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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 5/7/2021



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:

The Asian American Education Project

The 1882 Foundation

Asian Americans (PBS film series)



Is Remote Work Here to Stay in Higher Ed?

As colleges and universities look to reopen, institutions are examining remote working policies.  Duke University surveyed faculty and staff and found that three-quarters would prefer to work remotely three to five days a week.  Key benefits to remote work include shorter commutes and increased productivity. For campuses, not funding office space or building projects like parking decks can be a financial gain.  “Some campus leaders now believe that flexible work-from-home policies will make or break their future hiring and retention efforts.” As higher education examines how employees will work in the future, institutions are grappling with questions like how equitable will remote work be? Can employees work outside the institution’s state and what are the implications for tax and employee laws?

22% of undergraduate students are parents. 

“We have to acknowledge that young parents have basic needs that have to be met in order for them to really pursue the dream.”



How Institutions Can Support Student Parents

This week the Chronicle of Higher Education interviewed Nicole Lynn Lewis, author of Pregnant Girl: A Story of Teen Motherhood, College, and Creating a Better Future for Young Families, about how institutions can better support student parents. Lewis recommends institutions examine how they value student parents, the resources that exist for this specific student population  on their campuses, and how they educate faculty and staff about the unique challenges that student parents face such as having less time than other peers to complete school work. Lewis estimates that student parents have 50% less time than their nonparenting peers for coursework.


-6.1%: The decrease in FAFSA applications submitted nationally by high school seniors.



Guides to Support Student Leave of Absence

This week Inside Higher Ed examines how institutions can support students who take a leave of absence for mental health. Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation has hosted a one-semester program for college students who are on leaves of absence from their institutions due to mental health conditions.  Seeing a need, the Center has released a guide for students and families and another for college faculty and administration providing best practices for leaves of absence from college. The goal of the guides is to help educate students about their options when considering a leave and provide guidance for college officials so they can best support students, reduce the stigma around taking leave, and examine institutional practices like policies that could penalize students with mental health conditions.


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How Colleges Can Help This Year’s High School Graduates

First-time college student enrollment is down across the country, and experts are concerned that the trend will continue into next school year. While institutions will face financial challenges, the greater concern is that “thousands of individuals could be left unqualified for the jobs expected to shape the post-pandemic economic recovery.” Education Dive examines practices institutions are implementing to connect with graduating high school seniors to ensure they enroll in the fall. Schools like Pasadena City College are investing in marketing, connecting with local public school systems in new ways, and going “old school” with calling programs to connect advisers with incoming students in ways they hope will foster connection.


Thanks for reading!  Please share your thoughts below.

Author: Meg Foster
May 7, 2021
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