markets are looking for so they can design programs.

Davis made a similar argument and said she hopes institutions would think beyond marketing when looking at this report.

“It’s great marketing points,” she said, “but how can you redesign supports?”

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After first rejection, Florida Coastal makes another bid to go nonprofit

Inside Higher Ed - 14 hours 4 min ago

Florida Coastal School of Law, a Jacksonville-based for-profit institution, suffered a setback last month in its bid to reclassify as a nonprofit.

The law school’s application was rejected by its accreditor, the American Bar Association, last month in a confidential decision. But Florida Coastal, which has posted improved bar-passage rates after years of dismal numbers, says it’s full steam ahead on the push to go nonprofit.

“We’re focused on moving forward with this application,” said Peter Goplerud, Florida Coastal’s president.

The law school submitted a second application to the ABA last week and still hopes to reclassify as a nonprofit institution by next year.

The plans at the law school are indicative of the kinds of changes sweeping the for-profit legal education sector more broadly, some observers said.

The sector was already small to begin with. But in recent years, law schools operated by InfiLaw, Florida Coastal’s parent company, have closed or are in the process of shutting down. Charlotte School of Law shut down in 2017, and Arizona Summit Law School made plans last year to eventually close its doors. Other law schools, including Charleston School of Law in South Carolina and John Marshall in Atlanta, have made plans to convert to nonprofit status as well. A change in tax status means colleges are subject to fewer federal regulations. Those colleges also hope it would help enrollment.

While the number of new students entering law school has declined over all in recent years, the for-profit sector in particular has taken a big hit, said Kyle McEntee, executive director and co-founder of Law School Transparency, a consumer advocacy group that focuses on legal education.

“Schools didn’t have good outcomes, and the ABA was breathing down their necks with enforcement of standards. Students started voting with their feet,” he said. “For a for-profit enterprise, there are different expectations now.”

The law schools operated by the InfiLaw chain appeared to grow without regard to student success, McEntee said.

Those schools had some of the worst bar-passage rates in their respective states in recent years, although they were comparable to some poor-performing nonprofit institutions. Those outcomes led the Obama administration to cut off Title IV federal aid to Charlotte School of Law, an InfiLaw program in North Carolina that shut down in 2017.

But Florida Coastal, after seeing its bar-passage rates fall below 50 percent two years ago, made a 15-point jump to 62 percent earlier this year. In July bar-passage results, the law school topped 70 percent. Florida International University College of Law had the best results in the state, with a 95.7 percent bar-passage rate.

Scott DeVito, the law school’s then dean, announced in February that Florida Coastal would try to convert to nonprofit status. That process would begin with clearance from the ABA, the school’s accreditor, and will require the approval of the Department of Education, the IRS and Florida state regulators as well. Going nonprofit would allow Florida Coastal to fundraise and help it to recruit new students, Goplerud said.

“Our market research indicates that students are still much more interested in nonprofit entities, particularly in legal education,” he said.

Some legal education observers are skeptical of those arguments.

“In the for-profit college context, these deals have protected the financial interests of investors,” said Brian Galle, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

In recent years, going the nonprofit route has become increasingly popular among the for-profit sector writ large, not just law schools. Among the high-profile nonprofit conversions, Grand Canyon University, one of the most successful for-profit colleges, announced last year it had cleared regulatory hurdles to become a nonprofit. Grand Canyon sold its campus and academic operations to a new nonprofit entity that contracted with the remaining corporation to provide a range of support services.

Florida Coastal leaders envision the law school contracting with a subsidiary of InfiLaw, its current parent company, to provide those services.

“There would be a greater level of independence and much more of an arm's-length relationship between the school and the services provider than in the Grand Canyon situation,” Goplerud said.

Bob Shireman, director of higher education excellence and senior fellow at the Century Foundation, said it’s incumbent on accreditors like the ABA to scrutinize whether such proposals to go nonprofit seriously change the structure of a college or university so it doesn’t continue to answer to outside investors.

“If a contract puts a straitjacket on the nonprofit’s ability to decide what’s best for students, then it’s not really operating as a nonprofit. It’s operating as a for-profit in a nonprofit shell,” he said.

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Chapman University student paper declined to cover Bush, but not for reason you might think

Inside Higher Ed - 14 hours 4 min ago

Chapman University’s student reporters received a rare opportunity earlier this month to cover a speech by President George W. Bush. However, they opted not to cover the visit after they were told by Chapman that any articles would have to be preapproved by Bush’s team.

In an editorial published Oct. 13, The Panther’s editorial board explained that they chose not to cover the speech because the restrictions went against their journalistic values.

“We knew that we would be giving up on an incredible opportunity -- one we had worked tirelessly to get -- but we also knew that it was tarnish our reputation and go against the ethics we’ve been preaching in our editorials,” wrote the editorial board. “So we decided that we couldn’t and wouldn’t cooperate with these demands. No one is worth bending over backwards for, not even a former president. It pained us to give it up, but we did.”

