All posts by Chronicle Staff


Thousands Mark Tiananmen Anniversary in Hong Kong, Minus Student Groups

The Associated Press is reporting that student groups dropped out of this year’s vigil in Hong Kong marking the 27th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, in which Chinese government troops killed hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators, including students, in Beijing.

The vigil, which organizers said attracted 125,000 this year, annually commemorates the June 4, 1989, crackdown by the Chinese military against a student-led reform movement. The Hong Kong student groups that participated …


Public Colleges Lead in Adopting Competency-Based Programs

Report: “Survey of the Shared Design Elements and Emerging Practices of Competency-Based Education Programs”

Organization: Public Agenda

Summary: Competency-based education, which measures students’ progress according to how well they master material instead of how much time they spend in class, has been growing in popularity. Nearly 600 colleges and universities are offering or developing such programs; this report reflects data from 179 respondents.

Among its findings:

  • Public institutions, es…

Report Lends Support to ‘Corequisite’ Remediation

Report: “Core Principles for Transforming Remediation Within a Comprehensive Student Success Strategy”

Organizations: Complete College America, the American Association of Community Colleges, the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and three other groups

Summary: The organizations behind this “joint statement” set forth “six core principles” for increasing the number of students who complete college. The statement effectively updates a document released by some of the sa…


Gender Affects Occupations and Wages of Humanities Majors, Reports Say

Reports: “Gender and the Occupations of Humanities Majors” and “Effects of Gender on the Earnings of Humanities Majors”

Organization: The Humanities Indicators project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Summary: Men and women who earned degrees in the humanities have notable differences in their earnings and post-college occupations, according to two reports released on Monday by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Data for the reports were collected from the American Community …


Yes, Colleges Do Teach Critical-Thinking Skills, Study Finds

Report: “Does College Teach Critical Thinking? A Meta-Analysis”

Authors: Christopher R. Huber and Nathan R. Kuncel, both of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Publication: Review of Educational Research, a journal of the American Educational Research Association

Summary: Educators, policy makers, and employers all want colleges to teach students critical-thinking skills, but are colleges succeeding in doing so? To answer that question, the study’s authors analyzed 71 research reports publis…


Quality of Peers and Ease of Transfer Are Key Factors in Graduation Rates

Report: “A New Measure of College Quality to Study the Effects of College Sector and Peers on Degree Attainment”

Authors: Jonathan Smith, policy research scientist at the College Board, and Kevin Stange, assistant professor of public policy at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Organization: National Bureau of Economic Research

Summary: Recent high-school graduates who start their higher education at community colleges are far less likely to earn bachelor’s degrees within six years than are…


State Student Aid Ticks Up in Latest Survey

Report: “45th Annual Survey Report on State-Sponsored Student Financial Aid”

Organization: National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs

Summary: This survey of aid programs for the 2013-14 academic year found the amount states awarded to students increased by 1.6 percent, adjusted for inflation, to $11.7 billion, compared with $11.2 billion awarded the previous year.

Seventy-five percent of the undergraduate grant aid awarded by states was based fully or partly on need, which wa…


Nearly a Third of Undergraduate Degrees Go to Students With Prior Credentials

Report: “New College Graduates Report, 2013-14″

Organization: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

Summary: For a growing share of college graduates, the degrees they’re taking home aren’t their first higher-education credentials. The percentage of college graduates stacking credentials by adding, say, a bachelor’s degree to an associate degree, or an associate degree to a certificate, grew from 25 percent to 29 percent between 2010-11 and 2013-14, says a report released on Wednesday.


One Reason Low-Income Students’ Graduation Rate Lags: Where They Enroll

Report: “The Pell Partnership: Ensuring a Shared Responsibility for Low-Income Student Success”

Organization: The Education Trust

Summary: The Education Trust gathered graduation rates for both Pell Grant recipients and nonrecipients of the need-based grants at 1,149 public and private nonprofit four-year colleges. It then analyzed the graduation gap between the two groups in a number of different ways.

Key Findings:

  • There’s a big difference between the overall graduation gap and the average in…

Amid Complaints About His High Pay, U. of Louisville President Gets Smaller Merit Raise

James Ramsey, the University of Louisville’s president, got a lot of attention last week for his compensation after The Courier-Journal, in Louisville, reported that he made $1.67 million last year, considerably more than presidents at similar institutions.

On Friday the university’s Board of Trustees still gave him a merit raise, but cut it from the recommended 6 percent to 3 percent.

One trustee called Mr. Ramsey’s pay “unfathomable.” Another said giving him a raise was hurting the morale of the faculty. But other trustees defending his pay, pointing out that he’s brought in millions of dollars to the university and is sought after for other jobs.

After the startling revelation that University of Louisville president James Ramsey will make $2.5 million this year – not the $1.1 million reported by a consultant Monday – the Board of Trustees voted Friday to increase his merit pay by 3 percent rather than 6 percent.

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