REPORT: Expanding College Opportunity by Advancing Diversity and Inclusion

The U.S. Department of Education today released a report, “Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education,” building on the Administration’s efforts to expand college opportunity for all. It presents key data that show the continuing educational inequities and opportunity gaps for students of color and low-income students and highlights promising practices that many colleges are taking to advance success for students of all backgrounds.

More than ever before, today’s students need to be prepared to succeed in a diverse, global workforce. Diversity benefits communities, schools, and students from all backgrounds, and research has shown that more diverse organizations make better decisions with better results. CEOs, university presidents, the military, and other leaders have accordingly expressed a strong interest in increasing diversity to ensure our nation enjoys a culturally competent workforce that capitalizes on the diverse backgrounds, talents, and perspectives that have helped America succeed.

Full story of Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education at ed.gov

Citing Prison Inmate Literacy Study, King Calls for More High-Quality Education Programs in Correctional Facilities

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. today called for more high-quality education programs within correctional facilities – especially, since nearly all of America’s 1.5 million incarcerated individuals will eventually reenter society.

In a dear colleague letter that coincides with a report showing low-literacy skills among the incarcerated, King urged states to make use of expanded resources under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. With help from that law, states can shrink achievement gaps, equip prisoners with skills and credentials to find meaningful employment and support successful reentry.

“In order to reduce recidivism, it is important for these individuals to become productive and contributing members of our society,” King wrote.  “Providing these individuals with opportunity, advancement, and rehabilitation is not only the right thing to do, it also positions our country to remain economically competitive in a global economy.  To foster this reintegration and reduce recidivism, we as a nation must continue to expand and develop correctional education and reentry support programs.”

Full story of higher-quality education programs in correctional facilities at ed.gov

Education Department Releases New Graduate Earnings Data for Career College Programs

Today, for the first time, the U.S. Department of Education released data showing the typical earnings of graduates of the thousands of career training programs offered by colleges across the country. This release continues the Obama Administration’s efforts to help students make more informed decisions about college enrollment and to protect students from career training programs that lead to poor outcomes yet receive taxpayer-funded federal student aid. Today’s release is a major step towards spotlighting the outcomes of students attending career college programs, providing critical information for the more than 1.3 million students currently enrolled as well as prospective students searching for a quality career college opportunity.

“For far too long, some career colleges have made dubious promises about the employment prospects of their graduates, promising high salaries that rarely live up to the hype. Americans who are working hard to get the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the growing economy deserve better, accurate information,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell. “The earnings data released today shine a light on how graduates are actually faring when they enter the job market, and will ensure students don’t make decisions based on too-good-to-be-true promises.”

Full story of new graduate earnings data for college programs at ed.gov

FACT SHEET: New Federal Guidance and Resources to Support Completion and Success in Higher Education

America’s path to progress has long depended on our nation’s colleges and universities—and today, that’s more true than ever, when a college degree is increasingly a ticket to 21st-century careers and a secure middle class life or better,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “Higher education is the gateway to opportunity for all people.”

Editor’s Note: State-by-state data follow in the table below.

Earning a college degree remains one of the most important investments one can make in his or her future. Over the course of a lifetime, the average American with a bachelor’s degree will earn approximately $1 million more than those without any postsecondary education, are more likely to repay their loans successfully, and is also far less likely to face unemployment.  Ensuring all Americans have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the global economy is critical to our nation’s economic competitiveness and success; by 2020, an estimated two-thirds of job openings will require postsecondary education or training.

Full story of new federal guidance to support higher education completion at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Awards $836,000 to 3 States for Asian American Pacific Islander Data Disaggregation Initiative

The U.S. Department of Education announced today $836,000 in grants to Minnesota, Washington state and Hawaii to improve data collection of Asian American Pacific Islander students and to help identify effective practices to close achievement and opportunity gaps through data analysis.

The Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Data Disaggregation Initiative, announced by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. in May 2016, is aimed at better accounting for the diversity in background cultures and languages in the AAPI community, as well as the wide variances in academic performance of those students. The grant program will award up to $1 million per year for five years to states.

