Highlights from the Network and National News

Community Spotlight: Greater Minds – Greater Spokane, Incorporated

This week features Greater Minds, an initiative of Greater Spokane Incorporated. The program launched just a year ago and is making progress towards its goal to raise the proportion of residents in Spokane County with high-quality degrees or certificates from 40 percent to 60 percent by 2025. Read about how the initiative came to be […]

Community Spotlight: Degrees Work – Louisville

This week, we bring you an inside look at Degrees Work – Louisville.

The team shared their struggles about moving Comebackers to completion despite the other responsibilities Comebackers often juggle, how to address institutional debt that can impede students’ progress, and the employer partnerships that are a core component of their work. The responses […]

Community Spotlight: Graduate! Philadelphia

Community Spotlight with Tom Ahart, Director of College Success Services at Graduate! Philadelphia

Every so often, we bring the spotlight to one community within the Network so that you can continue to learn about the background, interests, and insights of your peers. This week, read about Tom and his work as Director of College Success […]

Community Spotlight: Upgrade San Antonio

Community Spotlight with Micaela Rios, Director of Upgrade San Antonio

Micaela Ríos joined the Education Partnership in March 2015 as a College Access and Success Advisor for cafécollege. She is now the Program Director for Upgrade San Antonio. Ms. Rios enjoys guiding families through the college application process, as well as dispelling myths for first generation […]

Community Spotlight: Graduate! ABQ

Community Spotlight with Dan Mendelsohn, Director of Graduate! ABQ

How did an adult completion agenda first come about in your community?

Graduate! ABQ is part of a larger initiative in our community called Mission: Graduate, which is focused on increasing the number of degrees and certificates by 60,000 by the year 2020. The key […]

Community Spotlight: Upper Cumberland’s Big First Year Successes

Cindy Taylor, Director of the Upper Cumberland Tennessee Reconnect Community, centered in Cookeville, TN,  describes how her community first began to address adult degree completion and some of their wins early on. The Tennessee Reconnect Communities (TRCs) are part of the statewide adult education attainment initiative put forth by Governor Haslam. 

How did an […]

Gaining Speed: Mobilizing and Early Wins in Memphis

David Williams, President & CEO of Leadership Memphis and founder of Graduate Memphis! describes how his community first began to address adult degree completion and some of their wins early on.

How did an adult completion agenda first come about in Memphis?

In late 2009 Leadership Memphis took up the challenge as issued […]

News

Colleges Are Taking Adult Students’ Needs More Seriously. What’s the Next Step?

The needs of adult students are becoming more top-of-mind throughout higher education.

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Graduate Philadelphia Helps Adults Finish College – NBC 10

Graduate Philadelphia is a unique program that works to help Philadelphia residents who started to get their college degrees but left school for whatever reason, finish their programs.

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Free Tennessee community college for adults program shatters expectations in its first year

About 31,000 adults have shown interest in the state’s expansion of the Tennessee Promise model, shattering the expectation of how many would apply and defying a national trend that says adults are less likely to go to college during a strong economy.

In its first year, Tennessee Reconnect is Gov. Bill Haslam’s program that provides grants for students 25 and older to earn an associate degree or technical certificate free of tuition or fees.
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KYSHRM Magazine features Bridging the Talent Gap

Read about the Society for Human Resource Management’s Pinnacle Awards Ceremony, in which SHRM recognizes affilate chapters and state councils making their workplaces and communities a better place. The Graduate! Network’s Bridging the Talent Gap is featured along with the extensive work its contributed, starting in Louiville, Kentucky. Read about it on page 4 of the magazine!
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Talent Pipeline Management: An Innovative Approach to Bridging the Talent Gap

With the talent supply so low, we must be more strategic in developing a workforce that is closely aligned to the needs of business. This calls for employers to play a much more active role in developing talent and working much closer with education and training providers. Fortunately, an innovative resource is on Kentucky’s horizon to help with this effort.
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Local company helps its workers go back to school and reaps rewards

Employee recruitment and retention are always challenges for employers. But the steady economic growth and record-low unemployment rates that the Louisville area has been experiencing can make it especially difficult.

Universal Woods, a local manufacturer that helps its employees go back to school, is a prime example of how smart workforce investment contributes to increased employee loyalty, productivity and, ultimately, the company’s bottom line. “Our sales have grown significantly over the past five years and continuous learning, we believe, is an essential component of that growth,” says Paul Neumann, CEO and President of Universal Woods.

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Adults Reconnect in Tennessee

When Tennessee launched its free community college program four years ago, some questioned why recent high school graduates were the only ones to benefit.

Then last year, Bill Haslam, the state’s Republican governor, announced an expansion of the widely heralded tuition-free benefit to all adult residents, in an initiative called Tennessee Reconnect.

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Haslam Announces Application is Open for Tuition-Free Community or Technical College Through Tennessee Reconnect

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the application is open for adults to enroll tuition-free this fall at a community or technical college through Tennessee Reconnect.

Tennessee Reconnect builds off the groundbreaking Tennessee Promise program, which provides high school graduates two years of tuition-free community or technical college, by establishing a last-dollar scholarship for adults to earn an associate degree or technical certificate free of tuition or mandatory fees.

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KC Scholars Helps Build a College-Educated Workforce

There are more than 300,000 adults in the Kansas City area with some college credits but no degree. KC Scholars, a scholarship program established in 2016, set out to solve this problem by helping low- and modest-income students, as well as adult learners, finance and complete a college education.

The inaugural class of scholarship recipients was announced just last May, but the program is already celebrating its first two college graduates. Joslyn Brockman and Teeka Hodge are two of the 90 recipients of adult learner scholarships, which have changed their lives and future careers in the past seven months.

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NOT TARDY … TIMELY! Today’s ‘freshmen’ are rewriting the rules on the college experience

Fall 2017 issue of Focus magazine from Lumina Foundation highlights freshman students who are changing the rules of a typical college experience.

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The Other Student Debt Crisis

For most students, going to college means going into debt. As postsecondary education becomes more crucial than ever to middle-class opportunity, the majority of undergraduates have to borrow against their future in order to secure it. For those who do, the median burden is $17,000, but even smaller debt loads are unsustainable for many students.

The affordability crisis has spurred initiatives for change: calls for tuition-free college, experiments with low-cost degrees, promise campaigns that guarantee aid to local college-goers. Meanwhile, student loan obligations have ballooned to more than $1.4 trillion — a total that exceeds even Americans’ credit card debt.

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Coaching model could help St. Louis area adults finish their college degrees

When some St. Louis higher education leaders rolled out a plan in early 2017 to make St. Louis one of the 10 most-educated regions in the nation, it was still just a concept.

Now they have a plan.

It’s called the Gateway to Degrees, and it’s an effort that’s led by the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce with the help of area college leaders who have bought into the effort.

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Why Some Students Quit College — and How They Can Finish

Growing up in Cookeville, Tennessee, a university town about 80 miles east of Nashville, Hayley Furcean was determined to be the first college graduate in her family.

“I’ve always been the smart kid,” she says.

After graduating from high school in 2008, she earned a full academic scholarship for her first year at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville and began studying early childhood education. But things took a turn the summer after freshman year, when her grandmother died.

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Philadelphia Comebacker Kimberly Lowe Sawyer Shares Her Experiences as an Adult Learner

Kimberly presented as a panel member in a conference workshop titled “Traffic Jams, Speed Limits, Potholes, and Open Roads: The Intersections of Adult Learners.”

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Lumina Foundation Designates 17 Cities as Talent Hubs

Lumina Foundation has announced the designation of 17 communities across the country as Talent Hubs. These cities earned this new designation by meeting rigorous standards for creating environments that attract, retain, and cultivate talent, particularly among today’s students, many of whom are people of color, the first in their families to go to college, and from low-income households.

Each Talent Hub focuses intensively on one of three populations that is critical to raising the nation’s overall post-high school attainment level to 60 percent of working-age adults by 2025: 18-to-22-year-old students; older adults with college experience who stopped out before finishing their studies; or adults with no formal education beyond high school. Talent Hub cities are committed to eliminating deep disparities in educational outcomes among African-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians, who fare poorly in contrast with white and Asian students.

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Improving Attainment and Reducing Barriers: Announcing the Talent Hubs

Achieving the attainment goal of 60 percent by 2025 is an immense challenge that requires great efforts to reduce the obstacles currently standing in the way of postsecondary access and persistence for non-traditional demographics. To engage in this work, the Lumina Foundation today designated 17 cities as Talent Hubs, communities that are currently focused on attracting, retaining and cultivating talent among diverse audiences, and have aspirations to expand these efforts. With the grant funding, provided in partnership between Lumina and the Kresge Foundation, these Talent Hubs will be able to better support local efforts to improve education access and attainment, especially among currently under-represented populations. In this interview, Haley Glover and Dakota Pawlicki discuss the origins of the Talent Hub project and share their thoughts on the impact they hope these communities will have over the short and long term.

