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Boulder, Colorado — U.S. colleges and universities must ensure that college degrees reflect a high level of student achievement and commit to publicly reporting evidence of student learning. That’s the message of a new publication from the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability, endorsed by 27 national higher education organizations, including the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).

Boulder, Colorado — The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has been awarded a $550,000 grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York for a pilot project that will focus on the college transfer process. Inefficiencies in the transfer process can create major stumbling blocks for students trying to earn a degree. The Interstate Passport Initiative will attack the transfer problem at an interstate level, with the goal of improving graduation rates, shortening time to degree, and saving students money. Institutions in five Western states—California, Hawaii, North Dakota, Oregon, and Utah—will participate.

Boulder, Colorado — College Choices for Adults (http://www.collegechoicesforadults.org), an information-rich online resource that helps adult learners make informed choices about distance education options, has added a new data item, learner progress. “As institutions who serve adult students, we recognized that the IPEDS measures of graduation and retention rates were not wholly representative of our student populations,” said Ed Klonoski, chair of the Executive Committee for Transparency by Design and President, Charter Oak State College. “The Learner Progress metrics open up the students counted to include part-time and transfer-in students, thus giving a more inclusive view of how our students progress and complete.”

Boulder, Colorado — The North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO) has been awarded a grant from Next Generation Learning Challenges, an initiative working to improve U.S. college readiness and completion, especially among low-income individuals, by identifying and accelerating the growth of effective education technology. The 15-month project, funded at just under $750,000 and including a consortium of institutions in the Western U.S. and Canada, aims to add a powerful new component to online science courses: students will have access to a remotely located science lab and the ability to control remote instrumentation, allowing them to perform experiments, practice scientific observation, and conduct data analysis, as students in classroom-based courses do.

Boulder, Colorado — As part of a new nationwide effort, Lumina Foundation for Education has awarded the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) a four-year grant to develop a learning network to support Lumina’s Adult Degree Completion strategy. The network will be made up of regional organizations, state agencies, city programs, nonprofit organizations and others working to help those adults who have earned a significant number of college credits but left postsecondary education before finishing return to complete their degrees.

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