Thursday, March 23, 2023


A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.


The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Nebraska Struggles to Get Students Back into College


Tuesday, July 5, 2022   

The COVID public health emergency forced many Nebraska students to put their college careers on hold.

More than 300,000 Nebraskans have completed some college, but don't have credentials, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Mike Baumgartner, executive director of the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, said with the state's unemployment rate currently at less than 2%, students are prime candidates to take on critical unfilled jobs.

"And with the state trying to up its game in a lot of technical areas, and agricultural areas that require additional training, that's an important pool of adults for us to go out and meet those workforce needs of the state," Baumgartner pointed out.

Economists project at least 70% of jobs paying a living wage in Nebraska will require some form of postsecondary degree or credential.

In the last session, state lawmakers set a 70% attainment goal for Nebraskans ages 25 to 34. Baumgartner argued helping students re-enroll in school and cross the finish line will strengthen Nebraska's agriculture, construction, education, health care and other sectors.

Researchers found more than half of those who stopped out of college are age 35 and older.

Baumgartner stressed it is never too late to go back to school, and noted completing a degree or certificate program has significant long-term economic benefits.

"We have a plethora of statistics that show that people who have completed a credential will earn more over their lifetime, they are more likely to vote, they are more likely to have health care," Baumgartner reported. "If they don't like their current job, it's an opportunity to move into something completely new."

Cost remains the biggest barrier to completing a degree, and Baumgartner pointed to the state's gap assistance program to help financially strapped students get their first credential at community colleges, and the Nebraska Opportunity Grant, which is available to part-time adult students.

He added more can be done to remove basic barriers to completing degrees.

"Food pantries on college campuses are becoming a familiar staple," Baumgartner observed. "Lots of students will have child care issues, so it's important that colleges either have child care available or have a good partnership in the community."

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.

get more stories like this via email
In 2020, 35% of Idaho mothers had Medicaid at the time of their child's birth. (WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With concerning trends emerging for pregnant and postpartum women, frustration is growing that Idaho lawmakers could end the session without …

Health and Wellness

Health advocates are promoting a package of bills this legislative session to make health care easier to get - and more affordable. The Care 4 All …

Social Issues

A new study from the University of New Hampshire found New England's LGBTQ+ residents experience higher rates of food insufficiency, the measure of …

According to the Center for American Progress, nearly nine in 10 employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges use background checks to screen for applicants' criminal records. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred …

Social Issues

A person's work personnel file can be important to review, but some Washingtonians are finding them hard to obtain. A bill in Olympia would ensure …

The most recent Farm Bill covered areas such as agricultural conservation, trade and foreign food assistance, farm credit and research. (Adobe Stock)


The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization, and Congress faces calls to avoid any delays so certain programs can keep helping farmers and consumers …

Social Issues

Youth advocates continue to sound the alarm over the impact flavored tobacco products have on teenagers, and hope Minnesota lawmakers take another …


As wildfire seasons in Colorado and across the American West become longer, less predictable and increasingly destructive, a new report aims to …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021