Skip to main content
USciences Home JW England Library Homepage

News and Research Digests

Current Digest

A college closes, another cancels classes and others brace for coronavirus impact on campus

Susan Svrluga | The Washington Post | March 5, 2020

"College leaders are crafting and revising contingency plans with an eye toward the effect the outbreak could have on students and employees, on research and on major events such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament this month. There is talk of canceling meetings, restricting travel and what to do if cases surface on campus."


Some states make it harder for college students to vote

Adrian Sainz | The Washington Post | March 1, 2020

“It’s not just trying to come up with laws that directly disenfranchise students,” said Rachel Clay, southeast regional director for the Campus Vote Project. “It’s creating laws that make something that’s already challenging and confusing more challenging and confusing for young people.”


Even ‘Valid’ Student Evaluations Are ‘Unfair'

Colleen Flaherty | Inside Higher ED | February 27, 2020

“Summing up his findings this week, Esarey said that unless the correlation between student ratings and teaching quality is “far, far stronger than even the most optimistic empirical research can support,” then common administrative uses of SETs “very frequently lead to incorrect decisions.”


The Case against Education as Usual

Terry McDonough | Inside Higher ED | February 26, 2020

"When we focus deliberately on developing critical skills, higher education can actually deliver on what it has long purported to do: preparing agile thinkers capable of both powering the workforce and tackling our country’s most pressing challenges."


More Students Report Talking With Their Professors Outside of Class. Here’s Why That Matters

Beth McMurtrie | The Chronicle of Higher Ed. | February 20, 2020

"The survey found that first-year students who said they received high-quality advising also had twice as much interaction with professors and were more likely to say they planned to return the next year, compared with students who described their advising as low qualitythe very highest evaluations “are often poor teachers,” he added, “and those with the very lowest evaluations are often better than the typical instructor.”


Gender Pronouns Can Be Tricky on Campus. Harvard Is Making Them Stick.

Anemona Hartocollis | The New York Times | February 19th, 2020

"Recent research indicates that social affirmation, including the use of chosen names and proper pronouns, can help reduce the higher rates of depression and suicide for transgender and nonbinary young people, which stem in part from a lack of acceptance and frequent harassment." 


On College Campuses, Social Media Provides Private Spaces for Thousands

Laura Pappano |The New York Times | February 19th, 2020

"It is not enough to be on platforms students are on, like Facebook or Instagram, she said. Administrators must create messages that capture students’ attention. And that is tough because student focus changes so fast. “It’s hard to keep up with them,” she said."


Therapy for the Snapchat Generation

Alexander C. Kafka | The Chronicle of Higher Ed | February 13, 2020

"Advocates say that while teletherapy might not be as effective as face-to-face therapy, it can be a helpful supplement, a steppingstone, or an alternative for students who won’t visit the counseling center because they can’t get an appointment quickly enough, or for reasons of stigma, geography, schedule, or disability."


To Improve Persistence, This College Asks Professors to Have a 15-Minute Meeting with Each Student

Beckie Supiano | The Chronicle of Higher Ed | February 6, 2020

"Even professors who already make an effort to demonstrate care to their students have seen benefits from doing something more formal, says Joianne Smith, the college’s president. That’s partly because the meetings are with every student: Some students slip through the cracks of other efforts to provide support. Another positive professors have reported, Smith said, is that classroom dynamics improve because more students feel comfortable participating."


Curing Programmitis to Create Diverse Student Success

Adrianna Kezar | Inside Higher ED | January 29, 2020

"Higher education has been making efforts to address a more diverse student body for four decades, yet the needle has moved very slowly, with only minimal progress in improving the retention and success of first-generation, low-income and racialized minority students. The same goes for adult, commuter and part-time students, while statistics for other groups -- such as transgender, learning-disabled and LGBTQ students -- are not even tracked. Higher education has added programs and services “on the side” without a substantial rethinking of its core functions and practices."