ACE's dotEDU Podcast

​​​​​​​​Each episode of dotEDU presents a deep dive into a major issue impacting college campuses and students across the country. Hosts from ACE, joined by guest experts, lead you through thought-provoking conversations on topics such as campus free speech, diversity in admissions, college costs and affordability, and more.


Episode 26: More COVID Funding From Congress; Supporting Students' Return to Campus

Hosts Jon Turk and Sarah Spreitzer discuss the next round of COVID funding coming out of Congress and what that might mean for higher ed and its students. Also, they talk with Lamar Hylton about his experience as the newly appointed vice president for student affairs at Kent State University and how his institution is preparing for a very unique and challenging fall semester.

Episode 25: “Horrifying” Guidance on International Students; All About the Title IX Final Rule

Hosts Jon Fansmith and Sarah Spreitzer have a lively discussion about the recently issued ICE directive that bans international students from remaining in the United States if their colleges adopt an online-only instruction model for the fall, and speculate on what this means for institutions moving forward. Later, their colleague Anne Meehan and Holland & Knight Senior Counsel Jeff Nolan join them to talk about the Department of Education’s new rule on Title IX and how colleges must handle sexual assault and sexual harassment complaints beginning Aug. 14.

Episode 24: Supreme Court Protects DACA, LGBTQ Workers; Prioritizing DEI During COVID-19

Hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa discuss two recent Supreme Court decisions: one that protects individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, and another that protects the civil rights of LGBTQ workers, both of which will impact colleges and universities and students. They are later joined by Lori White, incoming president of DePauw University, who talks about taking on a new job during the pandemic; the need to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion this fall; and what it means to be a Black woman leading a major institution.

Episode 23: How Campuses Can Encourage Racial Healing; the Future of Blockchain in Education

Hosts Lorelle Espinosa and Jon Fansmith discuss the response to the murder of George Floyd while exploring how colleges and universities can encourage racial healing. Also, Senior Policy Advisor for the Department of Education Sharon Leu and ACE’s Chief Learning and Innovation Officer Louis Soares talk about the potential applications of blockchain in higher education and about ACE’s federally funded Education Blockchain Initiative.

Episode 22: Thinking Through an Uncertain Fall

As we enter the unofficial start of summer, all eyes are on if and when colleges and universities will welcome students back to campus this fall. ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle joins co-hosts Jon Fansmith and Sarah Spreitzer to discuss what higher education institutions need to support reopening and how Congress can help.

Episode 21: Making Scientific Research More Nimble

What lessons can scientists and the public learn from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Hosts Lorelle Espinosa and Jon Turk discuss that and sustainability on college campuses with Lisa Graumlich, dean of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington. Also, Lorelle and Jon explore ACE’s response to the Education Department’s recent release of new Title IX regulations and what it could mean for higher education.

Episode 20: Can We Promise College for All?

More states are considering broad-based college aid programs, an idea that was sparked some 75 years ago with the GI Bill. Hosts Jon Turk and Sarah Spreitzer talk with College Promise CEO Martha Kanter about the future of college promise programs nationwide, particularly in light of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on higher education.

Episode 19: A College at the Crossroads of COVID-19 and DACA

COVID-19 has effected colleges and universities in myriad ways, and we’re just beginning to understand the changes for students and institutions coming down the road. Students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status have particular needs during this time. Carrie Besnette Hauser, president of Colorado Mountain College, talks with co-hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa about how her institution has responded to the pandemic and how its unique, interest-free income share agreement for DACA students has adapted. ​

Episode 18: Higher Education in the Time of COVID-19

​Recording from various remote workplaces around the DC area, the dotEDU team comes together to discuss the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on higher education. Hosts Jon Fansmith and Sarah Spreitzer focus on the federal stimulus relief, including why ACE and its members think the relief provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is not enough. Later they are joined by ACE colleagues Robin Helms and Brad Farnsworth to find out how colleges and universities are adapting as they move to online learning, how student well-being is being impacted, and the future of international education.​

Episode 17: Access, Affordability, and the Future of Independent Colleges​

​The common narrative surrounding independent colleges and universities is that they are either elite ivy institutions or small colleges on the brink of closure. Barbara Mistick, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, dispels this black and white view in a conversation with co-hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa. Mistick talks about how private schools are increasingly concerned with access and affordability, and how her years as president of Wilson College informs her work as head of a national organization serving a diverse range of institutions.​

Episode 16: Preventing Sexual Harassment in Academia​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Recent research into the prevalence of sexual and gender harassment in STEM fields has proven to be a much needed wake-up call to many in higher education. Frazier Benya, senior program officer at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine talks with Lorelle Espinosa and Sarah Spreitzer about how institutions can go beyond legal solutions to tackle the problem.​

Episode 15: College Admissions Under the Microscope

Joyce Smith, CEO of the National Association of College Admissions Counseling​ (NACAC), talks about the many changes the field has undergone in the past three decades and what can be done to reshape it for the future. Along with hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa, Smith looks back at he​r 30-year career at NACAC, how admissions counselors work to support students and families, and the importance of transparency, along with the Varsity Blues scandal and the association’s antitrust settlement with the Justice Department