“In planning for this milestone visit, we agreed the event would be closed to the media and any press materials would be shared with President Bush’s office before it was released to the public,” said Jamie Ceman, vice president of strategic marketing and communications at Chapman, in a written statement. “President Bush was our guest and a friend of our longtime donors -- the two individuals being recognized that night -- and we were being respectful of his desire not to have any press in the room.”

Bush was on campus Oct. 9 for the 20th anniversary and naming of the George L. Argyos School of Business and Economics. The event raised money for the Argyos School endowment, and tickets were selling for $5,000. George Argyos, an alumnus of Chapman, served as a U.S. ambassador to Spain under President Bush

The Panther reporters would have been some of the few students or members of the press in attendance, as the event was closed to the media.

The student reporters who were to attend were originally told they could not record or photograph the event. In the editorial they wrote this stipulation would make accurately covering the event more difficult, but that they were “over the moon” at the prospect of such exclusive access and were willing to comply. The students drew the line at Bush’s office having final approval over the piece.

“Words cannot begin to describe how unethical this is. It goes against everything we swear to uphold,” reads the editorial. “Free press means it comes directly from the hands of journalists to the eyes of the readers. It doesn’t go through a third-party PR source that modifies it to comply with their demands. It goes straight to the people.”

“The Bush organization agreed to let the Panther students attend the event as guests, not as press, so they could experience the evening,” said Ceman. “Being that they would not have been there as members of the press, it was a Chapman University decision to hold them to the same standard we held ourselves, and we asked that they comply with our agreement to share any content prior to publishing.”

The Panther editorial team concluded their statement of explanation by saying they had no regrets over their decision.

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Chronicle of Higher Education: What I'm Reading: ‘Making Global Learning Universal’

Internationalization should affect all students on campus, not just those able to travel, says a book that guides colleges toward that goal.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Selected New Books on Higher Education

Among the subjects of recent books are how to lead millennial faculty members and the failures of modern business schools.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Speaking Up About Free Speech on Campus

A professor searches for the right balance between free speech and academic freedom. Equality, he says, is at stake.

Chronicle of Higher Education: A Dropout’s Coding School Joins a College

Ashutosh Desai, the founder of Make School, wants to create a college more like the high school he attended.

U.S. Department of Education Blog | Ed.gov: The Parent’s Guide to Filling Out the FAFSA® Form

While the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is the student’s application, we know that parents often play a large role in the process.

read more

Chronicle of Higher Education: Do Most Academics Fib on Their CVs?

A recent study of 180 academic curricula vitae found that 56 percent that claimed to have at least one publication contained at least one inaccuracy or unverifiable publication.

Chinese students urged to be proud of “actual names”

The PIE News - Fri, 10/18/2019 - 07:48

Chinese students in Edinburgh have been persuaded to use their birth names rather than adopted English ones on a Facebook ‘confessions’ page.

In a post, published on October 7 on on EdiFess – an anonymous confession page for students in Edinburgh – Chinese students were told to “be more proud of your actual names”.

Adopting an English name is a common practice for Chinese students learning English or travelling and working abroad. Actor Li Lianjie and Alibaba founder Ma Yun, for example, are both better known outside of China as Jet Li and Jack Ma.


“It’s very popular to pick an English name when you’re at college so that’s when I followed the trend,” one former student told The PIE News.

“It’s very important to have a name that the other culture can understand”

“But later I found my Chinese name was quite easy for foreigners to pronounce. A lot of people said they liked my name. But by that time I had been using my name for several years and I kind of feel connected with both names now.”

Other students and former students The PIE reached out to noted that language classes in China were sometimes pushy in forcing students to pick an English name.

Others said they saw it as more of a nickname and pointed out that having nicknames or descriptors attached to one’s name is common in China.

The phenomena also works in reverse, with some foreign students in China adopting Chinese names.

“From my experience, it’s very important to have a name that the other culture can understand,” Richard Coward of China Admissions explained.

“In China, I need a Chinese name. In Spain, I introduce myself as Riccardo. It’s more relatable and they feel as if you are one of them.”

China-based language school Mandarin House reported its long-term students also adopt Chinese names.

“Adopting a Chinese name represents an excellent opportunity to express their personal values and aspirations to new people they meet,” president of Mandarin House Jasmine Bian said.

“They also appreciate the fact that having a Chinese name makes it easier for others to remember them,[and] showcases to others that they are making an effort to integrate into the Chinese culture.

“We encourage our students to either ask their teacher or a native Chinese speaker for help. Since Chinese names are heavy in meaning, students often start by deciding which personality traits or values are most important to them and then go from there.”

The post Chinese students urged to be proud of “actual names” appeared first on The PIE News.

U.S. Department of Education Blog | Ed.gov: Nine Ways Technology Can Boost STEM Learning

Across the nation, innovative programs are preparing students to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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France ramps up campaign to attract 500k

The PIE News - Fri, 10/18/2019 - 06:36

As part of France’s bid to attract 500,000 international students to its shores by 2027, Campus France has announced a new international campaign to give a voice to those who have chosen France for their studies. Currently, around 343,000 international students are enrolled in the French higher education system.

