Feds Move to Relax Rules

We are starting to get an indication of prospective changes in federal higher education policy by the Trump administration that could affect community colleges. Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, has not spoken much about her views on a host of Obama administration regulations designed to curb abuses by for-profit colleges. Prognostications are reported by Adam Harris in the […]

From Advising to Coaching

Your college has likely been involved in making its academic advising process more holistic. It once made perfect sense to have course selection, financial aid, and other student services in separate locations, especially at larger institutions. But many schools now attempt a one-stop resource for students. Another trend is to shift the role of advisor to one of […]

Arkansas Joins “Promise” of Free Tuition

The “Tennessee Promise” program of free tuition is catching on in other states, most recently Arkansas. The Arkansas approach, however, contains restrictions that some commentators find unfortunate. Matt Reed, in Inside Higher Ed., thinks policy makers in Arkansas must not have consulted any educators on a real community college campus, or perhaps just didn’t listen […]

Dual Credit Comment Period Opens

The Coordinating Board has opened its public comment period on dual credit. If you have comments or questions that you would like to share with policy makers who are preparing an official report on the program, this is an excellent opportunity. This report is posted for public comment through April 17, 2017. Below is a message sent […]

Texas Schools Among Aspen Finalists

Odessa College and San Jacinto College are among ten finalists from over 1,000 community colleges in the nation, chosen by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. The organization identifies the top 10 institutions that achieve strong student success outcomes in learning, completion, labor market, and equity. Here is the official announcement. The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence […]

The Trump Budget and Community Colleges

Community colleges are less dependent upon Congress than other sectors of higher education, but the recent release of President Trump’s “skinny budget” (offering a brief outline) has attracted the attention of two-year college educators. Of prime importance is federal financial aid programs for students, most notably Pell Grants. You can find these concerns outlined in […]

Efficient Regional Transfer

We and the media probably give too much attention to UT-Austin and Texas A&M when it comes to higher education policy, and the various controversies of today in the halls of academe. These two schools are highly selective, research-oriented flagships, striving to be (or stay) included in any purported list of prestigious national institutions with […]

Commissioner: “Reinvent Higher Education”

“We’re going to have to substantially reinvent higher education,” Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes said during a recent media conference call. “If budget [legislative] cuts are significant, I think institutions are going to have to worry about whether they invest more money in operations and instruction, or whether they invest more money for financial […]

In Praise of Difficulty

You are probably aware that Texas in 2015 modified the default public high school curriculum. Most controversially, the second course of algebra was made optional—that is, not included automatically in the degree plan of all high schoolers. The idea is to steer young students into pathways that lead to more success, not only in coursework, […]

The Distracted Mind and Tony Soprano

When students aren’t focused on what they should be doing (such as paying attention in class), they display a disorder that is increasingly common. Obviously much of the problem is driven by social media. It is almost painful for students to ignore their digital devices during a class presentation or discussion. The more we study the neurological issues, as […]