Last week, I had the opportunity to join my fellow state higher education executive officers from across the 50 states to share challenges and successes in improving college completion and better ensuring student career success. While there is much good work going on in Illinois, there is also much we can learn from efforts in other states. Here are a few of the exemplary practices that are getting national attention.
Higher education leaders focused on the issue of college readiness and reducing the need for college remediation especially for low-income, returning adults, and students of color. West Virginia and Kentucky were highlighted for strong efforts pursuing the “Roadmap to College Readiness.” Illinois is now focused on many of these practices thanks to the General Assembly’s passage of the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act, HB 5729, including efforts to provide pathways for college ready students that “speed up” their progress in high school through dual credit, AP, etc. and “catch up” interventions for those not on track to be college ready in high school. For those states being successful in improving readiness one clear lesson was that a key component of a successful college readiness strategy is ensuring any definition of college readiness is collaboratively developed between higher education and K-12. ISBE has set an aggressive goal to graduate 90 percent of students to be college ready. We all need to agree on what that means and how it is measured. Disconnects have resulted in many students deemed ready on the K-12 side facing remediation placements when they move to college, depending on the college.
Closely related discussions focused on redesigning math pathways (some students need rigorous statistics more than calculus) and remedial education so students move more quickly to credit bearing work. State University of New York, Tennessee, and University of Maryland System presented successful efforts at scale that engaged faculty effectively in the math redesign. City University of New York and the Florida College System were highlighted byComplete College America for their success with remediation. Illinois has targeted both of these initiatives as key “game changers” to improve student success. Good work is being done but, again, there is much to learn from others especially around effective faculty engagement.
Equity, or the lack of it, in college outcomes was of course a primary focus of the conversation between state higher education executive officers. The IBHE has set closing gaps for low-income and underrepresented students as a top priority and is implementing strategies in collaboration with organizations like Complete College America to reduce gaps. Chancellor Huckaby from the University System of Georgia highlighted an investment of $6 million in a “men of color” program that has yielded strong improvements in college outcomes for minority males. He also pointed to the work at Georgia State University implementing the same Complete College American programs we are trying to scale in Illinois that have eliminated gaps at this large urban, predominately minority/low-income university. Effective practices from college “Promise” programs across the country were shared. These programs work with young students and adults to ensure they can afford college by providing adequate financial aid when participants do their part to prepare and progress in college. Indiana’s “21st Century Scholars” program was highlighted in this discussion.
The meeting focused on a variety of other issues relevant to the work in Illinois: ensuring the quality of college degrees, better preparing K-12 teachers, better adapting to technology use to expand college opportunity, new finance models for higher education based on international best practice, etc. The lesson from all of this evidence of effective practice is that every state, if it is to succeed, must learn from both inside and outside its borders. By learning from one another we avoid costly mistakes and bad policy with unintended consequences and, indeed, focus attention on evidence based pathways that hold the best promise of success.
Workforce Panel – L to R: Jim Applegate, IBHE; Alice Marie Jacobs,
Danville Area Community College; John Rico, Rico Enterprises and
Illinois Workforce Innovation Board; Jason Keller, Federal Reserve Bank;
Jeff Mays, IDES; and Eric Zarnikow, ISAC
IDES Director Jeff Mays received
the 2016 College Changes Everything Champion Award
|On July 5, IBHE sent a memo to Academic Leadership, Transfer Coordinators, and the Proprietary Advisory Committee regarding the recent changes to the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree and the timing of completing the general education core curriculum (GECC) package for this degree model. Under the new A.S., students will be required to take one additional math course and one additional science course, which will displace two general education courses in the Humanities & Fine Arts and Social & Behavioral Sciences. Although these last two GECC courses have shifted out of the associate’s degree, they are still required and are expected to be completed post-transfer. Under the new model, A.S. students will no longer have to choose between completing the associate’s degree and meeting STEM transfer prerequisites. To see the complete memo and a crosswalk showing the old and new A.S. degree requirements, visit the IBHE website.|
|Snapshot of Associate’s Degree and Certificate Pathways
Of the Illinois students in the 2009-10 academic year who received associate’s
|degrees, the National Student Clearinghouse reports that 45.1% continued on and completed a bachelor’s degree. This rate was the 10th highest in the nation. The average time to complete the bachelor’s degree was 2.8 years; this was also the national average time to complete. For those students awarded certificates in that same 2009-10 year, 22.4% went on to complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. The students in the 20 and under age group when beginning their certificate or associate’s study completed their pathways to a degree at higher rates than older students.
