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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 2/19/21

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At Innovative Educators, we’re using Black History Month as an opportunity to examine anti-racist practices and inclusivity in our communities.  We are asking questions like:  How can I use this month for discovery, learning and listening? How will I take this work back to my institutions and organizations? While we’re reminded of the importance of not compartmentalizing the Black American experience to one month each year, each week in February, we are sharing resources that we find particularly helpful to our own learning. We invite you to use the Comments section to add additional resources that can help inform our understanding of creating inclusive communities and anti-racist practices. Please find this week’s resources below:

4 Practices to Promote Equity in the Classroom

5 Things Educators Can Do To Address Bias in the Classroom

Tell Me Who You Are: A Roadmap for Cultivating Racial Literacy By Winona Guo & Priya Vulchi



This week Education Dive examines the most recent federal relief package passed in December. The package includes $7 billion to expand broadband with the goal to provide internet to underserved communities.  These resources will support minority-serving institutions and students receiving Pell Grants. Pell recipients will be eligible to receive a subsidized discount of up to $50 per month in broadband services.  It is estimated that around 4 million college students have difficulty accessing the internet. New America, a think tank advocating for expanding broadband access, has found that “one in five people who stopped taking classes or chose not to enroll at a community college this fall said they lacked the technology or internet access to take classes online.”


"You're not going to solve the root issues of inequality with one-time funding to add access to the internet." - Lodriguez Murray, Senior vice president for public policy and government affairs, UNCF



“Mixed bag” is how Inside Higher Education describes state funding for colleges and universities in the coming year.  While institutions across the nation prepare for cuts, some states are choosing to protect or even bolster higher education funding.  Governors are focusing on three areas as they examine state funding: “colleges’ role in workforce development, higher education financial stability and assistance to historically Black colleges and universities.” The governors of Kentucky, California, Indiana and Iowa have proposed increasing financial support while Georgia, Hawaii, Nevada and North Dakota’s governors have recommended cutting higher education budgets.


1 in 4: The number of high schools seniors reporting that their post-high school plans have changed since the pandemic started (Survey of high school seniors by YouthTruth)



Five New Mexico colleges have announced that they are creating a common platform for student and financial services.  The participating institutions include: Central New Mexico Community College, Santa Fe Community College, Clovis Community College, Northern New Mexico College and San Juan College.  The joint system will help schools address barriers and improve student success. New initiatives include combining classes across the institutions if enrollment is limited and allowing students to register for a year of courses at a time.


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The Hechinger Report examines the effectiveness of text-based nudging programs.  Research indicates that nudges are proving less effective as they reach larger numbers of students.  Text messages to students at more than 700 high schools across 15 states “failed to improve the number of students who applied or enrolled in college.” Researchers recommend that nudging campaigns can still be impactful if the messages are customized, allow for two-way communication, and messaging comes from a student’s school versus organizations like state agencies.
Author: Meg Foster
February 19, 2021
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