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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 6/25/2021



New Initiative Aims to Provide Associate Degrees to Four-Year College Stopouts

EdSurge reports this week on Colorado’s new initiative to award associate degrees to four-year students who have earned 70 plus credits but not a degree.  The Colorado Re-engaged Initiative could help 13,000 Colorado residents earn an associate degree in general studies.  Similar programs exist in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Skeptics question the financial impact of earning a general degree and encourage states to offer robust transfer programs.



Supreme Court Ruling Finds in Favor of Athletes

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued their decision in NCAA v Alton.  In a 9-0 ruling, the Supreme Court found in favor of student athletes upholding a ruling from the 9th Circuit court.  The decision could reshape college athletics funneling more of the billion dollar industry to student athletes. The lower court ruled that “NCAA must also permit student athletes to receive unlimited non-cash ‘education-related benefits’ including post-eligibility internships.” Legal experts anticipate that the NCAA will continue to face additional challenges to its business model.


“The NCAA no longer has carte blanche to control athletes’ livelihoods and monopolize the market.” - Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)



An Effort to Revive TAACCCT

The House Ways and Means Democrats have proposed a bill to revive TAACCCT. Created during the Great Recession,  the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) would put 9.1 billion over seven years towards consortia that would address regional and economic development. Launched by the Obama administration, TAACCCT helped unemployed and displaced workers affected by the Great Recession. Nearly 500,000 individuals enrolled in TAACCCT programs at 729 colleges and universities earning 320,000 workforce credentials.  The program’s revival would be a boost to community colleges who accounted for 630 of the initial institutions receiving TAACCCT funds during the Great Recession.


Listen to our Friday 5 Live podcast with Quincy Jenkins of Chattanooga State Community College  as we discuss supporting our LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff.



Students Sue Indiana University Over Vaccine Requirement

Eight Indiana University students have sued Indiana University arguing that the institution’s requirement that students be vaccinated against COVID in order to participate in campus activities is illegal. The students maintain that the university’s mandate infringes on their 14th Amendment rights and a state law that prohibits public entities from requiring proof of vaccination status.  The university has stated that all staff, faculty and students must be vaccinated by August 15.


Looking to learn more?  These upcoming webinars may be of interest: 

Returning To Campus: Redefining The Student Services Experience July 6

How To Quickly & Easily Create Online Video Lectures For Micro-Learning July 14


Part-Time Higher Education Workers Decrease During Pandemic

This week Higher Ed Dive examines hiring trends during the pandemic. Research gathered by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources from nearly 800 institutions found that there was an overall decline in staffing across institutions. The biggest cuts were to part-time workers who saw a 17% decline in positions.  Institutions addressed budget shortfalls with a reduction in staff, and while many institutions are now looking to fill those empty positions, the push to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour could impact a quarter of wage positions in the higher education sector.

Author: Meg Foster
June 25, 2021
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