Quadcast: A Wellbeing Toolkit for High Schoolers
This week’s guest on The Quadcast is Jen Hamilton, the director of counseling at Nobles and Greenough School, an independent middle and high school in Dedham, Massachusetts. With MCI reporter Mollie Ames, Jen discusses her experience teaching the curriculum for Yale Professor Laurie Santos’ class, Psychology and The Good Life, to secondary students. While Professor Santos is in the midst of adapting her curriculum for high schoolers, Jen was a pioneer in bringing the course to a younger audience. For years, seniors at Nobles have enrolled in her elective to learn about strategies for reducing stress and promoting wellbeing. “We would love for our kids, when they graduate Nobles, to have a toolkit for not just how to handle bumps in the road as you’re on your journey to get to college, but well through college,” Jen said.
Mental and Behavioral Health
Last week, Gallup and the Lumina Foundation released a new report exploring the impact of mental health on student success: “Stressed Out and Stopping Out: The Mental Health Crisis in Higher Education.” The data for the report came from the Lumina Foundation-Gallup State of Higher Education 2023 study, conducted in fall 2022. The Chronicle highlights the finding that “emotional stress” emerged as a top reason students said they considered “stopping out” out of college, affecting 69% of them in this way. Meanwhile, Inside Higher Ed homes in on the fact that around two-thirds (63%) of respondents who never attended college said “emotional stress” kept them from doing so.
The Boston Globe conducts interviews with dozens of local college students about their major concerns, including post-grad finances, racism, artificial intelligence and mental health support.
An op-ed in The New York Times argues for prioritizing the holistic wellbeing of student athletes over their performance: “We call on universities to reaffirm that student-athletes are students first and to ensure that their athletic programs serve the schools’ broader educational mission, not the other way around.”
Inside Higher Ed spotlights a program at the University of Rochester that trains faculty in mindfulness in the interest of reducing their stress, increasing wellness, and promoting quality teaching.
NPR reports on the trend of colleges eliminating grades for first-year and sometimes older students in an effort to facilitate the transition out of high school or protect overall mental health.
For CNN, college student Emma Lembke, founder of the “Log Off Movement,” describes her disenchantment with social media after recognizing its harmful impact on her mental health.
New York Magazine offers “4 Explanations for the Teen Mental-Health Crisis,” ranging from the negative influence of social media to the idea that parents, too, are struggling.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Inside Higher Ed reviews a recent report from the Anti-Defamation League, finding that “antisemitic incidents,” including harassment, vandalism, and assault, on college campuses rose 41% last year. Higher Ed Dive considers how leaders at universities dealing with such incidents can respond in part by educating students around antisemitism and Jewish identity.
CommonWealth Magazine highlights how Massachusetts lags behind other states in terms of policies supporting undocumented students, according to the Education Trust report, “Higher Education Access and Success for Undocumented Students Start with 9 Key Criteria.” Throughout the country, The Chronicle reveals, the barriers to college have only become steeper for aspiring students who are undocumented since protections from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) came to an end under former President Trump.
The Dartmouth announces the reestablishment of a policy that allows 24-hour access for students to any of the residence halls—a change student government hopes will make it easier in part for those in mental health crisis to access help.
The Daily Iowan features an interview with Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks on a range of topics, including the influence of social media and TikTok bans on youth mental health.
The GW Hatchet explores how the decline in George Washington University’s four-year graduation rate reflects the harmful, and ongoing, effects of the pandemic on youth mental health.
The Auburn Plainsman dispels the myth that alcoholism isn’t a reality for college students, highlighting the correlation between substance abuse and mental health challenges for people at any stage.
The New York Times covers the House passage of a Republican bill, which would require publicizing library catalogs and curriculum and acquiring parental consent before referring to children by new gender pronouns. While The Times says there’s “no chance” the Senate or President Biden approve this bill, it is significant in its reflection of a larger conservative agenda Democrats say promotes intellectual censorship and gender or sexual orientation-based division. In an interview with Politico, Education secretary Miguel Cardona expresses his frustration with the ongoing politicization of the classroom: “I think there are deliberate attempts to make sure that our public schools are not functional so that the private option sounds better,” he said.
The Chronicle features a new survey from consulting firm Art & Science Group, revealing that one in four college applicants said politics influenced their decisions about where to apply: that is, they eliminated certain institutions from their list based on the political affiliations of their state. In The Hill, however, college applicant coach Leelila Strogov highlights the advantages of attending college in a “red state,” including how it can expose Left-leaning students to new ideas.
Inside Higher Ed reviews the results of its latest Student Voice survey, which considers how teaching styles impact student success. Of the over 3,000 student respondents, more than half said a professor’s teaching style had impeded their success in a class. Indeed, a “teaching style that didn’t work for me” emerged as the top reason students said they struggled academically in a class. Going forward, students suggested, diversifying teaching styles and ensuring flexibility may help faculty improve their performance.
According to federal data examined by The Hechinger Report, hundreds of colleges across the country have raised costs for low-income students more than those for high-income students in the last ten years. “Those increases can really make or break a student staying in college,” said one expert.
The New York Times explores an emerging “physical divide,” by which children from low-income families are participating in sports and physical activities less than those from richer backgrounds.
Earlier this year, the education department announced it would cancel the federal loans of hundreds of thousands of students found to have been defrauded by their for-profit colleges. The Washington Post captures the frustrating reality of those graduates who took out private loans, rather than federal ones, and are therefore not eligible for the same relief.
The New York Times reports on the grief plaguing a Nashville elementary school after a shooter opened fire and killed six people there, including three nine-year-old students. At Denver High School, meanwhile, The Times finds another recent shooting is prompting administrators to reevaluate its safety plans. The Chronicle adds that such procedures are also under review at the University of Arizona, where the president admitted this week that institutional failures contributed to the on-campus shooting, and subsequent death, of a professor.
Higher Ed Dive reveals Tennessee legislators have passed a bill banning TikTok on public college campuses throughout the state. The bill technically disallows all types of “Chinese-owned social media,” rather than TikTok alone, and now awaits final approval by the Governor Bill Lee, who many expect will side with his fellow state lawmakers.