Professional, Continuing, and Online Education News

See below for a listing of curated news articles of the day brought to you by Ray Schroeder, Director of the National Council for Online Education. 

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  • EdX: From MicroMasters to Online Master’s Degrees - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed
    Six more institutions are following Georgia Tech’s lead and launching affordable online master’s degrees with edX. Online learning provider edX this week took a big step into the online degree space by announcing plans to launch nine low-cost, large-scale, fully online master’s programs from selective institutions. The nonprofit company, one of the early providers of massive open […]
  • Online course can help boost business savvy - Sandy Nelson, Las Cruces Sun
    Not everyone has the resources to go to college for an MBA, but anyone with an internet connection and some self-discipline can learn business basics through the DreamBuilder program offered by the nonprofit small-business development and training organization WESST. DreamBuilder targets women who want to start their own businesses or need additional support to increase profitability. […]
  • Walmart grants $4M to support workforce education - Corinne Ruff, Retail Dive
    Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are giving $4 million in grants to three organizations working to increase workforce training, according to a company press release. Walmart is also expanding its education benefit, announced in May, to U.S. e-commerce associates. The funding, announced Wednesday, is part of the company's five-year Retail Opportunity Initiative, which is a $100 […]
  • Report: Students Prefer Courses that Use Open Educational Resources - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
    Students like courses that use open education resources over their typical classes. In a recent research project, most (61 percent) reported that they experienced a boost in their learning experience; 59 percent said the quality of the instructional materials was better; 57 percent considered the caliber of teaching higher; and 54 percent claimed a stronger […]
  • Online education platforms offer agility for universities, students - Wyatt Kash, EdScoop
    “Universities are recognizing that their engagement with students needs to happen early and continue after graduation. That’s just reflecting the reality of the workplace today,” Nina Huntemann, the director of academics and research at edX says. It also reflects the growing diversity of prospective, current and returning students who need different skills and credentials. “What online education […]
  • EdX addresses tech skills gap with online master's degrees under $10K - Macy Bayern, Tech Republic, founded by Harvard and MIT, has launched a series of new online Master's degree programs in desirable fields like analytics, computer science, and cybersecurity, according to a Thursday press release. The programs are offered by top-ranked, high quality universities often at a low cost, added the release. The online Master's program from EdX was launched […]
  • Next for SNHU: Game-Based Learning and Digital Badges for Middle Schoolers - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed
    The nonprofit university, which has one of the largest online enrollments in the country, announced today that it is acquiring the nonprofit LRNG -- a Chicago-based organization that helps young people find job opportunities by encouraging them to acquire digital badges on its game-based learning platform.  With LRNG, Southern New Hampshire plan to launch physical community-based […]
  • Students can trade personal data for coffee at this cafe - Hallie Busta, Education Dive
    College students may be strapped for cash, but they have plenty of personal data to offer. Shiru, a Japan-based cafe chain, is betting they're willing to share that data for free coffee, Inside Higher Ed reported. Shiru cafes look and act like regular coffee shops. But instead of money in exchange for a beverage, they require […]
  • Survey of College Leaders Affirms Previous Reports, Uncovers Mismatches in Some Online Programs, Student Services - Business Insider
    The Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) and Learning House released the findings of the Online Learning in Continuing Higher Education report. Key findings include: Disconnect between institutions offering online computer science and high student demand for these programs Continuing Education (CE) units still play a significant role in online learning on their respective campuses […]
  • How campuses can play better defense against expanding cyberthreats - Russell Schrader, Education Dive
    Russell Schrader, executive director of the nonprofit National Cyber Security Alliance, shares ways institutions can keep information, and the means of exchanging it, secure: "The biggest challenge is knowing what you have and who is accessing it — data integrity. The idea is that when you put data in, it stays exactly the same while you're […]
  • Online classes are as good as in-person classes - TAYLOR NEWMAN, Daily Texan
    We’ve all heard that online classes don’t work — you’re probably going to forget to watch them, zone out from your bed and won’t get direct student-professor engagement. But the reality is, the majority of online classes at UT are designed with this in mind and prove to be more beneficial than disappointing. Online classes yield […]
