USG eclips for June 28, 2019

University System News:


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Tech Foundation launches $17 million needs-based scholarship

By Eric Stirgus

The Georgia Tech Foundation has raised $17 million for a needs-based scholarship – the largest single endowment fund in school history – in honor of G.P. “Bud” Peterson, who is retiring this summer as its president and his wife, Valerie, officials announced Thursday. The foundation directed $5 million in a grant toward the effort and has received commitments totaling $12 million from alumni, trustees and other supporters. The foundation is seeking additional money toward the G. P. “Bud” Peterson and Valerie H. Peterson Scholarship Endowment Fund. “The Petersons have championed a generation of hardworking, gifted students by driving initiatives that expand access to an affordable education for all students who earn admission to Georgia Tech,” John F. Brock III, chair of the Georgia Tech Foundation, said in a news release. “They have a strong commitment to putting a Georgia Tech education within reach of qualified students with financial need. This endowment fund will help generations of students realize their aspirations and build a brighter future for themselves and our world.”


The Hill

Making a BIG leap to improve school safety

BY REP. DREW FERGUSON (R-GA.), Opinion Contributor

Every American wants to live in a safe community. They want to raise their families and send their children to schools that are secure and free of violence. But too often, that safety has been shattered by tragedy. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that we must combat this epidemic head on, but in the wake of these tragedies many people seek to threaten the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans instead of looking for a comprehensive approach that tackles the root problems that lead to violence and self-harm. To look for solutions that get to the heart of this epidemic, I turned to the educators and experts in the 3rd District of Georgia. Schools like Columbus State University are leading the way and building a national model to keep our schools safe and our students successful. In 2008, university leaders like Dr. Chip Reese responded to the tragedy at Virginia Tech by creating a behavioral intervention program.


Global Atlanta

Three Georgia Universities Welcome 75 Young African Leaders Focused on Civic Engagement, Entrepreneurship

Trevor Williams

Georgia is the only state around the country hosting participants in all three of the Young African Leaders Initiative’s professional development tracks: public and civic leadership, as well as entrepreneurship. The U.S. State Department program, launched under the Obama administration in 2010, welcomes top entrepreneurs, activists and business owners from throughout the continent for a six-week learning experience in the U.S. More than 3,700 people from 49 African countries have taken part over the life of the program. The goal is to build leadership capacity and foster U.S.-Africa connections across various segments of society, from agriculture to business, civil society, education and public service. This year’s 700 fellows were selected from 38,000 applicants. They’ll fan out to various host cities and 27 institutions in 20 states, later converging in Washington for the capstone Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit. Seventy-five in all are now in Georgia. Clark Atlanta University and Georgia State University served as early partners that each have perennially hosted 25 students per year. …The new addition this year is the University of Georgia, which will host a Civic Leadership Institute that promises “academic sessions, group discussions, living case studies, and site visits” around Georgia and the South.



Bill proposes Georgia merge three HBCUs struggling to meet enrollment goals

Iyani Hughes

The legacy for three of Georgia’s 10 historically black colleges and universities may be on the line. A Georgia lawmaker is proposing to merge Savannah State, Albany State and Ft. Valley State Universities into one powerhouse HBCU called Georgia A&M University. It would operate separately from the University System of Georgia. Senator Lester Jackson, who sponsored the bill, argues benefits of the new system, such as providing access to more resources and hopefully encourage better student enrollment. …The original proposal, Senate Bill 273, was withdrawn earlier this year, then Senate Bill 278, and now the merger falls under Senate Bill 270. While this version of the controversial bill did not make it through the 2019 session, it is expected to be reintroduced in January 2020.



Georgia 4-H changing lives thanks to work at Rock Eagle Summer Camp

Southern Routes goes camping

Frank Sulkowski

Rock Eagle 4-H Center is the largest of the five centers operated by the University of Georgia. Thousands of young people annually participate in the Georgia 4-H Environmental Education and Summer Camp Programs. Georgia 4-H Summer Camp at Rock Eagle provides an outdoor summer program unparalleled in the nation. Featuring an array of workshops that offer hands-on experiences that makes learning fun. Like many summer camps, Georgia 4-H offers everything from archery, canoeing, swimming and sailing. Where Rock Eagle stands alone, is in the counselors and staff there to make camp a memorable and life changing experience for kids from around the state. The college counselors on staff know what kids want because they were once campers at Rock Eagle.


Union Recorder

BCSD offering academic enrichment programs during summer months

The Baldwin County School District (BCSD) is hosting numerous academic enrichment programs during the summer months so students and families remain academically engaged in fun and exciting ways. BCSD’s flagship program, Summer Adventure, has been a resounding success in only its second year in operation at Lakeview Academy. The Summer Adventure program provides students with various academic adventures that keep them engaged and excited, showing all of the ways that learning can be practical and fun. Some of the adventures include community helpers, exploring Milly, watermelon wonders, readers theater and future firefighters. The entire program is free of charge and even provides free meals and transportation for students who have been enrolled. Baldwin STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineer, Art, Mathematics) Academy’s summer program, hosted by Midway Hills Academy is open to all students who are rising third-graders through sixth-graders. The program is funded by a grant from the Georgia Department of Education through the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant. Housed at Midway Hills Academy, the program offers a variety of activities, which include culinary arts, funtology, science, art, theater, swimming lessons, world travel studies, math and much more. Students will also make a couple of local field trips and one trip to Georgia Southern University. The staff and students are working together to make this an incredibly valuable experience for both.