|ISAC Survey: MAP makes college possible; uncertainty of awards could impact enrollment plans
According to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission‘s (ISAC) June FY 16 MAP Grant Preliminary Survey Report, issued this week, the Monetary Award Program (MAP) continues to be critical in making college possible for low-income students. The survey of 100,000 2015-16 MAP recipients drew 10,000 responses, including over 6,000 comments to open-ended questions. The overwhelming majority (96%) of respondents said MAP played an important role in allowing them to enroll in college for the fall 2015 term, 76% said it reduced the amount of time they needed to work, and 89% said receiving a MAP grant reduced the amount they had to borrow for the fall 2015 term. Survey responses suggest that the delay and underfunding of MAP for the winter/spring 2016 terms had an impact: increasing the number of hours students had to work and requiring them to take on additional debt to cover the costs that MAP would have covered.
While the survey was taken just prior to the passage of the last stopgap funding measure that provided funding for the remainder of 2015-16 MAP claims, survey responses suggest that over 18,000 students may delay their degree because of uncertainty about the availability of MAP for fall 2016.
An advisor, infographics, and report summarizing the preliminary results are available at ISAC’s website.
|The cost of college tuition increases every year, leaving many families wondering how they will be able to afford college. The College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan is designed to offer Illinois families an affordable way to pay for college. College Illinois! is holding newborn enrollment through August 31 for children born on or between September 1, 2015, and August 31, 2016. Click here to watch an informative video that will help you learn more about College Illinois! or visit collegeillinois.org.|
|Community Colleges Focus on Reforming Developmental Education
Illinois community colleges across the state have implemented a variety of reforms to developmental education. Promising strategies including co-requisite developmental education, summer bridge programs, and fourth year high school courses are providing a pathway to success for underprepared students. In the last five years the number of students enrolled in at least one developmental course decreased nearly 24 percent. However, courses often come at a high price for students who must expend precious financial resources on non-credit developmental courses. Students enrolled in developmental education courses are less likely than their peers to complete a degree or certificate.
“I am proud of the work going on in our community colleges to improve student successes and reduce college costs, especially for those students graduating from high school not ready for college-level coursework,” said Illinois Community College Board executive director Karen Hunter Anderson.
The final report has been published providing a comprehensive investigation of principal preparation in Illinois, Navigating the Shift to Intensive Principal Preparation in Illinois: An In-Depth Look at Stakeholder Perspectives (IERC 2016 – 2). This report is based on a joint study with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (UChicago Consortium) led by Brad White at the Illinois Education Research Council and Amber Stitziel Pareja at UChicago Consortium. This in-depth look at principal preparation programs provides insights into the challenges programs face after major reforms and the innovative ways that they have negotiated through these challenges. This two-year project, based on interviews, site visits, and focus groups across the state, was funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the Wallace Foundation. The Illinois Board of Higher Education was represented on the advisory group to the project, by Dr. Stephanie Bernoteit, Associate Director for Academic Affairs. The full report with the executive summary are available to download from theIERC website.
|The registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) program atWestern Illinois University has recently been recognized for its online program, which moved to a completely online format in fall 2014 to accommodate the schedule of working nurses who hold an associate degree and are currently licensed as registered nurses, and who would like to further their education. Western’s nursing program, which is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), began in 2008, and its first student cohort graduated in December 2010. The program was recently granted a 10-year accreditation by the CCNE. The department boasts a 100 percent job placement rate after graduation, and WIU students who take the National Council Licensure Exam have a 90 percent pass rate.|
|The IBHE Student Advisory Committee (SAC) recentlyelected its 2016-17 leadership.
IBHE Student Board Member: Stephanie Torres, Northern Illinois University
· Major: Public Health
· Torres earned two associate’s degrees at the College of DuPage and served as the Illinois Community College Board’s student board member last year.
(L to R: Heylin, Provo, Torres, and Greene)
|IBHE Nontraditional Student Board Member: Justin Provo, Roosevelt University
· Major: Economics
· Provo earned an associate’s degree at Harper College and served on the IBHE SAC last year.
SAC Executive Chair: Daniel Heylin, Illinois State University (ISU)
· Major: History-Social Sciences Education
· Heylin is President of ISU’s Student Government General Assembly and serves on the executive board of the ISU Academic Senate.
