Behind the News

Mobile College Searches Catching On?

More than one-quarter of teenage cell phone users have gone online with their devices, and online usage is greatest among students in households with less than $30,000 annual income, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, released in 2010. While that’s based on 2009 data, a May 2011 Pew survey of American adults revealed that more than one-third own a smartphone, so it’s likely teen use has increased also. Are prospective students using their mobile phones for the college search?

Creating a Culture of Inclusiveness

Research has shown that minority students are more likely to succeed when faculty and staff are equally diverse. While many institutions are still trying to boost campus diversity, Ivy Tech Community College (Ind.) doesn't have that problem.

Taking the LEED in Sustainability

Harvard University has long been known to take the lead in research, public administration, and business and law studies, so why not sustainability? The university has become the first higher education institution to have earned 50 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications for new construction or renovation to existing buildings. LEED-certified buildings save money on energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a healthier environment.

Stopping Out, Stepping Back In

How institutions are helping adult learners return to school

In this tough job climate, a college degree is more important than ever. That’s why the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) is helping students who’ve put their education on hold before completing a degree—or “stopped out”—return to finish their bachelor’s degrees. Stop-outs are different from drop-outs in that they don’t want to leave school.
Grad TX aims to connect the 3 million adults over 25 in the state who have some college credit and no degree.

Off campus, on the radar

Boston institutions look to boost safety by sharing students’ off-campus addresses with city

A recent Boston Globe investigative series sparked national scrutiny of neighborhoods where some of the city’s college students are reportedly living in crowded, unsafe conditions. The allegations spawned a number of reactions from city officials.

The campus chapel: More than a chapel?

Just a small number of students at two Florida institutions attended religious services in campus chapels

When the pews in campus chapels aren’t filled with students every Sunday, institutional officials may question the best use of the space.

Research from two Florida institutions found that less than 2 percent of The University of Tampa students and only 6 percent of students at nearby Eckerd College attended religious services in campus chapels.

Clery Act revisions: More regulations, more questions

Amendments focus on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

Proposed revisions to the Clery Act aim to give colleges and universities a more clear, centralized set of regulations to prevent and investigate sexual assault on campus. The amendments focus on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, changes that were made to the Clery Act in 2013.

The U.S. Department of Education is proposing that institutions be required to:

Supreme Court helps Wheaton with birth control provision

Wheaton College says that an Affordable Care Act rule makes them complicit in contraception

One provision of the Affordable Care Act is that religious-affiliated companies and organizations do not have to pay for contraception coverage for female employees.

The companies would, however, be required to file EBSA Form 700, registering their religious objection. Form 700 allows insurers to assume responsibility for birth control.

But several religious-affiliated organizations, including Wheaton College (Ill.), maintain that filing Form 700 makes them complicit in contraception, which goes against their religious convictions.

University systems sharing content, data

Indiana University, Colorado State University, University of Florida and University of Michigan team up

Four major university systems will share online courses, analytics and learning-management software through a cloud-based digital education platform called Unizin, portions of which launched in July.

Developed by Indiana University, Colorado State University, the University of Florida and the University of Michigan, Unizin will house everything from homework videos to flipped classroom content to distance learning courses—plus all the data that’s generated.

Higher ed recruiters hesitant to use newer social media platforms

Nearly four in 10 seniors reported using Snapchat but fewer than 3 percent of colleges and universities recruited with it

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram continue to be the most widely used online recruitment mediums for higher ed marketers, who may want to consider delving into other platforms now popular among high school seniors.

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