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Transitions: U. of Nebraska Taps New Chancellor for Its Medical Center; Michael Kammen, Historian, Dies at 77
Jeffrey P. Gold will join Nebraska from the University of Toledo, where he led biosciences and health affairs. Read about that and other job-related news.
Scientists say recent work shows that a new push to identify and block the processes of human aging is worthwhile.
Glimpses of life in academe from around the world .
The agency's director wants to expand the approach used in the Pioneer Award program, which focuses more on researchers than on specific projects.
The judge in the closely watched case agreed with the university's argument that the student had not shown evidence of discrimination and retaliation.
Argosy University, a subsidiary of the Education Management Corporation, settled with the Colorado attorney general's office.
People invited to next week's higher-education summit are being urged to take concrete steps to help more low-income students enroll in and complete college.
And those graduates continue to face a challenging academic job market, according to the National Science Foundation's Survey of Earned Doctorates.
Timothy D. Sands said he had decided to become president of Virginia Tech because it was a place with "momentum."
The system's chancellor faced resistance everywhere he looked, but he persuaded people he'd made the right call.
A proposal to open the shared-governance body to non-tenure-track instructors failed to garner a needed two-thirds majority in two rounds of voting.
The department's solicitation is an opportunity to formally test the merits of a variety of ideas, such as competency-based learning.
Twenty communities will receive up to $200,000 each, as well as guidance from national groups.
Last August, President Obama outlined an ambitious plan to increase value and affordability in postsecondary education. There were a number of commitments he made in his proposal, and, today, the U.S. Department of Education is announcing further action on the President’s initiatives.
President Obama told students and families that helping to ensure their debt is manageable is a priority, and equipping counselors and advisers with the resources they need to help students prepare for higher education and understand college costs is a key component. To meet these goals, the Department has launched a “one-stop shop” for guidance counselors, college advisers, mentors and volunteers to assist students through the process of choosing and financing their higher education.
The Financial Aid Toolkit, available at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov, consolidates financial aid resources and content into a searchable online database. That makes it easy for individuals to quickly access the information they need to support students on their path to college, including details on how to apply for financial aid along with presentations, brochures and videos.
By equipping counselors and advisers with financial aid information in an easy-to-use format, we can help to ensure that current and potential students get the assistance they need to successfully navigate the process of planning and paying for a postsecondary education.
Request for input on college ratings
President Obama also directed the Department of Education to develop a ratings system to identify colleges that provide a good value and to increase college affordability information available to students.
This fall, Department officials have been traveling to cities across the country, listening to hundreds of students, parents, college leaders, state officials, education organizations and many others about their ideas on how to best craft a college ratings system that would better inform students and encourage institutions to improve. This week the Department will submit a Request for Information (RFI) to publish in the Federal Register asking experts and researchers to weigh in.
This RFI will complement the ongoing engagement efforts to inform the development a college ratings system that is useful to students and takes into account the diversity of America’s colleges and universities. The Department will continue to encourage the public to share ideas through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for new ideas and innovations in higher education
Another major component of President Obama’s plan is to encourage innovation. More Americans are looking for college options that offer a good education at an affordable price. Innovation offers the potential to dramatically reshape and improve postsecondary education in ways that increase value by raising quality and decreasing costs. This is a pivotal moment, and we want to do all that we can to encourage responsible innovations in higher education that build on promising practices and develop an evidence base so that the highest-impact practices can be identified, replicated and eventually brought to scale.
To encourage innovation, the President directed the Department of Education to shine a light on effective, innovative practices and challenged leaders from across the nation to accelerate innovation and build on success. Further, he directed the Administration to encourage these ideas by removing regulatory hurdles, increasing access to federal databases and simplifying pathways to higher education. To do so, the U.S. Department of Education will launch a limited number of “experimental sites” to test new ideas. This authority under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) allows the Secretary to waive specific Title IV, HEA requirements regarding the federal student financial assistance programs to allow for responsible innovations coupled with evaluations of their effectiveness. Today, we are asking the public, including the higher education community and others with a stake in a more educated workforce and society, to send us ideas for experimental sites.
We invite input from a diverse array of stakeholders on topics to spur responsible innovation that increases college value and affordability. In August, President Obama identified several promising areas where innovative practices could do so. These include:
- Enabling students to earn federal student aid based on how much they learn, rather than the amount of time they spend in class, including through competency-based programs that combine traditional credit-hour and direct assessment of student learning.
- Enabling high school students to access Pell Grants to take college courses early so they can earn a degree in an accelerated time frame.
- Allowing the use of federal student aid to pay for assessments when students seek academic credit for prior learning as part of a program of study.
