News in Brief
The latest news and opinions in higher education.
Higher Ed Reacts With Shock and Condemnation as Trump Incites Mob to Terrorize U.S. Capitol
College leaders called the violent mob storming the Capitol during the certification of the 2020 presidential election “outrageous,” “evil,” and “heartbreaking.” Meanwhile, D.C. colleges closed early, urging students to stay home. “As we begin to restore order, let’s use education for the civic preparedness we desperately need,” Wesleyan University President Michael S. Roth said. Many institutions are sharing resources to help students grapple with these and other recent events. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Online Education Isn’t the Sideshow. It’s the Main Event.
Chip Paucek predicts that many of the innovations and changes that occurred in 2020 will be permanent. While some students will return to in-person learning, the demand for high-quality online education and shorter pathways will grow, he writes. He also sees higher education as “more resilient, adaptable, and innovative than people tend to give it credit for.” (EdSurge)
Recovering From 2020 Requires Supporting Students, Starting With Their Basic Needs
"Our nation’s postsecondary system has struggled and largely failed to adapt to the evolution of the students it is serving,” writes Carrie Welton. She believes we must acknowledge the system inequities that existed long before and were exacerbated by the pandemic. She advises higher education to focus on equity and improved outcomes, thinking radically to create new opportunities to improve student success and wellbeing. (EdSurge)
Displaced Workers Haven’t Turned to College for a Fresh Start. Here’s What Might Bring Them Back.
Recent data from the Strada Education Network’s Center for Education Consumer Insights shows that roughly a third of Americans believe they would need more education if they lost their job during the pandemic. However, many still aren’t enrolling, particularly at community colleges. Strada’s data suggest that workers will likely enroll in non-degree, certificate, or skills-training programs when they decide to return to school. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Semester on the High Seas: A Reimagining of Spring
During the pandemic, colleges have had to “muster significant creativity,” according to Megan Vossler, and students, staff, and faculty are still struggling. Vossler wonders if we can reimagine the model for the spring, with community members placed in small cohorts across campus and a facilitator helping students identify meaningful topics to focus on. She believes this will foster deeper connections and student empowerment. (Inside Higher Ed)
Better Higher Ed Conversations for 2021
In the coming year, John Warner wants to see more productive conversations about the future of higher education. For example, rather than suggesting that there’s a skills gap because students aren’t focusing on the right disciplines, Warner suggests focusing on preparing students for the “inevitable uncertainty of the world.” (Just Visiting)
Higher Education Scholars Share Policy Hopes After Dr. Miguel Cardona’s Nomination for Secretary of Education
In announcing Dr. Miguel Cardona as his nomination for U.S. Secretary of Education, President-elect Joe Biden described Connecticut’s first Latino education commissioner as an “innovative leader.” Higher education leaders are hopeful about Cardona, believing he’ll focus on the needs of low-income and underrepresented students and the institutions that serve them and emphasize preparing students for jobs of the future. (Diverse: Issues in Higher Education)