By Diana Ali, assistant director of policy research and advocacy, November 8, 2018
No matter your political affiliation, there was much to celebrate in Tuesday’s midterms, which resulted in increasing diversity of our nation’s elected officials, seven state gubernatorial races (so far) flipping from Republican to Democrat, an increased Republican majority in the Senate, and a Democratic takeover in the House. If your interest in policy work is more issue-based, you may be searching for the answers to what this all means now that results are in. How does a night of history-making play out on the ground, and how will these state and federal results impact local higher education communities? This post by NASPA assistant director of policy research and advocacy Diana Ali will dig into some of the outcomes, including early indications of record voter turnout on college campuses, to provide insight into these questions.
By 34 members and partners of the PostsecData Collaborative, November 12, 2018
This letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos responds to recent changes made to metrics and presentation of data available to the public through the Department of Education’s (ED) College Scorecard. The letter recommends ED should:
By Dr. Mei-Yen Ireland, Achieving the Dream, and Dr. Jennifer Joslin, NACADA, November 15, 2018
Across the nation, institutions are working to get to know their students better - to learn in detail what students’ daily lives are like. Are they hungry or housing insecure? Are they the first-generation students? What are their academic, career and financial goals? As institutions work toward their completion agendas, they are moving away from understanding academic advising solely as an academic transaction. At the same time, the field of faculty and primary-role advisors continue to push for comprehensive wraparound services that frame and respond to student needs holistically. This shift requires institution-wide reflection on the current student experience from recruitment through graduation, change and leadership management and the strategic use of technology. Academic advising is one of the most impactful levers in this landscape, where 6-year graduation rates for full-time students hover at 55% (Tyton, 2015). NASPA is developing and managing a network of leading organizations to help institutions redesign their academic advising practices to ensure equitable outcomes for all students. In this guest post, two experts from NACADA – The Global Community for Academic Advising and Achieving the Dream have provided insight on the beneficial ways the academic advising field has evolved over time and the most prevalent challenges. Dr. Jennifer Joslin is the Associate Director for Content Development at NACADA, and Dr. Mei-Yen Ireland is the Executive Director of Holistic Student Supports at Achieving the Dream. In what follows, they describe three continuing shifts in the field and the persistent challenges institutions face when engaging in advising redesign.
By NASPA, November 16. 2018
“NASPA staff are working to review the rule proposed in the NPRM now that it is officially available and will prepare a full analysis to share with members as soon as possible. There is much in the proposed rule that concerns us upon our initial review, specifically related to the scope of jurisdiction for campus investigations, the ability for parties to cross-examine each other, and changes to the standards and processes for students to submit formal reports. We are keenly aware of the urgency of this matter for many NASPA members and appreciate your patience as we examine the full impact of the new proposed rule. We welcome your input as we complete our analysis and invite you to share specific aspects of the rule that you find either promising or troubling with NASPA director of research and practice, Dr. Jill Dunlap or director of policy research and advocacy, Teri Lyn Hinds.” (Click on link above to connect to the full statement.)
By Benjamin Wermund, Politico, November 8, 2018
Soon to be chairperson of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Rep. Bobby Scott, has indicated that he intends to reintroduce House Democrats’ Aim Higher bill in the 116th Congress with the goal of receiving input from House Republicans before considering more bipartisan legislation. If it’s got no Republican support, you can’t believe it would have much of a chance in the Republican Senate,” Scott said. Along this vein, the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act will have to get through both a Democratic House and a Republican Senate and be signed by President Trump in order to pass during the next Congressional cycle. Barmak Nassirian of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, however, finds it hard to believe that the two sides will work together towards reauthorization before the 2020 cycle.
By Richard Cowan, Reuters, November 13, 2018
The lame-duck session will likely focus on passing a spending bill to finalize funding within September’s appropriations continuing resolution that has extended funding for a number of programs temporarily through December 7. The spending bill may include legislation regarding the continuation of the Mueller investigation, and funding for the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.
By Michael Burke, The Hill, November 18, 2018
Jin Kyu Park, an undergraduate student at Harvard University, is the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient to receive the Rhodes Scholarship that will provide him full funding to attend the University of Oxford. This has also been the first year that DACA recipients were eligible to apply for the scholarship. He has plans to start his own non-profit and pursue masters degrees in migration studies and global health science and epidemiology at Oxford.
By Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed, November 19, 2018
The Department of Education (ED) released draft Title IX rules onto the ED website this past Friday that would change the current guidance defining sexual harassment and significantly reduce the obligation of colleges to investigate sexual misconduct complaints. As framed within the rules, one main purpose of the new rules is to clear up past confusion over the obligation of campus administrators regarding Title IX and to address issues raised the Obama-era guidance regarding due process. The newly proposed rule has already been challenged on a number of fronts. While representation from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) finds included mandatory cross-examination rights an important step, the American Council on Education finds this provision to threaten equitable rights for survivors who may choose, as a result, not to come forward at all.
**Check for updates in the coming months. Most states return to session in January 2019**
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA) (Introduced 5/17/2017)
-Latest Action: Referred to Committees on Education and the Workforce, Ways and Means, and the Budget
Given that the House has flipped parties, and Representative Bobby Scott is going to become the new chairperson of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, this school infrastructure bill is one of his top priorities in passing. The bill focuses on k-12 schools in low-income areas with the goal of expanding broadband internet access and school infrastructure, and is estimated to create 1.9 million jobs in the process.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) (Introduced 5/07/2018)
-Latest Action: Passed the House and was received in the Senate on 05/23/2018
This criminal justice reform legislation is currently being considered during the lame duck session that occurs with the currently seated Congress before those elected during midterms take office this coming January 2019. The First Step Act has received some pushback in the Senate, but is currently being backed by President Trump as a measure of bipartisanship. While a majorly soft piece of legislation, the Formerly incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person (FIRST STEP) Act, would authorize more funding, $50 million over five years, and increase more participation in vocational and rehabilitative training programs in an effort to reduce recidivism.
**Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments**
-A Notice by the Education Department on 11/15/2018
-Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED)
Summary: “Federal Student Aid (FSA), as required by the Public Health Service Act (the Act) is publishing this list of Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) borrowers who have defaulted on their loans as of June 30, 2018. This information is also made available for use by organizations authorized by the Act.”
-Draft Rule by the Education Department on 11/16/2018
-Comment period not open until the rule is published on the federal register. There will be a 60 day period for public comment once the rule is published.
-Department of Education (ED)
Summary from Press Release by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos: “Continuing its efforts to ensure equal access to education free from discrimination, today the U.S. Department of Education released its proposal on improving schools' responses to sexual harassment and assault. The proposed regulation under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities that receive federal funding, was developed after more than a year of research, deliberation, and gathering input from students, advocates, school administrators, Title IX coordinators, and other stakeholders….”
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