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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 3/19/21

Tech Term of the Week:

Online Program Management (OPM): practice of contracting with external, third-party organizations that help colleges and universities develop and deliver online degree or certificate programs.



Innovative Educators is a women-owned company, and so it is important to our organization that we honor Women’s History Month this March.  Pandemic life has been particularly challenging for women: as a country, we are in the midst of a “she-cession” as nearly 3 million women have left the workforce. This month we will provide resources that help us examine the role of women and work in 2021, considerations for ways we can support working women and our students, and opportunities to learn more about equity issues.

Black Americans & Women Face Discrimination in the Skilled Trades

NPR’s Podcast - Powerful Women: Let’s Talk


0.3 percent:  The increase in state spending on higher education which remains basically the same as the last fiscal year due to a boost from federal money.



Spring Break May Be Canceled But Students Still Traveling

Traditional spring break destinations are seeing an uptick in college student arrivals. About 60% of colleges have done away with spring break this year and instead are offering smaller, shorter breaks or wellness days. In an attempt to curb travel away from campus and cut down on COVID cases, most institutions have chosen to schedule days off mid-week.  However, with the flexibility of online classes, many college students are creating their own spring breaks. Some institutions are offering financial incentives to get students to remain on campus during break.



How the Pandemic Has Permanently Altered College Campuses

The Chronicle reports this week on how COVID may impact the physical college campus. Architects, campus planners and residence life leaders predict “more public-private partnerships, and renovations instead of new construction — which can be less costly and more environmentally friendly.” Predictions for the post-pandemic campus include more flexible faculty work space, smaller classroom spaces including flex space off campus for students to meet, one stop shop for student services, increased focus on the importance of campus libraries, an end to luxurious residence hall space, and a re-examination of how to utilize outdoor spaces.


The murder of 6 women of Asian descent in Atlanta this week highlights the threats and attacks experienced by Asian American communities. In the last year, Stop AAPI Hate has recorded 3,795 anti-Asian hate incidents. Advancing Justice - Chicago and Hollaback! have collaborated to offer one-hour, virtual Bystander Intervention Trainings.



Google Expands Certificate Programs Through Partnership with Guild

This week Education Dive examines Google’s increased commitment to providing career credentials. Google’s five career certificates will be available through Guild Education, a company that connects employers with education options for their workers. Google is one of several tech companies, including Amazon and Facebook, that are developing curriculum to distribute on its own or in partnership with colleges. Google has partnered with over 100 community colleges to offer its IT certificate, and its career certificates are offered through Coursera.


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

Join us April 9 to hear Cliff Nelson discuss accessibility and access. 


Students: Stress, Grades and Learning During COVID

The Chronicle digs into the fall semester and how its outcomes inform institutions about student learning.  Grades remained largely unchanged or even improved slightly across institution types. Colleges reported higher numbers of students on academic probation and increased rates of cheating. At the University of California Irvine, researchers are examining student learning trends and found that students are spending more time in their LMS. Students report spending 9 hours per week completing work for their two hardest courses; in 2019 students reported spending 15 hours per week total on all of their coursework. Data from other institutions found similar results. First year students struggled the most with online learning, time management, using online help resources like tutoring, and staying motivated and engaged in their classes. 

Author: Meg Foster
March 19, 2021
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