Notes & Coffee: December 5-11

Happy Sunday! Notes & Coffee is here to kick your week off by bringing you into the know with all that’s trending in student affairs and higher ed. We’ve compiled a single read that is the perfect accompaniment to lingering over a cup of joe. Have a great week. 

Overtime second thoughts - “An injunction issued just before Thanksgiving blocked a Department of Labor rule that would require overtime pay for millions of additional American workers. But some college employees will see raises nonetheless. The final overtime rule, issued in May, would raise the salary threshold under which employees are eligible for overtime pay to $47,476 from $23,660. Congressional Budget Office report found that the injunction would mean $470 million in lost earnings in 2017 for those workers, including many employees of colleges and universities. The final rule included a teaching exemption but covered nonfaculty employees and postdoctoral fellows whose duties primarily focus on research.”  

Students want their personal data to be used to improve the college experience, survey says - “Using student data to inform educational decisions has been a hot topic over the past few years. Predictive analytics to improve student success, along with data-informed decision-making, were named by EDUCAUSE as two of their top 10 IT issues for 2017. And, as one study indicates, students don’t mind when their colleges track them. A whopping 98 percent of respondents to an Ellucian survey conducted by Wakefield Research said they want their schools to use their personal data to create an optimized college experience. Also, a majority of the 1,000 U.S. college students who took the survey believe their schools can create this positive change in the next 10 years.”

Many students face food, housing insecurities - “About a third of community college students in California face a huge obstacle to academic success because they experience housing insecurity, according to a new report by the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) at San Diego State University. Twelve percent of California college students deal with food insecurity, it added. “Our report shows that our college campuses are food and housing deserts,” said J. Luke Wood, co-director of CCEAL and co-author of the report. While many students face these concerns, “nearly half of black collegiate men face homelessness or other housing instabilities and nearly a quarter deal with hunger.”

Obama administration tries to smooth path back to school for jailed students - “In one of the last moves of the Obama administration’s Department of Education, it drew attention to these disparities with the new data about youth in the justice system, as well as two new guides and resources to help these students return to traditional schools. One resource is a packet called “You Got This” for young detainees with tips and suggestions about going back to school. The other is a “Transition Toolkit 3.0” for educators, community stakeholders and family members. And a new website for educators is specifically designed to help youth with disabilities who are in the correctional system.”

Ohio showdown on campus carry - “As campus carry legislation continues to spread, Ohio has emerged as the next battle site. It is one of the larger of the 18 states that do not permit guns on campus. The Ohio Senate and House of Representatives have both now approved legislation that critics deride as the “guns everywhere” bill. Governor John Kasich, a Republican, has not indicated whether he will sign the bill, which has strong support from his party. The legislation removes blanket bans on bringing guns to certain places, such as college campuses and day care centers. Individual colleges, day care centers and other organizations could still regulate guns in their facilities.”

More Notes

Universities reveal how technology is closing the STEM-Humanities gap

Navigating the CBE Frontier: Creative and alternative student support for creative and alternative models of education

Colleges face a new reality, as the number of high school graduates will decline 

Expanded access over exclusivity: How student-centricity could transform higher ed  

Land-grant HBCUs seeking aid from Congress

NASPA in the News

Inside Higher Ed - Frequent faculty member and active NASPA Leader Ajay Nair: “A better understanding of both individual racism and systemic racism may help us undertake the looming challenge of uniting/reuniting our campuses and our nation through open and respectful dialogue across difference. A framework for education on race must include a vocabulary that enables us to critically discuss what transpired regarding race in the 2016 election season nationwide and especially on our college campuses. Individual-level racism includes interpersonal bigotry, racial slurs, hate crimes and violence. Systemic-level racism, in contrast, involves discriminatory policies and practices that afford privilege to white people and simultaneously disadvantage people of color. Systemic racism manifests in our society’s pervasive and well-documented inequities and injustices across health care, education, law enforcement, criminal justice, employment and so many other areas.”

Lab Manager - “Gayles and her colleagues tracked a cohort of students for six years after they started college, to measure the extent to which women stayed with STEM majors or gravitated to other areas, based on data from the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Survey by the National Center for Education Statistics. Commenting on the results, which were published in NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education, Gayles says the fact that women are less likely to major, persist, and earn degrees in STEM fields can’t be ignored. “But this study indicates that there may be promising nontraditional options for attracting and retaining women in science,” she says. The study found “an intriguing backdoor pathway: women gravitating to the sciences after being undecided about what to study when entering college.” Gayles says, “We were not looking for unexpected or alternate paths—but what we found was that students who were undecided were likely to go into STEM majors. That was pretty cool to see in the data.”

NASPA Highlights

Supporting students globally in higher education - “Supporting Students Globally in Higher Education (2016) is a newly released book by NASPA and IASAS.  The book is a continuation of a previous book NASPA released in 2008 (Internationalization of Student Affairs and Services:  An Emerging Global Perspective).  In the newest 15-chapter publication on international student affairs/services 29 authors from 10 countries (Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United States of America) examine critical and emerging trends and issues about internationalization on campuses around the world.”

#NASPA17 Campus Tours highlight inclusion and innovation - “San Antonio is home to both public and private colleges and universities that include a renowned research institution, prestigious private and public institutions, and some of the best Hispanic and minority serving institutions in the country. This tour will take you to visit four diverse and distinctive campuses and introduce you to academic programs and services that help to mold future leaders, workers and innovators.”

Bree Newsome: Modern Day Activist - “Writer, activist, speaker, director, producer, singer and songwriter just to name a few skills of the multi-talented Bree Newsome exceeds in. She is truly more than that in today’s world. Newsome follows in long tradition of women activists. Newsome maybe new to some but she is not new to the world of activism. Newsome unapologetically climbed a flagpole in Columbia, South Carolina removing the Confederate flag hanging near the state capital. Showing us that she is truly a millennial freedom fighter, “This flag comes down today!” Bree’s intention was to create a new image, a new symbol and a new consciousness of the power inherent in direct action. The iconic picture of her on the pole, flag in hand has become a touchstone of empowerment for disenfranchised people around the world.”