Nineteen Democrats in the US House of Representatives are calling on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reverse a decision to withhold about $7 billion in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding for some college students, including those who are in the country without legal permission. DeVos has maintained that noncitizens, as well as students who default on loans or earn poor grades, are not eligible for the emergency coronavirus assistance.
Oakland University has reversed its decision to require returning students to wear a BioButton, now making it optional, after 2,500 students signed a petition raising privacy issues about the health monitoring device. The manufacturer says temperature and other vital-signs data is only accessible by the user and that an administrator is only told that a person with the device cannot work or attend classes, not why.
Colleges' transfer processes need to be streamlined to ensure that more students from minority groups and low-income backgrounds finish their degrees, write William Crowe, Shanna Smith-Jaggars and Chris Soto, members of the national Tackling Transfers Advisory Board. Career counseling needs to be coordinated, financial aid needs to be transferrable and credit needs to be accepted universally for dual-credit courses, military service and workplace learning, they recommend.
The faculty union at the University of Akron has rejected a contract proposed by the administration that included layoffs that are part of a $65 million budget cut. The current contract expires at the year, but layoffs will happen this month, though the union says it plans to file two grievances.
Some colleges and universities were already vulnerable to a financial crisis brought by the coronavirus, having made questionable financial decisions in the years leading up to it. Even as enrollment declined and some schools faced financial losses over sexual misconduct cases, some still added degree programs and faculty and launched building campaigns.
The Chronicle of Higher Education (free content)
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More than 20 community colleges will share about $1.7 million in grants for career and technical education supplied by the Illinois Community College Board. Richland Community College will use its $96,608 grant to offer student-centered support services and strengthen the pipeline of CTE educators, among other things.