Notes in the Margins: Nerdfighters, Obama and job training factories

Obama Meets With College Leaders on Rising Costs Participants at the roundtable said there was discussion on the role the federal government should play to improve graduation rates. (The New York Times)

AFT: Completion means ‘cranking out’ workers Corporate interests are pushing the “completion agenda” and turning  community colleges into “job training factories,” charges a letter from the American Federation of Teachers to instructors in two California community college districts. The instructors are represented by the union, reports the LaMesa Patch. (The Hechinger Report)

Study shows targeted financial aid increases retention at universities Targeting supplemental financial aid to students receiving Pell Grants — federal funding available for the most financially needy students — helped improve retention rates by more than 14 percent at colleges in Louisiana, according to the American Institutes for Research and Noel-Levitz, a consulting group. (Daily Camera via University Business)

Bowl team graduation rates up, racial gap persists A study released Monday of the 70 Football Bowl Subdivision schools that will participate in the upcoming college football bowl season showed continued academic progress, but that the gap between white and African-American players continues to persist. (Associated Press via The Boston Globe)

Student nerdfighters unite! Geeky movement aims to fight ‘world suck’ Nerdfighting is a cult movement increasingly gaining traction on campuses nationwide. Nerdfighters are a loose collection of geeky do-gooders who attempt to enact positive change in the real world and online.  “[A] nerdfighter just tries to fight against world suck,” Butler Collegian arts & entertainment editor Caitlin O’Rourke explained earlier this semester. “Worldsuck: In essence, all the bad and/or stupid things in the world.” (USA Today)