  • Nearly all states slashed college funding over last decade - James Paterson, Education Dive
    Adjusted for inflation, state funding for higher education has fallen by more than $7 billion since 2008, before the Great Recession caused deep cuts in spending on public two- and four-year colleges, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).  While state revenues have largely returned to pre-recession levels, higher […]
  • What Does a Future Ready University Administrator Look Like? - Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate
    First, the key characteristic of the future ready university administrator is that he or she is always improving their practice by incorporating the latest edtech and other tools to maximize student engagement and learning. An easy way to do this is to follow the official future ready account on Twitter. But regardless of the method chosen, […]
  • Here’s how to build a student-centered university - LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News
    A strategy known as segmentation could help campuses better serve diverse groups of students. Higher-ed leaders have to change the lens through which they view students if they hope to create learner-centered universities–and part of that change starts with segmentation. Student segmentation involves using survey results and data to “segment” students in order to build […]
  • Ivy Tech CC Rolls out Interactive, Adaptive Digital Biology Course - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
    Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana recently announced it will use BioBeyond as the standard course for all of its online introductory biology courses. The college, which has more than 40 campus locations serving nearly 71,000 students, piloted the digital biology course over the summer, and now plans to use it in 37 online sections. BioBeyond […]
  • Securing Democracy With Blockchain - Scott Foreman, Udacity
    Nimit Sawhney’s company Voatz is pioneering the use of blockchain technology to help overseas military personnel vote securely in West Virginia.  Sawhney says:  "It’s incumbent upon us to keep evolving, keep learning, and keep enhancing our concept for democracy. That’s a strong driver for us. Regardless of your political affiliation, if more people vote, if […]
  • MIT Announces Plan for $1B Effort on Computing, AI - Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Monday morning announced a $1 billion plan to create a new college of computing within MIT, and to promote teaching and research on computing and artificial intelligence. MIT's announcement says the effort "marks the single largest investment in computing and AI by an American academic institution, and will help position […]
  • The Department of Education’s Plans for Overhauling Accrediting and Innovation Regulations - Cheryl Dowd and Russ Poulin, WCET Frontiers
    On Friday, October 13, the U.S. Department of Education published the unofficial version of its plan to establish an “Accreditation and Innovation” negotiated rule making committee. The final version should be published in the Federal Register today and includes the call for nominations to serve on the committee and three subcommittees. Quite simply, these discussions may result […]
  • Falling Confidence in Higher Ed - Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
    Just under half (48 percent) of American adults have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in higher education, according to an analysis released by Gallup. That figure is down from 57 percent in 2015 and represents a larger than typical decline in confidence in an American institution in a relatively short time period, […]
  • Why is Student Debt Rising? Look at Your State’s Budget for Answers - Steve Dubb, Non-Profit Quarterly
    The nation’s student loan debt in 2001 was $340 billion. Today, it is $1.53 trillion. Since 2008 alone, reports Michelle Singletary in the Washington Post, the increase in debt load has been 130 percent. “Fifty-seven percent of young adults said they felt burdened by their student loans,” Singletary adds. Rising private tuition costs are frequently […]

News from UPCEA: 

The Seven Deadly Sins Of Digital Badging In Education (Forbes)

An academic institution’s digital badging initiative is getting off the ground and students are “earning” badges, or micro-credentials, but are they actually providing value to the student toward his or her future career? Many academic institutions are going through this evolution process in deciding to certify...


Education Department Announces Substantial Rule-Making Session

The Department of Education has announced a negotiated rulemaking committee to prepare regulations for a wide-range of issues pertinent to UPCEA member institutions. The extremely wide range of topics to be discussed include, but is not limited to: State authorization Regular and substantive interaction Definition...


ED Announces Plan to End Gainful Employment Rule

The Department of Education through Secretary Betsy DeVos plans to end the regulations which required for-profit and vocational schools to provide “gainful employment” to the students that move through their programs. The regulation was one of the defining for-profit student consumer safeguards put into place...