administrators

Robots help distance students seamlessly join classrooms at Michigan State

At Michigan State, some online students embody robots to populate face-to-face classrooms, helping bridge the distance gap with their on-campus counterparts.

Inadequate Career Training in Washington State

Washington State has an inadequate system of career and technical education, the state's auditor said in a newly released report.

The Seattle Times reported on the auditor's findings, which include a recommendation for high-enrollment community college courses in career education to more closely align with in-demand occupational areas. The report also encourages more dual-enrollment pathways between high school and college.

"Many mid-level-skill jobs, in industries as diverse as robotics, carpentry and medical technology, pay well and require no more than two years of education from a community or technical college," the report found. "However, Washington employers report being unable to fill many such jobs."

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As federal aid policy heats up, student groups see blueprint in fight over tax bill

A furious campaign by graduate students to kill a GOP tax proposal could be a blueprint for upcoming legislative battles in Washington.

Does your institution really need a new LMS?

Colleges and universities should avoid “shiny new object syndrome” when considering if they need to move to a new learning management system, writes Sasha Thackaberry.

Strada Acquires Adult Learning Group

Strada Education Network has acquired the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), a nonprofit organization that has long focused on prior learning assessment and other ways for adult students to earn college credit for their knowledge and experience.

The former USA Funds, a nonprofit student loan guarantee agency, rebranded as Strada last year. The move was part of a multiyear restructuring in which the group has focused on college completion and success. In addition to its philanthropic work, Strada, which is based in Indianapolis, has purchased several organizations that work on college completion, including InsideTrack, DXtera Institute, Education at Work, Roadtrip Nation and Student Connections.

"They're really trying something new here," said Pam Tate, CAEL's president and CEO, of Strada's approach to philanthropy.

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Fired President Blames Blackmail

Kelle Stephens was fired this week as president of Dixie Technical College, in Utah, and she says she is the victim of a blackmail scheme by a disgruntled former employee, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The board of the Utah System of Technical Colleges voted, 6 to 5, to fire Stephens and has not given a reason why. Stephens said that a former employee made audio recordings that were edited to make it appear, falsely, she had engaged in discriminatory behavior. Stephens also says the recordings were sent to legislators, who reportedly said they would cut the college's budget if Stephens remained in office.

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Reports of libraries' demise, based on flawed jobs data, are greatly exaggerated

A widely shared article declaring libraries and archives to be among the fastest-declining industries in America has been debunked.

Best Practices for Supporting Postdocs

Institutions that employ postdoctoral fellows should increase support for offices of postdoc affairs and offer postdocs better pay and benefits equal to those of other campus employees, according to a new report from the National Postdoctoral Association. The report, which is based on a 2016 survey of 130 association member institutions that hire postdocs, also recommends that campuses establish more generous parental leave and other family-friendly policies and track the careers of past postdocs.

“Improvements have been made in the postdoc experience,” Kate Sleeth, past chair of the association’s Board of Directors, said a statement. “However, there are still areas for growth.” The association says that its newly released data on postdoc stipends, benefits, appointment policies and access to training programs will help postdoc support services officers and other administrators identify best practices and improve working conditions for postdocs.

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Kansas Counties Help Residents Pay Student Debt

Most of the counties in Kansas are offering to pay off up to 20 percent (or up to $15,000 over five years) of the student debt of new residents who hold college degrees, according to CNBC. To qualify for the recruitment perk, which the Kansas Department of Commerce is administering to help give a boost to rural areas, applicants must have an employer or county "sponsor" that agrees to match half of the repayment. So far 58 employers are participating. The state has received 3,400 applications, CNBC reports, with one-third coming from out of state.

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At University of Mississippi, harassment policy breaks the norm

University of Mississippi’s general counsel has drafted a harassment policy that allows students to be punished for a single incident, atypical among colleges.

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