Michigan State scraps in-person undergraduate classes for fall, Notre Dame suspends for 2 weeks

Notre Dame suspends in-person classes for two weeks amid rising case counts. Michigan State calls off in-person instruction for the fall, less than two weeks before students were to return to campus.

Supreme Court upholds right of state voters to bar consideration of race in admissions

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Student success centers are poised to spread

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Michigan lets community colleges issue four-year degrees, amid controversy

Michigan is the latest state to allow community colleges to issue bachelor's degrees. But despite controversy and turf wars, actual practice remains limited, for now.

Brief: Community College District Lines Cost Michigan Students

District boundaries for Michigan's community colleges could be exacerbating student access and funding inequities, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning Washington, D.C., think tank.

Michigan students pay more to attend community colleges outside their home districts. But not every resident lives in a community college district -- about 23 percent of graduating high school students don't, especially those living in more rural areas of the state.

The brief looks at Henry Ford College in Dearborn specifically, as it has great racial disparity in its enrollment. More than half of its students come from outside the district. Many come from Detroit, a predominantly Black city, as the college is only 10 miles from the city's downtown area. Compared to the district demographics, Black students are overrepresented at the college by 18 percentage points, the brief states.

Because these students come from outside the district, they are charged $68 more per credit hour, or about $2,000 more per year, than if they attended a college in their home district.

Henry Ford College also brings in the third-lowest amount of local appropriations per student in the state, which means it has less money to spend on instruction and student support services for its disproportionately Black student population, according to the brief.

The brief argues that community college district boundaries should be re-evaluated to account for geography and equity. It also recommends that the state eliminate out-of-district price differentiations altogether, or at least extend discounted rates to broader geographic service areas.

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Free Community College for Michigan's Front-Line Workers

Front-line workers in Michigan can now attend community college tuition-free.

Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan's governor, announced the Futures for Frontliners program Thursday. It will provide tuition-free college to about 625,000 people in the state, according to a release.

The funding will be available to those who served on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic during the state's stay-at-home orders from April through June. It includes those in the medical field, as well as people who worked in manufacturing, nursing homes, delivery, retail, grocery stores and sanitation.

A person must be a Michigan resident and have worked in an essential industry at least part-time for 11 of the 13 weeks that the state had a stay-at-home order to be eligible. Applicants must also have not previously earned a college degree and not be in default on a federal student loan. The application closes on Dec. 31.

The Governor's Education Emergency Relief Fund is investing $24 million into the program.

“The vast majority of good paying jobs continue to require at least some education beyond high school,” Jeff Donofrio, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, said in the release. “Futures for Frontliners gives those who helped save lives and kept our communities operating during the height of COVID an opportunity to increase their skills and income and helps us close the state’s skills gap. For Michigan’s economy to recover and grow, it's critical we continue to provide expanded opportunities to all.”

A long list of businesses, corporations, unions and legislators have volunteered to inform the people they work with and serve about the program.

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Cooley Law School to Close Campus in Grand Rapids

Western Michigan University's Cooley Law School will close its Grand Rapids campus to "right-size the school's infrastructure by consolidating all of its Michigan campuses into one central location in Lansing, Michigan, the state capital," Cooley said in a statement.

The law school last year merged its Auburn Hills campus with other Michigan locations. It also cut tuition by 21 percent for the 2020-21 academic year. Cooley will retain its campus in Florida as well the Lansing location.

“As with many institutions of higher education, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly affected our decision making and continues to have an impact on our enrollment,” James McGrath, Cooley's president and dean, said in a written statement. “We have made bold and sweeping changes this past year and a half to show our commitment to building a socially just future, while setting us on a path to better serve our students and the profession.”

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Michigan university focused on Latinx students, despite small numbers

Less than 10 percent of students at Grand Valley State University are Latinx. That hasn't stopped the university from making them a focus of supports.

Rick Snyder, former Michigan governor, backs out of Harvard fellowship amid backlash

Rick Snyder, who oversaw the response to Flint's water crisis, backs out of his research fellowship at Harvard's Kennedy School amid backlash.

University of Michigan will now allow mediation in some sexual assault cases

The University of Michigan will allow "alternative resolutions" to resolve certain sexual violence cases, a step some survivor advocates have opposed.


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