Category Archives: Completion


USA Funds Moves to Further Focus on Education Philanthropy and Investing

USA Funds, which has played a growing role in education philanthropy and investing in the last few years, announced on Wednesday that it would shed its loan-guarantee affiliates.

Officials at the $1-billion organization said the move would allow it to further focus on its new mission of ensuring that college leads to meaningful results for students, which it does by making grants and investments in for-profit and nonprofit companies and organizations.

Over the last three years, the nonprofit USA…


‘Coalition’ Expands Eligibility Criteria for Shared Admissions Application

The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success has expanded its membership criteria, the group announced in an email to college counselors on Monday. The new standards could allow a more-diverse array of colleges to start using the new shared admission application as early as next year.

In an interview with The Chronicle, Annie Reznik, the organization’s executive director, said representatives from several member institutions had expressed concerns about “gaps” in the group’s requiremen…


Regional Accreditors Will Push to Improve Graduation Rates

The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions has announced a plan to give more context to colleges’ graduation rates — numbers that have attracted the attention of think tanks, lawmakers, and others.

The council, an umbrella group for the seven regional accrediting commissions for educational institutions in the United States, said in a news release on Wednesday that during the accreditation process, its member agencies will expand their focus on graduation rates. The agencies will also pay …


The Typical Undergraduate Takes More Than 5 Years to Graduate

The average undergraduate takes between five and six years to complete a degree, according to a new report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The average bachelor’s-degree candidate takes just over five years to graduate.

The findings of the report, which pulled data from 3,600 postsecondary institutions across the country, fly in the face of much of the popular perception of college-enrollment patterns, Doug Shapiro, executive director of the research center, said in a news …


ACT Plans Center to Help Underserved Students Succeed in College and Work Force

These days, everyone’s talking about “equity,” and now a testing company has affixed the word to a new effort. The company behind the ACT on Wednesday announced plans for a Center for Equity in Learning, which will focus on helping underserved students succeed in college and the work force.

At a news conference in Washington, officials from ACT Inc., in Iowa City, said the center would conduct research on — and develop strategies for — closing achievement gaps. The center plans to collaborat…


38 Community Colleges to Begin Replacing Textbooks With Free Educational Resources

Thirty-eight community colleges will take part in a new effort that involves replacing commercial textbooks with free educational materials. The open-educational-resources project, which is being coordinated by Achieving the Dream, a network for community-college reform, is expected to bring the free materials to at least 76,000 students in the next three years.

Proponents of open resources say that the use of the materials could save students as much as $1,300 in textbook costs per year, or abo…


U. of Akron Will Not Rehire ‘Success Coaches’ for Freshmen

The University of Akron will not renew contracts providing “success coaches” for new freshmen, The Plain Dealer reported on Wednesday.

The 16 coaches worked with about 275 students each in the 4,278-member freshman class.

The coaches were mostly Akron graduates who each earned $28,000 to $32,000 a year to follow students through their careers, at Akron and beyond.

The university’s Faculty Senate has criticized the coaches and how effective they would be for their cost.

According to a university …


U. of Illinois Students Will Be Required to Take Course on Minority Culture

In order to graduate, students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will soon be required to take a class in an American minority culture, The News-Gazette reports.

The campus Senate approved the change, effective in the fall of 2018, in the university’s general-education requirements on Monday, as part of an effort to further educate all students about minority groups and to create a more inclusive campus.

The changes come at a time of some racial turmoil on the campus. In April, t…


Graduation Rates for Black Students Aren’t Increasing at Same Pace as for Other Students

Report: “Rising Tide II: Do Black Students Benefit as Grad Rates Increase?”

Authors: Andrew Howard Nichols, Kimberlee Eberle-Sudré, and Meredith Welch

Organization: The Education Trust

Summary: Graduation rates at higher-education institutions are broadly on the rise, but overall data do not take into account completion rates among students of different races. Of the 232 four-year, public institutions that improved their overall graduation rates from 2003 to 2013, 70 percent also had increased…


Community Colleges Endorse Plan Sending UNC’s Weakest Students to Them First

North Carolina’s community colleges declared on Friday that they were ready to carry out a new state law requiring the weakest students admitted to the University of North Carolina system to complete two years at a community college before being permitted to enroll on a system campus, reports The News and Observer. In making such a declaration, the State Board of Community Colleges broke with the UNC Board of Governors, which has called for a delay in instituting the policy.

Supporters of the po…