April 22, 2021
SmartBrief for the Higher Ed Leader
Student Affairs and Academics
Officials discuss role of Hispanic-serving institutions
The number of Hispanic-serving colleges and universities has grown in the past 25 years -- reaching 539 in 2020 -- and during a recent briefing, education leaders and policymakers discussed that growth and the challenges facing the schools. Data showed a 5% drop in Hispanic undergraduate enrollment last fall, and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Hispanic-serving institutions have an important role in promoting access and opportunity as the country plans its pandemic recovery.
Full Story: NBC News (4/21) 
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The University of Alabama at Birmingham has developed a "one-stop shop" mental health app at the request of students. The B Well app was fast-tracked by the university as part of its effort to provide resources to help students and employees cope with the effects of the pandemic and other crises.
Full Story: EDUCAUSE Review (4/2021) 
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From preserving vital ecosystems at the world's only undersea lab to leading sustainability efforts across all oceans, see why FIU ranks 9th globally for impact on life below water.
Admissions and Enrollment
Report: Dual-enrollment participation up in Iowa
Enrollment in dual-enrollment programs in Iowa rose to 51,800 in 2019-20 -- up 2.4% from the previous school year -- according to data from the state's Department of Education. Officials predict continued growth in the program, which allows high-school students to earn associate degrees.
Full Story: The Gazette (Cedar Rapids-Marion, Iowa) (4/22) 
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The National Science Foundation has made a grant of $300,000 to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and New Mexico State University. The money will be used to improve transfer and graduation rates of engineering students.
Full Story: Diverse: Issues In Higher Education (4/21) 
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Leadership and Management
Virginia Commonwealth University's College of Engineering presented the results of a yearlong planning process to turn the Richmond-Petersburg area into a hub for pharmaceutical manufacturing, research and development. Recommendations include working with local community colleges to train pharmaceutical plant technicians, establishing a translational R&D center and a national center of excellence for continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing, and forming a regional council to coordinate activities.
Full Story: Virginia Business (4/20) 
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Funding and Grants
The University of South Florida has received a $44 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to further its research into Alzheimer's disease. The five-year grant will go toward the university's Preventing Alzheimer's with Cognitive Training project, which focuses on the use of cognitive training to help mitigate the risk of developing dementia.
Full Story: 83 Degrees Media (Tampa, Fla.) (4/19) 
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Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.
Karle Wilson Baker,
poet, writer
April 22 is Earth Day
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