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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 5/21/2021



May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and at Innovative Educators, we hope to use this 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 AAPI experience to one month each year, each week this May, we are sharing resources that we find particularly helpful to our own learning. Please find this week’s resources below:

Stand Against Hatred

America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States by Erika Lee

A Nation of Nations: A Story of America After the 1965 Immigration Law by Tom Gjelton



Coaching Program to Target 4,000 Stopped Out Students

Education Dive reports this week on a new initiative to facilitate student degree completion.  UNCF, which supports HBCUs, has teamed up with InsideTrack to “help re-enroll 4,000 students who left one of nine historically or predominantly Black institutions before completing” a degree.  InsideTrack will provide returning students up to four months of one-on-one coaching which will focus on goal setting, balancing responsibilities, and using on-campus resources.  InsideTrack will also examine common reenrollment barriers and share those insights with the nine participating colleges. UNCF is envisioning this as a pilot program and hopes to see the effort grow to other institutions.


"We just want to make sure these students are supported. COVID has disrupted so many lives in America, specifically in the Black community, and we want to make sure those students know that their home institution cares about their education." - Ed Smith-Lewis, executive director of UNCF's Institute for Capacity Building



Community Colleges Work to Share Innovations

The University of Maryland Global Campus Program in Community College Policy and Administration and the North Carolina State University Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research launched The Community College Practice-Research-Policy Exchange, an initiative which EdSurge reported on this week. The project is the brainchild of several emeritus professors and leaders of community colleges.  The new effort looks to examine innovative community college initiatives such as programs that meet the needs of student parents, using virtual reality for job preparation or the benefits of open educational resources.




Tennessee State University Owed Millions by State of Tennessee

This week NPR reported about decades of underfunding of Tennessee State University by the state of Tennessee.  A bipartisan legislative committee determined last month that Tennessee owes the institution close to half a billion dollars in unmatched land grant monies.  Maryland recently finalized a $577 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit alleging the state had underfunded its four HBCUs for decades. Experts blame systemic racism for a pervasive lack of funding to HBCUs.


$150 million to $544 million: The potential amount of money owed to Tennessee State University by the state of Tennessee.


University of Texas - Austin Identified as Hispanic-Serving Institution

Last fall semester, the University of Texas-Austin announced that it’s full time equivalent undergraduate population had reached 26.1% Hispanic identifying students which designated it as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). “Having the flagship university achieve HSI status is momentous, provided that it’s about equity and not just enrollment," said John Morán González, director of UT-Austin’s Center for Mexican American Studies. The public school population in Texas is 50% Latinx. In recent years, the University of Texas-Austin has focused efforts to recruit Latinx students, developed mentoring programs and created Latinx community outreach to connect with families to attract more Latinx students.

Author: Meg Foster
April 21, 2021
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