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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 8/7/20

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 8/7/20

We hope you were able to join us for our Friday 5 Live today.  We were grateful to have Andrea G. Harris, Senior Director, Student Administrative Service at Pepperdine University, join us again! We continued our discussion about well-being as we work from home, and we talked through how to handle virtual fatigue which will be critical for all of us for this fall.  Please join us on August 21 as we ask Denise Swett to look into the future of the fall semester!

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The State of Higher Education This Week

This week we saw continued changes to academic plans for the fall semester.  Smith College announced that it will shift all classes online for the fall.  The University of Virginia pushed back its fall move-in date and shifted classes online; local residents have been critical of the university bringing students back to campus.  In contrast, Ames, Iowa residents are eager for students to return to Iowa State and support the town’s economy.  As some institutions push forward with full residence halls, there is increased speculation of Private-Public Partnerships between universities and companies, like Corvias.  The concern is that institutions are being forced to fill residence halls or make up the difference financially to the companies managing them.  We continue to watch the constantly shifting environment of higher education as we edge closer and closer to the start of the fall semester.

“The coronavirus has put a spotlight on a lot of the injustices in college athletics” - Valentino Daltoso, an offensive lineman at the University of California Berkeley

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Hundreds of PAC-12 Conference football players announced this week that they would not participate in training camps or games this fall unless the conference met certain demands including health and safety procedures, created protections for other sports and addressed racial injustice. The athletes spent more than a month organizing, and their hope is that the threat of a boycott will lead to a formal negotiation process.  “There is a significant overlap between college sports and issues of racial justice, especially in football programs” report Vox.  College football is disproportionately fueled by Black athletes: half of all Division 1 football players are Black.

 

10: the number of players on Colorado State University’s football team who reported being  urged not to report COVID-19 symptoms by coaching staff.


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Institutions have published clear plans for bringing students back to campus, but they have been less clear on what metrics they would use to decide to close campus should COVID-19 spread.  Industry analysts explain that colleges will be criticized for publishing any clear measures for closing as the ever-changing situation may mean those plans become quickly outdated.  Institutions like Duke University have announced they are monitoring a “range of indicators” to determine closure while Syracuse University has developed a framework that includes “five ‘levels’ of operation that lead up to a complete campus closure.” At 100 or more COVID-19 cases, the campus would pause and shift learning online.  K-12 institutions have begun to return to in-person instruction, and those experiences may offer additional models/guidelines for higher ed institutions who find they need to close.

4

Multiple publications this week highlighted the growing anxiety regarding  institutions’ financial health. The Hechinger Report examined financial decisions made pre-COVID-19 that have negatively impacted institutions while Education Dive reported on the continuation of layoffs and furloughs.  An interactive tool shared by Inside Higher Ed gives campus communities a snapshot of their institution’s financial situation.  The bottom line: the financial future of many colleges and universities is very bleak.

 

Innovative Educators On Demand Training: Creating An Inclusive Campus


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The Chronicle reports this week on the impact academic advising can have on degree completion and career attainment. The article spotlights Florida Atlantic University’s success with appreciative advising which has helped to increase the four-year graduation rate by nearly 20%. “Black and Hispanic students’ graduation rates have outpaced those of the overall population.”  The report focuses on the work of Ned Laff who envisions academic advising as guiding students to find their strengths, get them the education and experience they need, and help them find successful careers.
 
 
Author: Meg Foster
August 7, 2020

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/31/20

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/31/20

We hope you were able to join us for our last Friday 5 Live.  We are grateful to have Andrea G. Harris, Senior Director, Student Administrative Service at Pepperdine University, join us again! We will continue our discussion about well-being as we work from home. We will also talk through how to handle virtual fatigue which will be critical for all of us for the fall.  Please join us on August 7 as we prepare for the fall semester!

1

The State of Higher Education This Week

This week brought continued rise in COVID rates nationally as well as changes to academic plans as institutions get closer to August start dates.  Georgetown University reversed plans this week and announced it will start the fall online.  Institutions that will have students on campus for the fall continue to release student testing and quarantine plans.  Pace University will have students from 43 states quarantine upon moving in. The University of Texas is asking students to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to coming to campus for the fall.  At the University of Pittsburgh, students will shelter in place for the week before they arrive and for their first week on campus, reporting health daily. Faculty and staff in the University of North Carolina system have filed a lawsuit to delay the start of in-person classes.  We continue to watch the constantly shifting environment of higher education as we edge closer and closer to the fall semester start.

