As classes resume across the country this fall, the University of Iowa will join nearly 1,100 colleges and universities that have declared their campuses tobacco free. The new policy adds smokeless tobacco, snuff, water pipes and electronic cigarettes—or e-cigarettes—to their list of banned substances on campus, joining cigarette and cigar smoke under the school’s previous policy.

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At the start of the 2012-13 school year, online enrollment accounted for more than one-third of total enrollment at the nation’s degree-granting postsecondary institutions. Ten years prior, it made up less than 10 percent, according to enrollment trends tracked by the Babson Survey Research Group.

In a compromise decision that avoids the hot-button political issue of affirmative action in postsecondary education, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled a federal appeals court was wrong to dismiss a case that the University of Texas illegally discriminated against a white college student when it rejected her application for admission.

Effective teaching is the cornerstone of student achievement in our classrooms. Around the country the call has gone out to strengthen standards for teacher preparation in colleges and universities. Delaware’s legislature has responded, enacting a bill on Thursday that, if signed by Gov. Jack Markell, will raise the bar to qualify for admission to a state teacher education program. Markell praised the passage of Senate Bill 51 in a press release.

In an analysis of 43 State of the State speeches this year, The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) reports 39 governors mentioned higher education. The most common themes included higher education’s role in economic and workforce development, greater attention to public-private partnerships, and an expanded role for community and technical colleges.

A proposal by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to strengthen requirements to enter postsecondary teacher education programs could disqualify hundreds of aspiring teachers. Branstad’s plan would require all students enrolled in college to maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average – a B – or be denied admission to teaching programs.

In the aftermath of the child sexual abuse charges that have rocked Penn State, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett asked state legislators to review and toughen reporting requirements about sexual assaults against children. This unfortunate situation might raise concerns about how colleges and universities are prepared to prevent and deal with sexual assaults against students.

Although students at for-profit institutions represent just 12 percent of all higher education students, they account for more than a quarter of all student loans and nearly half of all student loan dollars in default, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

For-profit vocational and technical colleges have been widely criticized for allegedly targeting students who can’t afford to pay the costs of traditional post-secondary education and not providing adequate training to give students job skills they will need for careers.

"While for-profit schools have profited and prospered thanks to Federal dollars, some of their students have not. This is a disservice to students and taxpayers, and undermines the valuable work being done by the for-profit education industry as a whole," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said.

So on June 1, the Obama Administration unveiled regulations requiring career college programs to better prepare students for "gainful employment" or risk losing access to Federal student aid.