Posts Categorized: Commentary

A Bright Start on a Bright Future: Children’s Savings Accounts in New England and Beyond

As students throughout New England head back to school this fall, tens of thousands of them have a head start on a bright future through a Children’s Savings Account (CSA). These investments in children’s future postsecondary education are offered in cities and states throughout the region—and beyond—and all share a goal of boosting college-going. CSAs are long-term savings or investme...

Foundation President, Professor and “America’s Best Social Critic” on Higher Ed and the State of Intellectual Life: A NEJHE Q&A with Andrew Delbanco

"It’s time, as the phrase goes, to ‘take control of the narrative,’ or at least tell our story better than we have been doing—to convey how hard most faculty work, how modestly most are paid, how little job security they enjoy, and, most broadly, that higher education remains an indispensable public good in a democratic society.” Andrew Delbanco is a professor of American Studies at C...

Ain’t No Free?

The New England Board of Higher Education recently honored Hartford Promise and the Rhode Island Promise Scholarship with 2019 New England Higher Education Excellence Awards. And NEJHE has been paying close attention to innovations—and challenges—facing such "free college" programs. In June, the Campaign for Free College Tuition (CFCT) lauded NEBHE delegate and Connecticut state Rep. Gregg ...

Memory, Forgetting and Other Lessons from College

With all the discussion about what best prepares students for work and life, two candidates are interdisciplinary thinking and international awareness. This summer, exactly 30 years after I graduated from college, my favorite professor at Bates College retired, which led me to think about my own early experiences with these ways of thinking and being. To prepare for Steve Kemper’s retirem...

Young People Are Hungering for Conversation, Even on Difficult Matters … A NEJHE Q&A with Mary K. Grant of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute

"Regardless of disciplinary area, problem-solving requires us to ask questions, to be curious and open-minded, to think critically and creatively, incorporate a variety of viewpoints and work in partnership with others." In the following Q&A, NEJHE Executive Editor John O. Harney asks Mary K. Grant, president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, about the institu...

Undercover Professor: How Becoming a Student Made Me a Better Teacher

Three years ago, I graduated with an associate degree in liberal arts from Northern Essex Community College (NECC) in Haverhill, Mass. Although I was one of over a thousand students to graduate that day, my situation was a little different than those of my peers. You see, I am a full-time faculty member at NECC with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. I had decided the year before to go undercover by...

Reinvigorating Democracy … A NEJHE Q&A with Nancy Thomas of Tufts

"Students need to get involved in changing systems that underrepresent and disempower most groups of Americans." Nancy Thomas is director of the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. In the following Q&A, NEJHE Executive Editor John O. Harney asks Thomas about her insights on higher education, citizen engagement an...

To Prepare Nimble Thinkers … A NEJHE Q&A with Michelle Weise

"The world will need more agile and resilient thinkers with a serious handle on various technologies and digital literacies." Michelle Weise is senior vice president for workforce strategies and chief innovation officer at Strada Education Network. Weise is a higher education expert who specializes in innovation and connections between higher education and the workforce. She built and led Sandb...

Summer (Finally) … And Other News from the NEJHE Beat

A few tidbits from the editor after a long wet spring ... Unvites. I recently enjoyed a fascinating panel discussion on Protesting the Podium: Campus Disinvitations sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center. The panelists were former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey, Harvard professor Harvey C. Mansfield, Middlebury College professor Matthew J. Dickinson and Wesleyan University President Michael S. Roth. T...

Expanding Opportunities for High School Students to Earn Industry-Recognized Credentials

A shared challenge for our higher education institutions and employers is the large number of students graduating high school unprepared for success in college and the workforce. It leads to lower-than-acceptable college completion rates, particularly for our most disadvantaged youth, and a broken workforce pipeline that threatens economic growth and opportunity. The lack of skilled workers to ...