higher ed

Julia Botero

For the second year in a row, every student who completed Jefferson County Community College's nursing program passed the New York State Board of Nursing exam on their first try. This makes JCC one of the top schools in New York to get an associate's degree in nursing. But does the best test taker make the best nurse? 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A group of Syracuse University students upset with several issues at the school surrounding student support services and administrative transparency ended an 18 day sit-in protest Thursday afternoon with several victories to claim.

A few dozen students, calling themselves THE General Body, began an occupation of Crouse-Hinds Hall, the administrative building on campus, on Nov. 3.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The costs and overtime hours are starting to add up for Syracuse University as a student sit-in protest nears the end of its third week.

The university's public safety department has had to station multiple officers in Crouse-Hinds Hall, the school's administration building, around the clock since Nov. 3. They're keeping an eye on the dozen or so students living there as part of a protest against the administration of chancellor Kent Syverud.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse University's chancellor says he's issued "the final word" to a large group of student protestors and it's time to move forward, but the students have no intention of moving out the school's administrative building, which they've called home for nearly two weeks.

In a letter to the campus, chancellor Kent Syverud this week gave the student protestors something they've wanted for awhile: a formal apology for the way the university closed a sexual assault advocacy center over the summer.

jpellgen / via Flickr

The University Hill section of Syracuse is home to two colleges, three hospitals and several businesses that support them. It’s also a quarter of Syracuse’s economy.

There's $650 million worth of investment underway on the hill, according to Dave Mankiewitz, president of the University Hill Corporation.

The University Hill Corporation has been advised that Interstate 81 needs to be removed for the neighborhood to thrive. But the group is waiting to weigh in on the project.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Upset with what they say is a lack of transparency from university officials, Syracuse University students are vowing to continue a sit-in at the school's administrative building that's been underway since Monday afternoon.

Monday was when a boisterous group of students renewed protests over a closure of a sexual assault victim resource center, reduction in minority scholarships and proposed changes to the university's mission statement. 

Zixi Wu / via Flickr

Updated, 4:19 p.m. with statement Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham:

An award-winning Washington Post photographer who has covered the Ebola virus in West Africa says Syracuse University is caving to the "hysteria" of the virus by canceling his visit to campus this weekend.

The photojournalist, Michel du Cille, was supposed to be on campus this weekend as part of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication's Fall Workshop, a tent post weekend for masters students at the communications school.

courtesy / Syracuse University

Syracuse University law students are settling in for many long nights of studying in a new space. 

The university's college of law christened its new home, Dineen Hall, Friday. It's named for two alumni, Robert and Carolyn Dineen. 

The Dineens both put themselves through Syracuse law and became prominent attorneys in both the city and New York state. Their children donated $15 million for the new hall.

One daughter is the Hon. Carolyn Dineen King, a judge on the federal fifth circuit, based in New Orleans.

Danilo Urbina / via Flickr

Syracuse University has earned a top score for being a gay-friendly campus.

It’s hard for campus officials who work with the LGBT community to tell if more students today are coming to campus already out.

"I think they’re maybe a little more savvy and they realize that coming out is a continuous process. There’s no one way to do it," said Chase Catalano, director of the college's LGBT resource center. "And at least our hope is that coming out isn’t a requirement."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Onondaga Community College is tapping another central New York College to join it’s "2+2" partnership stable.

Cazenovia College is the latest institution to sign this kind of partnership agreement with OCC. What it does is allow students to take two years of directed coursework at the community college, then transfer to Cazenovia, to get a bachelor's degree.

OCC President Casey Craybill says one of the major pluses to these deals is that academic advisement comes from both schools.

Zack Seward / WXXI

The head of New York’s public higher education system says the Common Core education standards better prepare students for college.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has joined a national coalition of 200 colleges in 33 states, called Higher Ed for Higher Standards, advocating for the continued use of Common Core standards for primary and high school education.

The new standards have been criticized for their poor rollout, but Zimpher says they’ll increase a student’s chances of completing college on time.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

As the debt load of recent college graduates continues to rise, New York's junior senator is stumping for a new bill that will cut the interest rate on federal student loans by nearly half.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is one of about two dozen Democrats backing a bill that will reduce the loan rate on undergraduate loans to about 3.8 percent, from the nearly seven percent they sit at now. The bill would also bring down the interest rates for graduate school loans.

Stephen Sartori / Say Yes to Education

Say Yes to Education is slightly short of its goal to being independently financially sustainable six years after its start.

Say Yes is a national nonprofit that opened a chapter in the Syracuse school district in 2008. It offers a different strategy to improve urban education with a promise of free college tuition to graduating high school seniors.

There is a looming skills gap between available jobs in New York and the training needed to fill them, according to a new report.

The report, by Ready Nation/America’s Edge found that by 2020, there will be 350,000 available jobs in the state that New Yorkers won’t have the skills needed to fill. They’re mid-level skilled jobs that require some advanced education, like an associate degree or certificate.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse University has formally entered “The Kent Syverud Years,” as the school’s new chancellor was inaugurated Friday evening.