Full story of AAPI Data Disaggregation Initiative at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Announces Highest-Rated Applications for the 2016 Investing in Innovation Competition

Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced the 15 highest-rated applications for the 2016 Investing in Innovation (i3) competition, which will award more than $103 million to launch and expand evidence-based practices that support educators and transform students’ academic experiences. These 15 potential grantees—selected from 385 applications—will have to secure matching private sector funds by December 2016 in order to receive federal funding.

“Today’s announcement reflects educators’ deep commitment to students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “Educators are constantly developing new ideas to better assist their students, and i3 empowers educators to develop these approaches into practices that can benefit schools and districts across the country.”

Full story of 2016 Investing in Innovation competition at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Launches $680,000 Challenge for Virtual and Augmented Reality Learning Experiences

The U.S. Department of Education today launched the EdSim Challenge, a $680,000 competition to design the next-generation of educational simulations that strengthen career and technical skills. The Challenge calls upon the virtual reality, video game developer, and educational technology communities to submit concepts for immersive simulations that will prepare students for the globally competitive workforce of the 21st century.

“This initiative is an exciting example of how virtual reality and game technologies can be applied to give students everywhere the tools to prepare for future success,” said Johan Uvin, acting assistant secretary for career, technical, and adult education. “We encourage developers from all disciplines to answer our call and help define the future of applied learning.”

Full story of virtual and augmented reality learning at ed.gov

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. Announces Expansion of School Ambassador Fellows Program to Include School Counselors at White House Reach Higher Convenings

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. announced today that school counselors will have the opportunity to apply for the School Ambassador Fellows program starting with the 2017-18 cohort of ambassadors. The program currently includes the Teaching Ambassador Fellows (TAF) and Principal Ambassador Fellows (PAF). Including the voices of teachers, principals, counselors and other education professionals who do meaningful work with students and other educators each day, will bring important perspectives to discussions of federal policy and programs.

“School counselors fill many roles by helping students work through serious social, emotional, academic and personal challenges, while also guiding them along a path to college and career readiness,” said King. “There was one very important counselor who had a deep impact on me: my mother. She passed when I was just 8 years old, but knowing the critical role she had played in helping students overcome personal and academic challenges has always inspired me. School counselors, like my mother, are an inspiration to students, teachers, parents and community members to enlarge their vision of what is possible and take advantage of educational opportunities.”

Full story of the School Ambassador Fellows program at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Announces Final Regulations to Protect Students and Taxpayers from Predatory Institutions

The U.S. Department of Education today announced final regulations to protect student borrowers against misleading and predatory practices by postsecondary institutions and clarify a process for loan forgiveness in cases of institutional misconduct. These final regulations further cement the Obama Administration’s strong record and steadfast commitment to protecting student loan borrowers, deterring harmful practices by institutions, safeguarding taxpayer dollars and holding institutions accountable for their actions.

“Since taking office, the Obama Administration has worked tirelessly to protect students and taxpayers and crack down on dodgy schools,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr.”Today’s regulations build on that progress by ensuring that students who are lied to and mistreated by their school get the relief they are owed, and that schools that harm students are held responsible for their behavior.”

Full story of regulations to protect students and taxpayers at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Announces Requirements for New Federal Loan Servicing System

The U.S. Department of Education today announced an important step forward in the Obama Administration’s efforts to strengthen the student loan servicing experience for borrowers. Federal Student Aid issued the next phase of its procurement to acquire a single servicing platform to support the management of loan repayment for the more than 30 million Americans with student loan debt serviced by the Department of Education. The solicitation details the specific requirements the selected contractor must fulfill when developing the servicing platform.

“Borrowers deserve access to the right information from their servicers as they make important decisions about managing loan repayment, ultimately paying off their debt and climbing the economic ladder,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.“Today’s announcement builds on our ongoing effort to simplify and improve the borrower experience.”

Full story of new federal loan servicing system at ed.gov