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Higher Education News & Reports

Central New Mexico Community College serves a vital role in its community and does so within the larger context of higher education in America. This is a dynamic context, always evolving, and CNM strives to fulfill its mission and vision by working at the forefront of a changing field.

Below are articles and reports helping explore and document the changing world of academia with an emphasis on community college education. Follow this page for regular updates.


How free college tuition in one country exposes unexpected pros and cons (10-18-16)
Now, two years after the last few German universities went tuition-free, Germans are almost equally split about the idea, with 44 percent in favor of reimposing tuition and 46 percent wanting to keep things as they are, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by the Ifo Center for the Economics of Education at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. — by Jon Marcus, for Hechinger Report

DIY Syllabus: What Goes Into a Syllabus 10-13-16)
Above all, an effective syllabus ... allows students to see why they get to take our course, not why they have to. Specific content and an intentionally inviting tone combine to make the syllabus what it should be. — by Kevin Gannon, for Vitae

Zero Correlation Between Evaluations and Learning (9-21-16)
These findings “suggest that institutions focused on student learning and career success may want to abandon SET ratings as a measure of faculty's teaching effectiveness,” the study says. — by Colleen Flaherty, for Inside Higher Ed

Time to Degree: A National View of the Time Enrolled and Elapsed for Associate and Bachelor’s Degree Earners (9-19-16)
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report finds the average enrolled time for bachelor's degree earners was 5.1 years. For associate degree earners, the average enrolled time was 3.3 years. — by Shapiro, D., et al.

The Linguistic Turf Wars Over the Singular 'They' (8-18-16)
It may be the most controversial word use in the English language—because it highlights a hole where a better-fitting word should go.
It creates a conflict between writers and editors who want things to follow the natural symmetry of Latin, and people who find they the only logical option for referring to a single person without a gender attached.
— by Ernie Smith, for Atlas Obscura

Notes for a New Faculty Member: A classroom veteran offers advice that she wishes she’d gotten early in her teaching career (8-30-16)
These many years later, as another fall semester begins, perhaps some other new instructors sit in training sessions silently sharing what Ann Patchett once described as "a terrifying hysteria" ...

6 steps to improving outcomes for men of color at community colleges (1-8-16)
While most community colleges know they have a problem serving men of color, Wood finds the response is often to launch targeted interventions, either focused on mentoring or professional skills development. But these programs are not scalable. They don’t have the large-scale impact campuses must achieve to properly serve their entire populations. — by Tara García Mathewson, for EducationDIVE

Report on Competencies Sought by Employers (10-22-15)
The report found more than 90 percent of business leaders found problem solving and the ability to work with others of diverse backgrounds the most important competencies that led to being hired at their organizations. — News Brief, from Inside Higher Ed

High-School Diploma Options Multiply, but May Not Set Up Students for College Success (10-19-15)
In a study underlying its report, Achieve analyzed the 93 diploma options available across all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the class of students who graduated from high school in 2014. It looked at how many diplomas a state offered and whether it had one that met college- and career-ready expectations in English and mathematics. — by Katherine Mangan, for Chronicle of Higher Education

To Stop Exam Cheats, Economists Say, Try Assigning Seats (10-14-15)
According to a new study, randomly assigned seats are also the most immediate way to prevent cheating among college students. — by Kate Stoltzfus, for Chronicle of Higher Education

5 Ways Online Teaching Benefits Residential Learning (10-12-15)
The reason that I focus on online programs and courses is that, in my experience, online teaching is a catalyst for improving campus-based residential learning. — by Joshua Kim, for Inside Higher Ed

The Desire Path of Texting (9-18-15)
Students will read every text that you send. Can you say the same for email? Teach faculty to develop professional and caring texts to send to struggling students. Students might avoid opening emails from professors due to a natural fear of authority figures. Texting is different. The supportive message will be received. — by Karen Costa, for Inside Higher Ed

Missing From College Scorecard: Nearly 1 in 5 Community Colleges (9-17-15)
All told, some 17 percent of degree-granting community colleges are missing from the search tool, according to an analysis by the consultant Phil Hill, which he posted on the blog e-Literate. He calculates that 159 community colleges are excluded from the site. — by Kelly Field, for Chronicle of Higher Education

