Graduation rates for black and Hispanic students -- whether they attended college full time or part time beginning in the fall of 2010 -- lagged behind those of their white and Asian peers, according to a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The report also found that fewer students, no matter their race, completed a degree when they began studying at a community college than those who began at a four-year institution.
Confusion over the economic value of certain degrees may keep community-college students from choosing majors that will lead to better wages after graduation, according to a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research. However, when students were given salary information, data suggest they considered it when choosing a major.
Hiring a chief diversity officer can send a strong message that a college or university is dedicated to providing support for a diverse mix of students, faculty and staff, says Jason Kirksey, vice president and CDO at Oklahoma State University. Some other CDOs note that their offices can ensure a wider diversity in candidate pools and provide oversight for campus initiatives.
University of California President Janet Napolitano is disputing an audit that shows her office kept $175 million in a secret reserve fund while lobbying for more state money. A statement from Napolitano's office said the fund held $38 million that was set aside "for unexpected expenses."
Graduate students can get the most out of immersive programs by actively engaging in a project at the organizations they visit, writes Laura Schram of the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan. Students should take time to reflect on the experience and talk with a mentor about next steps, she suggests in this commentary.
A team of outside reviewers recommends that the University of Illinois centralize its diversity efforts under a new vice chancellor. The position would be responsible for recruiting faculty, students and staff, plus creating more diversity on campus, according to the report.
Lynn Mahaffie, acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education, has directed postsecondary institutions to accept other forms of information about families' tax returns as part of students' applications for financial aid. The guidance follows a decision by the IRS and US Department of Education to disable an online tool that FAFSA applicants had used to upload tax-return information.
To increase enrollment in vocational training, colleges and universities must do more to boost both the reputation and gender parity of the programs, say leaders meeting at the annual American Association of Community Colleges conference. They say more partnerships with business and encouraging more women to enroll are necessary steps.
Twenty-one state attorneys general have written a letter to US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos complaining about her recent move to rescind student-loan protections formed under former President Barack Obama. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement that removing the reforms may enable "the student loan servicing industry to manipulate and exploit students."
Kristina Johnson has been chosen to be the chancellor of the State University of New York system, taking over from Nancy Zimpher, who has led the 64-campus system since 2009. Johnson is a former undersecretary in the US Energy Department and an engineer who helped develop technology for 3D glasses.
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