Interested in what’s trending in education? Here are a few highlights from recent education news.

Tracking the Evolution of Student Success
Inside Higher Ed, Carl Straumsheim

Research recently completed by the Education Advisory Board found that the concept of a student’s success in higher education has “evolved considerably” in the past fifty years. The study found that in the 70s and 80s, student success focused on student retention rates and then supporting students from different backgrounds, while the 90s shifted the definition towards investments in the first-year experience. Due to the recent financial crises and rising costs in higher education, the concept of success is currently focused on career readiness and shortening the time it takes to get a degree.       

A Trust Gap May Hinder Academic Success for Minorities

Researchers from UT Austin, Columbia University, and Stanford University recently published a study, which found that students of color who don’t believe that their teachers are treating them fairly are less likely to attend college even if they are doing well in school. The research highlighted that students begin to trust the fairness of their teachers less from sixth through eighth grade, but that the loss in trust was more dramatic for African-American and Latino students during this time. These findings led the researchers to test an alternative method of punishment within classrooms to try and solve the cycle of distrust and punishment that is hurting the chances of minority students pursuing a degree.   

The role of parents is critical in college persistence and completion
Education Dive, Jarrett Carter

In a briefing for Education Dive, Carter focuses on a few key trends in higher education in regards to degree completion. Carter highlights the growing understanding that engaged parents can help their children develop and retain motivation for completing their degree, that colleges need to do a better job collaborating with parents according to some experts, and that creating support and recruitment systems that are tailored towards the “cultural nuances” of the students involved can be very beneficial. As an insight, Carter suggests that colleges need to communicate strategies that will help students enroll and graduate, as well as be open and honest with the families about the costs and barriers that can get in the way of attaining a degree.    

Changes made to Common App essay prompts for 2017-2018 college admissions season. Here they are.
The Washington Post, Valerie Strauss

Strauss goes over a brief history of the Common App and its mission before presenting the “guide” to how the Common App essays have changed for this year. According to the guide, the essay section has gone through relatively extensive changes to give students a better “chance to reveal their thinking and capacity for analytical thought.” Thus, students applying to colleges this year will have two new questions to choose from and three of the five old questions have been edited. 

Colleges develop new resources to support veteran success on campus
Education Dive, Jarrett Carter

Carter looks at two universities that have made a significant effort to establish support structures and programs for veterans who are transitioning into higher education. At Texas A&M University, staff members receive special training to prepare for working with military members, while the University of Southern California has opened a free mental health clinic to help family members attain the treatment they need to succeed.      


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