Following the launch of a national strategy of attractiveness, ‘Bienvenue en France‘,  the ‘Fulfil Your Dream’ campaign promotes an open and enterprising France at the centre of Europe and is supported by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

“France wants to maintain its status as a major host country and its aptitude to attract the best students”

Campus France will use digital platforms to broadcast the campaign in embassies of France across 126 countries.

It will use an interactive game centred around the theme of young students’ “dreams” and posters featuring alumni from French schools, as well as various testimonials on social media targeting students around the world.

It will also see the launch of a new web platform, which will highlight the profiles of 12 foreign international who came to study in France.

Despite debates about tuition fees, the number of international students hosted by France has continued to grow.

According to the Key Figures report published by Campus France earlier this year, the 343,000 international students enrolled in the French HE system between 2017–2018 represents growth of 4.5% on the previous year.

According to the report, 46% of the students came from the African continent, but there are “signs of diversification”.

“France is now drawing more Italian, Portuguese, American, and Indian students than it did five years ago. It is also notable that the number of foreign doctoral candidates in France continues to rise,” explained the report.

In the academic year 2017-18, Morocco, Algeria, China, Italy and Tunisia were the top five source countries of international students, which together accounted for 38% of the total.

With the exception of China, which saw a 1% decrease in student numbers between 2012 and 2017, the number of students from all these countries has increased over the past few years.

Other fast-growing markets include the Ivory Coast (+80%) and India (+90%).

“In an increasingly competitive world of higher education, France wants to maintain its status as a major host country and its aptitude to attract the best students in its institutions, whether they come from Africa, Asia or America”, said Béatrice Khaiat, managing director of Campus France.

As part of its drive to attract more students, France is also working to improve its visa policies, increase the number of English-taught and French as a foreign language courses, provide better support services for students and increase the number of scholarships.

It is also focusing on its outreach and brand awareness, as evidenced by the opening of new Campus France offices worldwide, including one in London as of May 2019.

The post France ramps up campaign to attract 500k appeared first on The PIE News.

Mental health is low priority for community colleges

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 10/18/2019 - 00:00

When Harrisburg Area Community College, the largest community college in Pennsylvania, announced Thursday that it had stopped providing on-campus clinical counseling services to students, it was perhaps a sign of things to come.

University and college administrators across the country have been increasingly saying that student mental health issues are one of the most pressing, and costly, challenges on campuses today.

Four-year institutions are allocating larger portions of their budgets to mental health services for students, and they are feeling some financial strain. But community colleges -- largely underfunded and facing declining enrollment -- are seriously struggling to cover, much less keep up with, the high costs of providing those services.

HACC, as the Pennsylvania college is known, seemed to have little choice.

"Over the past decade, HACC, like other colleges and universities across the commonwealth and nation, has seen a decline in our student enrollment, having a profound impact on its financial operations," said a statement released by the university Thursday. "During the same time period, for example, HACC has experienced a reduction in enrollment, a significant reduction in financial support from sponsoring school districts and very modest increases in state funding."

Enrollment at the college dropped from 20,000 students to 17,400 between 2014 and 2019. What's more, the college is facing a $9.7 million budget deficit for 2019-20 fiscal year. As a result, "the HACC Board of Trustees approved several measures to address the shortfall; remain fiscally sound; and continue to offer a high-quality, accessible education to its students," the statement said.

Among those measures, the college will eliminate 20 staff counseling positions by October of next year and will refer students to local mental health providers instead, the statement said.

"With limited resources, HACC is focusing on providing an excellent education for students and allowing other organizations that can provide specialized clinical mental health services to do so," it said.

“At HACC, our first priority is our students,” the system’s president, John J. Sygielski, said in the statement. “We know that they overcome challenges every day to make their dream of a college education a reality. Our primary job is to help them succeed academically.”

Although addressing mental health needs is an important part of that student success equation, community colleges will be the first among struggling postsecondary institutions to eliminate on-campus counseling services, said Kevin Kruger, president of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, known as NASPA.

No matter how important mental health may be to university leaders, institutions “on the margins” have to make difficult choices about the resources they provide to students, he said.

Student mental health was ranked the No. 1 issue by 750 chief student affairs officers at both private and public, two-year and four-year institutions in NASPA’s 2019 Vice President for Student Affairs Census. Twenty-eight percent of student affairs professionals said mental health concerns outweighed other pressing issues, including declines in enrollment and completion, according to the census, which will be released Dec. 1.

Administrators are trying to address fiscal challenges “in a time when students’ needs are greater than ever,” Kruger said. He added that students’ use of college counseling centers has increased over the last five years and institutions feel they can never have enough counselors.

HACC's mental health counselors previously had one to two clinical sessions with students seeking help and then referred them to an off-campus professional. HACC reported that from 2018 to 2019, only 1 percent of its more than 17,000 students across five campuses received this service, which could explain why administrators decided to eliminate it.

With the looming loss of mental health counselors at the college, student affairs staff will now be tasked with picking up the slack and will focus on supporting students by working more closely with them on goal setting, career planning, time management and achieving college work-life balance, the HACC statement said.

