Higher Education News

Chain of For-Profit Beauty Schools Will Close After U.S. Cuts Off Funds

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 4, 2016 - 1:53pm
The U.S. Department of Education had said it was revoking the institution's access to federal student aid for engaging in fraud.
Categories: Higher Education News

Student-Conduct Group's President-Elect Says She Was Sexually Assaulted by Predecessor

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 4, 2016 - 1:31pm
Jill L. Creighton, president-elect of the Association for Student Conduct Administration, made the allegation public on Wednesday. The group says an investigator determined her claims "could not be substantiated."
Categories: Higher Education News

Stanford Names Neuroscientist as Its Next President

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 4, 2016 - 12:52pm
Marc Tessier-Lavigne, currently president of Rockefeller University, will take office on September 1.
Categories: Higher Education News

College in Indiana Cancels Classes Over Diversity Concerns

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 4, 2016 - 11:56am
A group of students delivered a "list of requirements" to the campus administration on Monday.
Categories: Higher Education News

Chicago State Declares Financial Exigency as Budget Standoff Continues

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 4, 2016 - 11:47am
Seven months after Illinois's public colleges stopped receiving state funds, the university says it's almost out of money to pay its employees.
Categories: Higher Education News

Iowa State Senator Wants Public Colleges to Cut Ties With Stanford Over Halftime Show

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 4, 2016 - 10:55am
The Republican legislator has asked Stanford to apologize for a marching-band skit at the Rose Bowl that portrayed Iowans as hicks.
Categories: Higher Education News

Balancing Assessments: A Teacher’s Perspective

U.S. Department of Education Blog - February 4, 2016 - 6:57am

As a Teaching Ambassador Fellow, my colleagues and I have the honor of speaking with thousands of educators, parents, and students across the country about their greatest hopes for education and what’s working well for them or not. Just as I have struggled with the amount of testing in my own classroom, we invariably hear about the amount of instructional time and energy devoted to testing.

Don’t get me wrong. As a teacher, I know that assessing learning is a critical part of our on-going work. However, as the President outlined in October, assessments must be worth taking and of high quality; designed to enhance teaching and learning; and give a well-rounded picture of how students and schools are doing.

In a rush to improve and document one measure of student progress, well-meaning people have layered on more and more tests and put too much instructional focus on test scores rather than teaching and learning. The burden of this falls on our students.

The day I knew that I wanted to help bring our testing situation into better balance was when a ten year old student stood in front of me sobbing that despite lots of hard work, she was sure she had failed a high stakes assessment. She could not catch her breath to express her fear at what would happen to her. As I dried her tears, I knew that I did not want to stand by and be a part of a system that made any child feel that all that mattered was a number on what I knew was a low-quality test.

This past Tuesday, Acting Secretary John King released a video announcing new guidance to help states identify and eliminate low-quality, redundant or unhelpful testing. This guidance shares how federal money may be used to help reduce testing and bring testing back into balance for teachers and students.

The guidance outlines numerous ways funds can be used by States and districts to collaborate with teachers, administrators, family members and students to audit assessments; improve the use of the data; increase the transparency and timeliness of results; and to improve the quality of the tests our students take. As I work with the Department’s Teach to Lead initiative, I’ll note that this seems like a particularly ripe opportunity to call on our schools’ many talented teacher leaders to help improve tests.

We are at a tremendous moment in education to be able to step back in our states to put the balance back in assessment with the help of Federal resources. All of our voices need to be part of the discussion. Our students are counting on us.

JoLisa Hoover is a 4th grade teacher at River Ridge Elementary School in Leander Independent School District near Austin, Texas and a 2015 Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education.

Categories: Higher Education News

When a Faculty Candidate Has Been Investigated for Harassment, What’s a Hiring Committee to Do?

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 4, 2016 - 2:56am
That’s a thorny question, as the resignation of a molecular biologist at the University of Chicago demonstrates. Without hard evidence or standard practices, professors struggle to balance the presumption of innocence with a desire to protect their own grad students.
Categories: Higher Education News

In Airbnb Era, Colleges Count on Housing Contracts to Deter Dorm-Room Rentals

Chronicle of Higher Education - February 4, 2016 - 2:55am
As students post offers on the site, colleges revisit their policies to make sure the practice is forbidden.
Categories: 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


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