What If Students Didn’t Have to Leave Community Colleges to Earn Bachelor’s Degrees?

Set a few miles from the sea and surrounded by swampy state parks, Indian River Community College was for years a lone outpost of higher education on Florida’s Treasure Coast. The nearest university—Florida Atlantic—was nearly 60 miles away, a long haul down I-95 for someone seeking more schooling but bound to her community by a … Read more

The Story Behind a Petition to Hold College Commencement in Person, Despite COVID-19

Raquel Perez is earning her associate degree in audio engineering this spring. It’s a milestone many semesters in the making. The 32-year-old has spent the last five years pursuing a degree at Houston Community College, balancing classes with paid work and raising her seven children. Propelling her forward through all of that effort was her … Read more

Old, Slow Laptops Are Sabotaging College Student Success

Spotty internet service makes remote learning hard for many college students. So does lacking reliable access to a computer. But even students who do have Wi-Fi and digital devices for schoolwork may not be able to fully participate in their courses if the technology they have is old, outdated or not powerful enough to handle … Read more

A New Online Tutoring Market Has Emerged — In Construction. It Requires a Surprising Number of Books.

There’s a high-stakes exam that’s created an entire industry selling test-preparation products and services to people willing to shell out big bucks for help honing their skills and strategies. It’s not the SAT, or the MCAT. In fact, it’s not related to academic admissions at all. Yet it has generated lots of online guides and … Read more

The Awkward Truth About ‘Free College’—It Isn’t Truly Free

In 2014, when Tennessee unveiled a statewide scholarship to cover tuition expenses at community colleges, the program was praised for making higher education possible for more people. It even inspired President Obama to pitch a similar federal program. But as soon as more people showed up to campuses in 2015, Tennessee higher ed leaders discovered … Read more

What If Colleges Treated Students as Data Users, Not Just Data Points?

Their noses are swabbed. Their exams are recorded. Their Instagram posts are monitored. During the pandemic, college students are surveilled very, very closely. The health crisis has introduced new forms of data collection into higher education, but these are largely changes of degree, not kind. For years now, tech companies have been selling colleges tools … Read more

By Putting Tensions on Stage, Colleges Aim to Change Campus Culture

The new professor had a choice. He arrived early to a meeting to discover a senior faculty member lying in ambush, armed with a crude joke and disparaging words for a researcher—a woman—who’d applied for a job in their department. An angel appeared at the young man’s side, encouraging him to disrupt the distasteful monologue. … Read more

How Shakespeare Helps Us Rethink Education

In “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” a comedy that William Shakespeare wrote in the 16th century, the character Biron asks, “What is the end of study?” Questioning the end, or purpose, of education is an exercise that modern students, professors and college leaders engage in all the time. Scott Newstok, professor of English at Rhodes College in … Read more

A Small College Hopes to Claim Artificial Intelligence for the Liberal Arts

Colby College is carving out space in the liberal arts canon for artificial intelligence. Thanks to a $30 million gift from an alumnus, the small, selective college in Maine is establishing the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which aims to integrate machine learning, natural language processing and big data into instruction and research across the … Read more

When the Animated Bunny in the TV Show Listens for Kids’ Answers — and Answers Back

During tricky situations in the new PBS KIDS show “Elinor Wonders Why,” a curious rabbit directs a question to viewers, pausing to give them a chance to answer. This invitation to participate in the plot of the story is a hallmark of educational programs for young children, a moment designed to check their comprehension and … Read more