These are just some of the many areas where innovative experiments could advance our evidence base about approaches to increasing college value and affordability. We look forward to receiving your additional ideas. For more information on how to submit an idea, please review this Federal Register notice or the Department’s Dear Colleague Letter. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 31, 2014.
The U.S. Department of Education seeks to launch experiments that allow innovation to flourish, while also protecting taxpayer resources and building the research base for what works. In all of the Department’s efforts to encourage innovation and enable colleges and universities to increase quality while reducing costs, we value the input and partnerships with the postsecondary education communities and stakeholders so ultimately, millions of Americans can access a high-quality higher educationMartha Kanter is the U.S. Under Secretary of Education and David Soo is the Senior Policy Adviser, Office of the Under Secretary
Last week, The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, announced the finalists for the Innovations in American Government Award. From a pool of more than 600 applicants, the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative is one of five finalists being recognized for the positive impact it is having on neighborhoods – and people – across the nation. Neighborhoods like Minneapolis’s Northside, which has the city’s highest rate of crime and can be a dangerous place to live, work, and go to school, but the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) and its partner in the North4 program are working to change that. With assistance from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, the community is countering the pull of gangs and crime with job training, paid internships, and wrap-around support for gang-involved youth ages 14 – 21.
Since receiving its Promise Neighborhoods implementation grant in December 2011, NAZ has enrolled more than 500 families into its cradle-to-career pipeline of services and family supports and is reaching more than 1300 kids. Each family is assigned a NAZ Connector, someone from the neighborhood, who works with the family to identify needs and barriers, set family goals, encourage behaviors that support academic outcomes, and connect them with promising and proven strategies to support success.
In addition to the Promise Neighborhoods grant, the Northside community is receiving support through the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, DOJ is helping NAZ increase public safety in the neighborhood with a $320,000 supplement to the original grant. This investment is being used for a multi-year expansion of the North4 program for young men like John, a high school senior with a history of gang involvement. The first year of the North4 expansion has provided John (and 32 other youth from North Minneapolis) with job training, paid work experience, and skills development. After graduating from the North4 program, John was automatically enrolled in NAZ. With the help of Bruce, his NAZ Connector, John has secured stable housing for his family and is setting academic, career, and financial goals for himself. But the benefit doesn’t end there – John’s mother, toddler son, and sister are all NAZ connected now and they’re getting the support they need to for a brighter future.
Jane Hodgdon is an education program specialist at the U.S. Department of Education
If you love data, and especially open data, there’s a good chance you also care about quality metadata. We have some exciting news: the Department of Education launched a new ED Data Inventory!
The Inventory is available as a searchable website and a JSON file. It contains descriptions about the data the Department collected as part of program and grant activities as well as statistical data collections.
Richer information about the Department’s data makes it more accessible and understandable to researchers, developers and entrepreneurs. Our hope is that users will be able to put this freely available government data alongside other sources of data to advance new studies, products, services and apps. The tools and advances in knowledge and best practices can help American students, parents and educators and continue to improve America’s schools. Empowered with more relevant, timely information, students and families will be able to make more informed decisions about education and preparation for college and career.
The ED Data Inventory is a work in progress. The Department’s Data Strategy Team sponsored a working group that did the heavy lifting on this project under the leadership of Marilyn Seastrom, Chief Statistician for the National Center for Education Statistics. The inventory so far covers 33 data series with a total of 223 component studies or data collections. For each data collection, the inventory includes information on the specific data elements used and their definitions. The descriptions link to accessible, online copies of the datasets and systems. The inventory work is ongoing – the team is still at work adding descriptions of more data series and studies.
The release of the ED Data Inventory is part of the Department’s response to the President’s Executive Order, Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information, and the Open Data Policy. The content from the ED Data Inventory’s JSON file will soon feed the Department’s content on Data.gov. We have been working with the OMB Office of Science and Technology Policy to make open government data easier for the public and entrepreneurs to find, understand, and use. Check out the new Next.Data.gov, a design prototype of the next generation of Data.gov, and the education community on Next.Data.gov. We provide a list of the 35 datasets accessible via API (application programming interface) at ed.gov/developer.
Learn more and connect with us at ed.gov/data. We look forward to your feedback, questions and suggestions.
Jill James is web director at the U.S. Department of Education and a member of the Department’s Data Strategy Team.
The faculty union says its audit shows that the universities don't have the cash-flow problems they claim. System officials say that's a faulty interpretation.
Complete College America wants students to take 15 credit hours a semester, and colleges to keep a lid on the number of credits needed for a degree.
The new site seeks to make it easier for guidance counselors and advisers to help students plan for college.
In a film screened by the the Institute for Higher Education Policy, nontraditional students speak of the challenges they faced getting into and through college.