Daily News Roundup, February 26, 2013

Perspectives: News You Can Use
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Some of the News Fit to Print

COMMUNITY COLLEGE GRADS OUT-EARN BACHELOR’S DEGREE HOLDERS
Significant numbers of community-college grads are getting better jobs, and earning more at the start of their careers than people with bachelor’s degrees, a trend that surprises even the researchers who have noticed it in wage data that has started to become more available in the last year. “There is that perception that the bachelor’s degree is the default, and, quite frankly, before we started this work showing the value of a technical associate’s degree, I would have said that that too,” says Mark Schneider, vice president of the American Institutes for Research, which helped collect the numbers for some of the states that report them. The article is in the Hechinger Report.

MANY STUDENTS DON’T NEED REMEDIATION, STUDIES SAY
At a time when more high schools are looking to their graduates' college-remediation rates as a clue to how well they prepare students for college and careers, new research findings suggest a significant portion of students who test into remedial classes don't actually need them. Separate studies from Teachers College, Columbia University, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education come to the same conclusion: The way colleges are using standardized placement tests such as the College Board's Accuplacer, ACT's Compass, and others can misidentify students, and secondary schools and universities should work to develop a more comprehensive profile of students' strengths and weaknesses in performing college-level work. The article is in Education Week.

READINESS MATTERS
Helping more students become ready for first-year college courses in at least one more subject area has the potential to help our nation increase the number of its students with a college degree and build a more highly-skilled and productive workforce. The report is from ACT.

OUTLOOK FOR NON-PROFIT HIGHER EDUCATION IS ‘VOLATILE’
Lower-rated nonprofit colleges and universities that do not respond proactively to the challenges outlined in Standard & Poor’s 2013 outlook report run the risk of developing weaker credits, according to the report from the credit-rating agency. The report predicts an “increasingly volatile” view of the nonprofit higher-education sector, meaning there may be an increased number of positive and negative rating changes during the year. The report also predicts that higher-rated universities—those with a higher demand among students, a greater diversity of revenue sources, and a strong history of fund raising—will maintain or improve their creditworthiness. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

NEW STATE BY STATE COMPLETION DATA
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center today released a state-by-state rundown of graduation data, which is based on a broad sample representing about 97 percent of students who attend public and private nonprofit institutions. The report is a companion to a national completion data study the group released last fall. Both are based on students who first enrolled in 2006 at the 3,300 colleges and universities that submit data to the clearinghouse, which is a nonprofit that collects enrollment data and conducts degree verifications. The article is from Inside Higher Ed’s Quick Takes.

MORE UNIVERSITIES TRY MOOC MODEL
There is growing consensus that the classic college lecture, with a “sage on the stage” holding forth for an hour or more, too often delivers mediocre results. Students tune out. Professors get stale.  “Year after year, you’re walking into the same room, saying the same words,” said Stanford University computer scientist Andrew Ng. “Year after year, telling the same jokes. You start to wonder if this is how best to teach.”  Dissatisfaction with live lectures helped drive Ng and Stanford colleague Daphne Koller to put course materials online. The success of those experiments led them last year to launch the MOOC platform. The article is in The Washington Post.

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