Higher Education News

What the Education Dept.’s Information-Security Breakdowns Really Mean

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 4, 2016 - 2:55am
Congressional hearings on the agency’s vulnerability to hackers have featured plenty of anger and acronyms. Here’s a guide to what’s at stake for students, families, and colleges.
Categories: Higher Education News

Suffolk U. Faculty Calls on Board Chair to Resign Amid Reports of a Push to Oust the President

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 3, 2016 - 3:57pm
Rumors about Margaret McKenna's future at the Massachusetts university have swirled in recent days.
Categories: Higher Education News

Girls and Coding: Seeing What the Future Can Be

U.S. Department of Education Blog - February 3, 2016 - 1:22pm

At the White House for the White House Champions of Change for Computer Science Education! From left to right, Gilliam Jacobs, Brittany Greve, Andrea Chaves, Noran Omar and Angela Diep.

“You can’t be what you can’t see.”

This is a common expression that, perhaps like me, you’ve heard many times. For the girls at the Young Women’s Leadership school where I teach in New York City, this is – sadly — the case. My students couldn’t see themselves as women in STEM careers, and in fact, knew little about the opportunities offered within the field.

That’s why I made it my mission to bring computer science to our school.

My principal was excited at the idea of incorporating computer science (CS), but took me by surprise when she said I would have to teach it. As a certified Spanish teacher, I had no background in CS other than being digitally competent. But, after starting to learn through an online training program, I decided to blend computer science into my advanced Spanish speakers class because I figured why not have students learning Spanish dive into coding, too.

On the first day of class, I announced to the girls in Spanish that we were going to do tons of reading, writing and editing – but in a language called JavaScript. I made it clear that I wasn’t fluent in this language, but reassured them that we were on this journey together.

It didn’t take me long to realize that the gender gap is not due to women lacking STEM-related skills, but rather because young women are conditioned to believe that careers in technology and science are reserved for men. That’s part of why I also decided to start two after-school programs: a partnership with an existing organization, Girls Who Code, which works to inspire and educate women to pursue careers in technology and my own program, TechCrew – an internship program that exposes girls to coding, graphic design, animation and film.

Watch the girls in Chaves’ class who created the nutrition game, Healthy Bunch, which won the MIT-sponsored competition “Dream It. Code It. Win It.”

Each club started with eight girls, but TechCrew now includes 30 girls working collaboratively to create and produce technology-driven projects. Students have coded video games and apps about recycling, healthy eating habits, carbon footprints, space debris, learning Spanish and more. As one of my students, Brittany Greve, says, “Computer science has allowed me to look at a problem from multiple perspectives and use logic to come up with innovative solutions.”

My students have also become leaders within the CS community. We’ve worked together on all sorts of projects, such as a summer coding camp in Queens where girls learned to build apps that advocate for social justice. Additionally, my TechCrew is currently leading 50 girls in the creation of a Digital Dance, in which dancers, filmmakers, graphic designers and coders are bringing together their expertise to create a beautiful piece of art.

Watch Chaves’ students talking about why they love to code and how coding has influenced them (in English).

Watch Chaves’ students talking about why they love to code and how coding has influenced them (in Spanish).

I am a Spanish teacher by training, but I took a risk to integrate CS into my curriculum and learned that this language does not have to stand on its own. It can be infused into any subject in any classroom. All it takes is a little innovation, trust and risk-taking.

One of my students put it best, “CS has opened a new pathway in my life. It has made me discover a part of who I am that I didn’t know existed. I can now see what I would like my future to be,” she said.

Andrea Chaves is a Spanish and computer science teacher and creative director at the Young Women’s Leadership School in Astoria, New York. She was recently named a White House Champion of Change.

Categories: Higher Education News

Judge Rejects Proposed Merger of U. of Baltimore and Morgan State U.

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 3, 2016 - 12:45pm
The judge called the plan, put forth in mediation between the state's historically black colleges and its higher-education commission, "extreme."
Categories: Higher Education News

Professor Who Was Promoted While in Prison Resigns

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 3, 2016 - 11:48am
Ravi Shankar, who was promoted to full professor while in prison for a probation violation, has agreed to never work in Connecticut's public-college system again.
Categories: Higher Education News

AAUP Asks Mizzou to Lift Suspension of Melissa Click

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 3, 2016 - 10:47am
The association says the professor, who drew scorn for attempting to have a student journalist removed from a protest, was denied due process.
Categories: Higher Education News

Brown U. Faculty Votes to Recognize 'Indigenous People's Day'

