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2013

"Preferred" Pronouns Gain Traction at U.S. Colleges
December 3, 2013
The weekly meetings of Mouthing Off!, a group for students at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, always start the same way. Members take turns going around the room saying their names and the personal pronouns they want others to use when referring to them—she, he or something else. It’s an exercise that might seem superfluous given that Mills, a small and leafy liberal arts school historically referred to as the Vassar of the West, only admits women as undergraduates. Yet, increasingly, the “shes” and “hers” that dominate the introductions are keeping third-person company with “they,” “ze” and other neutral alternatives meant to convey a more generous notion of gender.
Campus Conversations About Race Now Heating Up the Twittterverse
November 25, 2013
A recent trending topic on Twitter started by The Black Student Union at the University of Michigan with the hash tag #BBUM (Being Black at the University of Michigan) revealed a candid discussion about race, identity and sense of belonging at Michigan, has turned into a national debate where many students, faculty and administrators at other higher education institutions have weighed in.
Agreement Reached to Reduce Student Arrests in Florida
November 6, 2013
MIAMI—One of the nation’s largest school districts, law enforcement and the NAACP have reached a deal aimed at arresting fewer students for minor offenses and cutting down the so-called school-to-prison pipeline, which the civil rights group and others say disproportionately affects minority students
Forestry Program hosts Upward Bound Math and Science Summer Research Exerience
November 4, 2013
Three high school students spent the summer exploring and researching topics in forest ecosystem management. At the end of the summer they presented their research at the UBMS Research Symposium and were recognized with 3rd place for best research presentation. The students were hosted by Dr. Laura Leites, who is hoping to repeat the program with new students next year.
Diverse Conversations: Military Veterans, College Life and Mental Illness
October 29, 2013
Thousands of veterans are returning home each month and transitioning back to civilian life. For many, this includes going back to college or taking college courses. As they reintegrate into the routines of civilian life, special attention should be paid to easing the transition process and providing a supportive environment. Dr. Victor Schwartz, medical director of the Jed Foundation, a leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting emotional health and preventing suicide among college students, answers a few questions regarding the mental health and transitional issues many U.S. veterans face and what college campuses are doing to address the issue
Diverse Conversations: Supporting LBGT College Students
October 21, 2013
Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or questioning (LGBTQ) students go through a period where they struggle to fit in or feel alienated by their student body. It is important to understand their perspectives and address common feelings they may have as they enter or continue their college experience.
Female Professors Face Family Quandary on Tenure
September 30, 2013
Female professors on the road to tenure and full professorship say they face tremendous pressure to not start a family, pressure that their male colleagues do not face.
As Affirmative Action Continues to be Threatened, Schools Weigh Diversity Options
September 23, 2013
As the Supreme Court continues its review of affirmative action policies in higher education, institutions are bracing themselves for the seemingly inevitable toppling of their programs. The Supreme Court is set to begin reviewing Michigan’s affirmative action ban this fall, which was struck down last November in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals when the court ruled it violated the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment.
Penn State Masters-to-Doctorate Program Announces 80% Success Rate
September 6, 2013
The Alcorn State:Penn State University Bridges to the Doctorate Program is a National Institute of Health (NIH)-funded collaboration between Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi and The Pennsylvania State University at University Park, Pennsylvania. It is designed to foster students' matriculation directly into doctoral programs after completion of their master's degree in biological sciences from Alcorn State. This program was initially funded in 2006 for three years and was renewed for an additional five years.
The Unique Mindset of Millennials at HBCUs
September 4, 2013
Each year, Beloit College releases “The Mindset List” for the incoming class of college freshmen. The list presents a number of statements intended to capture significant historical moments that produce the mindset of the incoming class — which for the past 10 years or so has described students from the Millennial Generation. Many others have attempted to describe the distinctive characteristics of Millennials, and although popular media have often negatively portrayed the mindset of Millennials, there seems to be some consensus that there are also many strengths of the Millennial Generation. On the one hand, many suggest that they are narcissistic (see recent cover story of Time magazine titled “The Me Me Me Generation”), lazy, unhappy if not instantly gratified and over-parented. On the other hand, they are also considered to be tech-savvy, optimistic, more accepting of diversity and adaptive. But do these prescriptions of shared experiences and frames of mind apply to all Millennials?