Pennsylvania ranks 49th in the country in higher education funding, and community colleges in the state especially are suffering from “chronic disinvestment,” Elizabeth A. Bolden, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, said in a statement.

Spotlight PA reported that the community colleges have had a “nearly stagnant” state budget for years.

“Community colleges are often forced to review what programs and services need to be reduced, redesigned or -- in some cases -- eliminated,” Bolden said. “The recent redesign of the provision of on-campus clinical mental health counseling at one college is an example of one of those decisions.”

Despite the diminished state funding, Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf "encourages leaders at the Commonwealth’s post-secondary institutions to continue exploring all available options for providing their students with access to mental health services within their budgetary constraints," Eric Levis, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, said in a statement.

He noted that the Wolf administration recommended last year that school districts expand student access to mental health services. Postsecondary institutions were not included in this recommendation, however.

"The administration recognizes the importance of providing access to mental health services to students of all ages, including those attending post-secondary institutions," Levis wrote.

This is the same approach that has dogged Virginia CC system institutions since the state decided CC students should seek mental health services in their communities instead of at the colleges. Fact is, students can’t access underfunded cmty mental health services.

— AE Duke-Benfield (@AEDukehighered) October 17, 2019

College administrators will have to weigh the long-term consequences of reducing mental health services and how to alleviate the outcomes.

“Where the conversation is evolving is … how can institutions build the capacity to address some of the normal psychological issues that are common for the typical college student,” Kruger said. “How do you engage other faculty in this process, so that not all the weight is on the counseling center? More colleges are looking into how faculty can play a role. Not a therapeutic role, but with conversations.”

Outsourcing counseling services to community health networks is not a new strategy and could even provide a level of support on-campus counseling centers are unable to deliver, Kruger said. A 2015 American Association of Community Colleges survey of campus counselors found that of two-year colleges that do not provide on-campus mental health services, 21 percent refer students to outside organizations, 20 percent have contracts with community-based programs and 10 percent handle student concerns through behavioral intervention or threat assessment.

The responsibility of community colleges to provide commuter students with mental health resources is different from that of four-year institutions that have students living on campus, Kruger said.

The Community College of Allegheny County, which enrolls about 15,000 students across four campuses in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, already refers students to off-campus mental health providers, Spotlight PA reported. CCAC’s counseling department provides services aligned with what HACC has begun -- career services and academic development -- with 12 staff members who are not required to be licensed therapists, Elizabeth Johnston, the college's executive director of public relations, wrote in an email.

CCAC’s services do include “personal counseling,” but counselors do not directly handle mental health issues, Johnston wrote.

“If a counselor sees a student who is in crisis and who requires mental health treatment, the counselor will make a referral and arrange for ongoing treatment with an outside agency,” Johnston wrote. “If the student is already in treatment, the counselor will refer the student back to his or her mental health professional.”

Community mental health programs have extended hours and 24-hour suicide prevention services, which many colleges or universities are unable to provide, Kruger said. HACC will continue to provide students in crisis with immediate help from security and student affairs officials, a protocol that has been in place for “several years,” the college's statement said.

Some higher education advocates are concerned that low-income and nontraditional students will have reduced access to outside counseling services as a result of reduced services on campus, said Lauren Walizer, a senior policy analyst for postsecondary education at the Center for Law and Social Policy, known as CLASP.

“In making referrals for clinical mental health needs, HACC employees take into account a student’s financial situation, as well as insurance coverage, and then make the appropriate referral based on the student’s circumstances,” a college spokesperson wrote in a statement. “Referrals are made to local professionals or community resources based on the student’s needs.”

Beyond whether students have insurance that covers mental health services, students in community college face barriers with transportation, Walizer said.

“The less you offer, the more you are putting the burden on students,” Walizer said. “They have to figure out how to get there … it’s a mental burden. They could be spending time studying or focusing academically, but they’re searching for services instead.”

Walizer said the ideal option for colleges that decide to stop providing mental health services is to build partnerships with specific community organizations that can send therapists to the campus. HACC said it “hopes to partner” with a third-party organization that would provide affordable counseling options. But community organizations, like community colleges, are also struggling due to inadequate state and county funding, Walizer said.

“I’m sure they do the best they can, but what we’re seeing is that states are underfunding their mental health services -- things that students need and what adults need,” Walizer said. “There’s no guarantee that the county or nonprofit organization that the student would be referred to is going to have the resources they need, either.”

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New grant program at Pitt matches Pell Grants and targets students' unmet need

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 10/18/2019 - 00:00

When Ann Cudd joined the University of Pittsburgh as provost last September, she asked her team to look at how much unmet need the university's students have.

“The answer to that question wasn’t pretty,” Cudd said.

Pennsylvania has the second-lowest level of per-capita state support for higher education, according to a 2018 report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. And its public four-year colleges have the third-highest in-state tuition and fees in the nation, according to a 2018 report from the College Board.

To address that problem, the university created the Pitt Success Pell Match Program, which began this fall. The program takes a data-driven, targeted approach to disbursing grant aid. It provides a dollar-for-dollar match for all Pell Grants.