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This Ivy League School Just Promised To Eliminate Student Loans

Brown University just made a big promise.

The Providence, Rhode Island Ivy League school announced today that it will eliminate student loans – and replace them with grants that do not have to be repaid.

As reported in The Hill, Brown will completely remove student loans from financial aid packages for Brown’s 6,500 current undergraduate students as well as future undergraduate students.

“We’re committed to making a Brown education accessible to students from all income groups, so we can continue to accept the very best and brightest students from around the world,” Brown President Christina Paxson said in a press release. “When students and their families are sitting at their dining room tables making decisions about where to apply to college, or whether to accept an offer of admission, we want them to know that Brown is an affordable choice.”

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10 Current and Emerging Trends in Adult Learning

What Do Harvey and Irma have to do with learning?

When (what we thought were) once in five hundred year storms hit every other week, it suggests there is something new going on–and another sign that we live in a world where the unexpected is the norm.

As more of us move into cities, connect and trade with people around the world, and take advantage of automation, the result is the clash of natural and man-made systems in ways that we don’t understand.

Urbanization, automation and globalization are resulting in unprecedented waves of novelty and complexity. The only thing we can be sure of is that change will occur more rapidly and more unexpectedly in the future. And that means we all need to learn fast and keep learning.

While that thought is daunting, there’s never a better time to learn–or teach. Five years ago in Getting Smart, I argued that the EdTech revolution would power customization, motivation and equalization–that new tools would boost personalization, engagement and expand access. We’re starting to see that play out–first in corporate training and development, then alternative HigherEd (think motivated adults with specific learning needs) and now in K-12 personalized learning models.

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‘A more efficient university’: UT-Austin raises on-time graduation rate.

Nearly two-thirds of students who entered the University of Texas at Austin as freshmen in 2013 graduated on time, reflecting significant improvement for the state’s flagship campus amid a national push to get more students through college in four years.

Data released Wednesday show that UT-Austin’s four-year graduation rate rose from 52 percent in 2013 to 66 percent this year. The growth spanned racial groups and family income levels, the university said. Students whose finances made them eligible for Pell Grants made especially large gains, narrowing historic gaps in degree attainment.

The increases were significant because while the traditional path to a bachelor’s degree is four years, most students around the country take longer. That extra time can add to their financial expense and their risk of dropping out.

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Report: Higher Ed Must Factor In Growing Single Mother Student Population

Two-parent households are dwindling in the United States, with four out of 10 children being born to a single mother, according to a new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). Between 1999 and 2012, the number of single mothers attending college has nearly doubled.

“Because single mothers are a growing share of the population, we shouldn’t be surprised to see a growing share of college students raising kids alone,” said Dr. Barbara Gault, the IWPR executive director. “Single mothers’ economic situation requires that they maximize their human capital so that they can earn a living wage and support their families. College is a great way to do that.”

Nearly 2.1 million students, or 11 percent of all undergraduates, are single mothers, the majority of whom are women of color. Close to half, or 44 percent, attend community college. Of those attending community college, 43 percent say that they are likely to drop out due to the struggle to balance caring for their family with school attendance.

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How ‘personalized learning’ can put college in reach for nontraditional students

A program in Arizona supports nontraditional students who want to pursue degrees at their own speed. Much like a Netflix subscription, the new program lets students pay a flat fee for a personalized curriculum that works within their schedules. Hari Sreenivasan reports on how Northern Arizona University is putting bachelor’s degrees within reach for many.

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The Best Colleges For Adults

The new U.S. News college rankings are out (Princeton University and Williams College were the top national university and national liberal arts college, respectively), and that’s fine. But there’s another fascinating, new college ranking you probably don’t know about and should. It’s Washington Monthly’s second annual list of America’s Best Colleges for Adult Learners. If you’re thinking about going back to school, full-time or part-time, you’ll want to check it out.

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Messer introduces bill to help more transfer students earn degrees

U.S. Rep. Luke Messer has introduced federal legislation to help make it easier for students who transferred from community college to a four-year institution to earn degrees—a policy some Indiana officials are separately trying to advance statewide.

The policy Messer is trying to advance is known as “reverse transfer” in higher education policy parlance, the process of awarding associate degrees after combining credits students earned from both the community college where they started attending classes and the four-year college they transferred to—even if they hadn’t completed enough credits at either institution individually to earn a degree.

Messer’s bill, which he authored along with Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., and Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., would “streamline credit-sharing” between two- and four-year colleges so transfer students can be notified when they become eligible to receive an associate’s degree.

“Too often, transfer students are walking away from college without a degree,” Messer said in a written statement. “Our bill will make it easier for transfer students to combine credits and get a degree they’ve earned, even when life gets in the way. An associate’s degree can be a game changer, and help more Hoosiers get a better job and earn higher pay.”

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Test Driving the Road to Online Success

In over two decades of work in adult and distance education, I have led more than a few winning initiatives to grow enrollment, retention and completion rates while delivering an exceptional education. So, when asked for the secret to our success, I invariably reply that it’s all about creating a truly meaningful student experience—from the first point of contact, through graduation and beyond.

To be sure, an exceptional virtual experience that is consistent, connected and customized not only enhances university brand affinity, it also promotes persistence by adding considerable value to the academic investment. This is a big plus for busy, working adults who make up a sizeable portion of the online education market.

The Readiness Factor

Yet while e-learning has been around for years as a convenient academic option, we have since learned that it isn’t a “good fit” for everyone. In fact, over the decades, we watched far too many students drop out of the online programs they had begun, for a variety of reasons—from incompatible personal attributes and hectic lifestyles, to poor technical skills and inappropriate expectations.

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State makes progress on some workforce goals, deems others ‘unreachable’

Wisconsin state government has been bracing for the looming workforce crisis for years.

“We’ve had quite a lot of warning for this,” said Dennis Winters, chief economist for the Department of Workforce Development. “I published on this back in 2000. We had two recessions through there that let some of the pressure out of the pot.”

The state has implemented a number of strategies — such as the Fast Forward worker training grant program, which will grow to a $76.9 million total investment since 2013 in the budget headed for Gov. Scott Walker’s desk this week.

But the Walker administration has deemed “unachievable” some strategies recommended by the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment, specifically encouraging skilled college graduates to stay in or relocate to Wisconsin by offering tax credits for student loan forgiveness and moving costs.

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PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE PROVIDES A DIFFERENT HIGHER EDUCATION MODEL

A Pennsylvania postsecondary institution provides male students a vocational education free of charge.

Each year, approximately 75 young men graduate from the Williamson College of the Trades, a three-year postsecondary school in Media, Pennsylvania. Each has earned either a diploma for a craft or a specialized associate’s degree in a field such as construction technology or machine tool technology. They graduate without debt, not having had to pay for tuition, room and board, or textbooks.

Preference for the Poor

The all-male school is a rarity in covering nearly all college costs for all students, and its emphasis on trades—at a high-quality, college level—provides an alternative to traditional college.

The school was started in 1888 by a Quaker philanthropist, Isaiah V. Williamson, who named it the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades. He wrote in the school’s deed of trust he wanted to give poor boys a chance to learn a rewarding trade. In selecting students for his school, he said, “Preference shall always be given to the poor.”

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College dropout finds way back to school

As someone who once faced academic probation in a college environment, the 2017 Ivy Tech Community College Alumni of the Year for the Columbus region never imagined becoming a symbol for higher education.

As a youth, a traditional passive education experience involving lectures and textbooks was not Brian Heaton’s ideal learning environment.

After entering Northside Middle School, the Columbus resident got more involved in hands-on activities ranging from athletics to performing arts and yearbook publishing.

That level of involvement continued at Columbus North, where he excelled in performing arts. Heaton also became active in community organizations such as Junior Achievement, 4-H and the Columbus Firemen’s Cheer Fund.

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Urgent call to action issued by state education officials, plan pushes increased degrees, certificates and credentials

By 2025, state officials hope 66 percent of all Colorado adults have some sort of degree, certificate or higher education credential.

Colorado education officials described it as an urgent call to action in their newly released plan, “Colorado Rises: Advancing Education and Talent Development.” The plan focused on making education more accessible, affordable and equitable for all state residents.

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education and Colorado Department of Higher Education released the statewide plan Tuesday with the support of Gov. John Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, according to a news release from CDHE.

To reach the 66 percent goal, the plan details four strategies for Colorado’s higher education institutions: increase credential completion, erase equity gaps, improve student success and invest in affordability.

