higher education

HELP Committee Considers Higher Ed Reopening

On June 17, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) held a hearing to discuss the previous response and aid provided to institutions of higher education in light of COVID-19 and what these schools require moving forward to safely return to campus. The committee heard testimony from Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, Vice Provost of Enrollment Management at UCLA; Dr. Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University of Louisiana; Anthony Harris, a student at Baldwin Wallace University; and Madeline Pumariega, President of Miami Dade College. Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) both were in agreement that…

AERA and Spencer Foundation Release Report on COVID-19 Impacts on Doctoral Students and Early Career Scholars

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a COSSA governing member, and the Spencer Foundation have released a report, Voices from the Field: The Impact of COVID-19 on Early Career Scholars and Doctoral Students, as part of an ongoing effort to assess and address pressing needs facing scholars and doctoral students during the pandemic. The report’s findings are drawn from a series of focus groups conducted in spring 2020 and are organized into seven themes: (1) Research Impact: Disruptions, Delays, and Adaptations; (2) Impact on Teaching: The Need to Be Inventive, Inclusive, and Intentional; (3) Balancing Acts: Negotiating Family, Home, Community,…

CNSF Hosts Congressional Briefing on Undergraduate Learning During COVID-19

On October 22, the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF), of which COSSA is a member, hosted a virtual briefing for Congressional staffers on undergraduate learning during COVID-19 and how funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) can address gaps in learning. The briefing featured presentations from Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at North Carolina A&T State University Adrienne Aiken Morgan and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Digital Innovation and Enterprise Learning at Northeastern University Kemi Jona. In addition, brief remarks were offered by Representatives G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Katherine Clark (D-CA). The briefing was moderated by Associate Executive Director of…

NSF Releases Dear Colleague Letter on Social Science Perspectives on Graduate Education

On December 16, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a Dear Colleague Letter, signed by the Assistant Directors for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) and the Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR), to draw the attention of the social science community to funding opportunities in the two directorates related to research in graduate education. The letter (NSF 20-030) follows a workshop and report from the National Academies of Sciences on Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century and a workshop on Graduate Training in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Funding opportunities include research grants, traineeships, and capacity…

House Committee Passes Higher Education Act Reauthorization

On October 31, the House Education and Labor Committee reported out its version of the Higher Education Act reauthorization bill, The College Affordability Act. The legislation includes a reauthorization of the Title VI International Education Programs and extends the six currently funded international education programs, including both Domestic Programs (also known as Title VI) and Overseas Programs (also known as Fulbright-Hays). The legislation also proposes that the funding level for International Education Programs should be increased to $125 million and be updated annually to account for inflation. This would be significantly higher than the $72.2 million appropriated in fiscal year (FY)…

NASEM Report Outlines Future of Graduate STEM Education

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recently released a new consensus study report on Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century, which outlines ways to better to prepare students from all backgrounds for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The study was written by a committee chaired by Alan Leshner, CEO Emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Burroughs Welcome Fund, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the Spencer Foundation. The report describes an ideal system of STEM graduate education and outlines…

New NASEM Report Identifies “Indicators for Monitoring Undergraduate STEM Education”

On May 21, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) hosted a webinar to mark the release of a new report, Indicators for Monitoring Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education. The goal of the report was to improve undergraduate STEM education by developing metrics by which it can be measured. To do this, NASEM conducted a consensus study of indicators that would allow STEM education quality to be tracked over time. The report found that improving the quality and impact of undergraduate STEM education would require progress towards: (1) “increasing students’ mastery of STEM concepts and…

Webinar Highlights Graduate Training in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

On March 6, COSSA hosted a webinar to discuss a recent workshop on Graduate Training in the Social and Behavioral Sciences convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). The webinar featured Robert Kaplan (Workshop Planning Committee Chair) and Amy Stephens (NASEM), who discussed findings from the workshop (the workshop summary is available here) and potential next steps. Slides are posted on COSSA’s website. COSSA is collecting contact information for those who wish to stay involved in ongoing efforts in this area. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

COSSA Releases 2018 Rankings of College and University Social Science Investment

Last week, COSSA released its 2018 College and University Rankings for Federal Social and Behavioral R&D, which highlight the top university recipients of federal research dollars in the social and behavioral sciences. This year’s rankings feature a new dashboard with an interactive map of recipients of social and behavioral science R&D funding, which allows you to see how your university stacks up against more than 400 U.S. institutions. Based on the most recent available federally collected data, the COSSA rankings use an inclusive selection of fields to calculate the total federal R&D funding received by universities in the social and…

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize International Education Programs

Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Advancing International and Foreign Language Education Act (S. 2255) on December 20 to reauthorize the Title VI International Education programs at the Department of Education. The bill is similar to H.R. 4491, which was introduced in the House last fall. Both bills aim to support the existing international education programs at the Department. Both Senate sponsors are members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and may work to incorporate the proposals in the bill into the committee’s reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. More information can…

