Behind the News

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.

Eight states continue recession-era funding cuts

Long-term effects may be seen in local economies

As the long-lasting effects of the Great Recession slowly fade, most states have begun rescinding cuts made to public higher education since 2008. 

Students win $7 million and reforms in ADA dispute over LSAT

Over the past five years, students have asked for ADA accommodations on the LSAT

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is required to pay $7.73 million to more than 6,000 students after a consent decree issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Over the past five years, those students have asked for ADA accommodations on the LSAT, which the council administers. LSAC had been flagging for law school admissions administrators the tests of students who had asked for extra time, as well as requiring extra accommodations documentation.

Enrollment yields becoming ever harder to meet

The average yield rate among four-year colleges and universities fell from 42.9 percent in 2009 to 36.9 percent in 2012

A decline in high school graduates and students applying to more institutions are what one expert sees as the two main reasons more colleges and universities are struggling to meet their admission yield targets.

The average yield rate among four-year colleges and universities fell from 42.9 percent in 2009 to 36.9 percent in 2012, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s “State of College Admission 2013” report. 

‘Trigger warnings’ trigger college debate

Giving students a heads up about potentially disturbing course material

We’ve all seen the familiar warning preceding TV shows: “The following program contains material that may be disturbing.Viewer discretion is advised.” Online, the term “trigger warning” is a common notation on women’s blogs and forums to alert readers, particularly victims of sexual abuse, of content they might want to avoid.

Now several universities, spurred by student groups, are considering adding trigger warnings to course material that some students may find disturbing. That may include references to rape and violence as well as racism.

U.S. schools push for campuswide fair-trade status

17 U.S. institutions have been recognized as a “Fair Trade Colleges”

Last fall Cabrini College (Pa.) became one of only 17 colleges and universities in the United States to be recognized as a “Fair Trade College.” (The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh was the first in 2008.)

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