Syverud took over for Nancy Cantor as the university’s 12th chancellor in January, but the school laid out the orange carpet Friday, and laid on the pomp and circumstance, in a ceremony at Hendricks Chapel.

Le Moyne College

The Le Moyne College Board of Trustees unanimously elected a new president Thursday, naming Linda LeMura as its 14th president. She will become the first lay female to serve as president of a Jesuit college or university in the world.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York's public university system is merging two of its campuses. SUNYIT in Utica and the College of Nanoscale, Science and Engineering in Albany will merge in 2015.

The merger comes after the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering broke off from the University at Albany last year. CNSE has been the darling of SUNY system since its creation in 2004. Though small, it’s attracted millions of dollars in private investment.

America used to have a robust college education system for prison inmates. It was seen as a way to rehabilitate men and women behind bars by helping them go straight when they got out.

Those taxpayer-funded college classes were defunded in the 1990s. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would like to bring them back in the state, prompting a fierce new debate over higher education in state prisons.

Durrie Bouscaren / WRVO File

New York state plans to create the nation’s first college dedicated to homeland security and emergency preparedness, which backers say is a necessary measure given the major storms and terrorist threats the state has dealt with.

And there are efforts to headquarter that new college in Syracuse.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Republican from Syracuse, says the idea to create a homeland security and emergency preparedness college came from him and the state Senate, which he pitched to the governor.

Meesh / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is defending his plan to pay for college classes for prison inmates, saying it will cut down the number of convicts sent back to prison.

Cuomo has proposed expanding a program that currently offers privately funded college courses in some state prisons. The program would offer associate's and bachelor's degree education at 10 prisons, which Cuomo says will reduce the likelihood of inmates returning to crime.

Syracuse University

A few weeks ago, David Crane got a call. The Syracuse University law professor was asked to join a team who would be examining a collection of tens of thousands of gruesome photographs. They appeared to show widespread torture and killings at detention facilities run by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Two days later, Crane was in the Middle East, with two other former war crimes prosecutors and forensics experts, poring over the images and interviewing the man who took them.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s newly formed Student Protection Unit has launched an investigation into the student debt relief industry.

Led by the state Department of Financial Services (DFS), it’s designed to be a consumer watchdog for New York students. And, one day after being established in the 2014 Executive Budget address, the unit issued subpoenas to 13 companies in its first official action.

The State University of New York is making it easier for students to graduate by making its campuses' 12,000 online classes available on one website.

Chancellor Nancy Zimpher announced the launch of the program Open SUNY during her State of the University address Tuesday, saying it will make it easier for students to find the classes they need to take and allows students the chance to learn on their own time while dealing with their day-to-day lives.

Courtesy SUNY-ESF

Dr. Quentin Wheeler will return to central New York in January to be SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's first new president in more than a decade.

He comes back to New York from teaching at Arizona State University. Before that he cut his teeth as a professor at Cornell University where he stayed for a quarter century.

For a scientist, Wheeler said in an interview with WRVO, the forests of upstate New York are a good place to be.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei has a to-do list for himself and the community when it comes to education. The Syracuse-area Democrat released a six-point plan this week that arises from listening sessions he held across the 24th Congressional District earlier this year.

Maffei says one of the key things that stuck with him during the sessions, was the extent of morale problems among educators across the 24th Congressional District. And he says that's one thing he hopes his proposal can tackle.  

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The new Gateway Building at Syracuse's SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry campus is meant to be more than a welcoming center, incorporating many of the environmental values the school is known for.

SUNY ESF President Neil Murphy says the new $28 million center fulfills a decade old dream at the school.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she voted against a recent compromise on student loans because the interest rates shouldn’t be tied to market rates.

Congress let interest rates on government subsidized student loans double on July first to nearly seven percent. Last week lawmakers worked out a deal to allow rates to be tied to 10 year Treasury notes. That temporarily lowered the rates again.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York's senior U.S. senator says the compromise on student loans Congress is scheduled to take up on Tuesday is a good one, even if it's not exactly what he wanted.

Interest rates on government issued subsidized student loans doubled on July 1, after Congress failed to renew the program. But late last week, several lawmakers announced a compromise that will bring rates back down, at least for now.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer is trying to get the federal labor department to steer $23 million to New York's community colleges so they can set up a health care worker training program.

The State University of New York is applying for the grant. It's similar to one SUNY won last year for high-tech manufacturing.

Twenty-nine community college campuses are listed on the grant application, and would split the grant money. The schools would also partner with area hospitals.

TheGirlsNY/flickr

Interest rates double today for any students applying for the federal government's subsidized Stafford loans, after Congress failed to agree on a deal to lower interest rates.

Students at Onondaga Community College take out $21 million in loans every year to help pay for their education. Financial Aid Director Kate Bellefeuille says some potential students at OCC will be affected by the higher rates, which are jumping from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

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