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Community college students who transfer to four-year schools but drop out before getting degree get help from Polis bill

Some students who complete the coursework required for an associate degree but who leave school before earning a bachelor’s degree could earn the two-year diploma, under a bill co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat.

The bill — the Reverse Transfer Efficiency Act of 2017 — is aimed at the large number of students who transfer from community college to four-year institutions but drop out before earning a bachelor’s degree. It would allow those students, through a “reverse transfer” process, to apply applicable credits toward an associate degree.

The measure would streamline credit sharing between campuses and also alert students when they’ve met the requirements for an associate degree. Two Republicans, Representatives Luke Messer of Indiana and Drew Ferguson of Georgia, are co-sponsoring the bill.

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Liberal Arts Colleges Cater to Employers’ Needs

Liberal arts continue to be a hard sell for many parents, who worry that a broad and often costly education – a year at many liberal arts colleges can top $65,000 – won’t prepare their children to compete in today’s job market.

But many schools, both large universities and small colleges, are newly intent upon helping liberal arts grads translate their skills into successful careers, by emphasizing experiential learning, funding internships and turbocharging career services. They argue that the skills grads acquire – critical thinking and the ability to communicate effectively, for starters – are highly prized by employers.

A 2013 survey of employers by Hart Research Associates revealed that 93 percent agreed that candidates’ ability to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.

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Completion Goals Unlikely to Be Met, ETS Says

Ambitious college-completion goals set by the Obama administration and the Lumina Foundation are unlikely to be met, according to a new analysis from Educational Testing Service, the standardized-assessment organization.

The federal goal, set in 2009, was for 60 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds to have earned an associate or bachelor’s degree by 2020. Lumina’s goal is for 60 percent of working-age adults to earn a “high-quality” certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree by 2025.

Given the current rate of expansion of the adult population in the U.S. and of degree production, 2041 is the year ETS says the federal government’s target could be met. The projected date for Lumina’s working-age goal to be met is 2056, ETS said.
However, racial and ethnic achievement gaps are expected to persist even as both of those projected dates arrive, according to the analysis. For example, African-Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Hispanics are not expected to reach the federal goal by 2060, which is as far out as the U.S. Census Bureau currently forecasts.

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Transfer students still lose lots of credits

Community college students lose a substantial amount of credits when transferring to a four- or two-year institution, which is due in part to poor coordination among the participating colleges and an inability to effectively communicate the transfer process and policies to students, according to a new U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

Overall, transfer students among all postsecondary institutions lost an estimated average of 43 percent of credits, according to a GAO analysis of a selected cohort of students. Students moving from public two-year to public four-year colleges — the most common transfer path that accounts for 26 percent of transfer students — lost the fewest estimated credits at 22 percent.

Public two-year college students transferring to another public two-year institution — the second most common transfer path that accounts for 13 percent of transfer students — didn’t fare as well: They lost an estimated average of 69 percent of their credits.

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WATCH: How Can Colleges Better Serve Adult Students?

The pervasive image of college students as kids a few years out of high school is badly out of date—today, some 40 percent of college students are 25 or older. Many of these students attend schools that cost too much and don’t deliver high salaries down the road.

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New Data on Nondegree Credentials

More than one-quarter of Americans hold a nondegree credential, such as a certificate or an occupational license or certification, according to new data from the federal government. And 21 percent have completed a work experience program such as an internship, residency or apprenticeship.

The new report from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics is based on responses from 47,744 adults to a 2016 survey. Its goal, the department said, was to learn more about the prevalence of these credentials as well as to gauge perceptions about their value in the job market.

The new numbers arrive amid growing doubts from a broad swath of Americans about the value of a college degree.

Numerous studies show that a bachelor’s degree remains the best ticket to the middle class. Associate-degree earners also tend to do better in the job market than people with just a high school credential. However, racking up even a small amount of debt in college while not earning a degree often leads to loan default and related financial problems.

Against this backdrop, policy makers from both major parties increasingly are pushing noncollege job-training options. For example, the Trump administration is…

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Tennessee is investing in a program that helps adults finish their college degree. Will it boost the economy?

A decade ago, when Lara Mechling was a college freshman at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, she decided she’d rather party than study. She dropped out midway through the spring semester, a decision that haunted her for years.

In August, the 29-year-old mother got a second chance. She walked onto the campus of Pellissippi State Community College, sat on a stool in her biology laboratory, and began working to complete the college degree she had thought she’d never finish.

“It’s an opportunity to redeem yourself in your own eyes.”
“It’s an opportunity to redeem yourself in your own eyes,” Mechling said.

Mechling enrolled in college through an ambitious pilot program underway in Knoxville that helps adults who either didn’t finish their post-secondary education or never enrolled in the first place earn a college degree, tuition-free.

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Making Higher Education Matter In Today’s World

What do you remember most about college (the educational part)? Large-room lectures where a professor talked and talked and you took notes? Or smaller settings where teacher and students could really engage on subjects and issues?

Either way, higher education is slow to change, despite its ever-spiraling costs.

Cathy Davidson works in higher ed at the City University of New York, and she has plenty of ideas for changing the system in The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux. The book is something of a tour of classrooms where teachers have thrown out old ideas about higher learning and are trying new approaches.

The author joins us to examine what works in today’s world.

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Two changes that would make higher education more effective for today’s students

Much of the economic news today features the phrase “shortage of skilled workers.” It’s a familiar problem and traditional higher education, in its current state, isn’t designed to make the course correction needed.

Here are two of the biggest shifts in practice and mindset that can help address problems in today’s traditional degree programs.

1. Formats need to work for adult students.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 8.2 million out of 12 million college students in 2014 were 25 years old and older. Overall, higher education is failing to recognize that. Many of these students are financially independent, have children and/or full- or part-time jobs — and they’re not getting the support they deserve. All too often they are set up for failure from the start. Few classes are scheduled in a manner to accommodate for full-time jobs. Administrative offices aren’t open outside of business hours. And then there’s the cost. Whether a student enrolls part time or full time can affect the amount of financial aid they receive.

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Study: 8 new skills college students say they need to succeed

One of the defining elements of the knowledge economy is communication. Whether that means communicating upward, downward, inside or outside organizations—almost everyone in the organization needs to do it.

This year for the first time ever, the MIT Sloan School of Management Communications Group polled its incoming MBA students to gauge what communication looks like within organizations today, and also to gauge what skills the next generation of managers hope to master.

The study was sent to all incoming MBAs, of which 308 responded (or about three-quarters of the class). This study reveals that millennials differ significantly from their older colleagues in the ways in which they use technology, as well as the skills they believe are most important in the workplace.

Some study highlights include:

Millennials aren’t comfortable communicating across cultures, and getting better isn’t a high priority.

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Connecticut’s low-cost program for college commuters a ‘game changer’

Students at many of the state’s universities no longer need to take a detour when faced with financial roadblocks presented by commuting, state officials announced Monday.
Starting this semester, full-time and part-time students at many state colleges and universities can claim a U-Pass, which provides rides on all local buses, Metro North and CTFastrak for a $20-per-semester fee, included in tuition. The U-Pass CT program grew from a partnership between the Connecticut Department of Transportation and officials at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system and the University of Connecticut.
CSCU President Mark Ojakian said transportation can sometimes make an education cost-prohibitive.
“Many students don’t have the luxury of just going to school full time,” he said, adding that many need to contribute to their families’ income in some capacity.
Passes are available at nine of CSCU’s community colleges and two of its universities, including Gateway Community College, Housatonic Community College, Middlesex Community College and Southern Connecticut State University.
At CSCU’s campuses, 65,000 passes were made available. Including passes offered at four UConn campuses, 87,000 students are eligible for the pass.

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Under the Hood: Learning Design Behind Georgia Tech’s Degrees at Scale

Announced in January 2017, Georgia Institute of Technology’s Online Master of Science in Analytics (OMS Analytics) is the Institute’s second at-scale degree following the groundbreaking Online Master of Science in Computer Science. During fall 2016, the learning design team at Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE) was given a seemingly impossible task: Launch the program in less than a year.

Compounding the challenge was the news that the degree program, targeted for the following academic year, was to be offered in parallel with an edX MicroMasters© (MM) credential, Analytics: Essential Tools and Methods. This program is a collection of three foundational courses offered on edX, our platform provider for OMS Analytics. Furthermore, the first course was to be launched one semester prior to the degree-program launch.

Although this additional program added a level of complexity to an already ambitious production plan, we recognized that prelaunch of the OMS Analytics degree with a MM course would provide an opportunity to gain insights quickly to improve the student experience for the program launch the following semester—a sort of proof-of-concept. Rolling out the MM program in May and the degree program in August meant design coordination and creation of eight new online courses in less than a year. We needed a new approach that employed strategies for efficiency and effectiveness.

