Notes & Coffee: August 21 - 27

Off the pedestal – Duke University on Saturday announced that it had removed a statue of Robert E. Lee from the entrance to the university chapel. On Sunday night, the University of Texas at Austin announced it would remove statues of Lee and three other Confederate leaders from a prominent campus location. And Bowdoin College on Saturday said that it would take down a plaque honoring Jefferson Davis and college alumni who fought for the Confederacy.

UC faculty mentors will help the growing ranks of the first-generation students – The growing number of University of California students who are in the first generation of their families to attend a university will be able this fall to easily find role models and mentors close at hand: UC faculty who have the same background.

Faces of the shadow class - Six undocumented college students, all beneficiaries of President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, tell their stories of challenges, hopes and fears as they make their way through college, all of them the first in their families to pursue a degree in the U.S.

Even with Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics are more underrepresented at top colleges than 35 years ago – Even after decades of affirmative action, black and Hispanic students are more underrepresented at the nation’s top colleges and universities than they were 35 years ago, according to a New York Times analysis.

Military victory for alternative providers – Last week President Trump signed into law a significant expansion of veterans' higher education benefits. The legislation, which has been dubbed the Forever GI Bill, received bipartisan support. Though its primary goal is to help more veterans get college degrees by covering most of their tuition and fees, the law also includes a nod to the federal government’s growing interest in encouraging noncollege education providers, with a five-year "high-technology" pilot program that will pay unaccredited providers to train veterans for careers in tech sectors. The pilot is scheduled to run for five years, with access to $15 million in federal funds per fiscal year -- a total of $75 million.

Religious university and 2-year college – A handful of religious institutions across the country are establishing or expanding two-year degree programs to provide a gateway to low-income students or an alternative for students looking for a nonsecular education as they pursue an associate degree. Private two-year colleges are rare, with just about 200 in the country. Even rarer are private universities that offer associate degree programs.

More Notes

Outrage over University Press caving in to Chinese censorship

Some Texas educators worry about community colleges offering four-year degrees

Windowpanes without messages

Savings and student success

Quantifying the advantage for legacy applicants