Cudd’s office also analyzed data to find the tipping point for unmet need that caused students to leave college ($20,000 for the main campus and $15,000 for Pitt's four regional campuses). The university is providing funds to “bring students back from that cliff” and to a manageable amount of unmet need. Only first-year students are receiving this grant this year, and one class will be added each year until all classes are eligible.

“We really wanted to try to do something innovative and targeted, because we knew we couldn’t get to that wonderful zero point” for unmet need, Cudd said. Eliminating all unmet need would cost around $187 million annually, which felt like an “unreachable goal for us at this point,” she said.

The Pitt program will cost $25.4 million in its first year and reach 5,007 students at the campus, which enrolls about 24,500 undergraduates. Only full-time students are eligible for the grants, but there is no age cutoff. Both the Pell match and unmet-need grants are automatically disbursed by the financial aid office.

The university is paying for the new aid through cost-savings initiatives and reallocation of merit-based aid as need-based grants. It also made across-the-board budget cuts of less than 1 percent.

“My research background is inequality in higher education,” Cudd said. “I’ve been very interested in this question of, why are we doing merit-based aid? So I came to this role with that question in mind.”

Marcia Sturdivant, president and CEO of NEED in Pittsburgh, said the program is creative, strategic and mindful. NEED is a nonprofit college-access program that helps underserved high school students prepare and pay for college.

“I think it’s a great idea and a very generous concept to include students who may not otherwise be able to afford tuition at the University of Pittsburgh,” Sturdivant said. “I think it also speaks to the integrity of the university.”

Tiffany Jones, director of higher education policy at the Education Trust, said it’s “really impressive when an institution steps up to the plate” in a state with high costs for higher education and low state support.

The Pitt Success program gets a few things right over programs at other institutions, Jones said. First, it helps students pay for bachelor’s degrees, not just two-year degrees, increasing their earning potential. It also provides funding beyond tuition, so a student can use the Pell Grant match for expenses like housing and books.

Merit Aid and Lower-Income Students

However, Jones said Pitt does not enroll many Pell recipients. While nearly half of K-12 students in the state receive free or reduced lunch, indicating a high population of low-income people, only 16 percent of the university’s undergraduate population were Pell Grant recipients in the 2017-18 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“Where are those other low-income students in the state going to college?” Jones said. “Do they not have access to the University of Pittsburgh?”

Cudd said the university is trying to address that issue, and the grant program seems to be helping. This academic year, the number of Pell-eligible students on all campuses increased by 12.4 percent compared to last year.

“Historically, the University of Pittsburgh for the last 15 or 20 years has really been trying very hard to provide this very top-notch, first-class education, and has had to improve the quality of students in terms of their drive and motivation, and we’ve done a great job of raising various metrics,” Cudd said.

But, by using merit-based aid to do that, she said the university started to lose lower-income students.

“We’re looking to add motivated, lower-income students who couldn’t come” due to the cost, she said. The university analyzed the quality of the class after reallocating merit-based aid and found that the students were just as high achieving as before.

“They just now can afford to choose Pitt,” Cudd said.

Sturdivant believes the program will help increase diversity at the university.

“Students shouldn’t have to make decisions on whether to continue education because of financial situations, but that’s the reality,” she said.

Cudd said the university has the program budgeted out years in advance. By year nine, it will be part of the ongoing budget and will regularly renew. She expects to retain more students with the aid, which will ultimately help the university and raise enrollment at the regional campuses. Cudd is also investing her discretionary strategic funding as provost toward the program for several years, she said.

The university plans to assess the program by looking at how students use the extra funds and how it affects diversity. It is also working to diversify the faculty's ranks, Cudd said.

So far, Cudd said she hasn’t come up against any backlash to the program or shifting of funds.

“Higher education is coming to a real crisis point in terms of not being able to serve the goal of social mobility,” she said. “I’ve been really heartened by the degree to which this has had pretty much universal acceptance and enthusiasm.”

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Why colleges are prioritizing privacy

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 10/18/2019 - 00:00

CHICAGO -- For attendees at the 2019 Educause conference this week, privacy was top of mind.

Scandals such as Cambridge Analytica, data breaches at ed-tech companies such as Chegg and an increasingly complex regulatory landscape have raised difficult questions about what data colleges collect, how they use them and with whom they are shared.

While many colleges have added chief information security officers to their IT teams in the past decade, relatively few have added chief privacy officers. Things appear to be changing.

“I think most colleges will have privacy officers in the next five to seven years,” Celeste Schwartz, vice president for information technology and chief digital officer at Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania, said in a session on privacy at the conference. “I think laws will almost dictate that.”

At institutions such as American University in Washington, there is no chief privacy officer.

“We view privacy as a shared responsibility,” said Cathy Hubbs, chief information security officer at the university.

American has created a privacy group to oversee compliance, follow policy developments and consider best practices. But Hubbs said the volume of work is challenging.

"We're doing a pretty good job, but we're not at maturity yet," she said

The University of Pennsylvania has taken a different approach; it added a chief privacy officer in 2001, making it among the first institutions in higher ed to do so. Scott Schafer, chief university privacy officer and institutional compliance officer, said the institution now has seven full-time privacy staff. These staff members monitor policy developments and ensure the university is compliant. They also play a role in technology procurement and in raising awareness of privacy issues on campus.