In Online Courses, Students Learn More by Doing Than by Watching (9-16-15)
... when students in the combined course completed an interactive activity, they learned six times as much as those who only read the material or watched a video. — by Ellen Wexler, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Un-Undeclared (9-11-15)
This fall, [Rhode Island College] replaced the “undeclared” check box with the Exploring Majors program, designed to start uncertain students on a path toward timely graduation. — by Josh Logue, for Inside Higher Ed

New California tests present sobering picture of student achievement (9-9-15)
Echoing a downward trend in test scores nationwide, most California students have fallen below grade level and are not ready for college, according to results from new, more rigorous standardized tests. — by Howard Blume, for Los Angeles Times

Report: How Millennials Use Mobile Devices at College ( 8-26-15)
The average college student brings seven internet-connected devices, including smartphones, notebooks and tablets, to campus. — by D. Frank Smith, for EdTech Magazine

Why Students With Smallest Debts Have the Larger Problem (8-31-15)
Defaults are concentrated among the millions of students who drop out without a degree, and they tend to have smaller debts. That is where the serious problem with student debt is. — by Susan Dynarski, for The Upshot/New York Times

How to Help the Students With No Homes? (8-24-15)
Nationwide, close to 60,000 "unaccompanied homeless youth" receive federal financial aid as independent students. — by Kelly Field, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Through Care and Camaraderie, a University Tries to Keep Homeless Students on Track (8-24-15) Ms. Hadley, 18, is one of 56 students enrolled in the university’s Unconquered Scholars program, which serves students who have experienced homelessness or foster care, been wards of the court, or been raised by relatives other than their parents. Those students’ backgrounds put them at greater risk of dropping out, so the program, which was created in 2012, provides academic, social, and emotional support to keep them on track. — by Kelly Field, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Responding to Free (8-26-15)
The initiative covers all tuition and fees that federal grants and state scholarships and assistance programs do not, but students must have full-time status and maintain a 2.0 grade point average, along with meeting with mentors and completing at least eight hours of community service. — by Ashley A. Smith, for Inside Higher Ed

Assessing Assessment (8-25-15)
The Chronicle of Higher Education attempts an evenhanded appraisal of assessment.
Does Assessment Make Colleges Better? Who Knows? — by Eric Gilbert
Does Assessment Make Colleges Better? Let Me Count the Ways — by Joan Hawthorne

Single Moms and Welfare Woes: A Higher-Education Dilemma (8-20-15)
If earning a degree is key to getting single mothers—and their families—out of poverty, why is it so difficult for them to attend college? — by Amanda Freeman, for The Atlantic

Teaching Long-Term Critical Thinking (8-18-15)
A new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that there’s a dependable way to foster long-term improvements in students’ critical thinking skills.
... the students in the test group were 12 times more likely than a group of 130 students the previous year (the control group) to propose changes to improve their data or methods.
— Inside Higher Ed

Fewer Good Jobs for College Grads? Not So, Says New Study (8-17-15)
That’s the core finding of "Good Jobs Are Back: College Graduates Are First in Line," a new report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. — by Becky Supiano, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Gainful employment rule upheld by DC judge (6-23-15)
The for-profit college industry has lost a second round in the battle over the U.S. Department of Education’s gainful employment regulations. — by Tara Garcia Mathewson, for Education DIVE

How and Whether Certificates and Associate Degrees Lead to B.A.s (6-17-15)
“These first credentials are increasingly the entry points of choice for disadvantaged and first-generation college students, making them important to questions of equity in postsecondary-degree attainment.” — Staff Report, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Report: Snapshot Report: Degree Pathways, from National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

Many community college grads continue to out-earn B.A. holders a decade after graduation (5-25-15)
[Schneider's] latest statewide report, “Education Pays in Colorado,” published on April 29, 2015, echoes the findings he’s seeing in Texas, Tennessee and Florida. He’s in the process of crunching long-term numbers for Minnesota and Virginia. (Schneider’s College Measures’ studies, where he matches students’ degrees to wage data, documented by each state’s unemployment insurance system, are supported by the Lumina Foundation, which is also among the funders of The Hechinger Report.)

