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SA Weekly: August 5

Civic Engagement Policy and Advocacy Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
August 5, 2019 Maya Ward-Fineman NASPA

Welcome to SA Weekly, your destination for higher ed news, NASPA research and policy, constituent blogs, and more.

Rewriting the Rules for Accreditors “Many regulatory changes sought by the Trump administration in an accreditation overhaul reflect shortcomings found at for-profit accreditor restored by Betsy DeVos.”

Divisions Within Alaska’s ‘House on Fire’ “University of Alaska board's debate over how to respond to $136 million cut in state funds reveals rift among the university's senior leaders. Regents ultimately back move toward ‘one university.’"

Accreditors, States and Political Influence “Responding to recent controversies in South Carolina and Alaska, federal panel on accreditation will study how regional agencies should monitor politicians' influence over public colleges.”

‘No Singular Pathway’ “New data from Council of Graduate Schools show nonlinear career paths and cross-sector movement among Ph.D.s three, eight and 15 years postgraduation, with implications for graduate training.”

Philosophy Degrees and Sales Jobs “New data on the first three jobs held by graduates of six popular majors show career pathways are a swirl rather than a straight line, and that college degrees typically do create a foundation for entering the workforce.”

A Game-Changing Windfall “An unexpected bequest by an unassuming donor will help financially strapped students at Compton College and also allow the institution to create an endowment.”

Policy Update 

Filling in What Schoolhouse Rock! Missed: How a Bill Becomes a Law

By Teri Lyn Hinds, Director of Policy Research and Advocacy

Driven by careful deliberation with senior-level staff and the consultation of NASPA membership, NASPA sign-on statements and letters of support work to advance the vision of the NASPA Strategic Plan in fulfilling the promise of higher education. 

Letter in Support of the College Student Hunger Act of 2019

By the American Council on Education, and 33 other higher education groups, including NASPA, August 1, 2019 

NASPA is in support of H.R. 3809/S. 2143, or the College Student Hunger Act, recently introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alfred Lawson, which would help address food insecurity faced by low-income students. The bill would expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility, and increase notification and outreach initiatives to enhance accessibility. 

Policy Research & Advocacy

H.R. 3877- Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019

  • Introduced on July 23, 2019
  • Primary Sponsor, Rep. John Yarmuth
  • Became public law on August 5, 2019

The budget deal that passed out of the House last week offers $24.5 billion more in nondefense, discretionary spending, significantly increasing the education budget. The raised budget caps will allow the Senate to pass appropriations bills with smaller caps than those used by the House earlier this year. The House will need to determine spending priorities to bring their bills in line with the caps prior to going to conference with the Senate bills later this year. The budget deal also suspends the debt ceiling through July 2021, and makes sequestration unlikely for the next two years.

H.R. 549- Venezuela TPS Act of 2019

  • Introduced on January 15, 2019
  • Primary Sponsor, Rep. Darren Soto
  • Passed the House and received in the Senate on July 29, 2019

H.R. 549, which is legislatively aligned with NASPA’s standing position on immigration policy passed on a vote of 272 to 158, and would grant temporary protected status to Venezuelans currently in the U.S. 

Regulatory Updates

Expected Announcement of Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule

The Washington Examiner, July 29

A spokesperson for the Department of Labor (DOL) has indicated that the final Overtime Rule to be implemented in January 2020 is expected “after Labor Day and pre-Thanksgiving.” DOL issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on March 22, 2019, with a comment period that closed on May 21, 2019.

Update on: Institutional Eligibility and Student Assistance General Provisions

  • A Rule by the Education Department on July 29, 2019
  • Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education

Politico’s Morning Education reports the Trump administration has reinstated federal financial aid to California students that were at risk of losing access due to the result of the reinstated distance learning regulations that were officially published on the federal register last week. The American Council on Education sent a letter to the Department of Education (ED) on the impending impact the enforcement of the regulations would have on students on July 25, and ED responded to concerns from the State of California this past Friday, August 2.

Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments

Around NASPA

To Lose, Live, and to Lose Again by Hannah Hyun White, MultiRacial Knowledge Community

Are Our Students Being Coddled? by Todd M. Smith-Bergollo, AVP Steering Committee