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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 4/9/2021




Innovative Educators is proud of its commitment to community colleges and excited to celebrate Community College Month. Each week we are highlighting articles focused on the concerns of community colleges and celebrating the efforts of our community college colleagues. Happy Community College Month and happy reading!

Community Colleges Focus on Equity


Public two-year colleges represent 41% of the nation’s 569 Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs)



Nevada Considers Creating Separate Community College System

A trio of Nevada state lawmakers is returning to a proposal to separate the state's community colleges from its public higher education system as there is a renewed interest in how community colleges will play a critical role in economic recovery from the pandemic.  The separation of community colleges from the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) could occur as early as July 2022. Six former community college presidents are supporting the bill which is a critical piece of the state’s state economic development plan that calls for a redesign of the community colleges' governance structure and funding mechanism.



Student Success Jeopardized by Outdated Computers

A recent survey by EDUCAUSE indicates that old, outdated computers are as much of a challenge to student success as the lack of reliable internet.  “One in 10 college students reported that their primary learning device was not equipped to perform a task required for a course during the previous week.” Pre-pandemic students used campus computer labs to overcome their own inadequate technology, but the pandemic has highlighted the technology have and have-nots.  Institutions can support students by hosting software on servers versus requiring students to download software which takes up space on personal computers. IT departments can also have clear resources to help students when they encounter problems.


“To be able to get a smooth picture and the ability to interact via any of the more common softwares—Blackboard, Zoom, Teams—you need to have a device that is able to lift and deliver those experiences.” - Paige Francis, CIO and vice president for IT at the University of Tulsa



Faculty Play Key Role in Student Mental Health

This week Inside Higher Ed examines research conducted by Boston University’s School of Public Health.  Faculty report feeling a responsibility to help students who are experiencing mental health challenges. But, professors feel inadequate to address many of the concerns students are raising. Faculty are open to receiving training to better support students. Researchers recommend providing faculty members with more training and straightforward resources on student mental health issues and substance abuse challenges. Colleges and universities should also supply mental health statements to include in course syllabi.


Community College Highlight:
Cayuga Community College Tackles How to Orient a Diverse Student Body - and at a Distance


Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Are Protected by Title IX

The U.S. Department of Justice released a memo last month confirming that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes under Title IX.  The memo draws on the U.S. Supreme Court case, Bostock v. Clayton County, decided in June which found that “workers who are gay or transgender are shielded under Title VII, the federal employment discrimination law.”  Bostock has been applied to interpret Title IX in the courts and has set a legal precedent.

Author: Meg Foster
April 9, 2021
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