System Breakdown
August 15, 2013
Though minorities have made advancements in academia, like assuming presidencies of prestigious universities or chancellorships of large college systems, STEM is still an area where minorities are lacking. At most STEM programs at the colleges and universities nationwide, diversity, not just among students, but among the faculty, is the exception, not the norm.
New Census Bureau Interactive Map Shows Languages Spoken in America. Spanish, Chinese Top Non-English Languages Spoken; Most of Population is English Proficient
August 12, 2013
The U.S. Census Bureau today released an interactive, online map pinpointing the wide array of languages spoken in homes across the nation, along with a detailed report on rates of English proficiency and the growing number of speakers of other languages.
The Effect of Educational Attainment on Adult Mortality in the United States
July 30, 2013
As recently as 1960, women’s life expectancy at birth was only 73.1 years and men’s only 66.6 years.2 Within 50 years, life expectancy at birth increased by 8 years for women and nearly 10 years for men. Unfortunately, these increases in life expectancy mask very wide disparities among population groups. For example, remaining life expectancy at age 25—an important overall indicator of adult population health—is about a decade shorter for people who do not have a high school degree compared with those who have completed college.3 Educational attainment appears to be very important in differentiating U.S. adults' prospects for long life.
Support Grows for Gay Athletes at UGA
July 22, 2013
ATHENS Ga. —Seven years before NBA player Jason Collins made news as the first active male professional athlete in a major team sport to reveal publicly he was gay, Joey Fisher’s teammates learned about his sexual orientation. The goalie on Georgia’s club ice hockey team first told a couple of members of the squad personally, and then made an update on his Facebook page that indicated he was gay. Then he went to talk to his coach about it.
Class Diversity in Higher Education: A Complement, But Not a Replacement, for Race
July 10, 2013
Affirmative action is in the news this summer with the recent Supreme Court ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas. As someone who studies higher education, I've always been particularly intrigued by the claim that class-based affirmative action would solve all (or many) of our problems. It enjoys more popular support than regular affirmative action and could potentially attract racial diversity.
Senate Passes Historic Immigration Bill
July 1, 2013
With a solemnity reserved for momentous occasions, the Senate passed historic legislation Thursday offering the priceless hope of citizenship to millions of immigrants living illegally in America’s shadows. The bill also promises a military-style effort to secure the long-porous border with Mexico.
Supreme Court Puts Affirmative Action Case Back in Lower Courts' Hands
June 24, 2013
WASHINGTON — After months of speculation about how it might alter affirmative action in college admissions, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday opted for a more cautious course by sending the Fisher v. University of Texas case back to lower courts for additional review.
Affirmative Action Case sparks Debate Over Race vs. Class
June 18, 2013
In post-Great Recession America, which is the bigger barrier to opportunity - race or class?
Asians Fastest-Growing Race or Ethnic Group in 2012, Census Bureau Reports
June 17, 2013
The U.S. Census Bureau announced Asians were the nation's fastest-growing race or ethnic group in 2012. Their population rose by 530,000, or 2.9 percent, in the preceding year, to 18.9 million, according to Census Bureau annual population estimates. More than 60 percent of this growth in the Asian population came from international migration.
Partnership Programs Make College a Reality for First-Generation Students
June 13, 2013
As the United States seeks to boost the number of its young citizens with a college degree, programs such as Rutgers Future Scholars (RFS) will play an increasingly important role in fostering diversity on campus, a number of higher education leaders say.
Income-Based Diversity Lags at Some Universities
June 7, 2013
Opponents of race-based affirmative action in college admissions urge that colleges use a different tool to encourage diversity: giving a leg up to poor students. But many educators see real limits to how eager colleges are to enroll more poor students, no matter how qualified — and the reason is money.
