Notes & Coffee: July 10-16
Notes & Coffee is here to keep you informed of all the trending student affairs and higher ed news stories most critical to our field as they develop. In the age of information overload, we’re here to bring you vetted examinations of the stories that matter to our field. We invite you to brew a favorite morning beverage, kick back, relax, and catch yourself up for the week ahead with Notes & Coffee.
Support grows for major shift in Pell – Bipartisan support is building for federal legislation that would make Pell Grants available to students who are pursuing short-term certificates. Under current law, the major federal grants for low-income students cannot be used to pay for academic programs that are shorter than 600 clock hours or 15 weeks in length. But a bill introduced in January by Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, and Senator Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, would expand Pell eligibility to shorter job-training programs, with a minimum cutoff of 150 clock hours of instruction time over a period of at least eight weeks.
DeVos hints at changes in Title IX enforcement – Education Secretary Betsy DeVos didn’t announce plans to rescind guidance from the Obama administration Thursday after a full day of closed-door meetings about Title IX policy. But she hinted that changes are coming. In a 15-minute meeting with reporters, DeVos said there are substantive legal questions to be addressed regarding evidentiary standards for findings of sexual assault or harassment on campus, due process, and public input on policy.
Texas requires credit-bearing remediation – A wave of remediation reforms has swept across the country in the past few years, and now Texas has passed a law that features a popular approach to developmental education. Last month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law the use of corequisite remediation as the required model for students in developmental education courses. Corequisite remediation places students in college-level, or gateway, English and math courses, but pairs those courses with additional supports.
Debating the value of full-time professors – The American Bar Association is mulling changes – critics say a watering down – to its requirements on full-time faculty members at law schools. The American Association University Professors has come out against the changes, which it says will decrease the number of tenured faculty members in legal education and increase the use of adjuncts.
(Largely) shunning White House on higher ed spending – The Trump administration's first budget proposal was greeted coolly by Republican lawmakers (amid deep consternation from advocates for higher education) when it was released in May. Many members of Congress avoided direct criticism but suggested they would not go along with major cuts in popular programs, including a plan to slash the rates at which the government reimburses universities for their own spending on research overhead. Wednesday President Trump's party offered a more direct rebuke, as the appropriations panel in the House of Representatives released a 2018 spending bill that rejects most of the administration's proposed changes.