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Highlights from Higher Ed: Black History Month, MBA Outlooks, Vaccinations and Standardized Testing

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Liaison launches new blog series to celebrate Black History Month

Liaison International has launched a new Black History Month weekly blog series to help discuss the unique challenges in higher education faced by Black Americans, and share information about steps we are taking in the service of promoting racial equity. In our first installment we look back at some of the important conversations we learned from in 2020, and voice our commitment to increasing the diversity of our webinar and speaking session panels in 2021. Thank you for joining us in this important endeavor!

Number of undergraduates earning credentials leveled off for the first time in years

The number of new graduates who earned credentials during the 2019-2020 school year — 3.7 million — was unchanged from the previous year. That marks the first time in eight years that growth has stalled, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “A downturn in associate degree and certificate recipients in late spring 2020 accounts for the decrease in first-time graduates, which the Center said is related to the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on community college students… Despite predictions that community college enrollment would jump in a period of economic turmoil, as it did in the last recession, it tumbled this fall by about 10% from the previous year, according to earlier Clearinghouse research.” The number of non-first-time graduates increased 2.7%, and the number of graduates earning a bachelor’s increased approximately 2%.

Source: Higher Ed Dive

Most college students plan to get vaccinated — and support campus vaccine requirements

A majority of recently surveyed undergraduate students said they expect to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can, and approximately 70% supported the idea of mandatory vaccinations for students returning to campus. Students at private universities were slightly more likely to support the requirement. “Students of color are more likely than white students to worry (43% vs. 31%) about the safety of the vaccines… A separate survey showed that students’ worries about the economy have eased since the presidential election. Almost half (48%) of students now say they are very concerned about COVID’s impact on the American job market, compared to 55% who said so in October.”

Source: University Business

Male and female MBA hopefuls have different — and similar — views of entrepreneurship

The overwhelming majority (85%) of MBA applicants and students surveyed between late 2019 and mid-2020 said they are considering entrepreneurship as a career path, although men were more likely than women to have those plans (88% vs. 80%). While most women said they would prefer to start at an “early stage venture,” most men expressed a desire to be a co-founder. They agree, however, that they are least likely to launch their entrepreneurial career by establishing a company based on an idea they already have. “When asked about the data sources they valued most, MBAs put traditional forms of education lower on the list. For example, entrepreneurship clubs, professors and classroom educational programs were listed as the three-lowest data sources MBAs most valued. On the other hand, entrepreneurs whom students have met were by far the most important data sources for current and future MBAs. Following the entrepreneurs students had met were mentors, websites and publications.”

Source: Poets & Quants