“Are we doing enough as a society to protect personal information privacy?”

Absolutely not. Society in the US is more of a ‘beg forgiveness’ than an ‘ask permission’ mindset when it comes to data collection, dissemination, and protection.#edu19disinformation #edu19

— Justin @ #edu19 (@InfoSciJustin) October 16, 2019

“Privacy is where security was 10 years ago,” said Ann Nagel, the privacy officer at the University of Washington. “I helped our institution build the security office, and now I’m building the privacy office.”

Privacy is not just about compliance, said Nagel. “We need to look at it from a humanitarian and ethical perspective,” she said. “There is a lot of data you might be collecting that is not protected by law or regulation. Laws have a difficult time keeping pace with technology.”

Schafer noted that privacy is a component of security, but it is not the same thing. Keeping data secure is important, but you also need to understand “why you’re collecting it, whether it’s for a legitimate purpose, who you’re sharing it with,” he said, adding that data are best shared on a “need-to-know basis.”

Jon Allen, interim chief information officer at Baylor University, agreed that privacy and security go hand in hand despite being different concepts.

“You have security without privacy, but you can’t have privacy without security,” he said.

In Educause’s annual list of top 10 IT issues last year, privacy was a new entrant at No. 3. On the 2020 list, which is yet to be published, privacy will take the No. 2 spot. California, Maine, Nevada, New York and other states have all recently introduced privacy protection laws, some inspired in part by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

The importance of baking data security, privacy and accessibility into contracts when purchasing new technology was widely discussed at the conference. In a session on teaching apps, representatives from the IMS Global consortium said that they are working to create a “Yelp for privacy” -- where higher ed users can share their reviews of the privacy standards of various products. Over 500 products have so far been vetted against IMS Global’s privacy rubric.

My experience: Most vendors have at least two versions of template contracts. You need to push past the “vendor can do anything” first version to get to the “we will consider privacy” version. #edu19disinformation #EDU19

— Rick Osterberg (@RickOsterberg) October 16, 2019

Doug Welch, chief privacy officer at Baylor, said that the institution is trying to be proactive about privacy. Disclosing how and why you’re using data can create a positive approach to privacy, he said. A recent investigation by The Washington Post found that many institutions that used cookies to track potential students did not disclose clearly what information they were collecting or why.

“A good rule is to ask yourself: If people knew we were doing this, what would they think?” he said.

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Racial inequality, at college and in the workplace

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 10/18/2019 - 00:00

A new study released by Georgetown University in part refutes the notion that African American and Latinx minorities can improve their socioeconomic standing just by going to college.

According to the study, between 1991 and 2016, black and Latino Americans increased their likelihood of obtaining and maintaining a good job, but their white peers still disproportionately hold better jobs compared to their overall employment.

“It’s a pretty damning story all together, and it says that there’s a huge challenge ahead of us,” said Anthony Carnevale, a research professor at Georgetown and director of the university's Center on Education and the Workforce, who is also a co-author of the study.

A good job as defined by the study is one that provides “family-sustaining earnings,” which translates to minimums of $35,000 annually for workers 25 to 44 and $45,000 for workers 45 to 64.

Regardless of education levels obtained, these racial disparities continue to exist. Diversity in higher education has made improvements over the years but is still not accessible to all, primarily due to cost. The National Center for Education Statistics found that in 2017, 41 percent of white young adults were enrolled in college, compared to 36 percent of black and Hispanic young adults. Additionally, for Americans over 25, 33 percent of whites have a bachelor's degree, compared to 19 percent of blacks and 16 percent of Hispanics.

The study found that in 2016 the median wage of a good job for workers with a bachelor's degree for whites was $75,000 compared to $65,000 for blacks and Latinos.

White workers are also paid more than black or Latinx workers in good jobs at every level of education received. College-educated whites have benefited the most from the increased demand for college-educated workers, said the study.

The study also found that in 2016 white workers held 77 percent of the good jobs despite only representing 69 percent of available job holders. Black workers had 10 percent of the good jobs out of 13 percent of the jobs they held, and Latinx workers had 13 percent of good jobs while holding 18 percent of all jobs. Also in the study findings was that black Americans have almost twice the unemployment rate of white Americans, and Latinos have about 1.5 times the unemployment rate of whites.

“We are a culture that keeps secrets from ourselves,” said Carnevale regarding the bias that exists in hiring processes.

Additional explanations for the lack of minorities in good jobs despite education levels, beyond personal bias, includes feeder patterns through school systems and the ability to form connections with people already in good jobs. However, according to Carnevale, at the margins, bias and discrimination better describe the divide in who holds good jobs.

As workers increase their level of education, wage discrimination is reduced between whites and minorities, but it still remains.

“Our institutions are now working in such a way that it pretty much guarantees that the white kids win. And we know that this is deeply embedded in the system,” Carnevale said.