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Cooperating to Serve Students Across Institutional Boundaries: Leveraging Online Ed in New Ways

Many higher education institutions have leveraged online learning in support of the operation of the institution. In recent years, online learning has been seen by many as a way to increase enrollment and extend the reach of the institution both geographically and demographically by reaching out to adult learners.

This approach has been effective for many institutions and has grown enrollments for those who are well positioned and have executed the strategy well. In recent years there have been a large number of institutions that have ramped up online program delivery to meet the demand for online programs. According to WCET’s (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technology) Distance Education Enrollment Report 2016, 5.8 million students took at least one distance course in 2016. Despite a large number of benefits afforded by online program delivery, and a decline in overall higher education enrollment in 2016, residential institutions and programs remain the “gold standard” of the U.S. higher education system.

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Fixing the skills gap isn’t as hard as you think

It’s Anna DeRango’s job to staff a factory that employs 130 people in Noble Square. But even though the number of unfilled manufacturing jobs is rising, she’s not worried about finding the workers.

Last year, after an upward slog of almost a decade, job openings in manufacturing finally matched pre-recession levels. This year the country has averaged 372,000 open jobs each month, and there’s no reason to think that the numbers the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics plans to release Sept. 12 will be different.

DeRango is the human resources manager at WaterSaver Faucet, a manufacturer with an estimated? $18 million? in revenue that makes laboratory sink faucets for customers like Northwestern University. She’s looking for two polishers, two rackers, two assemblers and a second-shift computer-numerically controlled (CNC) machine operator. She’s not worried about hiring for two reasons. First, the company pays competitive rates for production workers: The $12.29 to $14 per hour that it pays lower-skilled factory workers hugs the Chicago-area median pay for low-skilled jobs like ? assembly ($12.49 an hour), packaging ($13.91) and general production ($14.05). Second, when WaterSaver can’t afford top dollar, it forgoes experienced, high-skilled workers in favor of entry-level employees who can be trained. A newbie CNC machine operator starts at $14 an hour, well under the median wage of $18.79.

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Use Community Colleges As Affordable Stepping Stones To Four-Year College Degrees

With discussions about college affordability, student loan debt and cultural diversity remaining hot topics, public colleges and universities continue chasing out of state students for their higher tuition revenue. It seems students and four-year colleges looking for the right match are often on separate paths in higher education today.

Yet according to experts Kurt Thiede of Community College Pathways and Ed Escalet of DiversityAdmissions.com, there are profitable pathways for all education-hungry students that lead to a variety of affordable four-year degrees and job readiness.

Kurt Thiede has worked in higher education administration for over 40 years. His senior management responsibilities have included strategic enrollment planning, student recruitment and admission, student retention, financial aid, marketing communications, student life, intercollegiate athletics, and alumni relations.

Through his Community College Pathways (CCP) program,

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Hidden in Plain Sight: Understanding Part-Time College Students in America

Missy Antonio is a 37-year-old full-time mother who balances taking care of her toddler son and 8-year-old daughter with studying for a college degree. Her husband works long hours, so Antonio is often solo chasing after her not-yet 2-year-old from the wee hours of the morning, and getting her daughter off to school and back each day. During nap time and late at night, she studies to keep her grades up to get into the nursing program at her school, the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC).

Too often, it is assumed that the average college student is the 19-year-old living in a dorm and studying in the sunshine on a leafy quad. In reality, many of today’s students have more in common with Missy Antonio than they do with fresh-out-of-high-school undergrad living in a campus residence hall. Many of today’s college students are older and balancing college with considerable family and work demands. In many cases, that means they can only pursue their studies part-time. In fact, 37 percent of undergraduates seeking a college degree or other educational credential are attending college part-time. That is 6.5 million students out of the 17 million students enrolled in American colleges.

For Antonio, juggling school and family is complicated at best, and an

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The Forever GI Bill: A Beginning Not an End

It is quite remarkable actually. The first major changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill since 2011 were signed into law by President Trump on Wednesday, August 16th. Best as I can tell, the press were not there in New Jersey when the President signed the Forever GI Bill, and notably little has been said or written about this new legislation and its many long-awaited and beneficial provisions.

That is pretty shocking given the media coverage of this president, veterans’ issues and the way in which this legislation emerged—unanimously passed by the House and Senate. In fact, the legislation had bipartisan support and includes 18 different bills amalgamated together to form one large reform effort. And outside groups were deeply involved in the legislative process, including Student Veterans of America (SVA).

One explanation might be that these new benefits were squelched by the leftist media that doesn’t want to give the Trump administration any credit for anything. Perhaps the media were not invited though, as a form of punishment or non-communication strategy of sorts.

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Bringing higher education to Iowa prisons: University of Iowa conference is kickoff to fall lecture series

Four years after being released from prison, Jason Rubel was invited back to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville to be the commencement speaker for offenders receiving high school equivalency diplomas.

That’s because education changed Rubel’s life from one derailed by drugs to one focused on helping other people.

“It gave me purpose throughout my incarceration,” said Rubel, 46, of Marion. “I needed to figure out where to take my experience and make it an asset.”

Rubel earned a bachelor’s degree through correspondence courses while incarcerated at state and federal prisons for 10 years after methamphetamine convictions in the early 2000s. He went on to earn his master’s degree in social work and now works as a vocational rehabilitation counselor — helping others with work barriers, including substance abuse.

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New PLA position, student center to benefit veterans at Tech

Since creating an Office of Military and Veterans Affairs in 2014, Tennessee Tech has been focused on enhancing the college experience for veterans.

The office helps vets and military dependents navigate benefits and the GI Bill while helping provide support with the transition from the military to an academic environment.

“A lot of veterans have transition issues coming back from deployments and back from active duty to being a civilian,” said retired Army Sgt. 1st class Kevin Flanary, director of Tech’s military and veteran affairs office. “Generally, they are a little bit older than the students who go to class with them. It’s a little different system than what they are used to. It can cause anxiety and be a little overwhelming.”

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Century-old ‘work college’ model regains popularity as student debt grows

Clare Cameron stood behind a folding table, stacked with zucchinis, peppers, cabbages and cucumbers, and explained the differences between running a farmer’s market and plant conservation genetics, pausing only to bag produce for customers.

Working on a farm and running the weekly market, she has learned to identify food crops and to care for them, she said. A scientist does laboratory research on plants; at the farm, she said she is “on the ground” with them.

Cameron, a senior, is one of about 700 students at Warren Wilson College, a small school tucked into the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina. Warren Wilson is a federally designated “work college,” one of a handful of schools at which students help pay for their tuition by working — in the case of Warren Wilson, for at least five hours a week.

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4 experimental new models for community colleges

Community colleges are trying new recruitment strategies to reach potential students who have been previously untapped by traditional postsecondary pathways, Ashley Smith writes for Inside Higher Ed.

In California, the state community college system is building an online learning platform that officials hope will help them reach more adult learners. The project is an expansion of two existing programs related to online learning. The chancellor of the system, Eloy Ortiz Oakley, says leaders also hope the new platform will help California recapture students who enroll in online programs at schools located in other states.

Pennsylvania is piloting a distance learning program centered on interactive video, says Duane Vicini, project executive for the newly established Rural Regional College of Northern Pennsylvania (RRC). “We have live professors who teach courses at any one of the locations where we have satellites and a hub. Students are watching them live and can interact with them—they’re just not within the same classroom,” he explains.

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Attention higher ed: Here’s what you should know about adult ed back-to-school

As the dog days of summer draw to a close, it’s time to turn our attention to the classroom. “Back to School” season is now in full swing, and students around the country have furiously begun preparing for the upcoming school year. But there are also a number of new and emerging avenues for personal and career development that people are taking advantage of.

Why? Because a growing number of adults are opting instead to pursue education later in life. In 2014 alone, more than 8 million students over the age of 25 were pursuing advanced education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics–and that number is expected to rise to 9.6 million by 2020.

The reasons for these numbers are as varied as the individuals they represent: some may have joined the military at a young age or decided to first save money or start a family, while others may have experienced life transitions like having kids or becoming caretakers of elderly loved ones. For others, pursuing education later in life may have allowed them to undertake passion projects at a younger age.

Finding the Right Learning Fit for Adult Ed

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Episode 8: Student Voices – Getting In, Getting Through and Looking Beyond College

The Money—and Research—Behind a New Network to Boost College Completion

Streams of philanthropic dollars have long gone to expand college access for low-income students and kids of color. In recent years, though, a growing slew of funders have realized that having access to college—and the ability to pay for it—is only part of the challenge; finishing college can be equally daunting for students who are often the first in their families to get a post-secondary education. Too many of these students leave campus with no degree. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the six-year college graduation rate from four-year universities has hovered around 59 percent for the last several years.