 

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On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is being cut back.  According to Education Dive, “new requests for DACA will be rejected and the renewal period of existing protections will be reduced from two years to one.” Two percent of all U.S. higher education enrollment consists of unauthorized students: a total number of more than 450,000 students. About half are eligible for DACA.  Left without the protection of DACA, students may be unable to finish their studies in the U.S. There are also repercussions for faculty and staff as well as states’ revenues if the DACA program is cut.

 

Innovative Educators On Demand Training: Creating An Inclusive Campus

 

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Last Friday a federal judge requested more information about  whether states that potentially ignore the new rule would be in violation of Title IX.  This request for information delayed the preliminary injunction blocking the new Title IX rules which was filed by 18 attorneys general.  The new Title IX legislation goes into effect in mid-August.  The states filing the injunction argue that under the new rules, colleges have less responsibility to investigate incidents, and therefore, would fail to protect students from sexual harassment.

4,300: the number of people who have signed a petition calling on Towson University to drop its $499 athletics fee after it suspended fall sports.

 

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Students have been pushing back on activity fees as institutions cancel fall sports programs and shift activities online for the fall semester.  Many institutions, like Towson University, are  maintaining pre-pandemic prices for student activities.  Other schools like The College of New Jersey and Edinboro University will cut student fees. Traditionally, activity fees go to fund student-organization budgets or campus life and recreation centers. Colleges and universities are shifting these resources to provide online programming or virtual health and wellness support.

“Eliciting the active involvement and encouragement from peers is far more effective than me begging students to wear their masks.” - Matthew Gregory, dean of students at Texas Tech University

 

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The Chronicle of Higher Education reports this week on how institutions are responding to COVID outbreaks traced to large gatherings of students at off campus events.  Institutions are restricted in how they can enforce student behaviour off campus. Responses institutions are implementing include: threatening to revoke recognition of groups that ignore public-health rules and requiring students to sign behavioral contracts.  Administrators are also working closely with student leaders, like those in fraternities and sororities, to train them on risk assessment and safety.
 
 
Author: Meg Foster
July 31, 2020

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/24/20

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/24/20

We hope you were able to join us for our Friday 5 Live.   We were grateful to have Andrea G. Harris, Senior Director, Student Administrative Service at Pepperdine University, join us! We discussed how to make work from home “work” including maintaining boundaries and improving overall well-being.  Please join us on August 7 for a discussion about how to battle virtual fatigue as we prepare students, staff and faculty for the fall semester.

 

1

The State of Higher Education This Week

With COVID cases continuing to rise nationally, institutions differ widely this week on their responses to fall reopening plans.  Spelman College initially announced a limited return to campus, but will now be online for the fall. Two other prominent HBCUs, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, also announced online for the fall.  Taking plans in a different direction, the University of North Carolina system will have full residence halls with double occupancy, reports Inside Higher Education.  We continue to watch closely as fall plans evolve at campuses nationwide.

 

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According to a report released on Tuesday by the Education Trust, Black students have less access now to selective public colleges than they did 20 years ago.  Since 2000, the percentage of Black students has dropped at nearly 60 percent of the 101 institutions cited in the report.  Colleges in states with large Black populations were the least accessible.  The authors caution that colleges will have to make major changes to become more inclusive campuses. Both Chronicle of Higher Education and The Hechinger Report provided coverage of this research this week.

 

Innovative Educators On Demand Training: Creating An Inclusive Campus


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The Brookings Institution has a report out this week connecting mobility to college attendance.  Students who attend college are “significantly more likely to experience upward mobility in adulthood.”  Access to college is highly dependent on parental income. Fewer than 50% of children growing up in the poorest households attend college compared to 92% of children from the wealthiest households. The report further shows that moderately selective public colleges are an essential piece of upward mobility for middle class students and that two-year colleges are a critical resource for communities.  The authors recommend state and federal policy makers prioritize support of public colleges so they can serve all students who want to attend.

 

Nearly 300:  The number of schools that have yet to decide what fall looks like according to the College Crisis Initiative.

 

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NPR reports this week on how COVID continues to impact institutions’ fall opening plans. In June and early July, schools were more optimistic about their ability to acquire tests and supplies; however, now that start days are weeks away, they're realizing that "there's just no way." More colleges are rolling back initial plans of in-person or hybrid fall and developing, instead, plans to rely heavily on virtual options. Students are complaining about how institutions are communicating changing plans. The NPR piece cited an Emory student who was asked to re-enroll in classes, saw that all options were virtual, but did not receive an official notice that the fall would be online until after the re-enrollment process.

