Top 10 College Stories of the Month: February 2020 Edition

Blog February 06, 2020

Welcome back, everyone! With the new semester starting this past month, we know it’s been hard for you to come up for air, let alone to stay informed about what has been going on in higher education news. We have new and exciting updates on what you can do on your campus to influence your students to take part in the 2020 census as well as how the gig economy can be a positive influence for your college. In a recent report, community college access has been linked to higher earnings and health benefits. While we already know that our community colleges provide so many benefits, it’s nice to be able to share reports like these so we can pump your tires a little and let everyone else know just how great you are. 


1. Effects of SNAP Changes 

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The changes that are in the process of being made to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are projected to affect more than 700,000 Americans. Higher education experts believe that this change, which is expected to take place in April, will put students who are already struggling to understand their benefits in an even more difficult situation. Read more on what students do and don’t qualify for SNAP benefits and how this will impact the rate of food-insecure students. 


2. ‘Getting Out the Count’

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What can college student participation in the 2020 census do for college campuses? This article from Inside Higher Ed dives into the importance of college students taking part in the 2020 census, which is set to get underway in March. In the past, the census has had a bad reputation due to misinformation being spread about how students are being counted and lacking diversity. Learn more about what college campuses are doing to change this reputation and encourage students to increase their knowledge and participate in the upcoming census. 


3. Study: Community College Access Linked to Higher Earnings, Health Benefits 

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Having access to community colleges is linked to higher earnings and health benefits? Tell us something we don’t know! We love our colleges, but we are glad their incredible benefits are being recognized in a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research.  Not only does having a high population of community colleges increase the chances that students will graduate from high school and college, but it also comes with an increase in healthy behaviors, like more exercise and a lower chance of smoking.


4. ACT Chief Warns UC that Killing the Admissions Test Would Harm Students 

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In the past few months, the act of removing the standardized testing requirements from college applications has been up for much debate amongst students, officials, and lead policy makers. Many believe these tests do not provide equal opportunities to students, especially those from less fortunate districts. The chief of the ACT warned the University of California board of regents that this change has many negative consequences, including depriving students of an objective measure of their skills. Learn more about the consequences of removing tests, like the ACT, as a college admissions requirement.


5. How Stretching to Pay for College Is Altering Middle Class Life 

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Recently on The EdSurge Podcast, Caitlin Zaloom, an anthropologist from NYU, discussed her research and interviews with over 160 students and parents regarding student debt and their college degrees. Learn more about Caitlin’s research findings and a student’s perspective on how finances affected his choice in college and how his current financial stress affected his job choice.  


6. Embracing the Gig Economy

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With the gig economy booming, community colleges are developing more classes and programs to help students succeed in this industry. A prediction from a recent study claims that in the next decade, more than half of U.S. workers could participate in this industry, and this would give community colleges plenty of opportunities to enhance their educational offerings in these different sectors. Read more about this growing economy and how it’s opening doors for community colleges and their students. 


7. Owning Their Pasts, Students Look to a Future in Homelessness Services

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Read this beautiful feature story from The Los Angeles Times about former community college students using their past experiences with incarceration and homelessness to help others who are also experiencing homelessness. Learn more about their harrowing stories and how they have influenced others in their community. 


8. Preparing for Coronavirus

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With the coronavirus currently spreading quickly in China, should U.S. residents be worried? One U.S. student has already been diagnosed on a college campus, and this has left other students and staff concerned about their health and what this means for their campus. Learn more about how you can keep your campus informed and how to handle a crisis situation.


9. How to Help Low-Income Students Hold Their Own on the Job Market

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The six-year-old nonprofit Braven is known for its work helping students learn the skill set they will need to hold their positions in the job market. This article from The Chronicle of Higher Education discusses what the Braven method is and how it has been applied to assisting students in establishing their own path in their career field. 


10. International Students Benefit Community Colleges 

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We already know that our international students add many amazing qualities to our campuses, but did you know they benefit community colleges in so many other ways? Some of the many reasons international students choose community colleges over four-year institutions are because of the lower cost, more access to online courses, workforce programs that might not be available at home, and many more. Read more about ways your college can attract more international students and how they can benefit your institution as a whole.


A man looking through binoculars with the Facebook logo over both eyes, just showing that everywhere you look, social media marketing is there! Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash
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