Survey: College-Age Students Prize Job Security Over Passion, Show Gender Split (4-23-15)
Some of the gender differences among the 18- to 24-year-olds were interesting for playing against stereotypes: male respondents were 40% more likely than women to cite starting a family as among their top aspirations in the next ten years (28% of men vs. 20% of women). — by Laura Shin, for Forbes

The 4 Properties of Powerful Teachers (4-6-15)
Even if you weren’t born with some of these qualities, you can develop them — by Rob Jenkins, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Skills beyond School: Synthesis Report (Dec. 2014)
A recent US projection is that nearly one-third of job vacancies by 2018 will require some post-secondary qualification but less than a four-year degree (Carnevale, Smith and Strohl, 2010). The aim of this OECD study … is to cast light on this world, as it is large, dynamic, and of key importance to country skill systems. — A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

[ OECD (2014), Skills Beyond School: Synthesis Report, OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training, OECD Publishing. http// ]

Are colleges doing unnecessary – and expensive – remediation? (11-12-14)
Our analysis indicated that a quarter to a third of students assigned to remedial classes based on standardized test scores could have passed college-level classes with a grade of B or better.” — by Judith Scott-Clayton, for Policy Analysis for California Education

Weathering the Economic Storm: Chief Financial Officers on Building a Sustainable Future for Higher Education (September 2014)
The new Chronicle of Higher Education report, Weathering the Economic Storm, reveals that nearly half of the institutions surveyed fell below target enrollment.

  • More than 50% say higher ed is moving in the wrong direction and agree change is needed.
  • ⅓ would increase teaching loads, while only 11% would increase tuition to cut costs or increase revenue.
  • 34% rate their quality of data as below average or extremely poor. They want better data to make financial decisions.

College by the Numbers: A Statistical Look at College Costs, Financial Aid and More (9-21-14)
Here is a look at some of the numbers affecting students and their families. — by Cristina Lourosa-Ricardo, for Wall Street Journal

In Quest for Success, Colleges Ask: What’s Working? (9-15-14)
Constant measurement is essential, Ms. Cleary says. The average community-college student takes five years to complete his or her two-year degree, she notes. "We can’t wait five years to see if our changes are working." — by Libby Sander, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Is a Degree Still Worth It? Yes, Researchers Say, and the Payoff Is Getting Better (9-5-14)
According to "a study released on Tuesday by two researchers with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concludes the opposite is true: The value of a bachelor’s degree is near an all-time high ... [T]the wages students forgo while attending colleges—the “opportunity cost”—are lower than they used to be, and the average wages for those who don’t have a college degree keeps falling. Even though the wages for college graduates are not increasing, the gap between their pay and earnings of those with only a high-school diploma has increased, keeping the value of a college degree from falling. — by Lance Lambert for Chronicle of Higher Education

Confuse Students to Help Them Learn (8-14-14)
But when Mr. Muller analyzed the results of tests he administered to the students before and after showing them the videos, he noticed something odd: The students who had watched the more confusing videos learned more. — by Steve Kolowich, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Educating Nontraditional Students (8-14)
A compilation of articles from Inside Higher Ed

Building a Better College Ranking System. Wait, Babson Beats Harvard? (7-28-14)
At its best, higher education does more than train people for jobs. College should clarify the mind and enlighten the soul. But colleges also expect to be paid in dollars, and you can’t provide evidence of enlightenment in lieu of installments on your student loans. — by Kevin Carey, for New York Times

Are Courses Outdated? MIT Considers Offering ‘Modules’ Instead (8-5-14)
People now buy songs, not albums. They read articles, not newspapers. So why not mix and match learning “modules” rather than lock into 12-week university courses? That question is a major theme of a 213-page report released on Monday by a committee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. — by Jeffrey R. Young, for Chronicle of Higher Education

