News Roundup – 4/12

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Our weekly roundup of education technology, workforce technology, and venture capital news.

‘First-Generation Students’ Can Be a Limiting Category, New Report Says There has been an increasing desire for colleges to support “first-generation” students, even going so far as to create dedicated initiatives to cater to the group. However, institutions are struggling to narrow down the definition to help them figure out exactly what they need to do. The Common App has released a report on this struggle, with the main takeaway being that institutions must be aware of even small differences in backgrounds to avoid missing students who need additional support. The report suggests that a granular view of parents’ level of education is valuable in predicting a student’s college readiness.

The ‘Hidden Curriculum’ of Mental Health in Higher Education – Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Professional Education program addresses the evolving mental health needs of students by offering a theory-to-practice approach. The “Mental Health in Higher Education” institute, led by Alexis Redding, provides educators with expert insights and key questions to help them develop tailored solutions for their institutions because they operate on the belief that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to deal with the college mental health crisis. By considering diverse perspectives and exploring various mental health factors, the program empowers educators to go beyond data and create inclusive and effective support systems for students.

Our portfolio company, Mantra Health, partners with higher education institutions to provide students with comprehensive, high-quality mental health and wellness solutions.

Why Schools’ New Normal Post-COVID Must Emphasize Attendance, Tutoring, Summer Class – Despite efforts to recover from the pandemic’s impact on education, students continue to lag behind their pre-pandemic peers. To address this, a new framework is needed that emphasizes growth, equity, and continuous improvement. Getting students back in school, expanding high-dose tutoring, and increasing summer or after-school learning time are integral to the success of this initiative. Additionally, it is critical that state and district leaders demonstrate their impact and allocate resources accordingly.

Kauffman Fellows Sentiment Survey Says Venture Investors Plan To Spend More In 2024 – In a preview of Kauffman Fellows Sentiment Survey, it’s become clear that venture capital investors anticipate a slight increase in investment pace in 2024 compared to 2023, but founders face a higher bar to raise capital. In order to secure funding, they must demonstrate growth and reach break-even. Despite the challenges, investors expect endowments and foundations to reduce their venture exposure, while sovereign wealth funds and family offices may fill the gap. Exits remain challenging this year, with M&A as the leading strategy and secondary strategies becoming more prominent.

Study: Nearly 40 Percent of Students Started, Never Finished College – According to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics, only 60% of students who enrolled in college earned a degree or credential within eight years of graduating high school. Socioeconomic and racial disparities persist, with students from low-income backgrounds and nonwhite students less likely to complete college. While 81% of students completed their highest credential in a non-STEM field, the study lacks insights into why students did not finish college due to a lack of surveys. Despite these limitations, the data provides valuable information for informing policies aimed at boosting college completion.

9 in 10 K-12 tech leaders predict surge in IT workload – A new survey from Incident IQ sheds some light on the state of affairs for K-12 Informational Technology. Despite budget cuts, K-12 IT leaders will need to learn how to do more with less and prioritize maintaining device access and 1:1 initiatives for students. However, they face challenges such as device loss, cybersecurity threats, and staff shortages. To address these issues, IT leaders are focusing on operational efficiencies and workflow technologies to sustain their programs and support student learning.

The Concept of Work and Learning Needs a Massive Overhaul if Workforce Development is at Stake – In this episode of The Future of Education with Michael Horn, he and Ryan Stowers, Executive Director of the Charles Koch Foundation, discuss how we can foster an ecosystem of work and learning that is open to new ideas, methodologies, and innovations. They also delved into the role of openness in facilitating change, examples of institutions and initiatives that highlight this principle, and the importance of collaboration.

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