Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

January 15, 2019

Career Education Colleges and Universities on Tuesday released results from a survey the for-profit college trade group conducted with Gallup, the polling organization, of the alumni satisfaction of 3,203 graduates of nine of CECU's member campuses. The sample sought to be a cross section of the size, region and sector reflected across the group's roughly 500 member campuses.

The survey found that respondents on average earned about 60 percent more in personal income than they did before attending college. CECU member institution alumni also are more likely to have a job related to their certificate or degree program than their peers from a national comparative sample, according to the survey. Respondents also were more likely to have a full-time job than their peers, and to be employed within six months of graduation.

January 15, 2019

An institution with large adult and online enrollments that calls itself the largest nonprofit independent college in Michigan is consolidating campuses as it tries to position itself for the future.

Baker College is closing a campus in Flint Township and relocating its operations to Owosso, about 30 miles to the west. The college is also moving campuses in Allen Park, Auburn Hills and Clinton Township into a new flagship campus in the Detroit area, MLive reported.

“Brick-and-mortar campuses are not obsolete but evolving,” a representative from the college wrote in a statement to MLive. “By consolidating Flint with Owosso, and the metro Detroit campuses into a proposed central location, we will be able to combine resources and student bodies resulting in a more focused, streamlined enterprise for the next century.”

The closing locations will continue offering courses through August 2020, according to ABC12. Baker currently lists eight campuses in Michigan, plus affiliated locations offering culinary training and training for automotive and diesel mechanics.

Baker traces its history in Flint to the founding of Baker Business University in 1911. The institution has been through numerous significant changes over the course of its life, including mergers and acquisitions, transitioning to nonprofit status, campus relocations, and growth in online education.

January 15, 2019

The first day of the rule-making process the Education Department was set to begin Monday was nixed because of a Washington-area snowstorm.

The Office of Personnel and Management announced that federal offices would be closed Monday after the snowstorm hit the area over the weekend.

The negotiated rule-making process scheduled for this week will begin at noon on Tuesday, an Education Department spokeswoman said. The main rule-making committee, which is focused on accreditation and innovation, will meet just two days instead of three as originally scheduled. Subcommittees meeting about distance learning, TEACH grants and rules for faith-based institutions will be unaffected.

January 15, 2019

Today on the Academic Minute, Doug Challenger, professor of sociology at Franklin Pierce University, looks into how religious thought is trending across the globe. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

January 14, 2019

John Engler (right), interim president of Michigan State University, is under fire for comments he made about some of the scores of victims of Larry Nassar, the former university employee now in jail for abusing them. In an interview with The Detroit News, he contrasted those who have received public attention with those who have not. "You’ve got people, they are hanging on and this has been … there are a lot of people who are touched by this, survivors who haven’t been in the spotlight," he said. "In some ways they have been able to deal with this better than the ones who’ve been in the spotlight who are still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition. And it’s ending. It’s almost done."

When a Michigan State trustee criticized Engler on Twitter, a student asked why she wasn't pushing for Engler's removal.

Michigan State did not respond to a request for comment on Engler's comments.

January 14, 2019

The chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will leave her position at the end of the academic year, she said Monday in a letter in which she also announced that she has authorized the removal of the base and commemorative plaques from the site of the felled Silent Sam Confederate monument that has roiled the campus and the UNC system.

Carol L. Folt (at right) emphasized safety in her decision to remove the base and plaques from the site of the statue, which protestors tore down in August. Keeping the remaining parts of the monument on campus created a continuing threat to personal safety, community well-being and the university’s ability to provide a stable educational environment, she wrote in a letter posted to the university’s news site.

“While I recognize that some may not agree with my decision to remove the base and tablets now, I am confident this is the right one for our community -- one that will promote public safety, enable us to begin the healing process and renew our focus on our great mission,” Folt wrote.