The Hidden Curriculum (8-4-14)
The hidden curriculum, Smith writes, consists of the “norms, values, and expectations” that govern interactions among students, faculty, staff and administrators. To excel in college, at-risk students must navigate a world of new social norms – typically those of the white middle class, she argues. — by Charlie Tyson, for Inside Higher Ed

A Focus on Specific Dropouts Can Help Colleges Raise Completion Rate (7-30-13)
College dropouts who came close to graduating but didn’t quite finish could be a key target for higher-education institutions that are under the gun to improve their completion rates, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. — by Katherine Mangan for Chronicle of Higher Education

Report: Work-Study Students More Likely to Graduate (7-29-14)
Students who participate in the federal work-study program are more likely to graduate and be employed six years after college than their similar counterparts who don’t participate in the program, according to a new study. — News Brief, Inside higher Ed

Late Fafsa Filers Receive Less Student Aid, Report Says (7-9-14)
The results of the study suggest that Fafsa-completion efforts should be focused on high-school students who are likely to attend community colleges and on students who enroll late at community colleges. — News Brief, Chronicle of Higher Education

Even Middle-Class Students Have Poor Odds of Graduating From College (5-29-14)
Among students who scored between 1000 and 1200 on their SAT's out of 1600, undergrads from families in the top income quartile had roughly a two-in-three chance of finishing their bachelor's degree. Students from the lowest quartile had about a one-in-six chance. — by Jordan Weissmann, for Slate

Applying for Aid May Be a Barrier for Returning Students, Too (5-21-14)
Community-college students, in particular, may have work and family obligations on top of classwork. They might not be as plugged in with fellow students who might remind them to file. And their colleges probably have fewer resources to help them out. — by Beckie Supiano, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? Investigating Rates and Patterns of Financial Aid Renewal Among College Freshmen — by Kelli Bird & Benjamin L. Castleman, Ed Policy Works/University of Virginia

What the 6 Types of Prospective College Students Are Looking For (5-19-14)
Parthenon surveyed 3,200 prospective and current college students across different age groups. Analyzing the results, the firm identified six major segments of the student market, the first three on the younger side and the latter three generally older. — by Taylor Harvey, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Calif. Community-College Students Fare Less Well in Online Courses (5-15-14)
According to the report, in 2011-12, 79.4 percent of students completed online courses they started, compared with 85.9 percent of students completing traditional courses. The findings are based on student and course data collected from the 112 community colleges in California. — by Danya Perez-Hernandez

A Caring Professor May Be Key in How a Graduate Thrives (5-6-14)
We have a formula here for something that alters life and career trajectory ... These are pretty specific things that we can think about how we move the needle. — by Scott Carlson, for Chronicle of higher Education

Google Disables Scanning of Student Email for Advertising Purposes (5-1-14)
We've permanently removed all ad scanning in Gmail for Apps for Education, which means Google cannot collect or use student data in Apps for Education services for advertising purposes. — by Steve Kolowich, for Chronicle of Higher Education

What Enhanced E-Books Can Do for Scholarly Authors (4-25-14)
Now we can much more easily disseminate our work in art history, archaeology, and many other scholarly fields that have presented high hurdles to print publishing. — by Jacob L. Wright, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Public Sees College as More Than Just Job Preparation, Report Says (4-23-14)
Rhetoric from policy makers may focus on the need to ensure that college graduates are competitive in the workplace, but students, faculty members, and others engaged in higher education take a more expansive view of the value of a degree, a new report from the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute suggests. — by Karin Fisher, for Chronicle of higher Education

Community Colleges Can Foster Student Success by Supporting Their Adjuncts (4-7-14)
With the stakes so high when it comes to student success, the report says, community colleges have a real incentive to change the environment in which part-time instructors work. The report suggests that community colleges have conversations about how to support adjunct faculty members, include them in discussions, create clear pathways to full-time employment, and recognize part-timers' accomplishment with additional pay when possible. — by Audrey Williams June, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Contingent Commitments Bringing Part-Time Faculty Into Focus
A Special Report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement

