Administrative/Business Tools

Tufts Uses Mapping Tool to Gather Student Input on Social, Physical Campus Needs

A recent initiative at Tufts University reached out to students to gather ideas for campus improvements. The Tufts Community Union Senate's "Brown & Blueprint" program asked undergraduates for comments and feedback on the physical aspects of the campus as well as how students build community (or not) within those spaces.

New College Promise Programs Heading Astray

A new Century Foundation analysis of existing and proposed College Promise programs has warned that the kinds of "policy design choices" made by policymakers will affect how well their Promise programs meet the goals they've set. In some states policymakers have begun to include requirements in their programs "to pursue objectives less directly related to the core goals of financial aid or college affordability measures." As a result, those states may not reach the people who most need the Promise help and their states may fail in closing gaps in enrollment and attainment rates for specific subgroups of students.

DePauw U Guarantees Every Graduate Will Find a Job

DePauw University is so confident of the value of its liberal arts education that it has guaranteed a successful outcome — employment or graduate school acceptance within six months of graduation — for 100 percent of its students. That pledge, dubbed the DePauw Gold Commitment, will begin in fall of 2018 with the class of 2022; already, about 95 percent of DePauw's graduates find success after college, according to the university.

College Promise Project to Promote Success Factors Beyond Tuition and Fees

M.D.R.C., the College Promise Campaign and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association have launched the College Promise Success Initiative, a project that aims to expand the support provided to students in College Promise programs. The idea is that Promise programs can see greater success when they address the many barriers low-income students face to college achievement, beyond just covering tuition and fees.

Getting General Ed Credits 'Out of the Way' at Community Colleges Is Lousy Advice

Getting general ed requirements "out of the way" by going to a community college may be among the worst advice people could give to new students because it could result in them earning many more credits than they need, hampering their efforts to get over the four-year finish line. As a working paper published by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University's Teachers College noted, previous research found that only about 60 percent of community college students were able to transfer most of their credits to the four-year institution; and another 15 percent were "hardly able to transfer any of their credits." As a result, their chances of earning a bachelor's degree shrank, and the cost and time required to earn their degrees rose.

College Risk-Reward Index Flags High-Debt Schools

According to LendEDU, a marketplace for student loans and student loan refinancing, six in 10 college graduates will "walk away from campus with diplomas in one hand and student loan debt in the other." The company recently released its annual college risk-reward index, which ranks higher education institutions based on graduates' early career pay versus student debt. The average debt for the class of 2016 was $27,975, the company noted.

More Frequent, Intensive Advising Cranks up Student Engagement

A new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin found that students who get more time in advising with more in-depth discussions during their advising sessions are more engaged in community college. The center surveyed about 180,000 students at 297 colleges around the country to study the impact of advising on retention and engagement.

Virtual Campus Tour Incorporates Photorealistic Views, Video Commentary

A new virtual tour and interactive map at the Stevens Institute of Technology combines photorealistic views 3D-rendered structures to provide an immersive way to "visit" the 55-acre New Jersey campus. Anyone with an internet connection can access the map, which is enhanced with videos, images and links to additional information.

Personalized Text Messages Boost STEM Student Persistence in Community College Study

In a randomized trial this past summer, community college students in STEM fields who received personalized text message "nudges" to keep them on track stayed in school at a rate 10 percentage points higher than those who did not receive nudges. The study, a joint effort by Jobs for the Future and Persistence Plus, followed about 2,000 students at four U.S. community colleges to gauge the impact of text message communications on college completion and student success.

Azusa Pacific U Streamlines Financial Aid and Communication with Students

Students at Azusa Pacific University have a new tool to help them complete financial aid forms on time and communicate with administrators and counselors in the financial aid office. The school is using CampusLogic, a student financial services platform, to make it easier for students and families to complete the financial aid process, according to a news announcement.

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