Here’s what college presidents are saying about student mental health and well-being

College student mental health—and how campuses are responding—is increasingly in the national spotlight. Headlines in newspapers across the country are reporting that a mental health crisis exists at U.S. colleges and universities, and that it is worsening. Campuses and their counseling centers are seeing increased, unmet demand from students.

National assessment data show rising levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidality—suicidal ideation (serious thoughts about taking one’s own life), suicide plans, and suicide attempts—among the college population. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.

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As with a host of other complex and urgent issues facing higher education institutions in 2019, institutional leadership on student mental health and well-being matters greatly. To better understand how college and university presidents are navigating this challenge, ACE conducted its third Pulse Point survey at the end of April. Over 400 presidents responded.

Here’s what we found.


This strategy can help IT security teams protect institutions’ data

Higher education institutions’ data have long been under attack, but recently, attacks seem to be happening more often. One of the most recent university data breaches hit Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) exposing data of up to 1.3 million individuals.

According to the Georgia Tech News Center, the April 2019 breach exposed information like students’ names, dates of birth, and email addresses. These were not just current records–the hackers stole many years’ worth of data. This breach is only one example of the myriad universities that have experienced breaches exposing sensitive and personally-identifiable information (PII) data.

Related content: What to know about higher-ed data breaches

Universities and their vendors are prime targets for hackers because they are data-rich environments. They hold everything from medical records to social security numbers, with multiple access points, and they maintain a culture of collaboration with the open sharing of information.


3 great ways to supercharge student engagement

No matter what the subject, before students can learn new skills or absorb new material, they need to be paying attention. Here, three educators share the tech tools and best practices they use to improve student engagement and make sure students are energized, focused, and ready to learn.

Some of these tools and strategies are commonly used to boost student engagement in younger grades, but sometimes, higher-ed classrooms can benefit from a dose of simplicity as a way to break the ice and help students relax.

Three ways to focus on student engagement

1. Catherine Castillo: Guided math talks

We use Daily Math Fluency by hand2mind to help educators guide math talks with students. It provides educators with a framework for being intentional about using math talks and number strings in their classrooms.

Related content: What does student engagement look like?

Since we’ve incorporated it, students are more comfortable exploring the multiple ways a math problem can be solved—and openly sharing their strategies and solutions. They’re developing strong number sense by connecting mathematical concepts and exploring relationships by using visual models such as dot patterns, ten-frames, and open arrays.


7 challenges to equity in CTE–and how to solve them

Career and technical education (CTE) is enjoying renewed interest as the stigma sloughs off and students pursue it as a viable and affordable path to high-paying in-demand careers. But equity in CTE presents challenges–challenges with fledgling solutions that could help ensure equity for all students.

While CTE was once used as a way to move low-income and minority students into low-paying jobs, it has moved away from vocational education and has morphed into programs offering pathways through high school and postsecondary education with credentials and work-based learning experiences.

Related content: How VR and AR take CTE to the next level

Practitioner Perspectives on Equity in Career and Technical Education, a new report from MDRC, notes that there are lingering questions about equity in CTE, namely, how students are selected for CTE programs and what supports they receive to reach their goals.

The report is based on input from innovative CTE practictioners who identified common challenges to equity in CTE, along with common concerns such as how, exactly, to define equity and to increase it in both access and outcomes.


Unconscious AI in higher education

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), autonomous systems, robotic process automation, chat bots, augmented and mixed reality and many other buzzwords are flying around water coolers and leadership team meetings across enterprises.

It signifies the interest and the potential benefits to the organizations or institutions (in the case of higher education) and how these technologies can be adopted successfully to gain an advantage in the already very competitive higher education business.

Related content: 4 ways AI is impacting higher education

Part of AI is what is called unconscious AI. What does this really mean, and what are the different perspectives of unconscious AI?


3 bits of higher education news you need to know

Science at a beauty pageant, social media-savvy students, and ever-present budget challenges: higher education news has got all bases covered when it comes to unique developments.

If you’re paying attention to the higher education news headlines, you know institutions are experiencing the highs and lows of modern-day education. Some are leveraging the media savvy of students, and others are trying to determine how to deal with pressing funding issues while still giving students a top-notch education that prepares them for workplace success.

We’ve gathered some of the most interesting headlines to give you a quick and easy catch-up on all things higher ed. Read on to learn what’s new in higher education.


3 ways to combat the effects of trauma on campus

The impact of trauma poses a substantial risk to students–something that is recognized more now than ever before. Increased reports of trauma and tragic circumstances resulting from trauma–such as increases in at-risk behaviors, and even suicide–are bonafide challenges schools face today.

Students need adults and school communities that foster for them the freedom to make their own decisions and to learn in a safe environment while at liberty to take reasonable risks. That’s the framework for learning and growing at our school, and the byproducts are happier, healthier students whose development is incubated in both a student-specific and schoolwide manner.

Related content: Student wellbeing is transformative

Following are strategies we employ with our students that help them succeed. These strategies are easily replicable in any school, because they use existing resources. “Stacking” strategies together like this perpetuates a cycle of success that reverses the status quo.


Unique partnership eyes college credit, real-world outcomes

An innovative new partnership will let Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) students earn college credit and achieve real-world outcomes by completing free training modules through Trailhead, an online learning platform from Salesforce.

The modules and credits earned through the program will be applicable to tech jobs in an ever-increasingly digital economy, which Salesforce predicts will generate more than 3.3 million new jobs and $859 billion in new business revenue by 2022.

Related content: Teaching life skills is the latest trend in higher ed

Part of the impetus behind the partnership comes from the snowballing impact of crushing student loan debt. Giving students practical knowledge and equipping them with experience and employability skills will help them succeed in high-earning, in-demand jobs.


Top trends: Major predictions for 2019

Here are some of the most popular stories focusing on top trends and predictions for 2019:

1. These 10 hard and soft skills will be key in 2019
It’s not always easy to measure soft skills, but more and more, they’re proving crucial in an increasingly competitive workforce facing a shortage of highly-qualified workers, according to new data from LinkedIn.

2. 41 edtech predictions for higher ed in 2019
We asked 20 edtech executives to look into their crystal balls and share their thoughts about what will happen in 2019. In addition to the usual suspects—artificial intelligence (AI), active learning, and microcredentials—people predicted more nuanced uses of data (to handle campus security, for instance), chatbots to help with studying, and blockchain-enabled digital student IDs to improve security. Read on to see what’s in store for 2019

3. 10 more higher-ed predictions for 2019
41 predictions weren’t enough, so we asked a handful of additional edtech executives to share their insight about what will happen in 2019. Here’s what they had to say.


Are hybrid campuses higher ed’s future?

As “nontraditional” students–those who have work or family obligations or who did not enroll in higher education straight from high school–grow in numbers, institutions are finding new and unique ways to meet their needs. Hybrid campuses are one way to support these nontraditional student groups in their quest for higher education.

Hybrid campuses typically offer coaching, academic services, and courses designed to meet the gaps in student support that online students and working adults sometimes encounter.

Related content: Does your online program hit the right notes?

Strayer University just launched its twentieth hybrid campus, with more hybrid campuses slated in the coming year. These hybrid campuses are designed to provide working adults enrolled online with convenient access to drop-in services such as success coaches, admissions officers, and support staff.