Highlights from Higher Ed: Transfer Students and Micro-internships

Food insecurity and college completion

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office shows that there are millions of college students who are, or at risk of being, food insecure. And while some of them may qualify for SNAP benefits, most of them don’t know they could. The federal government spends billions on education, but there are students who can’t afford to eat while attending college. A compilation of studies showed that more than 30% of students are food insecure. And while several campuses have begun food pantries for these students, it’s a problem that requires a much bigger response. If students can’t afford to eat, they likely won’t complete their educations.

Source: The Atlantic

Competitive colleges lacking in transfer students

Almost half of college students start their education at a community college — some to minimize the student loan amount that they will owe — but transferring to a competitive four-year college is becoming increasingly difficult. A new report from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation found that the more competitive the colleges are, the less likely they are admitting community college transfer students. Only about 5% of students who enroll at competitive colleges started at community colleges, which means those institutions are missing out on this diverse student population.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Micro-internships growing in popularity

Internships are a crucial part of job preparedness and competitiveness for college graduates, but not all students can move for an unpaid internship or have the network connection necessary to secure one. Institutions like Northeastern, Stanford and Governors State are utilizing a micro-internship program that gives students experience and exposure and allows companies to see a more diverse pool of students they may wish to hire later on. Northeastern calls its program Experience Network (XN) and allows online master’s and professional degree program students to complete six- to eight-week projects for employers. While the internships are unpaid, they often count toward a class requirement or for credit. Formal evaluation of these programs is needed but expected within the next few years.

Source: The Chronicle for Higher Education