Notes & Coffee: June 12-18

Notes & Coffee is here to keep you informed of all the trending student affairs and higher ed news stories most critical to our field as they develop. In the age of information overload, we’re here to bring you vetted examinations of the stories that matter to our field. We invite you to brew a favorite morning beverage, kick back, relax, and catch yourself up for the week ahead with Notes & Coffee.

Advocacy groups pan DeVos rollback of for-profit college regulations – “Several advocacy groups on Wednesday assailed a U.S. Department of Education plan to roll back a pair of Obama administration regulations meant to protect students from shady colleges that leave students saddled with debt and little to nothing to show for it. They used words such as ‘terrible,’ ‘toxic,’ ‘irresponsible’ and ‘worrisome’ to lambaste Wednesday’s announcement from U.S. Secretary of Education Besty DeVos that her department plans to set up two negotiated rulemaking committees to produce new versions of the so-called ‘borrower defense’ and ‘gainful employment’ regulations.”

Not looking for patterns – “The Department of Education last week outlined changes to civil rights investigations that advocates fear will mean less consistent findings of systemic discrimination at colleges. Under the Obama administration, certain types of civil rights complaints would trigger broader investigations of whether a pattern of discrimination existed at a school or college. But Candice Jackson, the acting assistant secretary for civil rights, told regional directors for the Office for Civil Rights in a memo that the Department of Education would no longer follow those guidelines.”

Alternative system for registered apprenticeships – “President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that seeks to expand apprenticeships, in part by opening the door to alternative education providers and giving industry groups a more active role with the federal apprenticeship program. ‘Apprenticeships place students into great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees,’ Trump said at the White House event. ‘Instead, apprentices earn while they learn.’”

Report: Equity in education: key questions to consider – “Along with a commitment to educational attainment, it is imperative for state policymakers to harness their power to make equity-focused policy decisions. All students should be afforded the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their future goals, yet inequities in the education system continue to stifle those opportunities for many students. Educational equality means that all students receive equal access to the same educational pathways. While this is a laudable goal, simply leveling the field is not enough. States should strive for equity in educational opportunities, providing all students with the unique supports they need to succeed.”

Transparency with staying power – “The Department of Education appears to be planning to keep around one of the most high-profile higher ed initiatives of the Obama administration. Department staff are taking steps to update the data feeding the College Scorecard, a tool that allows prospective students to look at measures like the debt burden of an institution's graduates, by September of this year, according to higher ed groups. That would be counted as a victory by proponents of more transparency in higher ed, even though the Scorecard wasn’t among the Obama efforts the Trump administration promised to eliminate.”

More Notes

The telltale data that can identify college students at risk

For-credit MOOC: best of both worlds at MIT?

Community college tries fixing roadblocks to completion

Organizations intensify efforts to help homeless students

Latest higher ed innovation aims to enhance adult learning programs

Punished for anti-racist satire?