We’ve written about a wide range of initiatives by funders to improve college completion rates. These efforts have generated a lot of understanding about what works and what doesn’t to keep at-risk college students moving forward.

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Future Forward: The Next Twenty Years of Higher Education

Higher education is a dynamic and rapidly evolving landscape. As a pioneer in educational technology, Blackboard understands how important thinking about the future can be. This is why we are partnering with the education community to better understand the future of higher education. Enabling student and institutional success in this fast-changing environment is an integral part of our mission and something we are deeply passionate about as an organization.

The world has changed in the twenty years since Blackboard began. In 1997 the internet was still in its infancy with only around 119 million users. Distance education, a concept that began in Sweden during the mid-19th century, was only beginning to transition from analog to digital delivery. And a mere 3.67 per 100 people subscribed to mobile phone service. Today, we live in a much different world with over 3.49 billion internet users and half of all web traffic generated by mobile devices. And colleges and universities around the world are turning to digital learning as a way of expanding educational access and improving quality—almost 80 percent of students

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After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, U.S. needs more tradespeople

At a steel factory dwarfed by the adjacent Auto Club Speedway, Fernando Esparza is working toward his next promotion.

Esparza is a 46-year-old mechanic for Evolution Fresh, a subsidiary of Starbucks that makes juices and smoothies. He’s taking a class in industrial computing taught by a community college at a local manufacturing plant in the hope it will bump up his wages.

It’s a pretty safe bet. The skills being taught here are in high demand. That’s in part because so much effort has been put into encouraging high school graduates to go to college for academic degrees rather than for training in industrial and other trades that many fields like his face worker shortages.

Now California is spending $6 million on a campaign to revive the reputation of vocational education, and $200 million to improve the delivery of it.

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A USC Approach to Degree Completion: Leveraging Palmetto College to Drive Adult Enrollments

By 2020, 65 percent of all US jobs will require a postsecondary credential, and economic development in South Carolina necessitates an increase of at least 70,000 individuals holding postsecondary degrees by 2030. The University of South Carolina system, with eight campuses across 19 locations, serves over 50,000 students and is a critical partner in efforts to meet these educational goals.

The USC System has responded to the rising demand for postsecondary degrees in a number of innovative ways, but there remains a large number of South Carolinians with partially finished degrees. About 21 percent of the South Carolina population has earned some college credits but not completed a degree. Moreover, the state hosts a large technical college system which graduates a number of students who would like to—or need to—transfer to a baccalaureate-granting institution to complete their degrees.

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The Twelve Most Innovative Colleges for Adult Learners

Universities may be full of brilliant minds, but as institutions, they tend to be slow learners. They can take years to recognize facts that ought to be screamingly obvious—for instance, that their graduation rates are too low—and then years more to figure out what to do about the problem, if they figure it out at all.

Another way to put this is that American colleges and universities, as organizations, are not very innovative. Or at least not innovative in the areas in which they most need improving. (They do tend to excel at finding new and better ways to hit up alumni for donations.)

That’s why, for the last couple of years, the Washington Monthly has been profiling the most innovative people we could find in higher education—be they college presidents, administrators, faculty members, or outside researchers. By highlighting individuals who are devising reforms that make their institutions measurably better on the metrics we care about—providing quality degrees at lower cost, getting more students to graduate, and so on—our hope has been to encourage more people to try.

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To Help Students Heal After Hate, Meet Them Where They Are

When students walked back onto campus at the University of Virginia this week, they may have retraced the footsteps of a torch-carrying mob that came just weeks before. As they venture downtown for an afternoon on the red-brick plaza, they may walk where the activist Heather D. Heyer was killed.

They may have been gone only for a summer, said Nicole Ruzek, director of counseling and psychological services at UVa, but everything has changed.

“Just seeing that their community has been violated in a way they had not expected it could be violated can be triggering,” Ms. Ruzek said. People have said that when they go downtown, “they notice that their bodies feel different. It just doesn’t feel the same as before.”

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Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States

The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education conducts and disseminates research and policy analysis to encourage policymakers, educators, and the public to improve educational opportunities and outcomes of low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities. The Pell Institute is sponsored by the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). The Pell Institute shares the mission of the Council to advance and defend the ideal of equal opportunity in postsecondary education. As such, the focus of the Council is to ensure that the least advantaged segments of the American
population have a realistic chance to enter and graduate from a postsecondary institution.

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Nontraditional Students are the New Traditional Students

News stories just before Labor Day always capture the back-to-college ritual of young first-year students moving in a frenzy into dorms. There’s something comfortable and familiar in those accounts. Trouble is, they’re not a very accurate depiction of college life today.

As everyone who helps lead a university knows, the stereotypical student is but a sliver of today’s college going population. Data reported by the consulting firm Stamats suggests that as few as 16 percent of college students today fit the so-called traditional mold: 18- to 22-years-old, financially dependent on parents, in college full time, living on campus.

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Military Victory for Alternative Providers

Last week President Trump signed into law a significant expansion of veterans’ higher education benefits. The legislation, which has been dubbed the Forever GI Bill, received bipartisan support.
Though its primary goal is to help more veterans get college degrees by covering most of their tuition and fees, the law also includes a nod to the federal government’s growing interest in encouraging noncollege education providers, with a five-year “high-technology” pilot program that will pay unaccredited providers to train veterans for careers in tech sectors. The pilot is scheduled to run for five years, with access to $15 million in federal funds per fiscal year — a total of $75 million.
In many ways the program resembles and builds on a limited experiment the Obama administration created two years ago.

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Earn-and-learn training programs offer students pathways to debt-free education

We live in a post-vocational education world. The problem? That same world still needs skilled trades workers. In fact, in a 2015 report on employment and occupations in skilled trades released by the state of Michigan, researchers estimate that by 2022 skilled trades jobs will grow by almost 14 percent — about 6,600 jobs — a number well above the 8.7 percent growth rate expected for jobs in the state overall.

According to reports, the gap between the number of skilled trades workers and jobs will continue to grow as baby boomers — who hold the majority of skilled trades jobs in both Michigan and the country — retire. And the rate at which workers are graduating from the very limited vocational education programs available simply cannot support the ever-growing need.

How did we get here?
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One Trick For Keeping Kids In College: Forgive Tiny Debts That Force Them To Leave

Nearly half of all college students in America end up dropping out, an epidemic quit rate that’s poised to cause some serious economic trouble: Most jobs today require some form of higher education, leaving a gap of 3 million qualified candidates by 2018 that spikes to 16 million by 2025.

This achievement gap already costs the U.S. as much as $2.3 trillion annually in lost gross domestic product because less-than-qualified U.S. workers end up underperforming. At the same time, for those struggling to get ahead, a diploma also represents one of the surest ways to ensure upward mobility. People without a college education are three times more likely to live in poverty.
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RESOURCE HELPS NONTRADITIONAL STUDENTS NAVIGATE FINANCIAL AID PROCESS

To ease the financial aid application process for students with unique circumstances and backgrounds, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) recently published tip sheets.

The online tip sheets, which are open to the public, provide answers to common eligibility questions that are raised during the application process. Questions such as “Do you have a legal guardian?” or “How many people are in your household?” might seem straightforward to most applicants, but are stumbling blocks for those who are homeless, in foster care, or have unique family situations.
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The Past, Present and Future of Big Data in Higher Ed

Higher education institutions are under increasing pressure from public and private stakeholders to increase efficiency, effectiveness and output. These pressures stem from motivations to expand access while decreasing costs and increasing the number of graduates to fill positions that fuel economic growth and community prosperity. Higher education governing boards are calling for increased accountability and transparency, and regulatory bodies seek evidence of compliance in an environment of reduced public funding and increased competition for students.[1]

Universities are complex organizations that are awash in disjointed and siloed data yet starved for actionable information. Big Data analytics promises to turn these volumes of complex, often unstructured data into actionable information and it is more than just the amalgamation of large data sets into a data warehouse. More than just large sets of data, Big Data is an emergent suite of technologies that can store and process extremely large volumes of disaggregated data of various types at faster speeds and at cheaper costs than ever before.
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Outcome-based funding is helping Tennessee students succeed, but more work remains

Tennessee has led the way in ensuring its public investment in higher education prepares more residents for the future – and new research suggests the effort is creating strong, positive benefits among full-time students.

