Highlights from Higher Ed: Where Have All the Men Gone?, Education is Big Business, Community Colleges Cancel $17 Million in Student Debt, CCs Preparing Students for STEM Jobs

RJ Nichol
Jul 30, 2021

Where Have All the Men Gone?

The decline in male enrollment shows no signs of lessening, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. This spring, 400,000 fewer males enrolled in college than in the spring of 2020, a drop nearly double that for females (203,000). Last fall male undergraduate enrollment fell by nearly 7 percent, nearly three times as much as female enrollment. The decline was the steepest — and the gender gap the largest — among students of color attending community colleges. Black and Hispanic male enrollment at public two-year colleges plummeted by 19.2 and 16.6 percent, respectively. Enrollment drops among Asian men were about eight times as great as declines in Asian women. For colleges, declining male enrollment means less revenue and less viewpoint diversity in the classroom. For the economy, it means fewer workers to fill an increasing number of jobs that require at least some college education, and a future in which the workforce is divided ever more along gender lines.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Education is Big Business — $1.96 Trillion Big

A new forecast from values the business of education in the United States at $1.96 trillion by the year 2025. The total includes K–12, higher education, corporate training/e-learning and child care. Higher education trends driving the market included: “increasing demand for skilled labor, international demand for US education, rising blended learning, increasing education funding and greater use of technology in [the] education sector.” The $1.97 trillion figure anticipates a compound annual growth rate of 3.77 percent, starting with $1.57 trillion in 2019.

Source: Campus Technology

Community Colleges Cancel $17 Million in Student Debt

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) is among the first community colleges to cancel student debt (compared with students at four-year colleges). CSCU’s cancellation of $17 million in student debt will impact 18,161 current and former students. The institution paid for debt forgiveness with funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, a federal grant program that helps colleges and universities to discharge student debt due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Community College students have been hit especially hard by COVID-19,” CSCU President Terrence Cheng said. “By eliminating the debt those students owe to institutions, we are removing a hurdle that prevents far too many people from continuing their educational journeys. Our message to students is simple: you now have a clean slate, so if an account balance was standing in your way, you can now register for classes for the fall semester.”

Source: Forbes

Community Colleges Preparing Students for STEM Jobs

Community Colleges are also becoming increasingly a first-choice option, both for students coming right out of high school, and those who have been out for some time — and in many cases, for students who are still enrolled in high school, thanks to the growing popularity of dual-enrollment programs. Much of the emphasis in Community College is and has always been around helping to prepare students for jobs. And from Texas to Maryland and around the country, more and more of those jobs are in STEM fields. George Twaddle, an assistant professor of life sciences and chair for Biotechnology at Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend, Indiana, is proud of the way his students have embraced research at the two-year level. Ivy Tech students have won notoriety for their performances in national academic competitions, beating out students from top STEM institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale and Cambridge for top honors.

Source: Diverse Issues in Education

RJ Nichol

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