Episode 14: Community Colleges Bring Dreams Within Reach​

Now more than ever, community colleges are playing a vital role in the postsecondary space. Helping students earn credentials, degrees, and beyond, community college leaders are finding they need to adapt to changing needs. Former President of Montgomery County Community College Karen Stout, now president and CEO of Achieving the Dream​, talks with hosts Jon Fansmith and Jonathan Turk about the challenges this newest generation of community colleges face.​

Episode 13: Organizing a Campus Based on Equity a​nd Social Justice

More and more universities are starting programs and other initiatives designed to enhance diversity and inclusion. But can the daily work of running a campus also contribute to this goal? Julie Posselt, associate professor of education at the University of Southern California, talks about her new book, Higher Education Administration for Social Justice and Equity, and how to carry out basic administrative operations with a clear commitment to diversity and equity. Read more​

Episode 12: Giving All Learners a Chance​

Former Secretary of Education John B. King, now president and CEO of The Education Trust, talks about his passion for giving all learners, particularly those in poverty and prisons, access to higher education. He discusses with hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa how his own personal experiences, his work in the federal government, and his work as an education advocate drive him to help students who just need a chance to succeed. Read more

Episode 11: Meeting Students Where They Are on Mental Health

​Nance Roy, chief clinical officer at the Jed Foundation, and Jan Collins-Eaglin, associate dean of students for wellness and personal success at Pomona College and an advisor at the Steve Fund, talk about effective strategies to help at-risk college students. After the discussion, hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa talk about the future of the FUTURE Act, which until it expired Sept. 30 provided a vital funding stream for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority serving institutions. Legislation to restore the initiative has been revived in the Senate. ​​Read more

Episode 10: Talking Free Speech on Cam​pus

Tensions on campus around free speech issues mean college and university leaders are often caught in the crosshairs. Hosts Lorelle Espinosa and Jon Fansmith speak with civil discourse and campus speech experts, Lara Schwartz, professor at American University, and Michelle Deutchman, executive director of the University of California’s Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, about the tensions, the research, and the policies that can have a huge impact on how students experience campus life and explore how leaders can make their own campuses inclusive. Read more

Episode 09: Student Success Is Institutional Success​

Co-hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa talk with ACE President Ted Mitchell about how higher education is re-imagining student success and the need for institutions to adapt to the changing face of their student bodies. Afterward, Jon and Lorelle talk about rec​​ent developments in Congress and the administration, including the House-passed College Affordability Act and a federal court ruling that found Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in contempt of court for violating a recent order on forgiving student loans. ​ Read more​

Episode 08: Setting Up Student Veterans for Success

Seventy-five years since the GI Bill changed the face of higher education, college leaders are striving to learn more about how to serve the latest generation of student veterans. Jared Lyon, president and CEO of Student Veterans of America​, joins hosts Sarah Spreitzer and Jon Turk to talk about why student veterans are considered the "tip of the spear" for the upcoming wave of post-traditional students.​ Read more​​​​

Episode 07: Asian A​​merican Students in Higher Ed... It's Complicated

Hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa have an engaging discussion with Julie J. Park of the University of Maryland, College Park, as they react to the recent Harvard admissions case decision and explore what it means for the future of diversity in higher education. They also dig deeper into the myths around Asian American students. Read more​

Episode 06: Big Data Goes to College

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Lindsay Wayt, director of analytics f​or the National Association of College and University Bu​​​​siness Officers​ (NACUBO), discusses how colleges and universities are using analytics to achieve the essential goals of a 21st century campus—building campuses that focus on student succes​s, managing costs, improving efficiency, and more. Read more​

Episode 05: Beyond the Admission​s Letter: Helping Disadvantaged Students Succeed in College​

​​​​​​​​​​​Anthony Jack, Harvard professor and author of The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges are Failing Disadvantaged Students, talks with ACE hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa about his own experience as a poor, but privileged, student and why getting into college is not the last hurdle students like him face at elite colleges and other institutions. Read more

Episode 04: The Current Climate for International Students in the United States

Just back from a trip to China, Brad Farnsworth talks with our podcast hosts about recent trends in international student enrollment, delays in issuing student visas, global partnerships, and whether the Trump administration’s policies and rhetoric are impacting international higher education. Read more

Episode 03: HSIs Are Narrowing Racial Gaps for Latinx Students

Hispanic student enrollment in higher education has doubled in the last decade. Where are these students going, what do they need, and how do Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs) fit into the equation? Our hosts, along with John Aguilar of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, explore those issues and more. Read more

Episode 02: Lifting Up Men of Color

Multiple barriers stand between African American and Latino men and college completion. It's a complex problem that secondary and postsecondary institutions, educators, and policymakers alike have been trying to address, yet finding ways to apply research to practice requires a community-wide effort. In this episode, Victor Saenz talks about his work as part of the Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success) Student Fellows Mentoring Program at the University of Texas at Austin, a research and mentoring project focused on learning about and supporting Latino men in the Central Texas community. Read more

Episode 01: Closing the College Success Gap for Low-income Students

In recent decades, low-income students have applied to and started attending college in greater numbers than ever before. But even as the college-attendance gap between rich and poor has shrunk, the gap in the number of college graduates has grown. How can we keep closing the first gap, and begin to address the second? In this episode, Jim McCorkell talks about College Possible’s flagship initiative–an intensive curriculum of coaching and support to help low-income students enroll in college—as well as the newer Catalyze Program, which supports student persistence and success directly on college campuses. Read more

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