December 8, 2023
Numerous Florida college rankings drop under new U.S. News methodology

Florida Trend Education

Numerous Florida college rankings drop under new U.S. News methodology

| 9/21/2023

Numerous Florida college rankings drop under new U.S. News methodology

The University of Florida lost its much-coveted standing as a top 5 public university and slipped to No. 6, but rose in stature among all universities nationally, according to the 2024 Best College rankings from U.S. News & World Report released early today. Many of the state’s public universities followed a similar pattern in a year when Gov. Ron DeSantis and lawmakers moved to overhaul Florida’s higher education system. More from the Tampa Bay Times, WGCU, and the Orlando Business Journal.

Florida university staff could be fired under proposed restroom policy

A proposed policy would allow Florida universities to fire employees found to violate a new state law requiring people to use only public restrooms that align with their sex assigned at birth. The policy would require universities to maintain restrooms and changing facilities exclusively for use by females and males, or provide unisex restrooms and changing facilities for use by a single occupant or families. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

July bar pass rates are improving, especially in Florida

Florida’s July bar exam pass rate increased 8 percentage points this year—following an early trend of strong results across the country. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners said on Monday that nearly 72% of July’s first-time test takers passed its attorney licensing exam, up from 64% in July 2022. The state also had a first-time pass rate of 72% in July 2021. [Source: Reuters]

How Generative AI is being integrated into higher education at one Florida university

While researchers have been working toward AI for decades, and companies have been using tools that harness it on some level for years, this new class of AI represented by ChatGPT — and its successor GPT4, and similar programs like Google’s Bard and Meta’s open source Llama — represent a major leap forward in the technology, and it’s no longer only available to companies but to anyone with a computer. This all represents a leap forward in technological capability, but also the possibility for massive disruption in many fields including education. [Source: WGCU]

Feds push back in higher-ed fight

The Biden administration is asking a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit filed by Florida that challenges the constitutionality of accreditation requirements for colleges and universities. Attorneys for U.S. Department of Education officials filed a 40-page motion Friday disputing Florida’s arguments that the decades-old accreditation system gives too much power to private accrediting agencies. [Source: News Service of Florida]


› Broward College president resigns, but board wants to try to keep him
Broward College President Greg Haile abruptly resigned Wednesday night, saying it was time for new leadership, but in another surprise move, the college’s Board of Trustees agreed Thursday to ask him to stay. Whether Haile will actually stay at the college remains to be seen. The exact reason for his announced departure was unclear Thursday, with trustees saying they were just as surprised as college employees, political and business leaders and community members who turned out at an emergency meeting to plead with the board to keep Haile.

› Pinellas schools ban 5 books after hearing passages read aloud at meetings
The Pinellas County school district has pulled five books from its shelves amid concerns that their content, which includes graphic sex and violence, is inappropriate for minors. It did so without having received any formal complaints about the titles. The administration also instructed schools to reclassify another 11 books as available for high school juniors and seniors only, providing they get written parental permission to use them.

› As Florida’s population grows, Seminole State offers degrees to help with construction demand
With Central Florida’s booming population growth, workers skilled in construction and design are in high demand. Seminole State College’s Centers of Construction and Interior Design offers an Associate in Science Degree in the Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Program. Cheryl Knodel, the Academic Dean for the Centers of Construction and Interior Design, explains that CAD Techs use high-tech computer programs to create 3D renderings of construction documents.

› UCF looks to close three out-of-use campuses
The state university system’s Board of Governors on Wednesday will consider proposals by the University of Central Florida to close three campuses no longer in use. The proposals involve the South Orlando Campus, the UCF Leesburg campus and the UCF Palm Bay campus.

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