Folt and Chapel Hill’s campus board had backed a plan to build a history center to house the monument and detail the history of race at the university. But the UNC Board of Governors rejected that plan in December.

The debate over the statue's future was not resolved when it was knocked down by protesters. Some called for the statue to be restored to its site. The state's Republican former governor, Pat McCrory, had signed a law to prevent relocating or removing monuments on public property without permission from a state historical commission.

In her letter, Folt did not draw an explicit connection between her decision to remove the monument base and plaques and her decision to step down from the chancellorship. But the system Board of Governors went into emergency closed session shortly before her announcement.

Folt wrote that she has always been driven by the “new and the next.” As she reflected on accomplishments at Chapel Hill, she decided it was time to transfer leadership to a new chancellor and look toward her own future, she wrote.

“Most importantly, we must always do what we can to make sure our faculty, students and staff have a creative, innovative work and living environment, one that is inclusive, forward-looking and safe,” Folt wrote. “This year for example, we reached our highest level of research funding ever (5th in the nation in federal funds), continued to see historic increases in first-year applications and levels of philanthropy, and pushed ahead as a national leader in affordability, access and student graduation rates. These accomplishments show how talented and dedicated our community is and what can be achieved even in the face of disruption. Just imagine what is possible if we can put our full attention to the potentials and needs of the future.”

A full article on this news will be published tomorrow.

January 14, 2019

Veterans of the U.S. military tend to be underrepresented at the nation's selective four-year institutions and overrepresented at community colleges and for-profit institutions, according to a new report from Ithaka S+R.

Student veterans accounted for about 5 percent of all undergraduate and graduate student enrollment in 2016, the report found, but represented 13 percent of students enrolled at for-profits. And nearly one in three veterans who receive GI Bill benefits attend for-profits.

In contrast, veterans are half as likely as their peers to enroll in colleges with high graduation rates. For example, the report said just 10 percent of veterans who receive the GI Bill attend institutions with a graduation rate of at least 70 percent (using graduation rates based on 150 percent of the normal time to degree).

As Inside Higher Ed columnist Wick Sloane has written often, few veterans attend highly selective colleges. Just 722 undergraduate veterans were enrolled at the nation's 36 most selective private institutions, according to the report.

"Relatively few veterans are enrolled at the highest graduation-rate and wealthiest colleges and universities today, for a variety of reasons," the report said. "But veterans will have the greatest chance of succeeding and earning a degree if they go to the most selective school possible given their potential. It seems incumbent on us as a nation to make sure that veterans have access to the educational opportunities for which they are ready when they are ready."

January 14, 2019

The nonprofit Dream Center Education Holdings, which owns the Art Institutes, may be at risk of going bankrupt.

In a letter to its accreditor, the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities, the company said that it is "at risk of becoming financially insolvent and is now working with the United States Department of Education to reorganize AI Seattle and the existing Art Institute campuses to preserve their ongoing operations."

Last week the Washington Student Achievement Council also designated the Art Institutes of Seattle as "at risk" of closing. The council oversees colleges and universities in the state.

About 30 Dream Center colleges have closed since the missionary organization purchased them from Education Management Corporation.

January 14, 2019

Many at Princeton University were worried about plans by a white supremacist group to hold a rally in the town of Princeton on Saturday, but the group that had previously indicated it would be there opted not to show up. The European Heritage Association tweeted that others had been "punk'd" by the reported plan for a rally. The tweet said that criticism of the rally had drawn attention to the group, and thanked "Jewish supremacist news outlets, and the many communist snowflakes who are making us a household name."

Hundreds of people -- some from the university -- rallied against white supremacy.

January 14, 2019

St. John Fisher College, in upstate New York, has suspended its cheerleading squad after video surfaced of white cheerleaders singing along to a rap video and shouting out the N-word and a crude term for part of the female anatomy, The Democrat and Chronicle reported. The incident follows one in December, when two students -- since suspended -- were caught trying to steal a statue of Frederick Douglass.

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