Clayton News-Daily

Morrow City Council to explore proposed Tourism Center changes Tuesday

by Robin Kemp

Here are some items of note on the agenda for Tuesday’s Morrow City Council work session and meeting: …

  • The city will discuss plans to partner with Clayton State University on a business center. Vice President for Advancement Chase Moore told the News that Clayton State University “is engaging in an exploratory conversation with the city to allocate a portion of the Morrow Welcome Center for our Launchpad Initiative. Within the last year, the program, which is housed within the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences, has offered our computer science and information technology majors an opportunity to learn more about careers within the digital economy and gain greater knowledge and skills in areas such as database management and cybersecurity.”


Atlanta Business Chronicle

These Georgia university degrees have the highest student debt loads (Slideshow)

By David Allison  – Editor, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Student loan debt in the U.S. continues to grow, creating larger burdens on more Americans. According to data from the U.S. Federal Reserve, total student loan debt rose to $1.56 trillion in 2018 with 44.7 million Americans carrying some sort of load. In May, the Department of Education released new data tying together how much students go into debt based on the degree that they earned. The data looks at the 2016 and 2017 graduating classes and breaks down the type of degree they earned and their field of study alongside their average cumulative debt.

Degrees leaving Georgia students with over $80K in debt

Atlanta Business Chronicle went through the data to find which degrees from Georgia colleges and universities result in the highest student debt load. Overwhelmingly, doctoral and masters degrees leave Georgia students with the most debt — accounting for the top 148 spots on the list of highest average student loan debt before you get to a bachelor’s degree. …The top 25 degrees in Georgia with the highest average debt are concentrated largely in medicine, health care and dentistry at schools including Augusta University, Brenau University, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Interdenominational Theological Center, Mercer University and The University of Georgia. Check them out by scrolling through the slideshow above.


Atlanta Business Chronicle

First Look: UGA mega-donors; Underground Atlanta future (Video)

Here’s a snapshot of what’s in the June 28 edition of Atlanta Business Chronicle: …Eric Jackson looks at how University of Georgia donor contributions are skyrocketing under football head coach Kirby Smart.



Nail, Wayne Earn NCAA Woman of the Year Nominations

By Brooke Kirchhofer

Columbus State University student-athletes Brooke Nail and Tatiana Wayne were announced as nominees for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service, and leadership throughout their collegiate careers. …Next up in the process, conferences will select up to two nominees each from the pool of school nominees. Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the top 30 honorees — 10 from each division. The selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division from the Top 30 and announce the nine finalists in September. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.



Higher Education News:


Inside Higher Ed

Democratic Divisions on Higher Ed

In first debates of Democratic presidential primary, candidates outline contrasting visions on college affordability, student debt.

By Andrew Kreighbaum

Candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for president offered contrasting visions on college affordability and student debt in two debates this week. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, both have introduced campaign proposals for free public college and student debt cancellation. Warren’s plan would cancel up to $50,000 in student debt for borrowers with incomes under six figures, as well as provide more limited debt relief for higher earning borrowers. The Sanders proposal, released this week, calls for canceling all $1.5 trillion in outstanding U.S. student loan debt. “I believe we must make public colleges and universities tuition free and eliminate student debt, and we do that by placing a tax on Wall Street,” Sanders said at the second Democratic debate, on Thursday. Other candidates, however, have argued for targeted college affordability measures and limited fixes for student borrowers.


Inside Higher Ed

Bill Gates, Please Stay Away from Higher Education

He may be well-meaning, but Bill Gates is bad for education.

By John Warner

Fresh off his successful efforts to transform K-12 education through a combination of investment and support of policy initiatives such as the Common Core State Standards, Bill Gates has turned his eye toward higher education. His move is the establishment of the Postsecondary Value Commission, which promises to develop methods to measure the “value” of a post-secondary degree or certificate, essentially answering the question “What is college worth?” They want to know definitively about the “return on investment”[1]of college. To ease the path towards achieving this goal, Bill and Melinda Gates have started the Gates Policy Initiative, a lobbying group tasked with further the preferred Gates solutions on issues of “global health, global development, U.S. education and outcomes for black, Latino and rural students specifically, and efforts to move people from poverty to employment.”


Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Policy Research: College Promise Programs Are Excluding Student Parents

by Pearl Stewart

Twenty percent of college students in the United States are raising children, yet the much-touted “free college” initiatives, also known as Promise programs, often “unintentionally exclude” these students when offering financial support, according to a briefing paper released this week by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). The institute’s analysis pointed out various restrictions and requirements in the college Promise programs that exclude students who may be most in need of support. Among the more than 300 college Promise programs in 44 states, the majority exclude students over the age of 25 – making many students who have started families ineligible for Promise financial assistance, the Washington-based policy institute reported. “College Promise programs that just cover the cost of tuition and fees may not do enough to allow students with children and others with high financial need to afford to enroll,” the paper stated, and recommended allowing aid to help students cover other costs including housing, childcare, food and transportation. “College Promise programs must take into account the unique circumstances experienced by student parents, along with other adult and high-need students,” the briefing paper proposed.


Inside Higher Ed

Study Recommends Larger State Investment Into Prison Education

By Nick Hazelrigg

A study from the National Conference of State Legislatures concluded investing in prison postsecondary education has benefits to reduce recidivism, thus benefiting a state’s workforce and economy. The study cites the fact that, although overall unemployment is low, unemployment numbers for formerly incarcerated individuals is at 27 percent and that by 2020 an estimated two-thirds of all jobs will require postsecondary education in some form.