Assessment

Study shows rise in graduation rates doesn't always benefit minorities

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Education Trust study finds as institutions' completion rates rise generally, minority students sometimes fall farther behind.

Obama administration pushes transparency to prod accreditors

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Obama administration announces modest executive actions aimed at forcing accreditors to focus more on student outcomes -- and urges Congress to impose more sweeping changes.

New effort aims to standardize faculty-driven review of student work

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A new faculty-led system aims to answer the question by analyzing student work -- and without relying on standardized tests.

Obama administration publishes new college earnings, loan repayment data

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The Obama administration releases its revamped consumer tool -- in lieu of a college ratings system -- featuring data on postcollege earnings and how well students are repaying their loans.

Accreditation will change -- but survive

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Critics blame accreditation for many of the (often conflicting) problems they see in higher education. But the agencies will likely endure, in large part because any replacement would give the feds much more power.

New ranking system links colleges' and students' characteristics to graduate economic outcomes

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Brookings report rates several thousand two- and four-year colleges on graduates' economic outcomes, and by controlling for student traits, strives to measure the value the institutions themselves add.

Congressional watchdog questions whether accreditors’ sanctions correlate with student outcomes

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A Congressional watchdog asserts that accrediting agencies have not been more likely to sanction colleges with poor student outcomes than they are higher-performing institutions -- though report's own data are mixed on that question. 

One way to permit federal funding of new postsecondary institutions

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An accrediting official who has been caught in the crucible between encouraging experimentation and protecting aid funds proposes a way for new institutions to get access to federal aid, without "subterfuge."

Effort to define degree-level skills and knowledge makes slow, steady progress

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The Degree Qualifications Profile aimed to better define what a degree should mean. As its sponsors release a new version nearly four years later, the document has spurred discussions about learning at hundreds of colleges, but tangible impact has been limited.

Demand for degrees grows in many fields that haven't required them

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Many employers are seeking workers with B.A.s even for jobs that haven't historically required the degree. That may be good news for colleges -- but warning signs are on the horizon.

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