Education Corporation of America Closes Remaining Campuses: On Wednesday, Education Corporation of America (ECA), a chain of for-profit colleges, announced it would be closing all of its campuses amidst long standing financial and regulatory problems - the largest closure of for-profit institutions since Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech. The closure will displace approximately 20,000 students across the country and taxpayers will likely be stuck with the cost of canceling the federal student loans of students at ECA’s schools who cannot transfer their credits elsewhere. The Trump Administration, which had been in daily conversations with ECA to help their students find a new institutional home, criticized the move, noting that “[i]nstead of taking the next few months to close in an orderly fashion, ECA took the easy way out.” [Inside Higher Education]
Trump Administration Releases Updated 5-Year Strategic Plan for STEM Education: On Tuesday, the Trump administration released a five-year strategic plan for expanding science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. In the report, the administration calls for providing all Americans with “lifelong access to high-quality STEM education” and emphasizes work-based learning opportunities, digital literacy, and computer science education. The report is a result of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, which created the National Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) that coordinates with other federal agencies to develop and implement a STEM education strategic plan, to be updated every five years. Learn more on our blog.
NAGB Seeks to Measure Soft Skills for Postsecondary Transitions: Last month, Bev Perdue – former Governor of North Carolina and Senior Advisor at Whiteboard Advisors – was sworn in as chair of the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly referred to as the “nation’s report card. During a recent interview, Perdue expressed enthusiasm for working with the board to emphasize the measure of non-academic or “soft skills” for transitions to postsecondary education and the modern workforce, noting “that may become, very likely, the highlight of my tenure as chair.” [Politico Morning Education]