Dual Credit, Hyperloops & Domino's Pizza

New data show high school students enrolled in dual credit programs are not always receiving full credit toward their degree plan once they get to college. According to theAustin American-Statesman, “Researchers said instituting a statewide agreement among higher education institutions specifying the types of courses that must be accepted toward degree plans, and better advising in high school, could mitigate the problem.” While less time in college could ultimately help reduce the cost of a degree, the quality of the dual credit program and how it complement a university’s curriculum must also be taken into consideration.

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The Lincoln Project

This week the Lincoln Project released a national report that “urges state lawmakers, Congress, businesses and philanthropists to boost aid to public universities.” Leaders from the Project, so named for the groundwork President Lincoln laid for the U.S. public university system, were in Austin this week to meet with key lawmakers and education stakeholders about the report. “Tuition cannot keep going up indefinitely at rapid rates,”said Robert Birgeneau, Lincoln Project co-chairman and former chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Starving the Beast

A new documentary called “Starving the Beast” was recently released at the SXSW film festival in Austin. As the Huffington Post put it, “No film better exposes the coordinated assault on public higher education that is going on right now across the country.” UT Austin and Texas A&M center prominently in the film that “documents a philosophical shift that seeks to reframe public higher education as a ‘value proposition’ to be borne by the beneficiary of a college degree rather than as a ‘public good’ for society.” This week The Alcalde ran a Q&A with filmmaker Steve Mims.

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Repealing Top 10 Percent?

Last week The Texas House and Senate Higher Education Committees met to take a look at the implementation of House Bill 5, among other issues. House Bill 5, passed in 2013, created curriculum and testing changes that ultimately lowered high school graduation standards in an effort to improve graduation rates and create alternative pathways to secondary education for Texas students.

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Pinnacles of Excellence in Texas

In side-by-side editorials this week in The Eagle, State Sen. Charles Schwertner and Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp talked about college affordability. Schwertner criticized recent tuition hikes at UT, Texas A&M and UH, and discussed his desire to re-regulate tuition. He noted that the average tuition had doubled since 2003, and questioned whether Texas families were getting “double” what they were before de-regulation. Sharp, for his part, praised Texas A&M for cutting costs, outsourcing and “doing what the legislature asked,” while reminding that “the Legislature’s share of the cost of higher education has declined significantly over the years” forcing Texas families to pick up the slack. He pleaded with Schwertner not to “lump” A&M in with other universities lest his cost-cutting message get lost in the “shrillness of a political debate.” No doubt this discussion is a preview of the likely debate in the coming Legislative session.

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Latest Updates

  • Dual Credit, Hyperloops & Domino's Pizza

    New data show high school students enrolled in dual credit programs are not always receiving full credit toward their degree plan once they get to college. According to theAustin American-Statesman, “Researchers said instituting a statewide agreement among higher education institutions specifying the types of courses that must be accepted toward degree plans, and better advising in high school, could mitigate the problem.” While less time in college could ultimately help reduce the cost of a degree, the quality of the dual credit program and how it complement a university’s curriculum must also be taken into consideration.

    Continue reading
  • The Lincoln Project

    This week the Lincoln Project released a national report that “urges state lawmakers, Congress, businesses and philanthropists to boost aid to public universities.” Leaders from the Project, so named for the groundwork President Lincoln laid for the U.S. public university system, were in Austin this week to meet with key lawmakers and education stakeholders about the report. “Tuition cannot keep going up indefinitely at rapid rates,”said Robert Birgeneau, Lincoln Project co-chairman and former chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Continue reading

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