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The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2015 Edition

January 30, 2015 Comments off

The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2015 Edition
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

WIC provides supplemental food, nutrition education, and referrals to health care and other social services to low-income, nutritionally at-risk women, infants, and children up to 5 years of age.This report explains how WIC works, examines program trends, describes some of the lesser known effects of WIC, and discusses some of the major economic issues facing the program.

Science & Engineering Degree Attainment: 2004-2014

January 29, 2015 Comments off

Science & Engineering Degree Attainment: 2004-2014
Source: National Student Clearinghouse

From 2004 to 2014, science and engineering degrees increased in prevalence for both genders. The trend was driven by growth in the so-called “hard sciences.”

The percentage of bachelor’s degrees accounted for by S&E disciplines increased two percentage points for men, and one percentage point for women. The percentage of master’s degrees accounted for by S&E disciplines increased one percentage point for men, and remained nearly flat for women. At the doctoral level, social sciences and psychology decreased in prevalence, while the other S&E disciplines increased. S&E “hard sciences” now account for 48 percent of all doctoral degrees earned by men, up from 45 percent in 2004.

In the Shadows of the Ivory Tower : Undocumented Undergraduates and the Liminal State of Immigration Reform

January 28, 2015 Comments off

In the Shadows of the Ivory Tower : Undocumented Undergraduates and the Liminal State of Immigration Reform
Source: UndocuScholars Project, Institute for Immigration, Globalization, & Education, University of California-Los Angeles

Amidst the turbulent crosscurrents of immigration reform, nearly a quarter of a million undocumented undergraduates are struggling to find their way in higher education. Their liminal state calls for research to inform the unique needs and challenges of this growing student population. In this report, we shed light on the range and complexities of undocumented undergraduates experiences based on a sample of 909 participants across 34 states originating in 55 countries. The participants attended an array of postsecondary institutions including two-year and four-year public and private colleges that range in selectivity. In this report, we describe their demographic characteristics, experiences in college, as well as their aspirations and anxieties. Further, we make specific recommendations for what colleges should consider to better serve this population. Lastly, in light of executive actions in 2012 and 2014, this data can be used to extrapolate some of the issues that are likely to define this newly protected immigrant population moving forward.

How Head Start Grantees Set and Use School Readiness Goals – Highlights from a Research Study

January 28, 2015 Comments off

How Head Start Grantees Set and Use School Readiness Goals – Highlights from a Research Study
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families

This brief presents highlights from a similarly named full report: How Head Start Grantees Set and Use School Readiness Goals, which describes how local Head Start grantees set school readiness goals, how they collect and analyze data to track progress toward goals, and how they use these data in program planning and practice to improve program functioning. The findings are based on data that was collected during the 2013-2014 school year from 73 Head Start and Early Head Start grantees.

Worker’s expectations about losing and replacing their jobs: 35 years of change

January 27, 2015 Comments off

Worker’s expectations about losing and replacing their jobs: 35 years of change
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

In a 1980 Monthly Labor Review article, I used data from 1977 and 1978 nationwide public opinion surveys to show that relatively few (7.7 percent) workers surveyed feared the loss of their jobs and a majority (59.2 percent) thought that they could find comparable work without much difficulty. Unemployment rates were 7 percent in 1977 and 6 percent in 1978.

Other findings were as follows:

+ Blacks, those with less education, workers with lower earnings, and those with lower skilled jobs tended to experience greater insecurity of employment. They were more likely to fear being laid off in the next 12 months and were more likely to anticipate difficulty in finding a comparable job.

+ By contrast, workers with more education, those with higher earnings, and those in higher skilled jobs typically expressed a greater sense of security in their present jobs and were more likely to believe that finding a comparable job would be easy.

Social Context and College Completion in the United States: The Role of Congregational Biblical Literalism

January 27, 2015 Comments off

Social Context and College Completion in the United States: The Role of Congregational Biblical Literalism (PDF)
Source: Sociological Perspectives

Prior research has documented the influence of religion on a variety of stratification processes. Largely absent from this research, however, are explicit examinations of the role religious contexts play in educational outcomes. In this study, we focus on the congregation-level prevalence of a salient religious belief: biblical literalism. Using national multilevel data (U.S. Congregational Life Survey [USCLS]; N = 92,344), we examine whether individuals’ likelihood of completing college is dependent on the percentage of fellow congregation members who are biblical literalists. We find that college completion is tied to congregational literalism in important ways. Net of individual biblical literalism and other controls, congregational literalism decreases the likelihood of completing college. In addition, while congregational biblical literalism decreases the likelihood of college completion for both biblical literalists and non-literalists, the relationship is strongest for non-literalists such that in highly literalist congregations, non- literalists’ likelihood of college completion more closely resembles that of literalists.

Campus Law Enforcement, 2011-12

January 26, 2015 Comments off

Campus Law Enforcement, 2011-12
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Presents findings from a BJS survey of campus law enforcement agencies covering the 2011-12 academic year. The report focuses primarily on 4-year colleges and universities enrolling 2,500 or more students. Agencies serving public and private campuses are compared by number and type of employees, agency functions, arrest jurisdiction, patrol coverage, agreements with local law enforcement, requirements for new officers, use of nonlethal weapons, types of computers and information systems, community policing initiatives, use of special units and programs, and emergency preparedness activities.

Highlights:

  • About 75% of the campuses were using armed officers, compared to 68% during the 2004-05 school year.
  • About 9 in 10 public campuses used sworn police officers (92%), compared to about 4 in 10 private campuses (38%).
  • Most sworn campus police officers were authorized to use a sidearm (94%), chemical or pepper spray (94%), and a baton (93%).
  • Most sworn campus police officers had arrest (86%) and patrol (81%) jurisdictions that extended beyond campus boundaries.
  • About 7 in 10 campus law enforcement agencies had a memorandum of understanding or other formal written agreement with outside law enforcement agencies.
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