The U.S. Education Department has cut $10 million from the $46.2 million McNair Scholars program, which helps prepare college students from underrepresented minority groups for graduate school, Inside Higher Ed reports. The Council for Opportunity in Education estimates that about one-third of the McNair programs will lose their grants as a result.
A new federal program launched in July 2012, aims to “place a welcome sign on federal service for students and recent graduates,” according to John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management. The Government Executive publication reports that the program includes tracks for current students, recent graduates, and Presidential Management Fellows.
Individualized engineering programs are gaining popularity as problems within the field call for greater flexibility and broader skill sets, Inside Higher Ed reports. Flexible programs — such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Course 2-A in mechanical engineering and Stanford University’s recently updated computer science curriculum — allow students more room to develop their areas of interest by cutting down the number of required core courses and allowing students to choose specialized track concentrations, or, in MIT’s program, design their own.
The National Association of Engineering Student Councils has deemed Virginia Tech students as the most philanthropic in the country for 2012 and found that that they operated the best Student Engineers’ Council. The Virginia Tech council has raised more than $1 million over the past decade from organizing one of the nation’s largest career fairs. The money partially funds more than 30 engineering organizations, including the hybrid electric vehicle team; the outdoor-terrain motorsport team; and the Baja and Formula Society of Automotive Engineers’ teams.
A former Google executive has launched a company, called Upstart, with a new method to finance recent graduates-turned-entrepreneurs. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, it works by having investors give money directly to individuals in return for a percentage of future income from their ventures. Founder David J. Girouard, who raised $1.75-million in seed money, expects it to be of interest to students who want to pursue any field that is entrepreneurial and high-risk, such as screenwriting or starting a technology company. Five universities are participating in a pilot program: Arizona State University, Dartmouth College, the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and the University of Washington. Find out more.