Closing the ‘drop-out gap’ for students near credit completion

New research reveals that nearly 1 in 5 students who do not graduate from college have completed 75 percent or more of their required credits, highlighting a troubling gap in college completion.

The analysis of more than 300,000 students at 53 institutions, released by Civitas Learning, also shows that 1 in 10 students will reach the 90 percent credit completion threshold before leaving without a degree.

At four-year institutions, about 13 percent of nonpersisting students had completed 75 percent or more of credit threshold, and about 6 percent had reached the 90 percent credit threshold.…Read More

5 institutions making innovative moves

Colleges and universities are often hubs of innovation, particularly when faculty and researchers are driven by the desire to improve learning and quality of living for students and the university community.

In fact, nearly all administrators (91 percent) in a recent survey say innovation is a top strategic or academic priority.

Most higher-ed institutions recognize the importance of innovation, and many are beginning to consider a position for a dedicated innovation officer, according to The Emergence of the Chief Innovation Officer in Higher Education, a new report from Russell Reynolds Associates.…Read More

7 alarming problems with students’ critical thinking

Critical thinking is one of the top-requested skills employers look for in job applicants, but are colleges and universities doing enough to help students develop this skill?

Fifty-nine percent of surveyed adults ages 18-31 who attend or attended a college or university say they are very confident in their soft skills, including critical thinking—but that same survey also shows a decrease in that group’s ability to distinguish between false and factual information.

The second annual State of Critical Thinking survey from MindEdge asks respondents to complete a brief quiz requiring them to use digital literacy and critical thinking skills. In 2018, respondents scored lower on every question compared to 2017, and 52 percent of this year’s respondents received a failing grade.…Read More

Efforts grow to make higher-ed recruitment more equitable for low-income students

As institutions face criticism over disparities in different racial groups’ access to higher education, a record number of universities have pledged to focus on enrolling low-income students.

The American Talent Initiative (ATI), first launched in December 2016, reached a milestone in April when 100 universities total had signed on to target enrollment for low- and moderate-income students. The goal is to enroll 50,000 students with strong graduation rates by 2025.

ATI member institutions are required to graduate at least 70 percent of their students in six years. Membership in ATI now includes the entire Ivy League, 17 state flagship universities, and private colleges.…Read More

6 big-impact technologies on the higher-ed horizon

Analytics technologies, makerspaces, and redesigning learning spaces are just a few of the numerous technology developments and trends outlined in a preview of the forthcoming annual Horizon Report.

The Horizon Report was on shaky ground after the New Media Consortium unexpectedly shut its doors in early 2018, but EDUCAUSE acquired the rights to the report and continued the research.

The annual report outlines issues, technologies, and trends that higher-ed leaders should follow and keep in mind as they outline institutional priorities.…Read More

9 trends shared by innovative community colleges

Supporting mobile devices is a top priority among a majority of community colleges surveyed in the Center for Digital Education’s annual Digital Community Colleges Survey, which offers an inside look at schools’ technology and innovation priorities.

Other priorities include cybersecurity tools and testing, redesigning or upgrading websites, upgrading classroom technologies, digital content and curriculum, and disaster recovery/business continuity.

According to the survey, 34 percent of community colleges have a strategy in place for the use of mobile devices; 35 percent have a full-time chief information security officer or a similar full-time role; 71 percent of surveyed community colleges’ websites have responsive web design; and 88 percent have off-site data storage redundancies in place.…Read More

What are higher-ed’s analytics priorities?

Higher-ed leaders are increasingly focused on institutional analytics, despite challenges associated with implementing enterprise-wide programs, according to a new Ellucian survey of 200 college presidents, provosts, CFOs, CTOs, and CIOs.

Fifty-eight percent of surveyed leaders say institutional analytics that improve operational efficiency are of greater priority than learning analytics that will improve student outcomes, according to What Will It Take to Build an Analytics-Driven Campus?

Analytics priorities seem to differ by role, with presidents, CFOs, and CIOs focusing on improved learning outcomes; provosts are focused on improved retention and completion; and CTOs are concerned with improved operational efficiency.…Read More

Social media still ‘fair game’ in admissions process

College admissions officers still believe it’s acceptable practice to check applicants’ social media, but the number who actually do so has declined, due in part to teenagers’ increased use of social media platforms that do not archive content.

Sixty-eight percent of colleges and universities in Kaplan Test Prep’s annual college admissions officer survey say applicant’s social media accounts are “fair game” during the admissions process. They report checking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to get better ideas of who applicants really are and if they’re likely to be a good fit.

Kaplan conducted a separate survey of 900 high school students reveals that 70 percent of students agree that it’s fair for admissions officers to check out social activity.…Read More

Coding bootcamps require hard work, but payoff can be worth it

What’s the key to landing the best computer programming jobs? It might be a coding bootcamp, if recent research is any indication.

Seventy-three percent of coding bootcamp graduates secure a STEM job after they graduate, according to a survey from Course Report. Those numbers offer a stark contrast with the 49.5 percent of engineering undergraduates and 49.2 percent of computer, math, and statistics undergraduates with bachelor’s degrees who land STEM jobs, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. That data also indicates 74 percent of people with a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field aren’t working in those professions.

Eighty percent of recent graduates from coding schools—sometimes called coding bootcamps—say the job they obtained after graduation is directly related to, and requires use of, the skills they learned during their coding training, according to the Course Report survey.…Read More

How to improve your career counseling

Colleges and universities are starting a new trend as they combine academic advising with career counseling to decrease student anxieties about finding desirable employment after graduation.

A new analysis from EAB shows that for every 100 students who begin working toward a bachelor’s degree, just 35 will graduate and work in a position requiring a college degree by the age of 27.

Universities want a positive reputation for delivering a good return on education, says Ed Venit, EAB’s managing director. Part of that return on education includes students achieving desirable outcomes—jobs they wouldn’t get if they didn’t have a four-year degree. Institutions are rethinking the ways they prepare students for careers.…Read More