Around the industry: After accidentally flunking seniors, WSU apologizes with chocolate

Bite-sized college and higher education industry news

  • California: Researchers at Westmont College want to prove the value of study abroad by scanning students' brains before and after the experience. The scans test empathy and nine "executive functions," such as memory and problem solving. Last fall, Westmont launched a pilot of 30 students, but the school hopes to eventually expand to the full class of about 325 students (Murphy, Chronicle of Higher Education, 6/4).
  • Kansas: After a computer mistakenly told 67 senior citizens they flunked a course, administrators at Wichita State University (WSU) hand-delivered apologies and chocolate bars bearing the WSU mascot. The seniors had been enrolled as auditors in a course on Kansas history at a retirement home.  The center's CEO says no one was offended—in fact, they thought WSU's response was "cool" and are excited to take more classes (Wenzl, Wichita Eagle, 6/3).
  • New York: Barnard College will now accept transgender women, officials announced Thursday. Individuals who identify as men or as neither gender at the time of application will still be ineligible for admission, but anyone identifying as a woman will be permitted—no matter the "gender assigned to them at birth," according to the new policy. Barnard President Debora L. Spar says the decision took more than a year and involved discussions with numerous stakeholders across campus (Harris, New York Times, 6/4).

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