Carnevale cited a previous study he worked on which found that 70 percent of white students from the top income sector still ended up going to college and getting a good job, while only 30 percent of lower-income students with high test scores followed that path. When those lower-income and minority students did make it into good jobs, they ended up getting paid less than their white counterparts.

He said that the conclusions to the study were stronger than he thought they would be, noting that there was progress for African Americans despite their position in comparison to whites.

“We had slavery, Jim Crow, the failure to hand out 40 acres and a mule; we had housing policy, veterans' policy, redlining. The new culprit is higher education,” said Carnevale. “It’s institutional just like the [Federal Housing Administration] policies that didn’t allow black people to buy houses in the suburbs. Colleges in America didn’t set out to do this, but in a passive sense they’ve become the capstone in a system that guarantees racial inequality.”

“In the end higher education is part of the problem, not part of the solution. The industrial organization of higher education is part of the problem,” said Carnevale.

Carnevale said that higher education needs to fundamentally change to help solve the problem, something he says most people recognize.

While African American and particularly Latino workers have gained traction in fields where a high school or middle-skills education is needed, whites still dominate jobs which need a bachelor's level of education. Middle skills refer to jobs that require less than a B.A. but more than a high school degree.

Carnevale compared the situation to a race where minorities are “running faster but losing ground” to white Americans, particularly affluent ones, who are pulling ahead.

“I don’t think people -- I didn’t, anyway -- fully understood the extent to which, since the '80s, the white and affluent population has basically locked down the future,” said Carnevale. “You can get rid of discrimination, but this is a structural problem.”

Carnevale said that whites are poised to continue to hold good jobs, especially in the B.A. sector, and minorities will have a hard time catching up.

The study recommended expanding educational opportunities and addressing discrimination, as well as implementing policies and incentives that encourage diversity and create more growth in underdeveloped areas.

One of the solutions Carnevale suggested was introducing work experience and training to students earlier. This included in middle and high school, because as it stands now, young people are not getting the relevant work experiences they need.

Carnevale said that some good news is that the number of good jobs is increasing while black and Latinx unemployment rates have decreased. However, those improvements do not mean that black or Latinx Americans have caught up to the good job opportunities accessible to white Americans.

“The pessimistic conclusion I come to -- and not all my co-authors agree with me -- is that the white population in America has set itself up for the next 30 to 40 years,” said Carnevale. “I don’t see what will change that except for policy on a scale that’s actually effective.”

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British government considers creating DARPA-like agency

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 10/18/2019 - 00:00

Academics have expressed concern about plans announced by Britain's Conservative government to create a new funding agency modeled on the U.S. research organization that created the forerunner to the internet.

Plans to create an equivalent of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and cut down on research funding “bureaucracy” are long-standing priorities for Dominic Cummings, the most senior adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. But their inclusion in the queen’s speech on Oct. 14 raised concerns about whether he would bypass existing funding mechanisms or reshape the entire research system to reflect his own agenda on science.

Cummings’s blog, written in his years outside government, spelled out his belief that the government should offer far greater support to research that could lead to technological breakthroughs.

The briefing document for the queen’s speech says that the government would combine “increased investment in science” with “a new approach to funding emerging fields of research and technology,” which would be “broadly modeled” on DARPA. The government also wants to “[reduce] bureaucracy in research funding to ensure our brilliant scientists are able to spend as much time as possible creating new ideas, not filling in unnecessary forms,” the document says.

The U.S. government created the Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1958. It was subsequently renamed DARPA to reflect a focus on defense-related technology.

In 2014, Cummings advocated the creation of a “civilian version of DARPA aimed at high-risk/high-impact breakthroughs in areas like energy science and other fundamental areas such as quantum information and computing that clearly have world-changing potential.”

Kieron Flanagan, senior lecturer in science and technology policy at the University of Manchester, said that the proposals reflected suggestions that Cummings felt that the creation of UK Research and Innovation -- an umbrella body for the country’s research councils -- “was a failure, at least in terms of playing the role of supporting emerging technologies.”

But, while DARPA had played an important role in shaping the U.S. IT industry in the 1960s and 1970s, there was “no reason to suppose what worked for one specific industry at a specific moment in history is transferrable to emerging technologies in general,” Flanagan said.

“The creation of a new agency could help bring back some of the diversity lost in the creation of UKRI,” Flanagan said. “[But] this notional benefit has to be set against the opportunity costs and risks of policy makers and the research and innovation communities getting bogged down in the creation of new processes and institutions.”

James Wilsdon, professor of research policy at the University of Sheffield, said it was unclear whether the new DARPA-style agency would “sit within the UKRI umbrella or outside it.”

“I hope the science and research community won’t allow its enthusiasm for extra investment to buy its silence in asking tough questions about the evidence, justification and accountability of this ‘new approach,’” Wilsdon said. “What the U.K. research and innovation system needs is a period of stable growth with multiple funding streams -- not dilettante tinkering by unelected advisers.”

Times Higher Education reported last week that Chris Skidmore, the universities minister, wants to combine increased funding with the creation of a five-year financial framework program to fund research. Whether Skidmore’s vision meshes with that of Cummings remains to be seen.

