When Fewer 4-Year-Olds Go to College …

Roundup: As the nation moves toward minority-majority, colleges face fierce trade-offs when the nation produces fewer 18-year-olds with aspirations for a bachelor’s degree.

National Journal
Jody Brannon
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Jody Brannon
Jan. 27, 2014, midnight

The Next Amer­ica pro­duces a weekly roundup of edu­ca­tion stor­ies rel­ev­ant to di­versity. These stor­ies date from Jan. 18 to 27.

DEMO­GRAPH­IC DATA AF­FORDS COL­LEGES A LOOK AT THE FU­TURE. The Chron­icle of High­er Edu­ca­tion pro­duced a deep look at the im­pact of demo­graph­ic change on U.S. classrooms. For ex­ample, the fig­ures in­dic­ate 95 4-year-olds for every 100 18-year-olds, a trend that has wide­spread re­per­cus­sions. Wrote Sara Lip­ka: “Demo­graph­ic change has be­come a cru­cial fo­cus of en­roll­ment man­age­ment over the past dec­ade, but with in­tense pres­sure to fill each year’s class, longer-term plan­ning can lapse.” Also of in­terest: 

FREE STEM DE­GREE FOR N.Y. STATE GRADS? New York Gov. An­drew Cuomo has pro­posed a free col­lege edu­ca­tion at a SUNY or CUNY cam­pus to the top 10 per­cent of New York high school gradu­ates who se­cure a bach­el­or’s de­gree in sci­ence, math, or tech­no­logy. For the tu­ition-free de­gree, the gradu­ates would be re­quired to work in New York for five years. Al­bany Busi­ness Re­view

BLACK STU­DENTS AT UNI­VER­STIY OF MICHIGAN LOBBY FOR DI­VERSITY. A group of black stu­dents at the Uni­versity of Michigan made sev­en de­mands, ahead of “phys­ic­al ac­tion,” in an at­tempt to stop a de­cline in black en­roll­ment. On the list: af­ford­able on-cam­pus hous­ing op­tions; a new mul­ti­cul­tur­al cen­ter; more classes about mar­gin­al­ized minor­it­ies in U.S. his­tory; and a 10 per­cent in­crease in black rep­res­ent­a­tion. At­lanta Black Star

Q&A: LEAD­ING SUC­CESS­FUL HB­CUs. Diverse in­ter­viewed Wil­li­am Bynum Jr., pres­id­ent of Mis­sis­sippi Val­ley State Uni­versity, on is­sues fa­cing his­tor­ic­ally black col­leges and uni­versit­ies. One is­sue, giv­en the de­cline in en­roll­ment (now 3 per­cent of blacks en­roll at HB­CUs), is the lack of sub­stan­tial en­dow­ments.

HOW A LIB­ER­AL-ARTS DE­GREE PAYS LONG-HAUL DI­VIDENDS. Rising col­lege costs and stu­dent debt, paired with the weak job mar­ket for re­cent col­lege grads, spur a re­port ex­plor­ing the value of a lib­er­al-arts de­gree. The As­so­ci­ation of Amer­ic­an Col­leges and Uni­versit­ies used census data to con­clude that older Amer­ic­ans who ma­jored in the hu­man­it­ies and so­cial sci­ences out-earned those with pro­fes­sion­al and pre­pro­fes­sion­al de­grees. That group was 40 per­cent more likely to have a gradu­ate de­gree as well. Chron­icle of High­er Edu­ca­tion

THE MIS­SION: RE­DESIGN THE COL­LEGE OUT­COME. The As­so­ci­ation of Amer­ic­an Col­leges and Uni­versit­ies has em­barked on a mis­sion to “de­vel­op a port­able and com­pet­ency-based frame­work for gen­er­al edu­ca­tion,” al­low­ing that the cur­rent format is ob­sol­ete and should be geared to­ward learn­ing out­comes, or com­pet­en­cies. AACU Pres­id­ent Car­ol Geary Schneider said the pro­ject, backed by a $2.3 mil­lion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Found­a­tion (a Next Amer­ica sup­port­er), will fo­cus on how best to or­gan­ized the “edu­ca­tion­al ex­per­i­ence” — per­haps mov­ing away from the cred­it hour. In­side High­er Ed

BO­STON PUB­LIC SCHOOLS SEEK GREAT­ER DI­VERSITY AMONG TEACH­ERS. A de­cline in the num­ber of black teach­ers in Bo­ston pub­lic schools has put the city in vi­ol­a­tion of a fed­er­al court or­der, prompt­ing of­fi­cials to step up ef­forts to re­cruit and re­tain teach­ers of col­or. Bo­ston Globe

ICYMI: Re­cent Na­tion­al Journ­al Edu­ca­tion Stor­ies

  • What If More Col­leges Were Like Am­h­erst? Des­pite a White House call to ac­tion, elite col­leges face in­cent­ives not to en­roll low-in­come stu­dents.
  • Bol­ster­ing Edu­ca­tion, to a De­gree. Roundup: In the White House and on Cap­it­ol Hill, the pres­id­ent spurs ac­tion in­ten­ded to get col­leges to fo­cus on di­ver­si­fy­ing stu­dent bod­ies and on pro­du­cing more gradu­ates from the ranks of the low in­come and minor­it­ies.
  • Minor­ity En­roll­ment Is Low at Many Con­ser­vat­ive Col­leges. In the Re­pub­lic­an Party’s struggle to court minor­ity voters, one more hurdle has emerged: Minor­ity stu­dents may be un­der­rep­res­en­ted at his­tor­ic­ally con­ser­vat­ive col­leges and uni­versit­ies, en­roll­ment data show.
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