Quick Takes: Colleges Ordered to Admit Undocumented Students, Manchester Starts 3-Year Degrees, Kentucky Seeks Ex-Students, ACLU Challenges Videotaping Ban, Oregon Settles Suit, Oral Roberts Could Get $70M, GED Policies

November 28, 2007
  • North Carolina's community college system, responding to reports that some of its institutions were denying admission to students without the proper documentation to legally remain in the United States, has told college officials that they must admit such students if they have graduated from high school or are at least 18 years old, The Charlotte Observer reported. Twenty-two of the system's 58 colleges had either written or unwritten policies barring admission of such students.
  • Manchester College on Tuesday announced a program for students to earn bachelor's degrees in three years. Under "Fast Forward," students at the Indiana college would take 35 credits a year, only slightly more than the typical student range of 12-16 credits a semester. Students would also take general education courses during each of two summers. Because most Manchester students live on campus and the summer courses could be taken from home, and at a discounted tuition rate, college officials estimate that students would save up to $25,000 on the cost of their college degree, while taking the same number of courses. David W. McFadden, executive vice president, said he didn't know how many students would opt for the program, and said he expected only a small minority of the 1,000-plus students at the college to participate, but that this could be an ideal option for some. The idea of three-year undergraduate degrees (the norm in much of Europe) periodically has surfaced in the United States and a few institutions -- such as Bates College -- have such programs. Albertus Magnus College, in Connecticut, tried the idea for a few years in the 1990s. Oberlin College's then-president, S. Frederick Starr, also talked up the idea in the 1990s, but the college never introduced it in a major way. McFadden said he thought the idea would be likely to succeed now for some students because of the flexibility offered by taking some courses online and the significant cost savings.
  • Kentucky is seeking to increase the percentage of its adult residents with a college degree -- and one target population consists of former students who did considerable college work but left before graduating. The Associated Press reported that the state's public, private and community colleges are preparing a series of incentives -- including aid, counseling and streamlined registration -- to try to get those former students to finish up. Another new program offers grants to adults who never attended college.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Central Michigan University to end a policy barring students from videotaping people on campus without their permission, the AP reported.
  • The University of Oregon has agreed to pay $500,000 to a professor who says she was pressured to take early retirement after she pointed out possible financial irregularities in a program for Korean scholars, The Oregonian reported. The university denied wrongdoing.
  • Oral Roberts University -- facing financial and personnel scandals -- received some good news Tuesday. A supporter of the university announced a pledge of $70 million -- contingent on a review in 90 days showing that the university is adopting sound management reforms to deal with its problems, The Tulsa World reported.
  • Certain state policies, such as requiring candidates to take and pass a practice test, have a significant impact on passage rates on the GED, according to a report released Tuesday by the American Council on Education.
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