EduShare - Higher Ed Blog & News


Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 2/11/22

    • 1

      HBCUs Receive Bomb Threats

      Nearly 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities received bomb threats between January 31 and February 1 at the beginning of Black History Month. Howard University, Morgan State, Bethune-Cookman and Spelman College were among the institutions targeted by the threats. Though no bombs were found, the threats interrupted learning and left students, faculty and staff feeling traumatized. The FBI is investigating the threats “as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes." At least one threat was called in by an individual identifying as a member of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division.

    • 3

      Positive news this week from the National Student Clearinghouse about college graduation rates. “The six-year college completion rate for first-time students attending college full- or part-time and earning bachelor’s and associate degrees is up to 62.2 percent, a 1.2-point increase over the previous (2014) cohort of entering students.” College completion rates increased among older, racially and ethnically diverse students and those who attended local community colleges to earn associate degrees. Black students experienced the largest increase: a jump of nearly 2 percentage points, to 44.3 percent. Researchers point to several factors that could have impacted the increase including: a higher percentage of 18- to 22-year-old students in the cohort, more of whom began their educational journeys at bachelor’s-granting institutions, and the possibility of better academic and financial support systems for students, especially students of color.

  • 4

    As we’ve previously reported, community college enrollment is down 14.8% this year with the biggest declines seen in male students. Research published last month attributes this downturn to “disproportionate disruption that the pandemic had on skilled trades courses.” However, there is an increasing need to train workers for new in-demand infrastructure jobs. Experts express concern that enrollment declines will cause decreases in tuition and state funding for community colleges which are the “engines for growth in skilled workers.”

  • 5

    According to the 2021 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) data released last week, students reported various responses to learning during the pandemic. Women reported more mental health concerns than male colleagues, particularly heightened anxiety, depression, mental and emotional exhaustion. Students new to college were more likely to share that they struggled with remote learning than students who were seniors. Age also seems to have impacted a student’s experience during the pandemic. Older students were less likely to feel like the pandemic interfered with their college plans or their ability to succeed as students. NSSE’s director, Alexander McCormick, reports that overall institutions were able to continue to engage students and weather the transitions between learning modalities.

Author: Meg Foster
February 11, 2022
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