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 3, 2016 - 10:11am
The decision follows protests by members of the student group Native Americans at Brown, who say "Columbus Day" celebrates genocide.
Categories: Higher Education News

Announcement via Sky-Dive? Athletes' Signing-Day Stunts Reach New Heights

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 3, 2016 - 9:14am
High-school athletes are trying to "break the Internet" as they reveal their commitments to college-sports programs.
Categories: Higher Education News

3 Types of FAFSA Deadlines You Should Pay Attention To

U.S. Department of Education Blog - February 3, 2016 - 6:00am

Click to enlarge

Ah, deadlines. The sworn enemy of students across the nation. When you’re busy with classes, extracurricular activities, and a social life in whatever time you’ve got left, it’s easy to lose track and let due dates start whooshing by. All of a sudden, your U.S. history paper is due at midnight, and you still don’t know Madison from a minuteman. We get it.

Nevertheless, we’re here to point out a few critical deadlines that you really shouldn’t miss: those to do with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). By submitting your FAFSA late, you might be forfeiting big money that can help you pay for college. Luckily for you, you’ve got just three types of deadlines to stay on top of. Now if only your Founding Father flashcards were that simple.

Here are those three deadlines:

  1. The College Deadline

The first type of deadline comes from colleges themselves, and—spoiler alert—it’s typically pretty early. These deadlines vary from school to school, but they usually come well before the academic year starts, many in the neighborhood of early spring. If you’re applying to multiple colleges, be sure to look up each school’s FAFSA deadline and apply by the earliest one.

Many of these FAFSA due dates are priority deadlines. This means that you need to get your FAFSA in by that date to be considered for the most money. Many colleges have this date clearly marked on their financial aid pages. If you can’t find it, a call to the college’s financial aid office never goes amiss.

  1. The State Deadline

The second deadline is determined by your home state. This deadline varies by state and can be as early as February 15 of a given year’s FAFSA application cycle (What’s good, Connecticut?). Some states have suggested deadlines to make sure you get priority consideration for college money, and some just want you to get the FAFSA in as soon as you can. States often award aid until they run out of money—first come, first served—so apply early.

You can check the deadline tool at fafsa.gov to see what the deal is in your state. You can also find that state-specific information on the paper or PDF FAFSA. In many cases, it turns out that state and school deadlines occur before you’ve even filed your taxes. If that’s the case, learn how to submit your FAFSA if you haven’t filed taxes yet.

  1. The Federal Deadline

This last deadline comes from us, the Department of Education, aka the FAFSA folks. This one is pretty low-pressure. Our only time constraint is that each year’s FAFSA becomes unavailable on June 30 at the end of the academic year it applies to.

That means that the 2016–17 FAFSA (which became available Jan. 1, 2016) will disappear from fafsa.gov on June 30, 2017, because that’s the end of the 2016–17 school year. That’s right; you can technically go through your entire year at college before accessing the FAFSA. However, a few federal student aid programs have limited funds, so be sure to apply as soon as you can. Also, as we said, earlier deadlines from states and colleges make waiting a bad idea.

Why so many deadlines?

All these entities award their financial aid money differently and at different times. What they all have in common, though, is that they use the FAFSA to assess eligibility for their aid programs. So when a college wants to get its aid squared away before the academic year starts, it needs your FAFSA to make that happen. If you want in on that college money, you need to help the college out by getting your information in by its deadline. Same goes for state aid programs. Additionally, many outside scholarship programs need to see your FAFSA before they consider your eligibility for their money. If you’re applying for scholarships, you need to stay on top of those deadlines, too.

What happens if I miss the deadlines?

Don’t miss the deadlines. Plan to get your FAFSA in by the earliest of all the deadlines for your best crack at college money. By missing deadlines, you take yourself out of the running for money you might otherwise get. Some states and colleges continue awarding aid to FAFSA latecomers, but your chances get much slimmer, and the payout is often less if you do get aid. It’s better just not to miss the deadlines.

If you miss the end-of-June federal deadline, you’re no longer eligible to submit that year’s FAFSA. Did we mention not to miss the deadlines?

Across the board, the motto really is “the sooner the better.” So put off the procrastinating until tomorrow. Apply by the earliest deadline. Get your FAFSA done today!

Drew Goins is a senior journalism major at the University of North Carolina. He’s also an intern with the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office. Likes: politics, language, good puns. Dislikes: mainly kale.

