A new push for apprenticeships looks to address the skills gap in the U.S.

THIS WEEK'S MUST-READ STORIES

A new push for apprenticeships looks to address the skills gap in the U.S.
U.S. President Donald Trump took an important step toward addressing the skills gap, signing the executive order ‘Expanding Apprenticeships in America’ in order to promote affordable education and rewarding jobs. “Apprenticeships place students into great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees,” Mr. Trump said. “Instead apprentices earn while they learn.”

The universities that academics believe excel in teaching and research
Between January and March 2017, a selection of experienced scholars were surveyed about their views on the standards of teaching and research in their disciplines and in Higher Ed institutions. The responses were used to determined which universities were considered the most prestigious. The latest edition of Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2017 rank the universities that academics believe excel in teaching and research.

University of Michigan will offer free tuition for low-income families
The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor will guarantee free tuition for all in-state students with an annual family income of $65,000 or less. The program, “Go Blue Guarantee", will launch in January 2018. While many cheered the announcement, some higher-education experts reacted with skepticism. 

Report suggests that MOOCs might get similar learning outcomes as on-campus courses
With the goal of providing flexibility and reduce stress, MIT allowed students to complete an edX version of its Circuits and Electronics class. An analysis of course data found that the online class was not harder or easier than the on-campus one, and student performance was similar in both versions. 

Report: How alternative pathways programs could accelerate employment for low-income adults
A new paper highlights how innovative education-to-employment programs can accelerate employment prospects for low-income adults. The report by Tyton Partners and The James Irvine Foundation, "Path to Employment: Maximizing the Impact of Alternative Pathways Programs," examines how Alternative Pathways Programs can prepare participants for validated, in-demand workforce opportunities.  

Is Facebook testing an online learning platform?
A group of managers of Facebook groups that are listed as a class reported to have recently noticed a few updates in their group pages. The feature is an “Add a course unit” option where they can upload courses and also track student progress.

Competency-Based Education Network opens its membership
The Competency-Based Education Network announced that it is opening its membership to all in higher education who are committed to working collaboratively to advance the design and build of high-quality competency-based education. 

The University of Michigan will use machine learning to score writing tests
A digital tool created by the University of Michigan will use machine learning to score a student’s writing submissions. The goal is to ease the workload of teachers, who often have to asses hundreds of essays. 

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invests $5M to help more educators buy homes
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced is investing $5 million to help teachers buy homes in the Redwood City, Ravenswood City, and Sequoia Union High School districts in California, districts which face some of the highest housing costs in the United States. 
 

WHAT WE ARE READING