Just like that and another decade has passed. Welcome to 2020! This past year has brought extraordinary change to the higher education world, from the college admissions scandal to the recognition of extreme poverty amongst community college students. While 2019 brought a lot of change, it also made room for continued improvement in subject areas such as equality and college completion rates. We can’t wait to see what the new decade will bring in higher education and marketing.
The college admissions scandal was one of the biggest stories to break in 2019, as it influenced the nation to question everything they have known about higher education. Parents had been charged for allegedly paying a consultant to fabricate the academic and athletic records of their children to help their chances of admission into prestigious universities. The stories of these families and the extent to which each of these parents went to ensure their child’s acceptance into these schools evolved over the last year, and some cases are still being fought today.
The news of the SAT/ACT being removed as a college requirement came as a surprise to some but was long overdue for others. A record number of colleges are no longer requiring applicants to have taken the SAT or ACT test. Research has shown that ACT and SAT scores have been linked to characteristics such as race, mother’s education level, and family income. In the last year, the gap between demographic groups has grown, with most historically deprived students falling short of those who are more privileged.
While there are many factors that influence student achievement, a study by The Educational Opportunity Project discovered that poverty has a higher impact than race on U.S. achievement gaps. This study concludes that students of color tend to be concentrated in high-poverty schools, which have very little resources and teachers with less experience. Food insecurity also plays a factor in a student’s success. For example, a student who goes to school hungry and leaves hungry will have a harder time competing with a student who doesn’t have to worry about food.
A small organization known as Project Change is giving kids in juvenile detention another shot at a great education. Graduating from high school, or earning some credit towards graduation, is usually the best-case scenario for some inmates. At the juvenile hall in San Mateo, children can take college courses taught by local community college professors, all of which are provided by Project Change. Read more about the effect this organization has had on this community and the lives of the young people in San Mateo.
Community college has endured a stigma for longer than most can remember. The truth is this stigma is not grounded in reality. Sharing positive stories about community colleges and their students is no longer enough. This led Steve Robinson to start the campaign #EndCCStigma.
One of the biggest marketing trends that was recognized in 2019 was that people no longer want to buy with just their minds, but with their hearts, too. Companies that have a marketing strategy and a brand that aligns with a social mission lead consumers more than those that do not. This tactic greatly applies to community college marketing, as students are not only making their choice about college with their heads but also their hearts. This method is a progressive move forward for students, faculty, and staff, as it increases morale and grows a productive work culture.
This last year, the House Democrats rolled out a plan to reauthorize the main federal law for higher education. In this lengthy 1,165-page plan, there are many proposals, new and old, and higher education experts were unsure if the legislation is doing too much or not enough. This piece was a great breakdown of what experts believe are the best parts worth advancing or re-examining.
8. Completion Rates Rising, Slowly
A report from the National Student Clearinghouse stated that college completion rates were on the rise in 2019. The completion rate for adult learners rose by more than 2%, while traditional-age students saw an increase of just 1.2%. While the rising completion rate is positive, many are worried about the slow pace. See what colleges and college professionals are doing throughout the U.S. to influence student success and college completion.
Sometimes all of the best marketing tips and tricks can get a little bit muddled, confusing marketers as to what are the best practices. Learn about some of the things experts have said are the best practices this year, and some of the worst, in this informative article from Entrepreneur.
10. Ending DACA Could Leave College Students Scrambling for a Way to Continue Their Education
The potential end of the DACA program has some community college students fearing that they will not be able to continue their education. While ending the program might not affect a student’s ability to remain in the country, it would disrupt the education of millions of students. Read about how the decision to end the DACA program will affect all Dreamers and the rest of the nation.