Bolstering Education, to a Degree

In the White House and on Capitol Hill, the president spurs action intended to get colleges to focus on diversifying student bodies andproducing more grads from the ranks of the low income and minorities.

Student Troy Simon (C) and US first lady Michelle Obama (R) listens while US President Barack Obama speaks during an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House January 16, 2014 in Washington, DC. The White House held the event to encourage public and private groups to help expand access to higher education in the United States. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Sophie Quinton
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Sophie Quinton
Jan. 20, 2014, midnight

Here’s a roundup of the edu­ca­tion art­icles that caught Next Amer­ica’s eye from Jan. 14 to Jan. 20. All ad­dress trends that par­tic­u­larly af­fect minor­ity stu­dents.

COL­LEGE AC­CESS TAKES CEN­TER STAGE AT D.C. EVENT. At the White House’s ur­ging, more than 100 col­lege pres­id­ents and cor­por­ate and non­profit lead­ers have made com­mit­ments to en­rolling and gradu­at­ing more stu­dents from the ranks of the low in­come and minor­it­ies. (The Chron­icle of High­er Edu­ca­tion has a great graph­ic of the com­mit­ments made by in­sti­tu­tions). Mean­while, law­makers on Cap­it­ol Hill are won­der­ing wheth­er money spent on two fed­er­al pro­grams aimed at in­creas­ing ac­cess would be bet­ter spent on fund­ing more need-based Pell Grants. New York Times and Chron­icle of High­er Edu­ca­tion

DREAM ACT AD­VANCES IN WASH­ING­TON STATE. The House passed the Ever­green State’s ver­sion of the Dream Act less than an hour after this year’s ses­sion star­ted, send­ing the bill back to the Sen­ate, where the pro­pos­al has pre­vi­ously died in com­mit­tee. H.R. 1817 would al­low Wash­ing­ton stu­dents who have been gran­ted De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rival status to be eli­gible for state fin­an­cial aid. The Spokes­man-Re­view

UNI­VERSITY OF TEXAS IN­TRO­DUCES TOOL FOR EVAL­U­AT­ING DE­GREES. The Uni­versity of Texas sys­tem’s seekUT web­site al­lows cur­rent and pro­spect­ive stu­dents to com­pare the salar­ies, stu­dent-loan debts, and ca­reer tra­ject­or­ies for thou­sands of alumni who re­mained in Texas. Ad­min­is­trat­ors hope the tool will help stu­dents make smart choices and prove to law­makers that col­lege de­grees do in­deed lead to high­er earn­ings. The Chron­icle of High­er Edu­ca­tion

CENSUS RE­LEASES RE­PORT ON CRE­DEN­TIALS. A Census Bur­eau re­port finds that 5 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans who have not at­ten­ded col­lege have earned a pro­fes­sion­al cer­ti­fic­ate or li­cense. Non-His­pan­ic whites were more likely that oth­er groups to hold such cer­ti­fic­a­tions, which are linked to high­er earn­ings. In­side High­er Ed

EARN­ING COL­LEGE CRED­IT IN HIGH SCHOOL IM­PROVES COL­LEGE COM­PLE­TION. Or so says a mul­ti­year study of the Early-Col­lege High School Ini­ti­at­ive, fun­ded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Found­a­tion. Al­most 25 per­cent of gradu­ates from high schools of­fer­ing col­lege cred­it com­pleted a de­gree — typ­ic­ally an as­so­ci­ates de­gree — two years after high school, com­pared with 5 per­cent of their peers, the study found. Edu­ca­tion Week

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