House Education and Workforce Committee Introduces Reauthorization of Higher Education Act; Democrats Introduce Competing Title VI Proposal

On December 1, House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). The HEA authorizes federal aid programs that support institutions of higher education and postsecondary students. The bill proposes large changes to graduate student loan programs, rolling back regulations on for-profit colleges, and changing the process for applying for federal student aid. Additionally, the bill proposes the elimination of several Title VI-International Education programs and reauthorizes the remaining programs below current levels. Congress last authorized the Higher…

GOP Tax Plan Could Hurt Students, NDD Programs

Several provisions contained in the tax plans rolled out by Republican leadership this month have raised concerns for stakeholder groups that do not normally weigh in on tax policy. The House’s plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) was approved by the Ways and Means Committee on November 9 and is expected to be debated on the House floor later this week. The Senate Finance Committee began its markup of  the Senate plan on Monday and will continue its consideration of the bill today. There are significant differences between the two plans that would need to be worked out during…

SBS Graduate Training Workshop Proceedings Published

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has published the proceedings of a workshop held in June 2017, Graduate Training in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. The workshop was convened by the Academies’ Board on Science Education and sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. The workshop focused on how graduate education in the social and behavioral sciences can adapt to increasing focuses on interdisciplinarity and changing workforce needs. The workshop summary and a webcast of the workshop are available on the Academies’ website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

National Academies to Host Workshop on Graduate Training in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

 The National Academies’ Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) is hosting a two-day workshop on Graduate Training in the Social and Behavioral Sciences on June 8 and 9. The workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and will analyze the current employment of PhDs in the social and behavioral sciences, the future of the social and behavioral science workforce, and other relevant topics. A tentative agenda can be found here.  Register today. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Academies Report Examines Impact of Social Competencies on College Success

On April 13, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education released a report, Supporting Students’ College Success: The Role of Assessment of Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies. Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the report “examines how to assess interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies (e.g., teamwork, communication skills, academic mindset, and grit) of undergraduate students for different purposes.” It also establishes “priorities for the development and use of assessments related to the identified intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies that influence higher education success, especially in STEM.” Central themes of the report include diversity and…

COSSA Releases 2017 Rankings of Social and Behavioral Science Funding at Colleges and Universities

COSSA recently released its 2017 College and University Rankings for Federal Social and Behavioral Science R&D, which highlights the top university recipients of research dollars in the social and behavioral sciences. Nine of this year’s top 10 recipients of federal funding in the social and behavioral sciences are COSSA members. Based on federally collected data, the COSSA rankings use an inclusive selection of fields to calculate the total federal R&D funding received by universities in the social and behavioral sciences. The 2017 rankings reflect spending from fiscal year 2015, the most current available data. You can find more information on how COSSA…

NIGMS Analyzes RFI Response on Modernizing Biomedical Graduate Education

On November 2, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shared its analysis of the input it received from the scientific community in response to a June 2016 request for information (RFI) (NOT-GM-16-109) on how to “catalyze the modernization of biomedical graduate education through NIGMS’s institutional predoctoral training program.” According to NIGMS, the comments received addressed 28 themes and fell into five categories: institutional and training-related issues, skills development, systemic issues within the research enterprise, careers, and administrative and review issues. The feedback around the issue of diversity and the role of…

IES Seeks Comments on NCER-NPSAS Grants

The National Center for Education Research (NCER) within the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is proposing a new information collection as part of an ongoing collaboration between NCER and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)—also located within IES—and is seeking comments. The NCER supports research projects using subsamples of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), a nationally-representative sample of postsecondary institutions and students fielded every three to four years. The goal for the proposed new collection is to facilitate “one-off” research projects. The Department is specifically interested in comments addressing the following questions: “(1) Is…

National Academies Seeks Comments on Indicators for Undergrad STEM Education

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NAS) Board on Science Education (BSE) seeks comments on its draft report, Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education. An expert panel, the Committee on Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education, was convened to develop national indicators for monitoring the quality of undergraduate STEM. The Committee proposes “a conceptual framework of goals and objectives for improving the quality of undergraduate STEM.” A two-phase study, the Committee now seeks input as it prepares to develop indicators. A series of questions for consideration can be accessed on BSE’s website. In addition, a one-day public meeting…

2017 National Academies Workshop on Current and Future Training Needs in Social and Behavioral Sciences

In an August 31 blog post, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Director William Riley announced the convening of a 2017 National Academies workshop that is being sponsored by OBSSR and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. The workshop will address the current and future training needs in the behavioral and social sciences and responds to the various reports in recent years that “indicate that a majority of behavioral and social sciences doctors are entering research careers in areas outside of the traditional academic research track; and…

Subscribe

Past Newsletters

Browse

Archive

Browse 40 years of the COSSA Washington Update.