Higher Education

Charles Jacocks, rear, along with his wife Carrie and incoming freshman Ann Grace, right, carry their belongings as college students begin moving in for the fall semester at N.C. State University in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, July 31, 2020.
Gerry Broome / AP

A new study links college reopenings to spikes in COVID-19 cases across the country. The study is co-authored by UNC Greensboro economics professor Martin Andersen, Davidson College education professor Chris Marsicano and others. Marsicano is also the Director of the College Crisis Initiative.

Liz Schlemmer

Despite the pandemic, the UNC System reached record-high enrollment this fall for the third year in a row —  and that's good news for the university system's bottom line.

Overall, the UNC System saw a 1% increase from last year's enrollment.

"In any other year, that might be a completely ordinary bit of news," said UNC System President Peter Hans, "And yet, in this year of unprecedent disruption across our state — across our world — I think that's an extraordinary achievement."

Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

 

Walking through the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s campus, some things feel like a normal fall semester, with familiar sights like student volunteers running a voter registration drive.

Other things look very different.

A photo of a tunnel at the Coker Arboretum in Chapel Hill.
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

A week after students returned for a combination of in-person and online classes, leadership at UNC-Chapel Hill moved to fully online learning in response to a surge of COVID-19 on campus. The positive testing rate among students rose from 2.8% in the week of Aug. 3 to Aug. 9 to 13.6% in the week of Aug. 10 to Aug. 16. 130 positive cases were reported during that period.

Updated at 6:34 p.m. ET

In a swift reversal, the Trump administration has agreed to rescind a directive that would have barred international college students from the U.S. if their colleges offered classes entirely online in the fall semester.

Sign on college campus reading 'International Student Programs' with an arrow pointing to the left. Street with cars in the background.
Bellevue College//Flickr//CC

U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement has issued a new temporary rule banning international students from returning to or remaining in the United States if their colleges move to online-only instruction this fall.

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

North Carolina's community college system president will become the next head of the University of North Carolina's 17-campus system, a UNC governing board member said on Thursday.

StockSnap / Pixabay Creative Commons


Colleges and universities across North Carolina – and across the country – are developing plans and backup plans for how to conduct classes this fall during the coronavirus pandemic. All are weighing safety and health risks with financial realities, and the realities of college life. 

Two African-American students at St. Augustine's University interact in front of a laptop computer.
Courtesy of St. Augustine's University

 

Maria Lumpkin was drawn to St. Augustine's University years ago. She remembers driving into campus for the first time and seeing the historic stone chapel, quarried and built in 1895 by students who were just one generation free from slavery.

Student practices wheel throwing in an East Carolina University ceramics class.
Courtesy of East Carolina University

Teachers and college professors have been given a huge challenge this month -- how to quickly adapt their classes for long-distance learning. North Carolina teachers are getting creative to engage their students.

ThinkStock

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is having broad financial consequences, and college students are not immune to the effects.

The Statue of Minerva on the campus of UNC Greensboro
Courtesy of UNC Greensboro

While colleges and universities across North Carolina move classes online, administrators are also dealing with the complications that come with reducing on-campus operations.

A picture of UNC grad turning their graduation tassle
UNC-Chapel Hill

College seniors across the University of North Carolina System's 16 universities should expect their spring graduation ceremonies to be delayed, UNC System Interim President Bill Roper announced Friday.

"I know and understand that this will disappoint our students and their families who have worked so hard toward this goal for so many years," Roper said. "But the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff must be our top priority."

Laptop computer
Ian Usher / Flickr

University professors across North Carolina are preparing to transition to online classes to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

DeVos speaking at a lecturn.
Gage Skidmore/ Creative Commons

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was forced to cancel nearly $11 million in student loans after a national chain of for-profit colleges experienced accreditation problems and eventually closed several campuses.

Cole del Charco / WUNC

The UNC-Chapel Hill Student Government held a town hall to discuss campus sexual assault, and what's being done to combat it on campus. It was a direct response to a campus-climate survey released last week by the American Association of Universities on sexual assault.

Bennett College, HBCU
Bennett College

Bennett College in Greensboro has embarked on a new campaign to build support and help raise millions of dollars to preserve its accreditation and the future of the school.

St. Augustine's University, HBCU, Higher Education
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh is one of the oldest historically black universities in the country. It was started by the Episcopal Church soon after the end of the Civil War.

The University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill

American universities are designed to educate students while also responding to a public need. The research and innovation that stems from those schools is meant to lift up communities and the nation as a whole.

Courtesy of Deondra Rose

Many people credit the feminist movement with the striking shift in gender dynamics in the United States over the second half of the 20th century. Women earn college degrees at higher rates than men, and they have also made large political and socioeconomic strides. 

UNC System President Margaret Spellings in her office
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

A new report from The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks the country’s highest-paid university officials. A number in North Carolina fell in the top hundred – but officials from most of the state’s historically black colleges and universities were not to be found in their ranks.

Laura Pellicer

Go behind the glass with The State of Things producer Jennifer Brookland, whose picks for best segments of 2017 included conversations on a civil war mystery, an overhaul of higher education, and the efforts of a hustling young entrepreneur.

Host Frank Stasio talks with producer Jennifer Brookland about her favorite interviews she produced this year including conversations with Charlotte teacher Justin Ashley, food company founder Becky Holmes, UNC allergist Scott Commins, biomedical engineer Rachel Lance, ichthyologist Alex Dornburg, education visionary Cathy Davidson and author Shawn Wen. 

Constance 'Connie" Ledoux Book has been introduced as Elon University's ninth president
Elon University

Elon University's Board of Trustees has chosen Constance "Connie" Ledoux Book as the school's next president.

Photo of a ball and chain with "student loans" written on it
thisisbossi / Flickr

A breakdown of education statistics shows racial disparities in student loan debt.

The left-leaning North Carolina Justice Center compiled the report from federal education data, as well as studies from the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute. 

It says black students are more likely to have student debt, and more likely to have higher balances when they graduate. 

NC Justice Center policy advocate Marion Johnson says financial support for assistance like need-based scholarships is not keeping up with demand.

The 2017 election laid bare stark divisions between urban and rural areas of the United States, and North Carolina was no exception. While highly-regarded research universities and the creation of Research Triangle Park helped turn the state’s economy around in the 1950s, they also created an economic and political wedge that continues to grow to this day.

Duke University

University of Pennsylvania Provost Vincent Price will take over as Duke University’s new president on July 1, 2017. Duke’s Board of Trustees made the selection Friday morning.

Price told the Duke community on Friday afternoon that the institution is ready to face a watershed moment for research universities.

Elizabeth City State University

After more than half a decade of declining enrollment at Elizabeth City State University, UNC system leaders are convening a working group to focus on boosting student numbers at the historically black university.

Campbell University
Campbell University

Campbell University opened its doors to two new schools this week, welcoming 96 engineering and 46 nursing students on the first day of classes.

Photo of a ball and chain with "student loans" written on it
thisisbossi / Flickr

Forty-two million people in the United States owe $1.3 trillion in student debt, according to a recent report from Reveal radio program in conjunction with the Center for Investigative Reporting.

In 2014 in North Carolina, 61 percent of students graduating from public and private four-year institutions graduated with loans amounting to an average of $25,000 per individual, according to The Project on Student Debt. The privatization of Sallie Mae and the continued disinvestment in public higher education at the state level contribute to the problem.

The UNC-system saw its highest enrollment ever last fall, and data show minorities are driving the system's growth.

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