The Importance of Academic Advising in Higher Education

The Importance Of Academic Advising In Higher Education

By: Kaitlin Thach, Intern, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Communication and Outreach

“The main function of an academic advisor is to bring holistic support to students as they navigate their higher education to post grad journey.”

Universities and higher education institutions nationwide provide academic advising for both undergraduate and graduate students. This principal academic resource can go underutilized as students often consider advising as a resource only when they are frantic with worry when they realize that they have little time to sign up for classes.

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Celebrating the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and Sustainability Efforts Across the Department

Celebrating the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and Sustanability Efforts Across the Department

By: Andrea Suarez Falken, Special Advisor for Infrastructure and Sustainability, U.S. Department of Education.

On July 26, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) recognized 27 schools, five school districts, and four postsecondary institutions, as well as one state education agency official, at a Washington, D.C. ceremony for their efforts to cultivate sustainable, healthy facilities, wellness practices, and hands-on, outdoor, environmental learning. 

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Federal Student Aid’s Summer Assignment: Modernize the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®)

Federal Student Aid's Summer Assignment: Modernize the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

By: Richard Cordray, Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid

For many, summer is a time for family trips and backyard BBQs, but it is not all fun and games. Before we know it, many students will be rushing to complete summer assignments before heading back to school. Here at Federal Student Aid (FSA), we have had a major “summer school” assignment of our own: we have been working hard to launch a new website that helps financial aid professionals at colleges and career schools prepare for the upcoming school year.

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Postsecondary Accreditation Cannot Become a Race to the Bottom

Postsecondary accreditation cannot become a race to the bottom

By: Antoinette Flores, Senior Advisor, Office of Postsecondary Education

The Department of Education (Department) is committed to ensuring that institutions of higher education (institutions) maintain high quality standards and strong student outcomes. As a member of the Federal triad, which under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) requires the Department to work in conjunction with states and accrediting agencies to ensure oversight and accountability of postsecondary institutions, the Department expects this same commitment from our partners.

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Career and College Pathways in Action: Top Takeaways from Experts in the Field

By: Amy Loyd, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education

Career and college pathways in action

Our nation’s future depends upon an educated and skilled workforce—especially as economic mobility is in decline and the world of work is rapidly shifting. The preparation of young people through career and college pathways is a powerful, evidence- and research-based approach to provide students with the education and experience they need and deserve to participate in our democracy and thrive in our economy. In a recent “Pathways in Action” webinar, we heard from leading experts whose work centers on young people and employers within an education-to-employment system. These experts represent several key stakeholders who are central to this work, including high schools, community colleges, workforce development, nonprofits, chambers of commerce, business and industry, and philanthropy. They also represent exemplars of cross-sector partnerships that span our nation, from California to Boston, in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and in Dallas. In this dynamic discussion, these experts shared how they engage with diverse stakeholders to drive collaboration and build systems that support all students to earn postsecondary credentials and fulfill their endless potential.

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Hearing the Voices of Parents, Families, and Caregivers

Hearing the Voices of Parents, Families, and Caregivers

By: Dawn Ellis, PhD, Liaison to Parents and Families, National Engagement Team, Office of Communication and Outreach

In January 2022, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona shared his vision for education in America, which addressed the need for more meaningful and authentic parent and family engagement. Sara Morrison, a mother of five living in New York, has experienced parent and family advocacy on different levels and knows the importance of meaningful and authentic family engagement. She has always been involved with her children’s education but shares more recent experiences with her younger two children. In an interview with the Department’s national liaison to parents and families, Dawn Ellis, Sara shared, “…as a mother who is legally disabled, raising two children who need supports through an IEP is no easy task. At times, I felt guilty as though I failed my children, not recognizing that their frustration was a cry for help. Once I stepped back and began to understand what they were experiencing through observing their learning process at home, having them explain their thought process behind a response to a homework assignment or connecting with teachers to see what they saw in my children, I became more active in their education, and within the school district. This served as a foundation for my advocacy for both my children and the families I advocate for. That is where I found true value in parent voice.”

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Academic Success for Students in Foster Care Begins with Strong Partnerships Between Child Welfare and Education Systems

Academic Success for Students in Foster Care Begins with Strong Partnerships Between Child Welfare and Education Systems

By: Aysha E. Schomburg, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau in the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Ruth Ryder, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), U.S. Department of Education

The 2021-2022 school year has come to a close. As students begin their summer break, the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) come together to highlight the significant work that American educators and child welfare professionals have done to support students in foster care; to provide information about resources available for schools to support students in foster care; and to provide information about federal collaboration and efforts in this space.

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Supporting High Quality Charter Schools and Their Success

Supporting high quality charter schools and their success

By: Anna Hinton, PhD, Director, Charter Schools Program, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

The U.S. Department of Education is committed to ensuring that all its programs are implemented in ways that increase educational opportunity for students and address inequities in our education system. In keeping with this commitment, today, the Department issued notices inviting applications for two programs authorized under the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter School Programs (CSP) – the Grants to State Entities and the Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools programs. Together, these programs will provide an estimated $77 million in new funds to support high-quality charter schools. Every student should have access to a high-quality public education, and we believe high-quality public charter schools play an important role in that access.

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Helping Students, Families, and Communities Access the Internet and Technology-Enabled Learning Opportunities

Helping Students, Families, and Communities Access the Internet and Technology-Enabled Learning Opportunities

By: Office of Educational Technology

One of the most critical challenges illuminated by the recent period of emergency remote learning has been providing access to reliable, high-speed internet and connected devices to facilitate everywhere, all-the-time learning. Data clearly show the lack of these essential technologies impact communities of color and low-income communities to a disproportionate extent. As schools recover from the pandemic, several federal agencies and the Office of Educational Technology (OET) are stepping up to provide resources to close the digital divide.

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Changing Perspectives: How I Define Myself as a Teacher Leader

Changing Perspectives: How I Define Myself As A Teacher Leader

By: Misael Gonzalez, High School English Language Arts teacher, Miami, Florida

In many ways, my definition of teacher leadership was shaped by dramatized Hollywood portrayals of real accounts: a heroic singular leader fighting the system to make a change, a school in a “rough part of town” with a high minority-student population, and a challenge that had been thought a lost cause by everyone else I have come to realize that teacher leadership is not a case of catching lighting in a bottle. Through research, reading, and learning in my doctoral program, I’ve come to understand teacher leadership relies on collaborative efforts in and out of the classroom, requires a unique set of skills, and needs the right culture to truly grow. Here is what I’ve learned:

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