Latest News

October 15, 2018

As a judge gets ready to hear the evidence, defenders and critics of affirmative action eye the broader audience and politics of the dispute. The images above both circulated widely on social media Sunday afternoon, documenting rallies -- one in Cambridge and one in Boston -- about the trial officially starting today on whether Harvard University discriminates against Asian American applicants.

October 10, 2018

Are we thinking about gender diversity in the sciences all wrong, or at least too simply? New paper proposes a multipronged approach to thinking about and encouraging this diversity, for the benefit of science as a whole.

October 4, 2018

From kindergarten to 5th grade, I went to P.S. 272, a large public elementary school in Canarsie, Brooklyn. I was way ahead of most of my class academically. While the other students completed worksheets, I braided my teacher’s hair, made copies and ran errands. At recess, they stuck us in an empty lot and we entertained ourselves with schoolyard fights. PE meant sitting in the gymnasium for 45 minutes because the teacher didn’t feel like teaching. Science class was cramming too many students into a small room to watch Bill Nye the Science Guy.

October 1, 2018

For a few weeks, a Christian university allowed romance without sex for gay and lesbian couples. But the Board of Trustees says it never approved the change and restored the ban.

September 18, 2018

Author discusses new book on what it means to be Latino at three distinctly different institutions: a liberal arts college, a research university and a regional public university. For two years, Daisy Verduzco Reyes, an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut, sat quietly in the background during Latino student organization meetings at three different colleges. She listened to determine how students thought and talked about what it meant to be Latino and paid attention to what was discussed, what kinds of events were planned and whether or not the group was political.

September 18, 2018

Incident at UMass is the latest in which the police are called on nonwhite people on campus, doing nothing wrong at all. On Friday morning, the tip line at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst received an anonymous call: "A gentleman, African American, bald, red/white pinstripe shirt, dark khakis, large duffel bag on the right shoulder, hanging off a strap, very heavy hanging on the ground, seemed very agitated, walking up the ramp, into Whitmore [a campus building]. I thought I would send that information if someone could go and check, because he seemed like a very upset young man walking into that building."

September 18, 2018

Having female peers -- even just a few of them -- can increase a woman’s odds of making it through her Ph.D. program in the natural sciences, technology, engineering or math, says a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

September 14, 2018

As conversations continue about the benefits and challenges surrounding free college programs throughout the nation, institutions, states and the federal government have an opportunity to improve college affordability and move towards equitable free college programs, according to education policy experts and college completion leaders featured on “The State of Free College” panel hosted by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP).

August 31, 2018

The death by suicide of a 9-year-old Colorado fourth grader underscores the challenges surrounding youth mental health — particularly the risks LGBTQ kids face. Jamel Myles was found dead of suicide just days after his mom said he came out as gay to his classmates, the Denver Post reports. Myles, who had come out to his family over the summer, reportedly faced significant bullying from his classmates as he began the new school year.

August 28, 2018

American colleges struggle with racial tensions every year. Some white students -- in incidents that attract widespread attention or in everyday interactions with their minority peers -- convey a lack of understanding about race. A new book, White Kids: Growing Up With Privilege in a Racially Divided America (New York University Press), explores how wealthy white children develop their ideas about race. The author, Margaret A. Hagerman, assistant professor of sociology at Mississippi State University, took a qualitative approach, following young white people as they grew up. She answered questions via email about the book and how her findings relate to current tensions at colleges.

August 24, 2018

“Increased domestic and global access to higher education,” writes Amy Lee in her 2017 book Teaching Interculturally: A Framework for Integrating Disciplinary Knowledge and Intercultural Development, has resulted in having “multiple diversities in any given classroom or academic program.” Lee and her colleagues argue for developing an intercultural pedagogy to help us teach, respect, and value the contributions of all our international and domestic students: “we need intentionally developed pedagogical practices to engage diverse students effectively and respectfully within our classrooms.” This got me thinking: how prepared are faculty to help international students succeed?

August 15, 2018

As a White graduate of a historically Black college, Norton is somewhat unusual – but a lot less unusual as time passes. She’s an example of the growing ethnic diversity on the campuses of the nation’s 100-plus degree-granting historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). While the presence of White, Latino and Asian students at these schools is not a new phenomenon, they are attending HBCUs in increasing numbers, representing a growing proportion of the student body.

June 27, 2018

Last summer, we implemented gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. The request for gender-neutral bathrooms had come from a student club that presented the administration with a letter of support, rather than a petition, with signatures from supporters across campus. They were intentional about not presenting a petition which, as they explained, would have set an adversarial tone. The leadership of the club also wanted to meet with me to explain why they wanted to add some gender-neutral options for the bathrooms on campus and expressed that the college was a haven for them.

June 22, 2018

Pennsylvanians are getting older and more diverse according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 State and County Detailed Population Estimates released today. The release features age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin data down to the county level and allows state and county agencies to better understand their changing populations.

June 5, 2018

Education provides a gateway for opportunity. Those who have access to a better education have better chances for success. While the U.S. education system may position itself as a meritocracy in which those who work hard in a fair system can succeed, in reality the deck is stacked against low-income students and students of color, who do not even have access to advanced courses that will prepare them for college.

May 30, 2018

Four individuals have received the 2018 Dr. William Henson Diversity Achievement Award from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, an honor that recognizes distinctive and outstanding teaching, research, extension or creative work that advances diversity in the college. This year's recipients are Jenneth Layaou, director of campus enrollment and retention in the Office for Undergraduate Education; Tara Baugher, Penn State Extension tree-fruit educator; Paige Castellanos, assistant research professor in the Office of International Programs; and Cecil Shelton, doctoral student in agricultural and extension education.

May 24, 2018

Most institutions say they value teaching. But how they assess it tells a different story. University of Southern California has stopped using student evaluations of teaching in promotion decisions in favor of peer-review model. Oregon seeks to end quantitative evaluations of teaching for holistic model. Research is reviewed in a rigorous manner, by expert peers. Yet teaching is often reviewed only or mostly by pedagogical non-experts: students. There’s also mounting evidence of bias in student evaluations of teaching, or SETs -- against female and minority instructors in particular. And teacher ratings aren’t necessarily correlated with learning outcomes.

May 24, 2018

The U.S. Education Department is investigating whether Yale University discriminates against men, stemming from an unusual complaint from a doctoral student completely unaffiliated with institution. The Office for Civil Rights’ investigation into whether the university violated the federal gender discrimination law, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, began last month. Generally, the bulk of these complaints deal with institutions mishandling sexual assault cases or athletics issues, but not so with the complaint filed by Kursat Christoff Pekgoz, a doctoral student at the University of Southern California.

May 8, 2018

The “Let’s Talk!” conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) recently convened Pan-Asian college students, supporters and other educational leaders for a day-long forum addressing the success and well-being of Asian and Asian American college students across the country. Dr. Josephine Kim Now in its third year, the conference — created as a passion project by Dr. Josephine M. Kim, a faculty member at HGSE and licensed mental health counselor, and Marina Lee, executive director of Cogita Education Initiatives — has grown to address the direct mental health needs of Asian and Asian American students as they navigate their higher education journeys.

May 7, 2018

The term “microaggression” was coined in 1970 to name relatively slight, subtle, and often unintentional offenses that cause harm (Pierce, 1970). Since then, a substantial body of research on microaggressions has demonstrated their prevalence and harmful effects (Boysen, 2012; Solorzan, et. al., 2010; Suárez-Orozco, et. al., 2015; Sue, 2010). Whether an observer, the target, or the unintentional perpetrator of microaggressions, faculty often don’t know how to respond to them in the moment.