 

"It's going to be an experiment this fall. It's going to be a test to see which solution worked better than the others," - Jessica Figenholtz, the higher education practice leader at Perkins and Will's Chicago office

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Education Dive offers thoughts on three major ways the fall semester may look different on college campuses as institutions spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to upgrade their ventilation systems, make doorways hands-free and install plexiglass barriers throughout campus. Fall semester will include plans to spread out classrooms, utilizing lobbies, theater space, and other large gathering space. In addition, students may see gathering spots empty of furniture or taped off and testing points at various entry spots on campus.  Institutions are also spending money on addressing air quality.
 
 
Author: Meg Foster
July 24, 2020

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/17/20

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/17/20

We hope you will join us on Friday, July 24th for our next Friday 5 Live.   Andrea G. Harris, Senior Director, Student Administrative Service at Pepperdine University, will join us to talk about common issues that all people working from home experience, and how to maintain boundaries between personal and professional areas. We will also discuss balance and how to improve overall well-being.

 

1

The State of Higher Education This Week

COVID cases continue to rise this week in parts of the United States, impacting institutional decisions for the fall semester.  Vermont and Utah have announced mandatory face covering rules at colleges and universities while the University of Georgia system reversed an initial decision to not require face coverings on campuses. Additional fall sports schedules have been cancelled: Hampton University announced it will not participate in a fall sports season.  Leagues including the Patriot League, CIAA and NESCAC will also not play this fall.  We continue to watch closely as fall plans evolve at campuses nationwide.

 

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The Chronicle of Higher Education reports this week that the Trump Administration rescinded guidance that “would have prohibited international students from studying at campuses offering online-only instruction this fall.” The announcement was made on Tuesday after multiple lawsuits were filed amidst widespread pushback from the higher-education community.  Education Dive reported Thursday that there may be a replacement ruling in the works.

 

$40 million: How much of the University of Pennsylvania's $91-million budget deficit went to one-time costs for coronavirus-safety measures like personal protective equipment, support for social-distancing changes, and an increase in student financial aid. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)


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College administrators are setting up clear expectations for how students will conduct themselves upon returning to campus.  According to Inside Higher Education’s reporting this week, administrators are crafting conduct codes and written pledges to mandate social distancing and face mask wearing.  It is unclear, however, how far colleges can extend these mandates past the limits of the college campus.  Social gatherings on college campuses across the United States this summer have demonstrated students may not be willing to engage in healthy behavior.

“Students who are unwilling or unable to comply with the restrictions in the social contract should not come to campus.” Princeton’s fall 2020 Plan

 

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    Pennsylvania’s public college system has struggled for the last decade.  Collectively, its 14 campuses have experienced a 20% decrease in enrollment while reduced state investments have forced the system to drive up tuition costs.  A bill signed by Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this month enables the higher education system’s governing board and chancellor to arrange for most of its colleges to share certain services, as well as expand, consolidate or create branch campuses, and cut through red tape.

     

    Innovative Educators On Demand Training: Creating An Inclusive Campus


    5

    The Community College Research Consortium released research this week showing a connection between two-year college attendance and degree completion for four-year college students. “Students who enrolled in a four-year college but took as many as 10 credits at a two-year institution were more likely to earn a four-year diploma and have higher wages than four-year students who didn't take community college classes.” The results suggest that enrolling in community college classes can benefit four-year college students without increasing their loan debt.
     
     
    Author: Meg Foster
    July 17, 2020

    Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/10/20

    Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/10/20

    We hope you were able to join us for today’s Friday 5 Live.  Dr. Denise Swett talked about how to develop student resources and creatively address supporting students when budgets are tight.  We appreciate Denise’s insights and her positivity in uncertain times!

     

    1

    The State of Higher Education This Week

    As COVID cases rise in parts of the United States, many institutions are announcing plans for the fall that do not include full face-to-face instruction.  Pomona and Scripps announced online-only instruction for the fall semester. Higher education continues to address the liability of returning to campus.  North Carolina announced it will protect colleges from pandemic-related lawsuits.  Inside Higher Education reports this week on increased insurance premiums for colleges and universities.

     

    2

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday that international students will be prohibited from returning to or remaining in the United States this fall if the colleges they attend adopt online-only instruction models. This is a reversal of a decision that allowed international students to study online for the spring and summer semesters.  On Wednesday, Harvard and MIT responded by filing a suit in federal court to attempt to block the decision.

