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Weekly Review
June 24, 2022
At AKA, we closely follow trends and latest developments
in higher education and the nonprofit sector.

Here are some recent articles and reports that we found particularly informative.
From The New York Times:
Why Students Are Choosing H.B.C.U.s: ‘4 Years Being Seen as Family’
By Erica L. Green
Although long bastions of Black excellence, H.B.C.U.’s currently educate just nine percent of Black Americans seeking a college degree. However, the nurturing mission, increased funding, and growing visibility of these institutions are attracting a new wave of students—part of a generation whose adolescence was shaped not only by the election of the first Black president but also by political and social strife that threatened the lives and liberties of Black Americans. Read this article
From The Hechinger Report:
States and Localities Pump More Money into Community Colleges than Four-Year Campuses
By Jill Barshay
Public two-year community colleges achieved a new budgetary milestone in fiscal year 2021, receiving six percent more public funding per student than public four-year institutions. Good news, though some of this was due to significant enrollment declines, which hit 2-year schools particularly hard. Additionally, tuition rates at two-year schools are significantly lower than their four-year public counterparts leaving almost 80 percent of community college revenues to come from state and local funds. Read this article
The US Can Halve Its Emissions by 2030—if It Wants To
By Matt Simon
Scientists agree that meeting the Biden administration’s commitment to halve the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 is eminently doable. The science is there to make it economically viable, and there are significant non-economic benefits. The stumbling block? The lack of political will in Washington to pass substantial climate legislation, suggesting that ground-up efforts by states and municipalities hold greater promise. Read this article

Can Democracy Include a World Beyond Humans?
By James Bridle
The author argues that many actions of animals in captivity are a struggle against exploitation, and thus they act politically and deserve legal personhood. Using this assumption and examples drawn from animal biology, environmental science, and AI, he stresses the importance of conceiving a way of thinking that fully acknowledges and engages with all living beings and ecological systems—and eventually, he believes, with autonomous artificial intelligences. Read this article
Further Reading
From Education Next:
Big Data on Campus
By Kelli A. Bird, Benjamin L. Castleman, Yifeng Song, & Zachary Mabel
This report scrutinizes the current third-party predictive data analysis methods used by many universities to determine which students are at risk of failing courses or dropping out. These services promise to identify students in need of additional support, helping institutions increase completion rates. With approximately 1,400 institutions spending hundreds of millions of dollars on these methods, the authors argue that it is imperative to better understand their pros and cons to ensure resources are allocated properly and implicit biases are addressed. Read this article
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