assessmentaccountability

Obama administration will draft new rules on student debt relief, with focus on college accountability

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Obama administration plans to clarify when defrauded student loan borrowers can have their loans forgiven -- and give the Education Department new tools to go after colleges.

Group of seven major universities seeks to offer online microcredentials

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Seven major universities plan to create the University Learning Store, a joint web portal for microcredentials, featuring online content, assessments and tutoring.

Officials at 11 partnering universities share strategies for helping students graduate

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As one student success program at the University of Texas at Austin thrives, officials at partner institutions in the University Innovation Alliance examine what might work best on their own campuses.

Student droput rates soar as Australian universities open admissions access

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Since Australian universities won the right to enroll any students they deemed qualified, the proportion of students failing out has spiked, especially from online programs.

In renewed Obama push for higher-ed accountability, echoes of entrenched politics

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As the Obama administration reframes its pitch for accountability in higher education, the politics of getting it done remain unchanged.

Colleges Join ACE's Alternative Credit Consortium

The American Council on Education this week announced that 15 more colleges have joined an alternative credit consortium the higher-education umbrella group created last year. The new institutions will join 25 other colleges -- collectively representing a broad swath of higher education -- that have agreed to accept all or most of the transfer credit students seek after successfully completing courses from a council-created pool of about 100 low-cost online courses. The pool includes courses offered by online institutions and nontraditional providers. ACE is collecting data and tracking success rates of students who transfer in with consortium-approved course credits.

"This project already is yielding enormous benefits, adding to our body of knowledge about the most effective ways to go about increasing the number of Americans able to earn a college degree or credential by using education, training and life experiences gained outside of a formal higher education classroom," said Molly Corbett Broad, ACE's president, in a written statement.

Lumina-Funded 'Credential Registry'

The Lumina Foundation is funding a $2.25 million project to create a credential registry, which will help users compare the quality and value of credentials, including college degrees and industry certifications. The web-based system will receive credential information directly from issuing institutions. Its creators hope to create several applications, including one that will allow for the review of competency-based transcripts and portfolios that are based on transfer policies.

Other institutions that are participating in the registry's creation include George Washington University's Institute of Public Policy, Workcred (an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute) and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale’s Center for Workforce Development.

Accreditor Removes U of Phoenix from 'Notice' Sanction

The Higher Learning Commission removed the University of Phoenix from "on notice" status effective June 25, according to corporate filings published Thursday. The status is a sanction that indicates the institution is moving in a direction that could place it out of compliance with the accreditor's requirements.

Phoenix was placed on notice in July 2013 for a two-year period after the HLC, a regional accreditor, reaffirmed the university through the 2022-2023 academic year.

In a statement to Phoenix staff and faculty, President Tim Slottow and Provost Meredith Curley wrote: "We are appreciative of the work done by the HLC staff and the independent peer review team made up of professionals in higher education and their recognition of the efforts undertaken by everyone at University of Phoenix to satisfactorily resolve all concerns identified in 2013. But our work in this area is never done. We will host a comprehensive visit again in 2016-17 where we intend to demonstrate the university's further progress and continued compliance with all of the criteria for accreditation."

Baylor professor turns exams into celebrations to keep students more engaged

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One professor has banned exams in the classroom in favor of "celebrations," placing the emphasis on how much students have learned and away from scores they've earned.

Rubio Wants to Take on Higher Education 'Cartel'

Senator Marco Rubio began to flesh out his higher education campaign plan on Wednesday with a major policy speech that featured some fighting words for traditional colleges.

"Within my first 100 days, I will bust this cartel by establishing a new accreditation process that welcomes low-cost, innovative providers," the Florida Republican and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination said in prepared statement.

The speech in Chicago built on related proposals Rubio has pushed in the Senate. He cited student debt levels and the lack of workforce relevance of degree programs as reasons to create a new accreditation pathway for upstart providers. "This would expose higher education to the market forces of choice and competition," he said, "which would prompt a revolution driven by the needs of students -- just as the needs of consumers drive the progress of every other industry in our economy."

Rubio also mentioned a bipartisan bill he previously co-sponsored that would give prospective students and parents detailed information on how much graduates in academic programs at individual colleges could expect to make.

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