Quick Takes: More Gains for Women in Sciences, David Ward Plans to Leave ACE, Sociologists Condemn Native American Mascots, Lawmakers Challenge U.S. Ruling on Lender, Graduate School Enrollment Patterns, Stonehill Drops SAT

March 7, 2007
  • The proportion of women enrolled in graduate programs in the sciences increased in every category from 1994 to 2004, and by 2004, women were a majority of graduate students in psychology, the social sciences and the biological sciences, according to new data from the National Science Foundation. The data examine a range of measures of the progress for female and minority students, generally finding progress across the board, with much more dramatic improvements for women.
  • David Ward, president of the American Council on Education since 2001, plans to leave the position in February 2008. In an announcement, Ward said he planned to consult on higher education issues, but wanted more time with his family and for other interests. During Ward's tenure at the council, he pushed hard on international education issues, fighting against overly restrictive visa rules imposed or proposed in the wake of 9/11. More recently, was was a member of the panel appointed by Education Secretary Margaret M. Spellings to review higher education and he was the only committee member who refused to sign the report.
  • The American Sociological Association has issued a call for the end to the use of Native American team names, logos and mascots in athletics. A resolution adopted by the association's board and released Tuesday said that "social science scholarship has demonstrated tha the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport reflect and reinforce misleading stereotypes of Native Americans in both past and contemporary times" and that such mascots and logos "harm Native American people in psychological, educational and social ways."
  • A group of Congressional budget hawks have asked Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to reconsider the Education Department's decision to let the National Education Loan Network retain $278 million in profits the department paid the student loan provider through a loophole in federal law. The department concluded in January that Nelnet and other lenders that purposely exploited the loophole had acted inappropriately and said it would stop future payments, but it let the lender keep funds it had already received. The letter from 10 members of the House of Representatives, which was first reported by the blog Higher Ed Watch, calls the department's decision "a poor precedent that we believe will encourage further abuse by lenders."
  • About 40 percent of college graduates in 1992-93 had enrolled in a graduate program within a decade later, and 4 percent had pursued a doctoral degree, according to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics. The report, "The Path Through Graduate School: A  Longitudinal Examination 10 Years After Bachelor’s Degree," uses the Education Department's Baccalaureate and Beyond database to examine enrollment patterns, time to degree, and other aspects of American graduate education.
  • Stonehill College, a liberal arts institution in Massachusetts, has become the latest institution to end a requirement that students submit and SAT or ACT score. IBrian P. Murphy, dean of admissions and enrollment, said in a statement: "By becoming test optional, we reaffirm our commitment  to carrying the whole-person view through to our admission process -- looking at candidates holistically, not summarizing them based solely on test scores."
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