Behind the News

Study debunks community college completion myths

Transfer students just as likely to graduate from four-year colleges as direct university entrants

Dozens of reports written over the last four decades have created the generally accepted theory that community college students who transfer to universities graduate at lower rate than do students who start out at four-year institutions.

So when David Monaghan and Paul Attewell, researchers at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, began to analyze those studies to uncover when and why it was happening, they got a surprise: the theory, they determined, is actually a myth.

Required: On-campus housing, all four years

Students more attached to campus when required to live there

Next fall, Susquehanna University will begin enforcing a long-standing policy requiring most students to live on campus all four years, officials at the Pennsylvania school say.

Infographic: 2015 state budgets

Slow climb to pre-recession funding

After years of budget cuts, some states are finally putting money back into higher education for FY2015. 

Digital donations hit higher education

Entrepreneurs bet on Bitcoin as the future of money

The University of Puget Sound in February became the first higher ed institution to accept a gift of digital currency, when alumnus Nicolas Cary gave the Washington school 14.5 bitcoins—equal to $10,000.

HBCU collaborative designed to inspire innovation

First HBCU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative Symposium taking place in late March

Historically black colleges and universities are coming together to encourage entrepreneurial ventures and thinking among their students and faculty. Kicking off the initiative is the first HBCU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative Symposium in late March in conjunction with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance’s Annual OPEN Conference.

Survey: Adminstrators of public institutions saw bigger raises

First time in four years public colleges have taken the lead

Administrators at public colleges and universities received larger raises in 2013 than did their private-institution counterparts. That’s a key finding in the “2013-14 Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey,” conducted by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

Will coursework replace tests as learning gauge?

Universities look to papers and coursework as stronger assessments

Institutions in nine states are experimenting with using papers and coursework—instead of tests—to judge whether students are learning skills employers need.

University representatives from these states will develop standards for judging students’ critical thinking, problem solving, intercultural competence and more. These skills were determined to be what employees most value in graduates, says Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Colorado’s pot law trumped on campus by federal law

Despite legalization, possession, use and sale of marijuana on state campuses is forbidden

When Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use in January, many people also noted a simultaneous jump—nearly 30 percent—in out-of-state student applications to the University of Colorado, Boulder. The reason, says Director of Admissions Kevin MacLennan, was not the pursuit of “higher education” but merely the fact that the state also began allowing the Common Application.

College in prison programs expanding again

Bard College leading efforts to bring instruction to inmates

Bard College doesn’t judge the success of its prison initiative by the number of students who stay out of jail. Recidivism is an extremely low bar, says Executive Director Max Kenner. “We judge by how many people are becoming middle-class taxpayers, how many people are involved in deeply meaningful ways in their communities. We think by those measures we are thriving.”

Tiers of tuition

California testing new rates for more popular courses

California has been experimenting with charging higher tuition rates for high-demand courses offered during the winter and summer. The accompanying infographic breaks down what students are paying.

Pages