All posts by Mary Stegmeir

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

New Report Highlights Access and Inclusion Strategies

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Low-income and minority students continue to face barriers to higher education and the resulting gaps have contributed to diminished social mobility in the US, data show.

A new report — Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education — highlights strategies institutions can use to help reverse that trend. The 89-page publication uses federal statistics to demonstrate the scale of the problem and highlights strategies colleges and universities can use to help more underrepresented students get to (and through) college.

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#NACACreads: Join Tuesday’s Discussion of ‘Generation Z Goes to College’

generationzHow will the next generation of students approach the college search and selection process?

Share your insights and ask questions during Tuesday’s #NACACreads discussion of Generation Z Goes to College. Special guest Meghan Grace, one of the book’s authors, will take part in the Twitter chat and address how this new cohort of students views higher education.

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ICYMI: NACAC Affirms Longstanding Values Following Presidential Election

NACAC CEO Joyce Smith sent the following message to members last week:

Dear Colleagues,

I have seen a number of accounts about anxiety in our schools, colleges, and communities following the election, and I’ve heard from many of you who are asking about NACAC’s response.

As the dust settles from one of the most contentious presidential races in our history, concerns have emerged about the future of programs and initiatives that promote equal access to higher education, as well as the safety and security of the students we serve.

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Survey: Admission Offices Prepared for Changes to Overtime Rule

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect the federal injunction.

Adjusting salaries, altering work schedules, and paying overtime during peak periods are among strategies admission offices plan to use to comply with a new federal rule governing employee pay, according to NACAC survey data.

The updated regulations — originally scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1 — would significantly broaden the pool of employees eligible for overtime pay through the Fair Labor Standards Act.  However, a federal judge’s injunction last week has halted the rule’s implementation.

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ACT to Offer Testing Accommodations for English Language Learners

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English Language Learners (ELL) taking the ACT will soon be able to apply for testing accommodations.

Starting next fall, students who receive ELL services can ask for additional time on the test and other supports, including the use of a word-to-word bilingual glossary.

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Obama Calls for Celebration of American Education Week

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President Barack Obama is calling for support of local schools and educators in recognition of American Education Week — a seven-day celebration that runs through Saturday.

In a proclamation issued last week, Obama asked Americans to do their part to help “create opportunities for every school and student.” He also emphasized the importance of creating pathways to higher education for all.

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NACAC Guide Highlights Options for US Students Seeking Degrees Abroad

studentguideCollege counselors looking to help their students explore international higher education options have an easy-to-use new resource.

NACAC’s Guide to International University Admission — released today — features country profiles and admission how-tos for nine destinations that have proven popular among US students seeking full degrees outside their home country. The publication is being released in conjunction with International Education Week, a joint initiative of the US Department of State and the US Department of Education that runs through Friday.

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Report: Number of International Students in US Surpasses 1 Million

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The number of international students studying at US colleges and universities surpassed 1 million during the 2015-16 academic year, according to data released this week.

The milestone — captured in the most recent Open Doors report — represents a 7 percent increase over the previous year, with international students now accounting for 5 percent of the total student population on American college campuses.

“International students value the quality, diversity, and strong reputation of US institutions and recognize that these institutions will give them opportunities that can help them not only in their education but also in their careers,” said Allan Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education, which published the report.

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New Research Shows College Friendships Influence Academic Success

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The friendships freshmen form can influence their academic success and emotional well-being, new research suggests.

Janice McCabe, an associate professor of sociology at Dartmouth College (NH), has mapped out three common patterns students follow when choosing friends.

“Tight-knitters” mesh with a close group of friends who become like family. “Compartmentalizers” spend their time with two to four unrelated clusters of friends. And “samplers” develop one-on-one relationships with individuals who don’t necessarily know one another.

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Study: Empathy Training for Teachers Could Reduce Student Suspensions

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Exercises designed to help teachers empathize with their students may lead to a drop in suspensions, according to a recent study from Stanford University (CA).

Researchers provided professional development to 31 middle school math teachers. Half of the educators were assigned readings that encouraged them to think about the underlying reasons students misbehave in class. The other half read about how technology can enhance learning.

“Students in the group whose teachers received professional development on empathy were half as likely to be suspended over the course of the school year than students whose teachers were in the control group, and the differences remained significant after controlling for race, gender, and other factors,” according to an Ed Week report about the new research.

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