Highlights from Higher Ed: Snapchat, Foster Kids, and Disability “Red Flags”

RJ Nichol
May 15, 2019

Working with corporate education partners

In an effort to expand its online offerings, Purdue University has teamed up with Eli Lilly and Cisco Systems to offer courses for employees of those companies who work in information technology and sales, respectively. Now Purdue will be able to reach a wider range of students, both online and on campus. Partnerships between industry and colleges offer benefits including a link to the local business community, as institutions such as Arizona State University and the National University System have seen.
Source: Education Dive 

Snapchat for admissions marketing?

Snapchat added four million new users in the first quarter of 2019, pushing the number of its daily users to 190 million. The multimedia messaging app now reaches 75% of all U.S. residents aged 13 to 34. Because this group includes most prospective undergraduate and graduate students, admissions officials may want to consider increasing their Snapchat presence. Institutions eager to boost international enrollment should also take note of Snapchat’s growth: more than half of the app’s daily users are located outside of North America.

Source: DigiDay

Disability a disqualifier?

While colleges aren’t allowed to ask applicants whether they have disabilities, there are concerns that students who disclose them on applications may be “red flagged” and subsequently rejected. According to published reports, applications to New College of Florida that included admissions essays about applicants’ experiences with mental health issues were automatically flagged for an additional review, even though the applicants otherwise qualified for admission. Some of those applicants were subsequently rejected. The college has said the additional reviews were simply part of its holistic admissions process. The lesson? Although it is illegal to discriminate against students with disabilities, discussing them in admissions essays could have unintended consequences.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Helping foster children make it to college

Foster children typically age out of the system right about the time their peers are enrolling or enrolled in college. As a result of aging out, their financial support systems can disappear overnight. At the same time, foster children may also lack basic life skills and may not trust institutional systems. Yet programs specifically designed to give such students a leg up do exist. For example, Great Expectations, in Virginia, has been working with community colleges over the last decade to encourage foster children to enroll in college. It now has programs in place at more than 20 schools.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

RJ Nichol

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