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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 10/2/20

We hope you will be able to join us for our Friday 5 Live on October 9 as we examine how to support our students’ mental health needs this fall semester.  Dr. Aaron Hughey, from Western Kentucky University, will share with us recommendations for how we can anticipate student mental health needs and provide support for students in person and at a distance.  We are now podcasting Friday 5 Lives so you can more easily share this resource with colleagues!  Please join us on October 9!



The State of Higher Education This Week

The CDC released data this week indicating that COVID cases in people aged 18-22 increased 55% between August and September, the time in which students were moving back to college campuses.  Appalachian State University announced the death of a sophomore from complications due to COVID.  At Florida State University, police shut down a party of 1,000 plus students. Institutions are announcing measures to address budget shortfalls.  The University of Delaware will furlough all 3,500 staff and use $100 million from its endowment to resolve some of the financial gap.



Inside Higher Ed this week looks at the enrollment data for the fall semester reported by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Overall undergraduate enrollment is down 2.5%, but at community colleges that decline is 7.5%. Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, said that “the results are extremely concerning for community colleges and the many low-income students they serve.”


130,000: The number of COVID-19 cases American institutions of higher education have logged since the pandemic began



Earlier this month, President Trump issued an executive order which bars federal grant recipients from using training that "inculcates in its employees any form of race or sex stereotyping or any form of race or sex scapegoating." According to legal experts and college administrators like the president of the University of Michigan, such a directive could seriously erode efforts designed to combat racism and sexism on college campuses while violating free speech rights. Given the language of the order, colleges and universities may have trouble determining if they are in compliance.



The Trump administration is proposing tighter restrictions on international student visas reports Education Dive.  International students account for around 6% of enrollment at U.S. colleges and universities.  The new proposed regulations limit visa durations to four years and provide more specific parameters around permissible extension requests. Higher ed experts say the rule change could deter international students from coming to the U.S. as many degrees, particularly those at the graduate level, take more than four years to complete.  U.S. universities worry this new restriction will drive international enrollment to countries like Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.


Follow our Friday 5 Live podcast available now on your favorite podcasting app!


Utah State University announced a new program this week aimed at increasing enrollment among students who lack the test scores or grades for traditional admission. “The Earned Admission program will guarantee first-year applicants a spot at the university if they pass three self-paced courses in English, math and study skills.”  The goal is to give students an alternative means for admission while providing them an academic boost prior to enrolling.  Students complete the courses through StraigherLine at a cost of $125 per month.  StraigherLine is supporting similar guaranteed admissions pathways at the Community College of Denver and Indiana Tech.
Author: Meg Foster
October 1, 2020
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