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Beyond the News

The impacts of unionization by teaching and research assistants can be seen at several U.S. public universities ( Daniel Vilaneuve)

Leaders at private colleges concerned about the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling allowing Columbia University teaching and research assistants to unionize can look to their peers at public universities to prepare for coming changes.

Free tuition is the linchpin of a Democratic higher ed platform that many observers describe as more comprehensive than the plans touted by Donald Trump and the Republican Party (Click to enlarge)

Free tuition anchors Hillary Clinton's higher ed platform while Donald Trump wants banks to handle student loans. In a survey, UB readers showed little enthusiasm for either proposal.

Asian and Pacific Islander Family Night at Des Moines Area Community College.

Des Moines is becoming more diverse, with a growing population of Latinos, Asians and Africans. The events are aimed at creating a college-going culture in local communities, and give families direction on career choice, applying to college, and paying for college.

Strengthening the community: An entire residence hall at Onondaga Community College is now dedicated to about a dozen themed living/learning communities—proving you need not be at a four-year institution to experience the living/learning experience.

A dozen or so living-learning communities at Onondaga Community College are designed around themes such as wellness, criminal justice and STEM. About 30 percent of students who live on campus will be a part of such of community this school year.

Almost all U.S. colleges and universities now award certificates, digital badges and other forms of microcredentials. Driving this fast-growing trend are workforce millennials who want to learn, for instance, how to operate an Amazon delivery drone or repair a self-driving car without having to earn another degree.

At the University of Oregon’s Collegiate Recovery Center, students can relax in a lounge with free coffee and tea.

To combat a surge in opioid overdoses and continued abuse of alcohol, colleges and universities are expanding services and facilities that aim to keep students in class as they recover from addiction. 

Just hours before it was scheduled to be administered in June, the ACT college admission test was canceled in South Korea and Hong Kong. Approximately 5,500 international students were turned away from testing centers after ACT Inc. announced that it had received credible evidence that test materials in these regions had been leaked in advance, thus compromising the integrity of the exams.

Remember the “Flutie Effect”? That’s the claim that Boston College applications increased as a result of Doug Flutie’s last-second Hail Mary pass that won a football game against the defending champs from the University of Miami. Now we may be seeing the opposite—let’s call it the Scandal Side Effect—where a school’s bad publicity can drive applicants away.

The Fair Housing Act defines only dormitory accommodations that should be made for therapy pets. (Photo:

Pets can help students cope with stress, depression and other mental disorders. But until recently, this well-documented remedy did not guarantee a space for therapy animals on campus.

Out in front with OER: Tidewater Community College created the first degree program—in business administration—to use only open-educational resources.

A few dozen community colleges will get financial backing to design degree programs based wholly on free, open educational resources (OER) in a sweeping effort to make higher ed more affordable. Full-time community college students spend about $1,300 a year on textbooks, ultimately representing about a third of the cost of their associate degrees.