College News

November 21, 1990 4 min read

Gov.-elect John Engler of Michigan does not plan to dismantle the state’s prepaid- tuition program, but residents may have to pay more to enroll once the new Governor is sworn in, according to a spokesman.

Mr. Engler, a Republican state senator, repeatedly criticized the operation and management of the Michigan Educational Trust during his campaign against Gov. James Blanchard, a Democrat. The incoming Governor’s staff is now reviewing the trust and expects to make recommendations for changes early next year, said John T. Truscott.

The trust, which in 1988 and 1989 sold nearly 50,000 contracts and created a fund of close to $350 million, is $50 million underfunded, Mr. Truscott asserted. That means future contracts would cost more than the $8,380 charged to guarantee tuition of a newborn this year, he said. Contracts already sold would be honored, he added.

Michigan was a pioneer of pre- paid tuition programs, and its two-year-old program has served as a model for efforts elsewhere.

The Philadelphia school district this year established what are thought to be the first neighborhood college-access centers in the nation.

Located in a recreation center, a social-services agency, and a school in three different low-income neighborhoods, the centers are designed as clearinghouses for information on postsecondary education. Counselors assist students in applying for admission, financial aid, and scholarships--processes that are often off-putting for students who are unfamiliar with them or who are unsure they have the potential to succeed in college.

The project is funded by grants from the William Penn Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts and is run by the Philadelphia Schools Collaborative, an independent agency charged with reforming the city’s neighborhood high schools.

Administrators, faculty members, and students alike are obligated to help retain minorities, women, the disadvantaged, the disabled, and other at-risk students in college, according to a report to be issued this month by the Educational Resources Information Center Clearinghouse on Higher Education, based at George Washington University.

It says eachers should become familiar with alternative learning styles and refer students for academic counseling; administrators should ensure financial aid is available to high- risk students, make the retention of such students a priority, and sponsor workshops for faculty members to recognize high-risk students; and students can work in learning centers that will foster greater awareness of cultural and economic differences.

The report’s authors--Dionne J. Jones and Betty Collier Watson, researchers with the National Urban League--also call for more research on high-risk students. The report is the third in a series from ERIC and the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

“High Risk Students and Higher Education: Future Trends” is available from ASHE/ERIC Higher Education Reports, George Washington University, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, D.C. 20036. The series costs $17.

When it comes to liberal-arts colleges, you get what you pay for, concludes a study by a researcher with the U.S. Education Department’s office of educational research and improvement. But, warns Jeffrey L. Gilmore, lower-priced schools often outperform more expensive colleges in several respects.

Mr. Gilmore examined 593 private, general baccalaureate institutions on 30 such factors as resources, selectivity, reputation, and student educational outcomes. He found that higher-priced schools boost institutional prestige and income and strengthen a student’s commitment to the school.

Some expensive colleges with low endowments, however, have raised prices without adding to the school’s quality, he says.

The Lilly Endowment has awarded a $2.3-million grant to Indiana University to establish the Indiana Education Policy Center.

Center research will explore what makes good schools by looking at the money allocated to schools, school management, curriculum, teacher education, and teaching methods. Researchers also will study school restructuring and methods of student learning.

Indiana’s school of public and environmental affairs and its school of education will be integrated with the center, which will focus on grades K-12 in Indiana and nationwide.

A data center will make information accessible to educators, policymakers, business officials, and others.

A Japanese school that has established links with four U.S. universities has added another to its list--United States International University in San Diego, which also has campuses in Mexico, Kenya, and England.

It is the latest attempt by Teikyo University to establish a “global university.”

Officials are calling it an “affiliation” and not a purchase, and Teikyo is finalizing the amount of money it will invest in the renamed United States Teikyo International University. The San Diego school, which specializes in graduate studies, has 2,324 students from 70 countries on its campus and affiliated centers in southern California.--MP

A version of this article appeared in the November 21, 1990 edition of Education Week as College News