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Welcome to College Bound

Hello and welcome to College Bound. In this blog, I will cover what happens after high school as students move into community colleges, universities, and careers. Look here for the latest on issues of transition and access, such as college-admissions tests, AP classes, financial aid, college-prep programs and support services for incoming freshmen.

This is an exciting time to be following higher education. The political spotlight is shining brightly on campuses, and expectations are high. The Obama administration's goal that America would once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020 translates into an additional 5 million Americans earning community college degrees and certificates. The recent legislation expanding Pell Grants, revamping student loans, and increasing community college funding was major. Yet higher education is looking for more to reach that goal, and it will be interesting to follow how it plays out.

At the same time there is enormous energy around higher education, the recession has left many states—and college campuses—financially strapped. Budgets are being slashed and staff laid off just as demand for postsecondary education rises, especially at community colleges. I'll follow how campuses are coming up with creative ways of coping.

To produce the number of college graduates that the president wants, there is a growing sense that K-12 needs to work more closely with higher education. Educators are working to better prepare students not only to get in, but also succeed in college. Higher education likely will be forced to look at ways to improve efficiency and accountability, just as K-12 has done in recent years.

So, lots to cover —and that's not all. I'm open to your ideas. Let me know what concerns you have about higher ed and what should be on my radar.

Before I wrap up this first post, a bit about myself. ... I have been a journalist since the mid-80s. During the first half of my career, I worked at newspapers, a magazine, and on a college campus. For the past 13 years, I've been a freelance writer, covering education, parenting, health, and business.

I enjoy writing about education, in part, because I have three kids: one in elementary, one in middle, and one in high school. I'm continually amazed at how much school has changed from when I was a student and I'm curious about what works best in the classroom. As I report on everything from testing to technology, I learn so much. I think it helps me better understand what my kids are going through and be a better advocate for them in school. Covering this beat, I look forward to learning more about the higher ed landscape and college-preparation process, which is not too far off for my family.

As I take on this new assignment, I welcome your input. I look forward to hearing from you and exploring the latest trends on college campuses together.


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