Tackling Youth Mental Health from the Top
In his State of the Union address last week, President Biden emphasized the need to address mounting youth mental health concerns, according to Education Week. On the heels of an announcement that the Education Department will allocate $280 million to hiring school counselors, Biden’s speech renewed his commitment to education as one of the country’s top challenges. The president outlined plans to invest in programming to help build youth resilience and monitor certain online content, among other initiatives: “When millions of young people are struggling with bullying, violence, trauma,” he said, “we owe them greater access to mental health care at school.”
Mental and Behavioral Health
The Wall Street Journal covers the impact of enlisting peer counselors to help support students struggling with their mental health in the face of therapist shortages.
Inside Higher Ed reveals that the University of Maryland, College Park is one of the latest universities to develop a for-credit course to help students tackle their own mental health.
Inside Higher Ed explores the results of its latest Student Voice survey, finding that mental health is among the top challenges students find interferes with their academic success.
Also in Inside Higher Ed: despite growing enthusiasm around giving students long-term deadlines to counter stress, cognitive psychologists suggest short-term deadlines pave the way to personal and academic success.
An op-ed in The Chronicle suggests that to best support students reeling from the emotional impact of the pandemic, additional structure may be required, rather than flexibility (like offering deadline extensions) alone.
The Chronicle considers the meaning of “belonging,” including its implications for student mental health, as more universities begin tasking administrators with fostering it on campus.
GBH investigates the impact of a new $10 million Center for Well-Being at Worcester Polytechnic Institute—perhaps a much-needed, if not overdue, mental health initiative, but still far off from a complete solution.
Reuters reviews recent data from the U.S. government: “Nearly three in five high school girls reported feeling sad or hopeless in 2021… and fared worse than boys of the same age across nearly all measures of mental health.”
Following the death by suicide of a 14-year-old girl, The New York Times writes, a New Jersey town has been forced to confront the toll of bullying and find a way forward.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
After the College Board released the curriculum for its Advanced Placement African American studies course, Florida officials have implied that their influence led to notable changes, or omissions, from previous versions. Now, The New York Times tracks the development of the AP class, as the College Board continues to maintain Florida legislators did not sway its program planning. In an op-ed for The Chronicle, Holden Throps, the former chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, suggests the College Board’s latest missteps are just another example of university organizations ‘placating conservative actors’ and ‘getting played.’
South Carolina is the latest state, following Florida and then Oklahoma, to ask its public colleges to report their spending on diversity programming, The Chronicle reveals. Meanwhile, in Texas, the movement against diversity, equity and inclusion efforts seems to be falling onto hiring practices, according to The Texas Tribune. And as many anticipate the end of race-conscious admissions is also drawing near, an op-ed in Slate proposes that considering wealth in this process may become the new way toward creating campus diversity.
The Chronicle reviews the results of a recent survey from Gallup and the Lumina Foundation: “Balancing Act: The Tradeoffs and Challenges Facing Black Students in Higher Education.” The report indicates that the impact of widespread discrimination as well as non-academic responsibilities is threatening the success of Black students.
In the wake of a shooting that killed three students at Michigan State University, The State News notes the healing services being offered at a university church, including vigils and non-denominational counseling. Yet services at MSU have not been able to offer solace to every student, The State News adds, as many make plans to go home and distance themselves from a campus that still feels “eerie” and unsafe.
The Editorial Board of The Harvard Crimson urges greater attention to student athlete mental health after an expose in The Boston Globe uncovered a ‘culture of fear’ undercutting the university’s women’s hockey team.
The Duke Chronicle reveals plans sponsored by the student government to establish a mental health support group for LGBTQIA+ students to build community and connect them to resources.
The Daily Tar Heel features the mental health organization Walk. Support. Glow. (WSG), established by sophomore Peyton Morris, to raise awareness and highlight resources on campus.
Could gender-specific resource centers help promote student success? At Queensborough Community College in New York, Inside Higher Ed says a Male Resource Center especially assisting Black and Latino students hopes to improve enrollment and retention, while at Utah Valley University, a Women’s Success Center is similarly tackling enrollment and persistence, also according to Inside Higher Ed.
The release of the artificial intelligence bot ChatGPT has generated a flurry of commentary about academic cheating. One op-ed in The Chronicle points out that new technology has spurred cheating concerns since the dawn of the internet, while another in The Hechinger Report urges educators to think less about how students cheat and more about why they feel compelled to cheat.
A conference of college administrators at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California (USC) homed in on the crisis of lost faith in higher education, The Hechinger Report reveals. And in Colorado, Inside Higher Ed writes, the Commission of Higher Education is considering plans to evaluate the economic value of the state’s public degree programs.
The 30–day comment period for the Education Department’s plan to overhaul income-driven repayment ended last week, amassing almost 13,000 comments. According to Inside Higher Ed, some praised the program as a way to fix a broken loan system and urged officials to expand its existing terms, while others expressed concerns about its extreme cost and few apparent benefits.
Although President Biden’s plan to make community college free across the country fell through a year ago, Higher Ed Dive reports legislators are taking up the charge at the state level. Efforts to make college free seem to be gaining momentum, as new programs pop up and existing ones expand across the country.
The Chronicle considers the impact of the pandemic on a critical source of revenue for universities across the country: tuition. With enrollment declines, 61% of institutions experienced a drop in tuition revenue from 2019 to 2021, with community colleges being especially affected.
The end of pandemic emergency services risks leaving many college students hungry, NPR reveals. One food subsidy in particular, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has helped students afford to eat but its temporary expansion is expiring at the end of the month. With food costs on the rise, students may already be flocking to local pantries.
The Chronicle highlights one possible downside for students at universities where enrollment numbers are managing to increase: housing shortages. At the California State Polytechnic at Humboldt, a recent enrollment spike is leaving all current students uncertain about next year’s housing, even as the university taps into local motels for more rooms.
The New York Times covers a shooting at Michigan State University earlier this week that left three students dead and five more seriously injured. The shooter, 43-year-old Anthony McRae, died off campus after shooting himself. He does not appear to have been affiliated with the university.
As plans to construct an 85-acre, $90 million police training facility unfold in Atlanta, Inside Higher Ed reports that students and faculty from several local historically Black colleges and universities are protesting. Concerns about increased police brutality to come and accusations that the facility represents efforts to appease certain wealthy, white residents have led to widespread denouncement.
The John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, “an invaluable source of information about the virus over the last three years,” is closing up shop, NPR says. Started by a professor and her student, the project helped cut through the mass of Covid-related misinformation. Now, leaders find their services may no longer be necessary.