The Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education announced this week that “students cannot be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.” The department cited a 2020 Supreme Court ruling that determined that Title VII, the civil-rights law covering employment, protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination. This decision could have the greatest impact in K-12 education as it would not allow states to bar transgendered athletes from participating on school sports teams.
California Community Colleges Struggle to Enroll Students of Color
California community colleges have seen a sharp decrease in enrollment this year. EdSource examines the troubling trend that Black people, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders are increasingly choosing to attend for-profit colleges in California despite alarmingly low chances of graduating within six years. “Nearly 9 out of 10 Black and Native American enrollees don’t earn a degree at for-profit colleges within six years.” To assist students of color to enroll at California community colleges, institutions need to increase their presence in television marketing and also ease the administrative processes of enrollment.
3%: The increase for-profit colleges saw in enrollment in 2020, a year in which community college enrollment plummeted
Supporting the Mental Health of Students of Color
The JED Foundation and the Steve Fund have released ten recommendations to address the unique experiences and mental health needs of students of color in college. Recommendations include “creating top-level staff positions to support their well-being, engaging students to provide feedback on programs and sharing information between and within institutions.” In addition, campuses are encouraged to create advisory boards and groups focusing on mental health for students of color and offer educational programming on issues like race-related stress and stereotype threat.
Online Counseling Here to Stay?
This week HigherEd Dive examines colleges’ plans to continue with online counseling offerings even as students return to campus. Administrators report that having online mental health resources has allowed institutions to reach student populations that in the past have not used on campus resources. Schools that shifted to virtual counseling and expanded evening hours, have “enabled students who aren't comfortable meeting with a therapist in person or who work during the daytime to meet with counselors online.” Colleges are also helping faculty learn how to identify students who are struggling and connect them with counselors.
Higher Ed Groups Protest Bans on Critical Race Theory
The Association of American Colleges & Universities, the American Association of University Professors, the American Historical Association and PEN America, issued a joint statement this week criticizing efforts in 20 states to restrict the teaching of Critical Race Theory. Efforts to restrict Critical Race Theory “seek to usurp the judgment of professional educators and transfer the power of setting curriculum to elected officials, says Wednesday’s AACU statement, which was undersigned by 75 other education organizations.”
Author: Meg Foster
June 18, 2021