     

    More than 90 percent: The number of international students who remained stateside in the spring, according to a survey by the Institute for International Education.


    3

    Inside Higher Education reports this week on evolving plans for the fall semester. “Rutgers, Harvard, Princeton and Georgetown Universities on Monday announced plans for a largely online fall, following a similar announcement last week from the University of Southern California.”  The University of Georgia system announced it will require masks this fall after push-back from faculty and staff.  With COVID rates on the rise in many parts of the United States, plans for fall semester may continue to shift rapidly even as the first day of the school year looms.

    "Reopening schools doesn’t happen with an all-caps tweet.  It happens with careful planning to meet our students’ well-being and academic needs, methodical attention to preventing virus spread in schools, and sufficient federal resources to help us get there." - Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers

     

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      On Tuesday the White House pushed for full school reopening, reports Education Dive. Leaders “raised the closures ‘social-emotional impact on students' well-being and the community supports schools offer as reasons to return to a face-to-face environment.” However, the push to reopen schools contradicts advice provided by Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and local health departments.  Medical experts advise that decisions about opening be made at the local level so community virus spread can be taken into consideration.

       

      Innovative Educators On Demand Training: Creating An Inclusive Campus


      5

      Inside Higher Education reports this week on two studies examining  the spring online learning experience.  While much has been reported on student dislike of the rapid shift to online courses in the spring, this research examines what went well and how that information can be used to positively impact fall course design.  Major takeaways from the research: faculty need to use multiple approaches to create engaging online courses, peer contact is important for motivation, faculty remain concerned about supporting disadvantaged students.
       
       
      Author: Meg Foster
      July 10, 2020

      Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/3/20

      Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/3/20

      We hope you will join us on Friday, July 10th for our next Friday 5 Live.  Dr. Denise Swett will join us to talk about how to develop student support resources and creatively address supporting students when budgets are tight.

       

      1

      The State of Higher Education This Week

      Our thoughts continue to focus on those protesting police violence and systemic racism in our country. The Chronicle reports this week on the University of South Carolina’s goal to have its Black student population match the number of Black residents in the state (about 27%).  Princeton has announced it will remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from their School of Public and International Affairs, citing Wilson’s segregationist views.  IE remains committed to sharing resources on the topics of antiracist training.  This week, EdSurge shared recommendations for engaging in DEI (diversity, equality and inclusion) work at a distance. Find tips for making teaching and interaction with students more inclusive in this piece from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

       

      2

      There is growing momentum for institutions to move away from requiring SAT and ACT scores as part of a student’s admissions process.  An increasing number of colleges and universities have announced that they will not require test scores for fall 2021 admissions, schools like Texas Tech and the entire Ivy League.  Advocates for an end to college admissions tests cite the growing body of research that indicates the tests are biased to affluent white students.

      More than half of four-year colleges in the U.S. — at least 1,270 institutions — won't require scores from students seeking to enroll in fall 2021.


      3

      Education Dive examines what college enrollment may look like for the fall.  The picture is not as bleak as it was initially in the early days of COVID.  “Moody's is projecting a 2% to 4% increase in enrollment across the sector this fall, with community colleges and less-expensive public colleges standing to gain students.”  Researchers predict students will remain in-state and closer to home which will benefit public colleges and universities.

       

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        Colleges are reaching out to states seeking protection from COVID-19 liability.  Institutions that are planning in-person classes for the fall are also planning health measures like virus testing, contact tracing, and mandating face coverings.  However, no measures can guarantee a zero rate of infection for students, faculty and staff.  College leaders are concerned that returning to campus opens institutions up to the potential of virus-related litigation. While the American Council on Education has pushed Congress to authorize liability protections for colleges, there has been no move by the federal government to do so.  College leaders are now seeking safeguards from state lawmakers, with some degree of success.

        Innovative Educators On Demand Training: Creating An Inclusive Campus


        5

        Colleges report increases in COVID cases during summer semester.  At the University of South Carolina, COVID cases increased by 79 in eight days. Public health officials tie virus spread to off-campus gatherings in nearby neighborhoods and bars.  As institutions get closer to mid-August start dates, similar outbreaks at LSU and Michigan State University, underscore the challenge institutions are facing to keep COVID contained on their campuses: there is only so much they can do to control student behavior, especially when those students are off campus.
         
         
        Author: Meg Foster
        July 3, 2020