I've published the fifth article in my "Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2015" series. You can find it here.

I also wanted to make note some of the news items that didn't make the story. So I've decided to include those below.

“Coding bootcamp grads boost their salaries by 40% on average,” the Quartz headline reads. But that boost is quite different based on demographics.

Course Report has released a study on the size of the learn-to-code bootcamp market, which it predicts will grow “by 2.4x to an estimated 16,056 graduates in 2015, up from 6,740 in 2014.”

The for-profit Northeastern Institute of Cannabis "prepares people for positions ranging from dispensary workers to medical marijuana educators."

The charter school chain Success Academy has cancelled its plans to open four new schools, reports Chalkbeat.

“Google, a long-time supporter of Singularity University (SU), has agreed to a two-year, $3 million contribution to SU’s flagship Graduate Studies Program (GSP). Google will become the program’s title sponsor and ensure all successful direct applicants get the chance to attend free of charge.” Singularity University is a for-profit, non-accredited school. “Participants spend a fast-paced ten weeks learning all they need to know for the final exam - a chance to develop and then pitch a world-changing business plan to a packed house.” LOL.

Legislators in Arizona have decided to completely eliminate state support for its three largest community college districts, including Maricopa and Pima. More details via Inside Higher Ed.

Edukwest reports that Silicon Valley private school AltSchool – founded by Xoogler Max Ventilla – has hired more Silicon Valley tech types: “Joining the AltSchool team are Bharat Mediratta from Google, who has been appointed CTO. Uber's former head of global security Michael Ginty has been appointed to head of safety at AltSchool. Former Rocket Fuel VP Sue Yoon and former Zynga Director of Product Rajiv Bhatia are also joining.” Because education is an engineering problem, clearly.

Via University World News: “The number of Russian universities will be cut by 40% by the end of 2016, according to Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov. In addition, the number of university branches will be slashed by 80% in the same period.”

The CFO of the Apollo Group (parent company of the University of Phoenix) has resigned. His interim replacement will earn $80,000 per month but oh yeah sure, college tuition is so expensive because of climbing walls mmhmmm.

The University of Louisville is expanding Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, thanks in part to a $3 million donation from the Sun Tan City chain of tanning salons, now the Official Tanning Center for the cheerleaders (who can tan there for free).

In other NC higher ed news: the state’s Board of Governors has voted to eliminate 46 degree programs across the UNC-System.

“The University of Sydney plans to increase its undergraduate courses from three to four years and cut many of its double degrees in a radical overhaul of education that would see the number of degrees reduced by at least 100,” says The Age. (The university would only offer 22 degrees.)

“Chegg, the textbook and student services company that has long been a nuisance to physical campus bookstores, will this fall take over and run the textbook center at Bowdoin College,” reports Inside Higher Ed.

Via the NY Post: “Former Washington Post Publisher Don Graham has raised $81 million for a college-tuition scholarship program for undocumented immigrant students — and attracted gold-plated donors like Bill Gates, Mike Bloomberg and Bill Ackman to the cause. But Graham has raised some eyebrows by quietly sending 5 percent of the scholarship students to his for-profit Kaplan University schools, The Post has learned exclusively.”

“Athabasca University’s troubles grow,” says Tony Bates. “The death of Athabasca University has been greatly exaggerated,” says George Siemens.

Course Report has released a study on the size of the learn-to-code bootcamp market, which it predicts will grow “by 2.4x to an estimated 16,056 graduates in 2015, up from 6,740 in 2014.”

MindWires Consulting’s Phil Hill also observes that the University of Phoenix is “Losing hundreds of millions of dollars on adaptive-learning LMS bet.”

Who’s actually running America's charter schools?” Great data, maps, and charts from Rutgers professor Bruce Baker.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Bergen Community College has eliminated the positions of 64 full-time lecturers, who taught full course loads off the tenure track, reported. Those who lost their full-time positions are being asked to apply for course-by-course adjunct posts, for which the pay per course is lower. The individual course positions, unlike the full-time lecturer jobs, have no benefits.”

“Five retired NBA players are receiving scholarships to attend Kaplan University and study online to earn certificates, bachelor’s or master’s degrees,” says Inside Higher Ed.