Minnesota Legalizes Same-sex Marriage
May 15, 2013
Come August 1, same-sex couples will be able to get legally married in Minnesota. Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill Tuesday to make Minnesota the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriages. The bill legalizes civil marriages between two persons and provides exemptions based on religious association
Policy Suggestions for Combating the Asian American Model Minority
May 13, 2013
Part one of this series reviewed what five decades of research does and does not tell us about the model minority stereotype (MMS). We learned that Asian Americans were intentionally selected to be model minorities and that the positive stereotype is not positive since it masks the mental health and social difficulties this heterogeneous population experience. This final installment shares five policy recommendations that professors, administrators, policy makers, and student service providers may find useful in their fields of influence.
Rising Trend of Births Outside Marriage
April 23, 2013
by Carl Haub (April 2013) An important indication of changing attitudes toward family formation is the rapidly rising trend of births outside of marriage. Back in 1960, births outside of marriage were virtually unheard of and were often kept as secret as possible. Fifty years ago, people were expected to marry first and then start a family. Future grandparents often grew impatient waiting for that first grandchild. Times have certainly changed. In many countries today, nonmarital childbearing has become routine. The pressure seems to be off, as the younger generation lives differently than earlier generations.
U.S. STEM Workforce Aging, but Younger Than Total Labor Force
April 23, 2013
by Diana Lavery (April 2013) The U.S. population and its labor force are growing older, but according to PRB's analysis of American Community Survey data, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) labor force is faring better than the total U.S. labor force with respect to age structure.1 The percent of workers ages 55 and older has been higher in the total labor force than in the STEM labor force for at least two decades.
Women in science: Women’s work
April 9, 2013
A special section of Nature finds that there is still much to do to achieve gender equality in science. Science remains institutionally sexist. Despite some progress, women scientists are still paid less, promoted less,win fewer grants and are more likely to leave research than similarly qualified men. In this special issue, Nature takes a hard look at the gender gap and at what is being done to close it.
Supreme Court Takes New Case on Affirmative Action, From Michigan
March 27, 2013
The Supreme Court on Monday added a new affirmative action case to its docket. It is already considering a major challenge to the University of Texas’ race-conscious admissions program. The new case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, No. 12-682, concerns a voter initiative in Michigan that banned racial preferences in admissions to the state’s public universities. In November, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, ruled that the initiative, which amended the State Constitution, violated the federal Constitution’s equal protection clause.
Better Colleges Failing to Lure Talented Poor
March 18, 2013
Most low income students who have top test scores and grades do not even apply to the nation's best colleges, according to a new analysis of every high school student who took the SAT in a recent year. The pattern contributes to a widening economic inequality and low levels of mobility in this country, economists say, because college graduate earn so much more on average than nongraduates do.
Study: Female Science Professors Underrepresented on Corporate Scientific Advisory Boards
March 18, 2013
Research universities can play a proactive role in reducing the discrimination female professors confront in commercial science activities from starting new firms to serving on corporate scientific advisory boards, a forthcoming study on female underepresentation on corporate scientific advisory boards (SABs) contends.
Obama Signs Violence Against Women Act
March 13, 2013
President Barack Obama signed expanded protections for domestic violence victims into law Thursday, renewing a measure credited with curbing attacks against women a year and a half after it lapsed amid partisan bickering
Diverse Conversations: Supporting Underserved Populations in Higher Education
February 14, 2013
The field of higher education has changed completely in the past couple of decades. Unlike before, when only a few talented and intelligent students went on to get a college education, now it has become a necessity, as the jobs available in the new economy require more than just a high school diploma. Because of this, American institutions of higher learning are experiencing an influx of students that may not have been part of the college scene as early as a decade ago. Recently, I sat down with Dr. Stella M. Flores, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Vanderbilt University, to discuss how institutions of higher learning can better support underserved populations
Census Bureau Releases Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation that Provides a Profile of America's Workforce
February 12, 2013
The U.S. Census Bureau released the 2006-2010 American Community Survey Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation. The tabulation consists of 107 tables about the labor force crossed by sex, race and ethnicity. The U.S. Census Bureau has produced this tabulation after every decennial census since the 1970s. However, for the first time, this tabulation uses American Community Survey (2006-2010) estimates.
Report: National Pool of High School Graduates to Shrink, Grow More Diverse
January 18, 2013
With a predicted decline in the number of U.S. students attending and completing high school over the next several years, the nation's colleges and universities can expect to recruit among a smaller yet a decidedly more diverse pool of students, according to a new report.