Through outcome-based funding, the state wants to ensure that scarce public funds lead to more Tennesseans graduating on time with college degrees and workforce certificates. Lumina Foundation supports a national goal of helping 60 percent of adults attain high-quality credentials after high school by 2025. Similarly, Tennessee has its Drive to 55 initiative, and to reach these goals we must close the gaps among minority and low-income students.
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Engaging Non-Traditional Students with (Mobile-Compatible) Microlearning

I teach entirely online at a university, The University of Texas at Arlington, which is in the process of expanding online learning opportunities for students, including non-traditional, diverse learners. One approach that is useful for non-traditional students is to make use of a relatively new concept called microlearning.

In contrast to long-form text and multimedia, microlearning consists of short bursts of information (microcontent), which is often followed by an opportunity to interact and retrieve information such as a short quiz or chance to post short written commentary. Further explanation and examples of how microlearning can benefit learners within your institution are described in this post.
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Bill would provide states with grants to expand apprenticeships

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) has introduced legislation to boost workforce readiness by expanding apprenticeship programs and investing in public-private partnerships.

Baldwin unveiled the PARTNERS (Pairing Apprenticeships with Regional Training Networks to meet Employer Requirements) Act last Friday during a visit to Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin.

“In Wisconsin, I’ve seen how public-private partnerships can best address the workforce readiness challenges we face,” said Baldwin in a statement. “This new legislation will scale up our apprenticeship programs and provide more people with the skills they need to succeed. If we invest in public-private partnerships, we can boost workforce readiness and provide our businesses the skilled workers they need to grow our economy.”
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Reexamining Our Approach to College Access

Recently, I read yet another higher education professional’s case for standardized testing, specifically that making such tests free and universal would help level the playing field for low-income and minority students seeking access to top colleges. But while the SAT’s hefty $57 fee contributes to the barriers low-income students face, eliminating it won’t solve the problem. Access to higher education in America is much more complex.
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Hispanic Students Need Degree Data

As compared to other undergraduates, Hispanic students are 33 percent more likely to be enrolled in a two-year college rather than a four-year university. According to the National Center on Educational Statistics, Hispanic students constituted 23 percent of the 2014 undergraduate enrollments in colleges offering an associate’s degree, but only 17 percent of the enrollment in institutions offering a bachelor’s.

Yet the value of a bachelor’s diploma has never been greater. According to the College Board, students who get a bachelor’s earn, on average, 33 percent more annually than do students who receive only an associate’s degree ($61,400 versus $46,000).
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This is what today’s college students really look like

When most people think of a college student they likely imagine an 18- to 22-year-old coed bounding through the quad on the way to her dorm from a lecture hall. But these days, the typical college student actually looks more like Erin Jones.

Jones, 37, is a veteran and single mom who drives to her classes multiple days a week. After spending time in the military and the workforce, Jones decided to go back to school last year to study nursing as a way to ensure she’d one day earn a paycheck large enough to comfortably support herself and her two children.
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Tracking America’s Progress Toward 2025

The nation faces an urgent and growing need for talent. To meet that need, many more people must earn college degrees, workforce certificates, industry certifications and other high-quality credentials. That’s why Lumina Foundation focuses on Goal 2025. We want to ensure that, by 2025, a system exists that is easy to navigate and has helped 60 percent of Americans earn credentials that prepare them for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.
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The Majority of Working Adults in America See Higher Education as a Path to Greater Career Satisfaction

To learn more about how satisfied employed adults are with their careers, University of Phoenix commissioned a 2017 survey, surveying 1,019 Americans in the workforce.

The survey showed that the majority of respondents feel stalled in some aspect of their current career. It also shed light on additional concerns of today’s working adults, such as how effectively their skills are being used by their employers. Less than half of respondents feel they are fairly compensated for the work they do, with more than a third (38 percent) believing they are undercompensated.

About a third of respondents report being ‘very satisfied’ with their current position, with even fewer saying the same for their career path.
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DC Experiments With Adult Education

Cara Sklar is the director of research for the Briya Public Charter School in the Northeast section of Washington, D.C., whose beautiful, new energy-efficient facility was built on the site of a traditional public school that looked like a concrete fortress. With pride, Sklar explains that the goal of the school is “ending the intergenerational cycle of poverty.”

That goal could seem naïve. In D.C., “ending the intergenerational cycle of poverty” has frustrated the best efforts of 40+ years of Black political control and billions spent on education and social services. It’s extremely difficult for someone without a high school diploma to enter a career that can support a family. For an unskilled person from a dangerous environment who can’t speak standard English or has a small child, it’s almost impossible.
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Office Of Adult Education Turns To Technology To Help Reduce Illiteracy

The Office of Adult Education in Philadelphia is turning to technology to help residents better their reading skills.

According to the office of Adult Education in Philadelphia, more than 500,000 people throughout the city need to improve their literacy skills in order to be ready for the work force.

“It’s somewhat of an invisible crisis in Philadelphia and other major cities across the country,” said Anne Gemmell, Director of Family Learning in the Office of Adult Education. “About 40 million people across the country really struggle to read well in a way that opens doors for them to the 21st century economy.”
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Tennessee Reconnect helps adults hop back on degree track

At age 46, Allen Hunter decided to enroll at Chattanooga State Community College, determined to earn a degree.

“The first thing I’ve got to do is set expectations for my children,” he said last week. “I went back to school to set an example for them.”

Returning to school full time was a culture shock, Hunter said, but he recently earned computer support technician certification and is now working toward a two-year media technology degree. The hard work and long days at school are worth it, he added, because a degree will qualify him for a glut of jobs.
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Kasey Johnson: Adult learners can boost R.I. economy

Gov. Gina Raimondo’s proposal to provide two years of free tuition at the Community College of Rhode Island — part of the budget that passed last week — will be a huge step in decreasing college loan debt while increasing access for those who might not otherwise be able to afford college.

This effort will move us closer to hitting the governor’s statewide goal of 70-percent post-secondary attainment by 2025, as well as helping prepare Rhode Island for the future jobs that will require a minimum of a college degree. I applaud the governor and her vision of free education, as Rhode Island will benefit from the knowledge and skills these graduates will add to our local economy.
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Mission: Graduate expands reach

Gilbert Turrietta tried college once, but life complicated things.

The financial responsibility of raising a family derailed his HVAC studies at Santa Fe Community College, he says.

Now the 52-year-old is ready to try again, and will this fall start a diesel mechanic program at Central New Mexico Community College. He intends to get his Automotive Service Excellence certification – possibly followed with an associate degree – and ultimately replace his minimum-wage recycling center job with work that can pay upward of $50 an hour.
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New program launches in Albuquerque to help adults attend college

A new program has been launched to give adults a chance to go to college.

“Graduate Albuquerque” is a support system for adults wanting to go to college.

Mentors provide financial coaching to help people who are often balancing work and family figure out how they will pay their tuition. Mentors then help the adults get enrolled and connect them with people who can help them succeed.Click here to read more.

300,000 In San Antonio Have College Credits, But Not A Degree

Nearly 25 percent of people in San Antonio have obtained some college credit, but have not completed their program or degree.

A new, local initiative called Upgrade is working to help adults figure out how best to approach completing their college education.

Launched in April, the program’s goal is two-fold: Higher educational attainment as a personal investment, to improve quality of life on the individual level, and as a means to spur overall economic development in San Antonio.Click here to read more.

Major industries expect growth, but finding skilled workers a challenge

Positive economic conditions and strong prospects for growth were among the findings of a recent statewide survey of Kentucky businesses. But another finding poses a particular challenge despite that optimistic news: 84 percent of employers report having trouble recruiting qualified workers.

More than 1,000 businesses participated in the Bridging the Talent Gap survey, conducted by the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management.Click here to read more.

New Program Connects the Dots on Unfinished College Degrees

Nicole Franklin went to a magnet high school program and won scholarships to a small liberal arts college in New Mexico, only to stop mid-way when she realized the program wouldn’t allow her to pursue her passion for painting.

She returned to San Antonio and worked as a caregiver, a portraitist, and a GIS-mapper, among other jobs, while dabbling in classes at community college in an effort to complete her degree.” Click here to read more.

Survey Reveals Why It’s So Hard for Adults to Go Back to College

A first-of-its-kind survey released Monday is offering a glimpse into the realities of going back to college as a working adult, one that officials hope will lead to policies that boost student success.

In the survey, compiled and analyzed in a report from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, employees identify cost as a top barrier to higher education. And many of them said they wanted advice on juggling priorities at work and at home with college. Click here to read more.

Tennessee College Work Sets a National Example, Report Says

Tennessee’s campaign to boost college success has made it a national education leader, according to a new report from Ivy League researchers, but the researchers warned that several problems stood in the way of unqualified success.

