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Beyond the News

Reentry Project class speaker Jamil Watson addressed his peers at a completion ceremony in December 2015.

New momentum has built behind higher education’s pivotal role in helping prison inmates turn their life around and re-enter society. So, what if a city offered convicted felons a college education instead of a jail sentence?

University of Washington law students can study the connections between culture, crime and criminal justice at a prison alongside inmates.

A little time in prison brings University of Washington students much closer to people impacted by the issues they’re studying. Fourth-year law students learn alongside inmates in a seminar class taught at the Monroe Correctional Facility near Seattle.

​Encouraging students to take a full-time course load to target on-time graduation has become a popular focus area in higher ed. Cleveland State University takes the concept a step further with its graduation incentive plan—in which students earn tuition rebates and bookstore credits for staying on track.

Oral Roberts University students have to walk an average of 10,000 steps each day.

All first-year students must buy and wear a Fitbit fitness-tracker. While some critics called this requirement an overreach, school officials say Oral Roberts has long had a fitness component as part of its “Whole Person Education,” which focuses on mind, body and spirit.

GIS mapping was instrumental in Dickinson College’s cleanup effort after Winter Storm Jonas blanketed the campus with nearly three feet of snow.

GIS maps maps provide details about certain areas of campus—such as the exact length and location of streets and walkways, and the presence of potential hazards. They can also be stocked with limitless tiers of data—for instance, streets on one layer, buildings on a second, student distribution on the next, and high-crime areas on another.

Since 2007, U.S. institutions of higher education have primarily reduced carbon emissions by increasing the use of natural gas. (Click graphic to enlarge)

Despite higher ed’s progress in reducing energy use and making facilities more sustainable, it turns out that the biggest factor in the drop has been due to a change from coal and oil to natural gas, a cleaner-burning fuel.

Between 2007 and 2014, emissions per square foot have declined 13 percent, found a recent study of energy use and carbon emissions data at 343 U.S. colleges and universities from Sightlines, a university facilities cost-analysis provider, and the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute.

An innovative articulation agreement between Anna Maria College and nearby Quinsigamond Community College (both in Massachusetts) will help fill critical public service jobs.

Under the terms of the agreement, students in public service majors who earn an associate degree at Quinsigamond are guaranteed admission to Anna Maria to complete their four-year degree.

The national PhD Project has encouraged about 1,000 professionals of color to leave the corporate world to become business school professors.

Lack of diversity among faculty and administrators compounded the racial tensions that drove a wave of student protests—and a handful of high-level resignations—on campuses across the U.S. in the fall of 2015.

The Red Folder, created by the University of California, is being adapted statewide as a resource for guidance on distressed student interaction.

Recent studies suggest that up to one-third of college students suffer mental health problems. California’s colleges and universities have made strides in providing mental health care to students—when higher ed as a whole has struggled to keep up with a growing demand for services.

A risk of fire may be less dangerous than the chemicals used to prevent it, and Harvard is adapting accordingly.

The Healthy Green Campus project—an initiative to improve student health through sustainable practices—grew out of a collaboration between Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, researchers from the university’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, and the Silent Spring Institute.

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