Higher Education

DON"T USE TOO SMALL Claire McCaskill
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says a staff survey of 440 colleges and universities regarding campus sexual assaults has found that 41 percent of those responding “have not conducted a single investigation in five years” despite allegations by possible victims. That finding is disturbing, McCaskill told reporters Wednesday because it means those colleges "are saying there are zero instances of sexual assault, which is hard to believe." The results also mean, she added, that several of the...

via Flckr/Caleb Cherry

Updated at 10:20 a.m. Wednesday with new Durbin comments: As part of a nationwide settlement with the federal government, the campus of for-profit Everest College in Earth City will be closing. The college has about 250 students, and they will be able to complete their courses, according to company spokesman Kent Jenkins. Everest stopped enrolling new students June 23, he said. Everest is owned by the education company Corinthian Colleges Inc., which entered into a settlement last week with...

Field of students at a graduation
j.o.h.n. walker | Flickr

As a junior in high school, Ayont Young figured she’d go to Missouri State University to study nursing. It was the only college she’d looked at and she was sure she could get in. Then, she signed up for College Summit’s summer Peer Leader program. College Summit is a local answer to the lack of academic support and resources in some communities nationwide. Program leaders encourage their students to reach higher and work harder – while giving them the support they need to do so. In Young’s...

Ulrik | sxc.hu

About four years ago I realized that, although my business statistics students were understanding the math fairly well, they didn't “get” the statistics part. When asked to apply their knowledge, they were fairly clueless. My challenge was to change that. But how? That challenge had another prompt: In the book “Academically Adrift,” authors Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa provide strong evidence that a student only experiences small to nonexistent gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning...

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Yvaunna Brown just graduated from Hazelwood West High School and feels like the future is wide open. She’s thinking about community college, or maybe the University of Missouri-St. Louis is a better fit. Brown is dead set on one thing, though: becoming the first person in her family to go to college. “And that’s pretty exciting,” Brown said. “That’s a big deal for me.” It’s also daunting. Loads of paper work must be completed and the deadlines will start coming fast. “You try to figure it out...

via Flickr/STLGraduates

There’s a lot more to going to college than getting an acceptance letter. There’s finding financial aid and housing. There’s paying the first tuition bill and turning in immunization records. And then there is the big picture question of what college makes the most financial sense for your family. “It’s simple stuff, but if you add it all up, it can be an obstacle,” said Jane Donahue, co-chair of St. Louis Graduates and president of the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation. “What happens a lot...

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has so far passed five of the 13 bills that make up the state budget for next year. Among those five is the budget for K-12 schools (HB 2002) , which is still structured in a two-tiered format because of the disagreement between GOP lawmakers and Gov. Jay Nixon , a Democrat, over the expected revenue for next year. The governor has proposed a $278 million increase to public schools, while the Senate budget raises funding by $114.8 million. State Sen. Kurt Schaefer , R...

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Budget writers in the Missouri Senate have begun their review of the state's spending plan for Fiscal Year 2015. On Monday, the Senate Appropriations Committee chose to stick with the House's proposal to have a two-tiered spending plan for the state's K-12 schools. The plan offers two budget figures — one based on Republicans' predictions for revenue growth for the upcoming year; the other based on projections from Gov. Jay Nixon , a Democrat. If the governor's "rosier projections" hold true,...

Provost Holden Thorp
Washington University

Seated in his office on the second floor of Brookings Hall on the eastern edge of the Washington University campus, Provost Holden Thorp has a pretty good metaphor for what his job entails compared with that of university Chancellor Mark Wrighton . “You can see the chancellor’s office is across the hall,” Thorp said in a recent interview. “His office faces the park and the Arch and downtown. My office is on this side and faces out to the old quad. “So, yes, I’m the person who is in charge of...

UMSL Photo/August Jennewein

This past fall, a new educational program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities began at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The program, called SUCCEED, is a two-year residential program designed to help students build the skills needed to either find a job or enroll in a degree-seeking program. The program is the brainchild of Deborah Baldini, the associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences/Continuing Education at UMSL, and the president and CEO of St....

(Courtesy: Southwestern Illinois College)

During the State of the Union address last week, President Barack Obama called on community colleges to build stronger partnerships with local businesses. And according to St. Louis-area community college leaders, many of those initiatives are already in place on their campuses. “We’ve been doing exactly what our president just said the other night, and actually I think we’ve been doing it extremely well,” Southwestern Illinois College President Georgia Costello said. The college has campuses...

UMSL website

Despite financial concerns that threatened to derail its approval, a $17 million building for the optometry program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis won passage Friday, but not without reservations over how it will be paid for. The new building on the university’s south campus will replace the current optometry classrooms, which are in a building originally designed as a residence hall for nuns. Chancellor Tom George told the university’s Board of Curators, meeting in Columbia, that...

Regional Chamber

In an effort to attract employers and investors, the St. Louis Regional Chamber wants to add 75,000 college graduates by the year 2025, pushing the area into the top 10 nationwide in college attainment. The first time Janet Martinez started college, she was right out of high school in Oklahoma. By her own admission, she was not quite ready for the responsibility involved: too many decisions, too much social life. “It was all too much for me,” she says. She left after one semester. The second...

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Undergraduate resident tuition for the 2014-15 academic year at the four campuses of the University of Missouri system would rise 1.7 percent, the national inflation rate, under projections presented to the system’s Board of Curators on Thursday.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) says next year he's going to propose a Higher Education budget that's "substantially" higher that it's been in recent years. Nixon made that promise Monday to a group of Higher Education officials meeting in Jefferson City, though he won't say yet how high his proposed budget hike will be. He also suggested that his higher budget proposal could be rendered moot if this year's failed income tax cut legislation is revived next year. "The misguided economic...