The report released Tuesday by the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education tracked the progress made by Republican and Democratic governors who collaborated with college and business leaders to boost college enrollment and graduation over the last several years. Lead author Joni E. Finney said that collaboration, combined with the rapid-fire launch of support programs like the Tennessee Promise scholarship under Gov. Bill Haslam, has established a model other states should follow. Click here to read more.

OPINION: Students can’t repay loans without jobs — here’s how to navigate the ‘last mile’ from diploma to employment

Back in my days as a business analyst, I once had to evaluate the fortunes of a subprime auto lender that prospered by throwing in mechanic services as part of the sale. The reason was simple: if the car doesn’t run, the borrower probably won’t make the payments. Click here to read more.

Nashville selected to participate in national cohort for education paths

The National League of Cities recently selected Nashville as one of six cities that will take part in a two-year project to explore and build equitable pathways to postsecondary and workforce success.

The mayors of each city participating in NLC’s Building Equitable Pathways to Postsecondary and Workforce Success cohort have made a commitment to increasing access and decreasing barriers to succeeding in higher education and to gaining meaningful employment. Click here to read more.

New Louisville Startup Will Recruit Employees Back to College

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer today unveiled a new city-sponsored startup program aimed at working with Louisville employers to send more of their employees back to school to complete their college degrees.

The program is called Degrees Work and is a component of 55,000 Degrees, a local education initiative created in 2010 that has set a goal of 50 percent of Louisville’s workforce earning at least an associate’s degree by 2020. Click here to read more.

Tackling workforce education in Spokane – Greater Minds launched to help employees earn degrees, certifications.

Greater Spokane Incorporated has taken on a big challenge with its new community initiative called Greater Minds that aims to provide working adults with support to return to school.
The program’s goal is to increase the percentage of adult workers in Spokane County with a degree or certificate to 60 percent by 2025.
“Data from the Lumina Foundation currently shows just over 40 percent of adult workers countywide have attained that level of education,” says Meg Lindsay, program director for education and workforce at Greater Spokane Incorporated. Click here to read more.

Raimondo’s Free College Tuition Proposal – A Smart Investment in RI’s Future

Boosting the percentage of Rhode Islanders who earn college degrees is central to making our state more economically competitive. For businesses thinking about locating or expanding here, access to an educated and skilled workforce is a top consideration. Additionally a college degree is more important than ever to an individual’s ability to earn a middle class income. Click here to read more.

New Effort in Spokane County Aims to Help Workers Finish Higher Education

By the time she hit her late 40s, Justine Denison felt ready to move into management. She’d found her passion in corporate training and had spent years helping her colleagues at Spokane Teachers Credit Union hone the skills they needed to succeed at the credit union. But Denison hadn’t finished college. Without a diploma, “I realized that I would see my career plateau,” she said. Click here to read more.

KC Degrees Program Helps Adults Finish Their Educations.

The Mid-America Regional Council, partnered with Kauffman Foundation and Mid-Continent Public Library, among others, has started a program aimed to help adults finish post-secondary education. WHY DOES IT MATTER: MARC says more than 300,000 adults in the Kansas City metro area have some post-secondary education but have not completed their degrees or certifications that could lead to better jobs. Click here to read more.

Better Late Than Never, Lowe Reaches Her Education Goals

Kim Lowe’s fateful day wasn’t even intended to be for her. In 2008, seated in an office with a friend who was interested in going back to college, Lowe realized that her own education aspirations were still alive and well. She originally attended college in the 80s, but had to withdraw because of family circumstances. However, it wasn’t long after Lowe entered that office that she spoke with an admissions counselor, described her hesitation about reentering school, and met with a college representative.

She graduated with a degree in Human Services in 2011 and then earned a Master’s in Administration of Human Services in 2012.
Click here to read more.

Tennessee Reconnect Aims To Link Adults To Higher Education

A new regional effort aims to help adults find their way back to the classroom.

On Nov. 15, the Smoky Mountain Tennessee Reconnect Community will hold its official launch to assist adults in Greene, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Hancock, Jefferson, Sevier and Union counties who haven’t completed a college degree.

The group, a collaboration among regional community, industry and higher education leaders, will utilize a $225,000 state grant to promote adult learner resources and services. Click here to read more.

South Central Tennessee Reconnect Community to hold kick-off events

The South Central Tennessee Reconnect Community, which includes Lawrence, Giles, Marshall, Lincoln, Bedford, Moore, Coffee, Franklin, and Grundy counties, still has three more launch events scheduled to promote adult educational opportunities throughout southern Middle Tennessee.

Any adult who is thinking about returning to school, or attending for the first time, is welcome to attend.

Reconnect Advisors and schools from around the region will be on hand to provide information. Refreshments will be served.

The first gathering is today from 4-7 p.m. at American Job Center-Tullahoma, 111 E. Lincoln St., Tullahoma.

The second meeting will be from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at American Job Center-Pulaski, 125 South Cedar Lane, Pulaski. Click here to read more.

KC Degrees helps adults return to college and graduate

More than 300,000 adults in the Kansas City region have some college credits but never earned a degree. KC Degrees, a new initiative launched by the Mid-America Regional Council, will help adult students return to college and offer continuing support services through graduation.

“Earning a college degree can put people on the path to better jobs, higher pay and a better quality of life,” a MARC press release states, “And an educated workforce provides the human capital needed to attract new businesses and grow the regional economy. KC Degrees is one of several initiatives designed to increase postsecondary attainment in the Kansas City region.” Click here to read more.

Creating Greater Opportunities Through Education

Every day we hear, read, and see these words. What do they all mean?

We are in the midst of a huge shift in our talent and workforce needs. We are experiencing the mass exodus of baby boomers out of the workforce (10,000 baby boomers a day become eligible to retire). Millennials are still entering the workforce with a huge need to develop the skills necessary to meet employer demands, which leaves us wondering if we have the right workers to fill jobs, maintain our competitiveness and contribute to the community. The answer is yes.

GSI believes that education grows economies. In a 2016 survey of Site Location Consultants that focused on the Top 10 Site Selection Factors when vetting locations for business expansion and relocation, “availability of skilled labor” was the top factor. At GSI, we’ve been in a leadership position around education and workforce opportunities, needs and challenges for almost 20 years. For regional business development organizations, this is unique. The exciting news is that in the past four years, with the support of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Education Attainment Division there is a growing trend, nationally, around the key role business development and chamber organizations play in driving, supporting and cultivating talent development. GSI leverages our position as an industry leader in this regard. Click here to read more.

Who’s fighting for college for the forgotten majority?

Free college has become the banner headline for Democrats in an effort to attract the energetic, debt-ridden millennials who flocked to the Bernie Sanders campaign.

But what about the 8 million adult college students struggling to complete a degree, and the millions of other adults who wish they could go to college but can’t afford it? Most current tuition assistance programs are aimed at recent high school graduates. Yet a majority (60 percent) of 25- to 64-year-olds do not hold at least an associate degree, and the numbers rise to 71 percent and 79 percent for African-Americans and Latinos, respectively. Click here to read more.

Bridging the Talent Gap

During the Kentucky Chamber’s 11th Annual Business Summit, held July 14 and 15, 2015, LSHRM’s Bridging the Talent Gap initiative was featured. The panelists included Beth Davisson, MBA, President of LSHRM and Director of Career Services, Health and Medical programs at Sullivan University; Lynn Ingmire SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Chair of Kentucky SHRM and President/Owner of Essential HR Partners, LLC; Bridgett Strickler, Co-Principal Investigator and Business Engagement Lead of Bridging the Talent Gap and Dr. Dan Ash, Co-Principal Investigator and Research Director of Bridging the Talent Gap.Click here to read more.

Adult higher education support network holding launch event in Spring Hill

The Middle Tennessee Reconnect Community, which is a part of a state initiative to get more adults to enter higher education, is slated to host a launch event in Spring Hill on April 7.

The Middle Tennessee Reconnect Community, which is a part of a state initiative to get more adults to enter higher education, is slated to host a launch event in Spring Hill on April 7.

Any adults who have started a certificate or degree program and want to learn more about returning to complete their degrees are invited to speak to Reconnect Advisors and learn more about the resources and support systems available to them.Click here to read more.

Brownsville Mayor Bill Rawls Jr Announces “Tennessee Reconnect” Community Bus Stop in Haywood County

Brownsville Mayor Bill Rawls Jr. will be on site to welcome the Tennessee Reconnect Community Bus as it stops in Haywood County on Wednesday, March 9th at 10:30 AM at the Brownsville Court Square. The Tennessee Reconnect bus will provide adults with free advising, career counseling, support, personalized paths to and through college and ultimately connect the community with degree attainment initiatives.

