Here are three reports you should know about this month.
- How are colleges and universities responding to the mental health needs of students? To answer that, the American Council on Education surveyed college and university presidents. Of the 400 presidents who responded, 80 percent indicated that student mental health has become more of a priority on their campus than it was three years ago. When looking strictly at leaders of two-year colleges, 79 percent indicated student mental health was more of a priority, and 21 percent said it was about the same. The top mental health concerns they hear about are anxiety and depression. Also among two-year college leaders, 41 percent noted drug and alcohol addiction was an issue they heard more about from students, 41 percent indicated food insecurity and 32 percent cited housing insecurity. In terms of funding, presidents of two-year colleges were less likely than four-year college presidents to reallocate or identify addition funding to address student mental health issues (57 vs. 82 percent).
- A new Pew Research Center survey finds that 12 percent of the public say a two-year degree from a community college “prepares someone very well for a well-paying job in today’s economy,” and 46 percent say it prepares a person somewhat well. In contrast, 16 percent of survey respondents said four-year degree from a college or university prepares someone “very well” for a job; 51 percent said somewhat well. The survey also revealed a partisan divide in views on higher education. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican say colleges have a negative effect on the country. Meanwhile, 18 percent of Democrats or independents who lean Democrat say colleges have a negative effect on the country.
- A report on recent four-year college graduates in Michigan shows that a significant number of them attended a community college on their way toward a baccalaureate. Among all of the state’s baccalaureate graduates over the six-year period studied, 43 percent transferred at least once, and 31 percent did so at least once through a community college. Among bachelor’s graduates that transferred from a community college, 57 percent began at the community college and transferred to a four-year university, but 43 percent began at a four-year university and attended the community college at some point prior to receiving their bachelor’s degree. The report was funded by the Michigan College Access Network in collaboration with the Michigan Center for Student Success.
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