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Even with a long list of qualities to live up to, and the strife that preceded the departure of the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, the presidency of Saint Louis University is a plum assignment that will draw dozens of applicants, a key figure in the search said Monday.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Members of a Missouri House interim committee tasked with improving government efficiency complained Wednesday about not having access to the full budgets of any of the state's universities. The committee was examining the Department of Higher Education. Republican committee member Kathie Conway of St. Charles says the department's annual budget requests to the Governor's office do not contain line-by-line expense requests she says the committee needs to do its job. " It's very generalized,"...

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: After reading the president’s “Plan to Make College More Affordable” I couldn’t help but recall the scene in the “Wizard of Oz” in which the Wizard awards the stalwart travelers symbols of their true characteristics. The Cowardly Lion receives a medal, for he truly was brave. The Tin Man a heart, for he truly was compassionate. And the Scarecrow gets a diploma because even though he actually was quite intelligent, he just didn’t have the college degree to prove it.

Educators Make Final Push Against Tax Cut Bill

Sep 9, 2013
(Chris McDaniel/St. Louis Public Radio)

A group of educators criticized a tax cut bill today that could severely hinder schools in Missouri. They maintained that the bill, which Governor Jay Nixon vetoed in June, would cut revenue for the state by $800 million and result in reduced funding for education. The superintendents from the Northwest, Washington and Hazelwood School Districts argued that the bill would have detrimental effects on their districts. Hazelwood superintendent Grayling Tobias said the bill could cause budget...

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Ah, the end of the academic year. Amid all the pomp, it is a good time to reflect on the circumstances surrounding college education. Higher education is under attack from many sides. Let’s start with student debt.

Field of students at a graduation
j.o.h.n. walker | Flickr

The St. Louis Regional Chamber is launching a collaborative initiative to increase the percentage of the area’s workforce which has a bachelor’s degree or higher. Thirty percent of adults in the St. Louis region have at least a bachelor’s degree, ranking it 14 th among the nation’s metropolitan areas. That’s just behind Los Angeles and ahead of Houston, according to U.S. Census estimates. Meanwhile, decades of slow population growth place St. Louis as the 19 th most populated region. While...

Field of students at a graduation
j.o.h.n. walker | Flickr

Updated at 6:03 p.m. to include details on a House-Sen. joint committee's proposal to use performance-based criteria in a new Higher Ed. funding formula. A joint House-Senate panel is recommending performance play a role in how much money Missouri’s colleges and universities get from the state each year. Panel members on Monday released a proposed Higher Education funding formula, which would include performance measurement in such things as student enrollment/retention, the number of research programs at an institution, and public service to the surrounding community or state. State Senator David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) chairs the Joint Committee on Education .

(St. Louis Public Radio)

A group of Missouri lawmakers is considering an overhaul of how the state’s colleges and universities are funded each year. A first draft of recommendations was released today, and it includes basing 10 percent of an institution’s state funding on performance standards such as graduation rates for seniors and retention rates for freshmen and sophomores. State Senator David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) chairs the Joint House-Senate Committee on Education .

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Will be updated. Missouri officials are awarding nine grants worth nearly $9 million to create so-called Innovation Campuses involving colleges and universities. The program pairs universities and colleges with businesses to train students for jobs in high-demand fields. It also is aimed at helping students earn their degrees faster and graduate with less debt. Nixon announced Wednesday that a campus in central Missouri will focus on information technology with involvement from Lincoln...

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has signed Missouris $24 billion budget into law, but he also sliced $15 million from next years spending plan. Higher Education took the brunt of the cuts, nearly $9 million. Its the third year in a row state universities have taken a hit. Nixon says its necessary in part because the General Assembly overestimated how much money the state would make from the Missouri Lottery . He also criticized lawmakers for shifting $11 million from disaster relief to Higher Ed. The...

Adam Procter | flickr

Missouri college students soon could find it a little easier to transfer credit hours among institutions. Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Thursday requiring public colleges and universities to formulate by July 2014 a core of 25 lower-level courses for which credit hours can be transferred among all public institutions. The bill also requires the state higher education board to come up with a reverse transfer policy. That would allow students with credit hours from universities to put those...

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Out-migration is costing St. Louis County money More people are moving out of St. Louis County than moving in and theyre taking money with them. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch cites Internal Revenue Service figures that show those who left the county between 2001 and 2010 earned on average $8,000 more than those who moved in. And about 52,000 more people left the county than moved in. That means St. Louis County lost $3.4 billion in resident income due to out-migration. Ill. public universities...

IndofunkSatish/via Flickr

Judge approves settlement in lawsuit over mental health care for the deaf A federal judge has approved a settlement in a class action lawsuit brought against two Missouri state agencies on behalf of more than a thousand deaf residents. Plaintiffs in the 2010 lawsuit alleged that the state departments of Mental Health and Social Services failed to provide adequate mental health care for deaf persons in crisis. The departments were sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The agreement...

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri House has passed all 13 bills that make up the states $24 billion budget for FY 2013. The process took longer than expected, because of the large number of Democrats who took issue with cutting funding to blind pensions and for not spending enough on K-12 schools. Sara Lampe (D, Springfield) urged fellow lawmakers to look for other ways to balance the budget besides cutting services.

Flickr/david_shane

Missouris state budget for next year has received first-round approval by the State House. As promised, Republican leaders defunded a program that aids blind Missourians and used the money to erase Governor Jay Nixons proposed cuts to Higher Education. House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey told the chamber hes no longer willing to cut money from Missouris universities and community colleges: Weve cut education in Higher Ed for the last several years, and Im done, Im done with that, said Silvey....

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