Categories: Higher Education News

U. of Chicago Scientist Resigns Amid Sexual-Misconduct Investigation

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 3, 2016 - 2:58am
The inquiry concluded with a recommendation that the professor, Jason Lieb, be fired. He stepped down last month before any action was taken.
Categories: Higher Education News

Lawmakers Roast the Education Dept.’s Top Technology Officer Over Ethics and Data Security

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 3, 2016 - 2:56am
Danny Harris answered charges that he had committed financial improprieties and failed to secure the agency’s "vulnerable" information systems in a three-hour grilling from a U.S. House committee.
Categories: Higher Education News

Better Data Are Key to Improved Performance by Students and Colleges

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 3, 2016 - 2:55am
New measures could help answer some basic questions about the value of higher education, according to a new report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Categories: Higher Education News

Presidents of Small Colleges Bank on Fund Raising to Survive

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 3, 2016 - 2:55am
Big gifts are critical, but with concerns about the future of the liberal-arts institutions, some would-be donors are asking tougher questions before giving.
Categories: Higher Education News

Adjuncts Vote to Unionize in 2 of 3 Schools at U. of Southern California

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 2, 2016 - 11:57pm
The Service Employees International Union won a partial victory at the private university that followed a December ruling by the National Labor Relations Board.
Categories: Higher Education News

Video: How to Make Public Engagement a Priority at Research Universities

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 2, 2016 - 11:00pm
Public universities should deepen their engagement with their communities and make those partnerships part of their core academic missions, says Robert J. Jones, president of the University at Albany.
Categories: Higher Education News

U. of Iowa's Search for Escaped Goat Enters Day 5

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 2, 2016 - 10:56pm
The goat has been seen several times since it bolted on Friday, but has eluded animal-research officers. An advocacy group is asking a federal agency to investigate possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Categories: Higher Education News

ED Seeks Summer Interns

U.S. Department of Education Blog - February 2, 2016 - 8:00am

Have you ever wondered about pursuing a federal career? Are you interested in public service? Would you like to gain valuable work experience and help move the needle on education issues in this country?

The Department of Education may have opportunities that match your interests – and we’re currently accepting applications for interns!

Our Department is a place where you can explore fields like education policy, education law, business and finance, research and analysis, intergovernmental relations and public affairs, or traditional and digital communications, all while learning about the role federal government plays in education.

Our interns also participate in professional development sessions and events outside of the office, such as lunches with ED and other government officials, movie nights, and tours of the Capitol, Supreme Court and other local sights.

One of the many advantages of interning at ED is our proximity to some of the most historic and celebrated sites in our nation’s capital, all accessible by walking or taking the Metro.

ED is accepting applications for Summer 2016 internships through March 15, 2016.

If you are interested in interning during the upcoming term, there are three things you must send in order to be considered for an interview:

  1. A cover letter summarizing why you wish to work at ED and stating your previous experiences in the field of education, if any. Include which particular offices interest you. (But, keep in mind that – due to the volume of applications we receive – if we accept you as an intern we may not be able to place you in your first-choice office.)
  2. An updated resumé.
  3. A completed copy of the Intern Application.

Prospective interns should send these three documents in one email to StudentInterns@ed.gov with the subject line formatted as follows: Last Name, First Name: Summer Intern Application.

(Note: For candidates also interested in applying specifically to the Office of General Counsel, please see application requirements here.)

An internship at ED is one of the best ways students can learn about education policy and working in the civil service. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to develop crucial workplace skills that will help you in whatever career path you choose. And, it’s an opportunity to meet fellow students who share your passion for education, learning, and engagement.

Click here for more information or to get started on your application today.

De’Rell Bonner is a special assistant and youth liaison in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education.

Categories: Higher Education News

Northwestern U. Loses Round Over Unauthorized Patient Testing

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 2, 2016 - 2:56am
The university's teaching hospital and its chief of cardiac surgery remain as defendants in a lawsuit that alleges a lack of informed consent.
Categories: Higher Education News

Video: Restoring Stability to an Institution Rocked by Protests

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 2, 2016 - 2:55am
The University of Missouri has never effectively dealt with the "serious scars" of systemic racism and discrimination against African-Americans, says Michael A. Middleton, its interim president, and he hopes to help grapple with those issues.
Categories: Higher Education News

Confronting Racial Divide, Missouri’s Interim President Finds Anger, Finger-Pointing

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 2, 2016 - 2:55am
Nearly three months after the University of Missouri’s top two officials resigned amid student protests, Michael Middleton leads an institution still wrestling with its path forward.
Categories: Higher Education News


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