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Welcome to the Higher Ed Innovation Roundup


  • A Speaker’s Bureau for Academic Women?
  • It’s clear from recent action from female historians that we need to diversify “manels” (all male panels) in higher ed. Female historians took the matter into their own hands and created Women Also Know History, a searchable online database inspired in part by Women Also Know Stuff which focuses on the work of female political sciences. We need an online speakers bureau for women in higher ed. Let’s call it Academic Women. It would be an academic version of Bobbie Carlton’s Innovation Women: an online speakers bureau for entrepreneurial and technical women. We need this for all of higher ed, not just history and political science. I would add that we also need this for academics of color. The days of all male, all white panels need to be a thing of the past.
  • Choosing College with an App
  • BestFit is an app designed to help high school students find an institution that fits them best. It connects high school students with first-generation college students through an online interface. The app allows students to ask these “near-peer mentors” casual questions about what college life is really like. The app was designed by the winners of the Teachers College EdTEch Innovation award.
  • Supporting Single Mothers in Higher Ed.
  • As we know, when we support a mother, we are supporting multiple generations. According to a recent report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) only 8 percent of single mothers who enroll in college earn an associate or bachelor’s degree within six years. What can higher ed do to improve this situation? Partner with child care providers to provide access to high quality, low cost, on campus child care. Provide case management to single mothers - we could start by creating indicators and flags in our student success systems (Starfish, Mapworks, etc.) to make sure we are giving extra attention to single moms (and dads). We can also make sure that our campuses are family-friendly and welcoming to students with kids.


What did I miss? What should I cover next week? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @mary_churchill.

Mary Churchill leads strategy and community engagement for the newly launched Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University. She is also on the board of the Massachusetts A.C.E. Network of Women Leaders in Higher Education and involved with A.C.E.'s Moving the Needle initiative focused on advancing women leaders in higher education.


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