Nearly a Third of Undergraduate Degrees Go to Students With Prior Credentials

Report: “New College Graduates Report, 2013-14″

Organization: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

Summary: For a growing share of college graduates, the degrees they’re taking home aren’t their first higher-education credentials. The percentage of college graduates stacking credentials by adding, say, a bachelor’s degree to an associate degree, or an associate degree to a certificate, grew from 25 percent to 29 percent between 2010-11 and 2013-14, says a report released on Wednesday.


Borrowers Continue to Face Problems With Loan Servicers, Watchdog Says

Borrowers continue to report widespread problems with student-loan servicing, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The report, which is based on more than 30,000 comments that the federal watchdog received as part of its recent inquiry into the servicing industry, describes a range of practices that the bureau says harm borrowers, including poor customer service, mishandled paperwork, and “surprise fees.”

Tuesday’s report comes just two months …


Former U. of Michigan President Is Named Next Leader of AAU

Mary Sue Coleman, the former president of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Iowa, will become the next president of the Association of American Universities. Ms. Coleman will succeed Hunter R. Rawlings III, who has been president since 2011, in June of next year.

“During her tenure at both Iowa and the University of Michigan, Mary Sue was universally regarded as one of the very best presidents in the country,” said Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylva…


NCAA Finds Academic Fraud in Southern Methodist U.’s Basketball Program

[Last updated (9/29/2015, 4:28 p.m.) with details from the university's statement.]

Southern Methodist University’s basketball program committed academic fraud, according to the results of an NCAA investigation announced on Tuesday.

According to the association, a former assistant men’s basketball coach told a prospective player to enroll in an online high-school course, at which point a former administrative assistant in the program logged in with the prospect’s credentials to complete all of t…


13 Academics Are Among 24 Winners of 2015 MacArthur Fellowships

Thirteen scholars associated with universities are among the 24 winners of MacArthur fellowships, announced on Tuesday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The winners each receive $625,000 grants that are paid out over five years and come with no strings attached.

According to the foundation’s website, they were chosen for their “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction,” among other things. The fellowships are…


George Washington U. Discovers That 2 Top Mental-Health Professionals Aren’t Licensed to Practice in D.C.

Two members of George Washington University’s mental-health services stepped down last week after the university discovered that neither is licensed to practice in Washington, D.C.

Silvio Weisner, the program’s former director, is a licensed psychologist — but in Virginia, not Washington. He started working at George Washington in 2012, but he does not have a license to practice in the District of Columbia.

The university announced his resignation in a news release last week. The release noted M…


Highly Paid PR Official’s Job Is Eliminated at U. of California at Davis

The University of California at Davis has eliminated the position of a highly paid communications administrator two years after she was hired, The Sacramento Bee reports. Luanne Lawrence, who had an annual salary of $260,000, was hired as the university tried to move beyond the infamous viral video showing a campus police officer using pepper spray on a group of seated protesters.

According to the newspaper, Ms. Lawrence signed a settlement agreement with the university after she refused to move to another position. The acting chief of the university’s Office of Strategic Communications, Dana Topousis, declined to comment to the newspaper on the decision, saying it was a personnel matter.

Two years after hiring a communications chief for $260,000 a year, UC Davis has quietly eliminated her position. By paying Luanne Lawrence a higher salary than any other communications official in the University of California system, UC Davis revived longstanding complaints about executive pay, in particular because of student unrest about tuition hikes and other budget issues.

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Group of Colleges Unveils Plan for New, Streamlined Application

A group of more than 80 private and public colleges has formally announced plans to develop a free platform that would “streamline the experience of planning for applying to college,” according to its website.

As The Chronicle first reported last fall, the shared application would allow students to apply to one or more member institutions. The group — the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success — plans to make college-planning tools available to students in January, with many of the…


Community-College Borrowers Who Default Are Those With the Least Debt

The community-college borrowers most likely to default on their student loans are those with the least amount of debt, according to a new report from the Association of Community College Trustees.

The report, which examines data from all 16 of Iowa’s community colleges, reaches several other conclusions, many of which repeat or support the findings of previous research. Among them:

  • Many borrowers who default — just shy of half examined in the report — don’t take any action on their debt.
  • Almost…

5th North Seattle College Student Dies of Injuries Suffered in Collision

A fifth student at North Seattle College died on Sunday as a result of injuries suffered on Thursday when a Ride the Ducks tour vehicle collided with a charter bus that was carrying students to an orientation program, The Seattle Times reported.

The victim, a 20-year-old woman, had been in critical condition since the accident, a hospital spokeswoman said. Four other students died on Thursday. The bus was carrying students and employees of the college’s international program, and there were othe…