The Community College Route to the Bachelor's Degree (March 2014)
It is well established that students who begin post-secondary education at a community college are less likely to earn a bachelor's degree than otherwise similar undergraduates who begin at a 4-year school, but there is less consensus over the mechanisms generating this disparity. — from the paper by David M. Monaghan and Paul Attewell, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Small Changes in Homework Practices Improved Learning, Study Finds (3-19-14)
Small changes in homework practices that incorporate three principles from cognitive science can improve student learning and performance on examinations, says a study released on Tuesday by the journal Educational Psychology Review. — by Nick DeSantis, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Who Knew? Arts Education Fuels the Economy (3-10-14)
...Additionally, IBM, in a 2010 report based on face-to-face interviews with more than 1,500 CEOs worldwide, concluded that "creativity trumps other leadership characteristics" in an era of relentless complexity and disruptive change. — by Sunil Iyengar and Ayanna Hudson, for Chronicle of Higher Education

An Era of Neglect: How public colleges were crowded out, beaten up, and failed to fight back (3-3-14)
...somewhere along the line, over the past three decades or so, the deterioration of support for public higher education became hard to miss. Appropriations tanked. Tuition soared. College leaders embraced gloomy rhetoric about broken partnerships with the very people who had built these institutions from the ground up. — by Karin Fischer, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Community Colleges Nourish Both Students and Society, Report Says (2-18-14)
"Educational institutions are like beekeepers," the report says. "While their principal aim is to provide education and raise people's incomes, in the process an array of external benefits are created. — by Katherine Mangan, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges
Report, from American Association of Community Colleges

The Rising Cost of Not Going to College (February 2014)
According to this research, not only is the pay gap between college graduates and non-college graduates wider than in previous generations, but employed Millennial college graduates are more likely than their peers with a high school diploma or less education to say their job is a career or a steppingstone to a career (86% vs.57%). — News brief from Higher Ed Impact

N.C. Community College Gives 196 Instructors a New Title: Professor (2-7-14)
The shift in part reflects community colleges' drive for respect and recognition as they take on a greater role in national efforts to expand higher-education access and train workers for an increasingly global economy. — by Charles Huckabee, for Chronicle of Higher Education

Tracking Alternative Credentials (1-17-14)
The U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday released a report on the numbers and characteristics of people who hold certificates, professional certification and licenses. It also includes wage information. — by Paul Fain, for Inside Higher Ed

U. of Texas Unveils a New Tool for Judging a Degree's Worth (1-16-14)
The University of Texas system is posting a new online database on Thursday where current and prospective students can compare the salaries, student-loan debts, and job prospects for people in hundreds of majors and occupations. — by Katherine Mangan, for the Chronicle of Higher Education

At-Risk Young Adults With Mentors Go to College at Higher Rates (1-13-14)
About three-quarters of at-risk young adults (ages 18 to 21) with a mentor reported that they had always planned to go to and graduate from college, compared with 56 percent of those who didn't have a mentor. — by Beckie Supiano, for the Chronicle of Higher Education

2002's High School Sophomores, 10 Years Later (1-10-14)
A federal study tracking a cohort of high school sophomores over 10 years shows that about half had a postsecondary credential, that those who went straight to college after high school were far likelier to earn a degree, and that the bachelor's degree holders among them were less likely to be unemployed or to have lost a job since 2006. Report announcement from Inside Higher Ed

Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002): A First Look at 2002 High School Sophomores 10 Years Later (January 2014)
A study by Erich Lauff and Steven J. Ingels, of RTI International, for the National Center for Education Statistics.

Another New Term, Another Set of Teaching Experiments (1-6-14)
I'm also trying a tiered system– that is, there are around 10 groups of content-based standards, each with a Level I, Level II, Level III set of skills. — by Chad Orzel for Uncertain Principles/Science Blogs

The Amazon of Higher Education (1-2-14)
Five years ago, Southern New Hampshire University was a 2,000-student private school struggling against declining enrollment, poor name recognition, and teetering finances. Today, it's the of higher education. — by Gabriel Kahn, for Slate

For more Higher Education News and Reports, see  the Related News Archive