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UK will miss out on study abroad post-Brexit

The PIE News - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 22:01

A  survey of 33 institutions by the Association of Colleges warns that students in the UK may miss out on the opportunities offered by Erasmus+ without continued funding or an alternative study program post-Brexit.

Erasmus+, which is funded by the European Union, is the biggest source of funding and mobility for colleges, offering participants the opportunity to learn, work and train abroad. Since 2017, UK colleges along have received €77 million in funding from the program.

“The program is too valuable and beneficial to not be invested in or replaced”

The AoC said that 95% of colleges, whose budgets are already stretched due to a decade of cuts, won’t be able to offer placements abroad without a post-Brexit plan in place.

A third also reported they may have to ask students to self-fund in the future.

Representing further education, sixth form and tertiary specialist colleges in England, the association is urging the government to consult with the education industry. At present, the government plans to underwrite ongoing and already approved projects until 2020, but only for institutions in the UK and not for those abroad.

“Whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations, young people’s futures must be protected. Erasmus+ is the key route for college students to experience a short period working or training in another country,” said Emma Meredith, the AoC’s international director.

“Our survey clearly shows that the programme is too valuable and beneficial to not be invested in or replaced, if or when the UK leaves the EU.

“The current international education strategy must go further if the government is serious about helping the UK punch above its weight internationally and serious about providing parity of opportunity to all students.”

This view was echoed by organisations such as UKCISA and UUKI.

“International exchange is critical to the success of our colleges and we urge the government to continue to support this activity through Erasmus+ or a replacement programme,” Ann Marie Graham, chief executive at UKCISA, said.

Graham also highlighted the benefits such programs can bring to students, including increased confidence, communication abilities and team building skills.

“We know through our work at Universities UK International that study abroad leads to many benefits, including greater graduate employability, better degree outcomes and higher salaries,” added Vivienne Stern, director at Universities UK International.

“Without this continued funding, 17,000 students will miss out on study abroad opportunities next year.”

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Asian campus graduates out-earn study abroad students, survey finds

The PIE News - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 21:42

Graduates of university campuses in Asia earn more on average than graduates who have studied at universities overseas, a report from talent community Cturtle has revealed.

Surveying 16,830 responses, the International Student Employment Outcomes and Satisfaction report found that on average students who had graduated from campuses in Asia earned more than their counterparts who had studied in universities across popular study destinations, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, US or Europe.

“Employment networks in location of employment are critical for graduate and alumni success”

Studying at a campus in Asia could mean for example a Vietnamese student studying at RMIT Vietnam or at Curtin University (Singapore) or vice versa, explained Shane Dillon founder & CEO of Cturtle.

For graduates who finished their studies within the past three years, those who attended campuses in Asia were earning $2,865, while for alumni from campuses not in the region were earning $2,075 per month.

The wage gap became more pronounced for those who graduated between seven and 15 years ago.

According to the survey, for those who graduated from seven to less than 11 years ago, alumni of Asian campuses were earning $1,089 more than those who graduated abroad.

From 11 years to less than 15, the difference was $926 per month, although after 20 years the difference between the net monthly income lessened.

“This shows the importance of networks in employment,” Dillon told The PIE News, adding that 70% of jobs in students’ home countries are not advertised – professional and social networks are vital.

“Employment networks in the location of employment are critical for graduate and alumni success and are only scalable through partnership. International students home networks atrophy while they are studying abroad.”

This boils down to a “misalignment between university strategy and the goals of international alumni”, according to the Cturtle report.

“Some universities strategy is siloed, alma mater centric solutions to “own” alumni while the goals of graduates, alumni and employers are diverse networks with greater access to global opportunities and talent,” Dillon told The PIE.

“International students give up years of local professional networking to study abroad and innovative universities need a strategy to support their alumni joining home country employment and professional networks so they are not left behind by local graduates.”

The report also found that international students in the UK are less satisfied with their international experience than in other countries of study, and Indian students are the least satisfied with the return on investment from an international education.

Graduates from Canada and Europe were the most satisfied with the return on investment, with 74% of students saying so.

Indian students were the least likely to say they were satisfied with their return on investment, with less than half (49%) suggesting they were happy – significantly less than the average of 68%.

It is an ongoing trend according to Dillon.

“Innovative universities need a strategy to support their alumni joining home country employment and professional networks”

“Our insight says the expectations set at the pre-departure information stage for Indian students in terms of post-study employment, post-study earnings, immigration and their actual experience is leading to high levels of dissatisfaction,” he said,

Additionally, the survey highlights that alumni generally provide the most accurate source of pre-departure information, while at the same time they are the least accessible for prospective students.

“As with any product; if the label does not match the user experience the consumer is unsatisfied, and this was one of the driving factors in building UniAdvisor with Paul Loftus so we could give future students access to trusted peer reviews on the student experience and graduate employment outcomes,” Dillon noted, adding that UniAdvisor launched earlier this year.

“There is opportunity through [universities] asking questions of graduate and alumni data so that universities can improve alumni employment knowledge, alumni engagement and leveraged this engagement for future student recruitment.”

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