SAC Executive Secretary: Michaeljon Greene, DePaul University
· Major: Film and Television with a focus in Creative Producing and Screenwriting
· Greene is Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs for DePaul’s Student Government Association.
|The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently named its new Chancellor.Dr. Robert J. Jones, currently President of the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY Albany), will take office October 3. Before joining SUNY Albany in 2013 he spent 34 years at the University of Minnesota (UM), starting as a professor of plant physiology and rising to Senior Vice President for Academic Administration for the UM System.
Jones was born in Georgia and earned degrees from Fort Valley State College, the University of Georgia, and the University of Missouri, Columbia. He will be the first African-American UIUC Chancellor.
University of Illinois President Timothy L. Killeen said Jones brings “a significant body of relevant life and academic leadership experience to the chancellorship.”
Jones said he was drawn to UIUC by the land-grant university’s reputation
|for academics, research, and innovation. “I have the land-grant mission in my blood. I am a product of it. It is what brought me into higher education, from a sharecropping family in Georgia,” Jones said.
“President Jones’s commitment to university-community engagement serves as a model for all of public higher education, said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “We are grateful to President Jones for what promises to be a lasting impact on SUNY and wish him all the best in Illinois.”
Jones is married to Dr. Lynn Hassan Jones, a diagnostic radiologist. They have five children and two grandchildren. While at UM Jones won a Grammy as a member of the choral ensemble Sounds of Blackness.
|The Danville Area Community College Board of Trustees voted to appoint Dr. Stephen Nacco as the 7th president in the College’s 70-year history. Nacco will succeed Dr. Alice Marie Jacobs who is retiring after 17 years at DACC and 46 years in higher education.
Since 2010, Dr. Nacco has served as vice president of administrative services and executive assistant to the president at Union County College in Cranford, N.J. He oversees continuing education, the Industry-Business Institute, the Center for Economic & Workforce Development, marketing and communications, grants, and events management. He also continues to provide guidance to the Union County College Foundation, which he supervised for more than a year. Prior to joining Union, Dr. Nacco was executive director of college relations at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, N.J. (2001-2010) and senior director of customer relations for MTA New York City Transit (1988-2001). He began his career as a full-time instructor in English at St. John’s University.
|Dr. Nacco holds a doctorate in educational leadership focused on community colleges from Rowan University, a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Fordham University, a master’s in English and American literature from St. John’s University and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from State University of New York at Plattsburgh. His tenure will begin mid-August.|
|Angela Pruitt, a Chicago State University Pharmacy student, has received the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Fellowship award. Pruitt was selected for her scholarly work and desire to address the root cause of health variances in under-resourced communities. The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship has been instrumental in attacking health issues across the nation for over 50 years. Pruitt proposes to initiate heart health seminars for African American young adults on Chicago’s south side. These seminars will be held at Hyde Park Academy, Pruitt’s alma mater. Following the 2016-2017 school year, she will help youth to engage in preventative efforts to reduce the incidence and prevalence of heart disease and stroke.
Pruitt successfully obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. As a single mom with an entry level job in her field Angela decided to switch careers. In 2012, she began her journey in Pharmacy at
|Chicago State University and has obtained several licensures and many certifications such as APhA Blood Borne Pathogens Certification and a Pharmacy Technician License. After interning, Angela landed a permanent position in retail pharmacy. Angela is a member of Phi Delta Chi. She is also part of the America Society of Consultant Pharmacists P1 Liaison, a delegate in the Student National Pharmaceutical Association Chapter, and is presently the Vice-President of Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists.|
|Ryan Grandinetti, McHenry County College|
|In each issue of The Bulletin, we will feature student laureates recognized by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Photo unavailable: the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Florian Pallucci, Berwyn, IL, Art Major.|
Saint Xavier University
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
St. Louis, MO
Majors: Business Management and Psychology
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Glen Carbon, IL
Minor: Geographic Information Systems
|A few articles and reports worth the read:
Inside Higher Ed: Struggling to cope in Illinois, July 11, 2016.
WUIS 91.9-NPR Illinois: Education desk: IBHE warns Illinois schools still under accreditation scrutiny, July 11, 2016.
Inside Higher Ed: Presidential spouse as utility player, July 13, 2016.
The Herald & Review: University leaders say stopgap budget only a step, July 15, 2016.
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