“We are happy to partner with the Southwest Tennessee Development District and theCo to bring the Tennessee Reconnect Bus to Brownsville and Haywood County,” says Mayor Bill Rawls, Jr. “Returning to or enrolling in college is a worthwhile experience that not only creates new opportunities and benefits for that individual and their family, but also raises the level of jobs that can be filled by local candidates.”Click here to read more.

Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community Helps Adults Return to College

Adults wanting to achieve their postsecondary degree or certificate have a new resource for help beginning March 1. It’s the Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community. This regionally based program was developed to help increase the number of adults in this area with a postsecondary degree. The Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community is a program of the Southwest Tennessee Development District (SWTDD) that is partnering with theCO and the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce to provide adults with free advising, career counseling, support, a personalized path to and through college, and connect community partners in larger statewide degree attainment initiatives.Click here to read more.

Director named for UC Tennessee Reconnect

COOKEVILLE – The Highlands Economic Partnership (HEP) has named Putnam County resident Cindy Taylor director of the Upper Cumberland Tennessee Reconnect Community (UC TRC), one of three Tennessee communities established through a statewide initiative to create a network of advisors for adult learners interested in completing a postsecondary education credential.

HEP, on behalf of the UC, received one of three initial $200,000 Reconnect Community grants awarded by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) in fall 2015, with five additional communities to receive grants in the coming year. By employing a director and two advisers, the UC TRC will develop virtual and physical community centers throughout the region that will function as connecting-places for adult learners 25-64 years old to receive advising, support, a personalized path to and through college, and a space to connect local employers, local higher education institutions and prospective adult learners.Click here to read more.

Southwest Reconnect Community Launches To Help Adults Return To College

March 1 will mark the launch of the Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community, a regionally-based effort focused on increasing the number of adults in the area with a postsecondary credential. The Southwest Tennessee Reconnect community is a program of The Southwest Tennessee Development District and will partner with the CO and the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce to provide adults with free advising, career counseling, support, a personalized path to and through college, and connect community partners in larger statewide degree attainment initiatives. Click here to read more.

Peer City Case Study: Philadelphia focuses on “Comebackers” to grow its human capital

Ten years ago, the city of Philadelphia took a close look at its employment needs and found an untapped source of human capital potential — some 70,000 adult residents who had started college, but never completed a two- or four-year degree. In 2006, community partners launched Graduate! Philadelphia, a collaborative community partnership focused on helping adults complete college degrees.

By focusing on “Comebackers” — returning adult learners — Graduate! Philadelphia proved that investing in degree completion pays off in multiple ways.Click here to read more.

Degrees Matter! (Greensboro) partner, Mount Zion Baptist Church, is making new strides.

How one pastor does what policymakers often can’t: help people go back to college Read more here.

Bridging the Skills Gap in Greensboro

Our site, Degrees Matter! Greensboro,  is the highlight of one of the latest ACCE articles. Read More.

Strategy Labs Champion: Hadass Sheffer

The Graduate! Network’s Hadass Sheffer shares her views on why more states should focus on bringing individuals back to the classroom.  Read More.

Join(t) Action: Igniting Innovation on Education and Job Growth

Latest highlights from the Join(t) Action “Ignite Talks” Read More.

The Fiscal Impacts of College Attainment – Working Paper – New England Public Policy Center at the Boston Federal Reserve Bank

Economic impacts of earning a college degree are quantified at the local, state and federal levels.   Read More.

Preparing the Next Generation of Civic Leaders: Round 2

On February 3rd, the SERVE Philadelphia Professional Development Committee hosted the second SERVE Philadelphia VISTA Career Panel. The Panel Series’ mission is to prepare VISTAs to potentially serve in influential leadership roles. This panel of influential changemakers from Philadelphia’s education system spoke to implementing positive change in current VISTA roles and future career positions.

The speakers were three dynamic leaders representing some of Philadelphia’s most prominent educational institutions: Hadass Sheffer (Graduate! Philadelphia), Ameen Akbar (YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School), and Ami Patel Hopkins (Philadelphia Education Fund).Click here to read more.

Community College Completion Rates Dropping in Most States

A survey of state directors of community colleges finds most states had flat to declining completion rates last year.

Source: blogs.edweek.org

4 organizations that help Philadelphians get college degrees exploring ways to collaborate

“The four groups that help Philadelphians get a college education are exploringways to work together.

Their missions have similarities, and distinct differences. Campus Philly, Graduate! Philadelphia, PhillyGoes2College and the Graduation Coach Campaign help students to get their college degrees.”

Read more: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2015/02/07/4-organizations-that-help-philadelphians-get-college-degrees-exploring-ways-to-collaborate/

The financial aid policy that shuts out millions of students

“If you just look at the numbers, there’s no way the U.S. can fulfill the need for jobs based on college credentials only using students under 25,” said Hadass Sheffer, president of the Graduate! Network. “You have to bring in the adults.”

Read more: http://hechingerreport.org/the-financial-aid-policy-that-shuts-out-millions-of-students/

Mayoral Candidate Williams’ resume not quite right – again

“He left school, he went into the workforce. He later found out through [the Daily News] article 13 years ago that he did not actually officially graduate. So he went to school and got the credit he needed to graduate.”

Philadelphia Mayoral Candidate Anthony Williams did what he needed to do in order to complete his degree and joined the over 2,000 comebackers in Philadelphia. Learn more about the college degree attainment efforts in Philadelphia at www.graduatephiladelphia.org

Read more from the article here: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20150211_Mayoral_candidate_Williams_resume_not_quite_right__again.html#4zkk6fbmxElprUvC.99

Why do some states bar older students from receiving financial aid?

Misty Aemisegger had always planned to go to college, but when her daughter was born, she decided to stay home and take care of her.

A series of short-lived factory jobs, including one that involved chemical exposure she suspects of causing her severe asthma and liver damage, revived her college aspirations.

But because she’s 34, the born-and-raised Michigan mother of two doesn’t qualify for state financial aid.

That’s because residents who graduated from high school 10 or more years ago are not eligible for state tuition assistance at Michigan public colleges and universities.Click here to read more.

Graduate! Philadelphia Comebacker and Peirce College grad

Graduate! Philadelphia Comebacker and Peirce College grad Tondaleya gets a surprise graduation gift!

Closing the Degree Gap Interactive Model

David Thornburgh by Zack Seward

2013 City of Philadelphia Jobs Commission Report

2013 Greater Memphis Chamber – Graduate Memphis takes aim at college attainment

Education Matters: Fox 13

20130830 Graduate Memphis! on Fox 13 Education Matters

Graduate!CT Develops Free White Papers to Help Connecticut Adults Return to College

A Philadelphia Social Innovation Becomes a Movement

PBJ Region has colleges, needs more degrees

Graduate Memphis will enroll 200 people this year

Triad Business Journal Degrees matter for North Carolina’s future

First Graduate Memphis! student graduates!

Nikkei – Encourage people to get degrees (Japanese version)

Nikkei – Encourage people to complete degrees (English version)

Articles

Below are links to varies PDFs or Articles that we think you’ll find of interest.

Sarina Coleman found her way to Temple University with Graduate! Philadelphia’s help

Q&A with Hadass Sheffer on Graduate! Philadelphia and The Graduate! Network

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter on why he is investing in education

Q&A with Graduate! Network funder Lumina Foundation, on why college degrees matter

Philadelphia focuses on education

PhilaU Michael Johnson graduation speech

American Radioworks – Getting Back to College

BizJournals UNC-Greensboro to hold meeting aimed at boosting degrees

Tomorrow’s College Series on iTunes U

HuffPost Noël Harmon_ Encouraging Adult College Completion

BizJournals UNC-Greensboro – A matter of degrees in the Triad

Graduate Memphis helps adults complete college

Graduate Memphis Opens Monday _ Memphis Commercial Appeal

WiredAcademic Graduate! Philadelphia Builds Movement, Counsels Adults On How To Finish Degrees-modified

NLC As Cities Seek to Connect Residents to High-Wage Jobs

Radio Times interview with Hadass Sheffer of Graduate! Philadelphia and Laura Perna, UPenn GSE

Plough Foundation Awards $1.7M to Talent Dividend – Memphis Daily News

Graduate Memphis A great day for college attainment in Memphis (MemphisConnect)

Philadelphia Inquirer – Region to Attract Companies to Relocate Here – Tales of Economic Empowerment

INQ.Tales of Economic Empowerment

Marketplace from American Public Media Some college but no degree

Partners for Livable Communities – Business at the Table

Nonprofit goes after college dropouts to help them finish degree

Graduate! Philadelphia helps adults complete college

Graduate Connecticut

Mayor Emanuel’s Address at WorkforceChicago

Education Matters