Student Enrollment Declines Across California’s Community College System

According to EdSource, student enrollment within California’s community college system has declined this fall — systemwide. Some campuses have even reported in double-digit losses.

Though it is the nation’s largest college system, the circumstances have been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, significant job loss, remote school/work as well as historic wildfires.

“This is an issue that we’re paying very close attention to, that we’re very concerned about, particularly as it relates to any loss of enrollment for our most vulnerable student populations,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley during a Board of Governors meeting Monday.

According to Oakley, more data will be available by November, but to date, it is probable to see a 5-7% decrease thus far.

This data includes both part-time and full-time students.

Though community college enrollment typically increases amid an economic recession, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had the opposite effect. In fact, it may reflect students’ reluctance or inability to participate in online instruction, said Michelle Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, a California-based advocacy organization.

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NACAC Kicks Off 2020 Virtual Conference

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) began its three-day conference Tuesday — this year’s conference, for the first time, is virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and will conclude on Sept. 24.

The 2020 NACAC Virtual Conference kicked off with introductory remarks from Dr. Angel B. Pérez, NACAC CEO. In his speech, Pérez displayed demographic surveys of NACAC members before issuing a call to action.

Dr. Angel B. Pérez

“I’d like each of you to reach out to at least one person, who represents a sector of our membership, that you feel is underrepresented,” Pérez said. “If we are to create the inclusive association of the future, we must do it together. And we must ensure that the voices that are least represented become more central to our work.”

Pérez discussed a listening tour he had conducted and the recommendations of a taskforce that Dr. Jayne Fonash, NACAC’s former president, created after last year’s conference. The group had been tasked to direct NACAC’s future, tackling questions such as “What does the future of accessible, inclusive, equitable and affordable post-secondary education look like?” and “What does NACAC need to change in order to make that a reality?”

The “Super Session” for Tuesday — moderated by Crystal Newby, senior associate director of education and training at NACAC — featured Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and Antiracist Baby. Kendi is also the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research.

Newby discussed various topics with Kendi, including what it means to be “anti-racist,” affirmative action and the root of racism — which Kendi explained was self-interest.

He also explained how today’s standardized tests we

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Selection Committee to Pick New Temple University President Draws Criticism

A committee of 18 people is leading the search for Temple University’s new president. But a group of faculty, elected officials and residents worry that the committee, mostly comprised of White men, won’t make a culturally competent choice, reports WHYY

As it stands, the search committee to replace Dr. Richard Englert, who announced plans to retire next year, includes two Black men, one Latino man, two White women and 11 White men, who are all members of the Board of Trustees.

The absence of a Black woman or neighborhood resident on the committee drew fierce backlash from the group.

“Representation matters,” said Steve Newman with the Temple Association of University Professionals. “If the room where it happens lacks diversity, then the decisions that get made there will not be informed by the invaluable experience of these groups and the hard-earned wisdom that comes with them.”

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Nearly 160 Providence College Students Test Positive for COVID-19

Nearly 160 students at Providence College have tested positive for the coronavirus, a school spokesman said Monday, reported.

Student testing over the weekend confirmed 34 new cases, spokesman Steven Maurano said, adding that no students have been hospitalized.

Last week, the president of Providence College, which has approximately 4,800 students, announced that the school “would switch to remote-only learning for at least two weeks after more than 120 students, most of whom live off campus, tested positive in three days.”

The outbreak is under investigation by the Rhode Island Department of Health.

“We are at a stage of community transmission of the virus, meaning that it can be very difficult to definitively say how someone got sick, or how an outbreak started,” department spokesman Joseph Wendelken told The Boston Globe.

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