ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

This Week In Higher Ed 1/25

January 25, 2019 by Erik Gross

Massachusetts Seeks to Regulate College Closures

As private colleges continue to close their doors at an alarming rate, Massachusetts is considering new regulations to provide students and parents with more information about college closures. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education unveiled a plan to screen private, nonprofit colleges for their financial health and issue a warning 18 months before an institution is at risk of closing. Since a college closure adversely affects the worth of students’ degrees, this regulation is meant to protect students from unexpected closures. Opponents of the bill, especially college leadership, argue that this regulation could impact admissions. If regulators announce that a college is at risk, it may be a virtual guarantee that the college could close, since applications will drop off, limiting the college’s options to remedy its financial struggles.

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Green Mountain College Announces Closure

Green Mountain College, a small, private institution in Vermont, announced on Wednesday that it will be closing after the spring semester. The college has a 185-year history, and its closure saddens many in academia. Green Mountain reportedly sought partnership with a larger institution, but was unsuccessful. The college stated that the root of its woes was simply not being able to attract enough students. Bryan Alexander, a consultant and higher education writer, chalked the closure up to shifting demographics: “Demographics drives this, especially in aging and no-growth regions like Vermont.”

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Colleges are Eliminating Foreign Language Offerings

In a new study, the Modern Language Association found 651 cases in which a foreign language class that had been offered in fall 2013 was no longer offered in fall 2016. The most common disappearances were French (129), Spanish (118), German (86), and Italian (56). ACTA has long sounded the alarm about the consequences of diminishing language requirements. Proficiency in a foreign language is an essential part of a well-rounded liberal arts education, and this skill has become extremely important in an increasingly globalized marketplace.

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Check here every Friday for the most important higher education news. Using over 24 years of expertise, ACTA will provide commentary on the pressing issues facing our nation's colleges and universities.

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