Via Buzzfeed’s Molly Hensley-Clancy: “Career Education Corporation’s plan to transform its business was simple: stop providing career education. And so far, it seems to be working: in the first quarter of the company's ‘transformation plan,’ it beat analyst estimates, sending its stock shooting up more than 30% on Friday after results were announced.”

Via Buzzfeed: “Education Department Wants To ‘Claw Back’ Loan Dollars From Disgraced Colleges. As more for-profit college students seek to have their federal student loans cancelled, the government is looking for ways to keep taxpayers off the hook.”

Middlebury College is selling its stake in an online language learning company it founded with K12, the terribad for-profit online education provider.

“Ulster University is to close its school of modern languages at its Coleraine campus and cut maths degrees as a result of budget reductions,” the BBC reports.

Inside Higher Ed reports that Sally Stroup will be stepping down “as executive vice president for government relations and legal counsel for the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), which is the for-profit industry’s primary trade group.”

Via Buzzfeed: “How A College You've Never Heard Of Became A Grad School Giant” (wherein “giant” means its students have taken out a gigantic amount of student loan debt.)

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Graham Holdings Company, which controls Kaplan Inc., announced Friday that the sale of its Kaplan Higher Education campuses to Education Corporation of America was completed Thursday, according to a corporate filing. ECA is a for-profit chain that announced in February it would purchase all 38 of the nationally accredited Kaplan campuses and related assets. Kaplan will continue to operate Kaplan University and eight professional schools.”

The Open University says it will close seven regional centers centres.

The LA Times’ Howard Blume broke a story this week about the Broad Foundation’s “ambitious $490-million plan to place half of the city’s students into charter schools over the next eight years, a controversial gambit that backers hope will serve as a catalyst for the rest of the nation.”

The document cites numerous foundations and individuals who could be tapped for funding. In addition to the Broad Foundation, the list includes the Gates, Bloomberg, Annenberg and Hewlett foundations. Among the billionaires cited as potential donors are Stewart and Lynda Resnick, major producers of mandarin oranges, pistachios and pomegranates; Irvine Co. head Donald Bren; entertainment mogul David Geffen; and Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk.

“Every few weeks, it seems, a new investigation is launched into one of the larger for-profit colleges in the country,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

Albany State University, a HBCU, plans to “deactivate” 15 of its programs, says Inside Higher Ed.

“The American Museum of Natural History now offers a master of arts in teaching and a Ph.D. in comparative biology,” according to The New York Times, in an article in the Art & Design section titled “Museums, Always Educational, Now Confer Degrees.”

7 Senators Call for End to For-Profit-to-Nonprofit College Conversions.”

A Turkish religious movement has secretly funded as many as 200 trips to Turkey for members of Congress and staff since 2008, apparently repeatedly violating House rules and possibly federal law, a USA TODAY investigation has found.” This story involves the Gulan movement, which is a huge funder of charter schools.

How For-Profit Colleges Hang on to Federal Funding.”

The owner of the Dade Medical college “hired a private investigator to follow a Miami Herald reporter who has written critical articles about the sector, according to court documents given to the South Florida newspaper.”

The Rich Man’s Dropout Club: Whatever happened to the teenage entrepreneurs whom Peter Thiel paid to forgo college?

Debt-fueled bubbles, bubbles, bubbles... first home prices, now higher education and taxi medallions

Why Is The University Still Here?

What’s Left After Higher Education Is Dismantled

That Time Donald Trump Started a ‘University’ (and an Amazing Blog)

Why Free College Is Necessary

Generation Debt

The Case Against Free College

The BBC looks at “merger madness” – that is, the consolidation of European universities.

Via Inside Higher Ed: the role that banks like Bank of America have played in for-profit universities.

Cash Monitoring List Unveiled

Via Vox: “Sanders and Clinton want the federal government to fund public college. Colleges aren’t so sure.” Some clarification: by “colleges,” the story actually means “10 university presidents, eight from large public universities.” For what it’s worth, these aren’t the institutions that educate most Americans. That would be community colleges. Let’s ask them instead of relying on the prestige market to protect its prestige.

Senator Marco Rubio (who like most Republicans is running for President) has reintroduced the “Investing in Student Success Act,” which would allow students to fund their college education through private loans to be repaid through income sharing agreements.

Audrey Watters


Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2015

A Hack Education Project

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