HEat Index, Issue 11 – New Overtime Rules, Career Guidance Needed, and More AI News



In a world increasingly influenced by AI, it’s crucial for higher education professionals to stay informed of the current trends and future directions. This issue aims to unpack the complexities of AI in education, discuss the recent federal regulation on employee overtime, and highlight the necessity for enhanced career guidance in community colleges, all through the lens of recent studies and reports. These insights are vital for adapting to changes and ensuring that educational practices align with technological advancements and workforce demands.  

After reading today’s issue, let us know how your institution is preparing students for an AI world in the comments! 


AI Use Not Equal Across Student Groups 

From Using Student Data to Bridge the AI Divide | EDUCAUSE Review   

Knowing your students is essential for bridging the AI divide and paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable future.   

Our Thoughts 

Over the past 18 months, AI technologies have transformed higher education practices and operations while also posing risks to academic integrity and privacy. We applaud San Diego State University’s leadership on the formation of the Equitable AI Alliance, a multi-institutional consortium that seeks to foster accessible AI solutions and promote ethical practices across higher education.   

This Alliance was formed due to the results of the SDSU AI Student Survey Instrument, which discovered a lack of equitable access to AI at SDSU. Happily, SDSU has made their survey openly available so you can administer it on your campus.   

Personally, we find SDSU’s approach a compelling call to action for higher education institutions. As AI becomes more entrenched in our social fabric, institutions must proactively address the digital divide and ensure that all students are prepared for a future where AI is ubiquitous in the workplace. This preparation not only involves technological access and literacy but also requires a cultural shift towards more ethical and responsible use of AI to foster an environment that supports everyone at your institution.  


New Employee Overtime Regulation 

From Federal overtime rule will force raises for some college employees | Inside Higher Ed   

An updated regulation will require employers across the U.S. to raise the salaries of employees to $58,656 or provide overtime benefits by January 1, 2025.    

Our Thoughts 

There are many factors to consider for both the employer and employee side of this updated regulation, such as an increased compensation and an abbreviated implementation timeframe. While this is a national scope, we’re specifically looking at the overall impact this will have on higher education.   

This puts many institutions in a difficult situation, considering that revenue from tuition is decreasing due to lower enrollment and tuition resets and public state funding is sparse. This can also put students at a disadvantage if institutions need to cut resources such as staff and services. However, these rules will ensure that employees who may be underpaid relative to their responsibilities are compensated fairly.  

We already saw a 2016 attempt at raising the threshold 113% from $23,660 to $50,440 blocked by a federal judge. However, an updated version in 2019 was successful due to its smaller increase at 23%. Considering that this new threshold jump is nearly 65%, it is likely that this regulation will be taken to court, delaying its implementation or blocking it entirely.   


Community College Career Guidance Needed 

From Report: community college students need more career guidance | Inside Higher Ed   

A new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement found that many community college students need more career guidance than they are currently receiving.  

Our Thoughts 

Serving over 10 million students (about 35% of undergraduates), we are pleased to see additional research being conducted about community colleges. The lack of career guidance is particularly concerning given that community colleges serve as critical pathways to higher education and employment for many students, including low-income and first-generation college attendees.   

This report is significant because it underscores the importance of enhancing career services in community colleges to support student success and align educational outcomes with labor market demands. Strengthening career guidance could improve retention and completion rates, which are crucial for institutional health and the broader goal of fostering economic mobility and workforce readiness among graduates. Additionally, better career support aligns with the more comprehensive educational goals of increasing equity and access, particularly for students who may lack other resources to navigate the complex landscape of higher education and career planning. 


The Current State of AI 

From AI Index Report 2024 – Artificial Intelligence Index | Stanford University   

The seventh edition of the AI Index Report from Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence provides a detailed look at the current state of artificial intelligence.   

Our Thoughts 

Yes, this is not specifically about higher education but, given the tremendous impact AI continues to have on higher education, we feel this is an essential read as it provides comprehensive insights for higher education professionals. Understanding these trends is crucial for academia because AI’s rapid integration into various sectors—including education—demands an informed response from institutions regarding curriculum development, research focus, and operational investments.  

This report not only highlights the advancements and challenges within AI but also underscores the importance of preparing students for an AI-driven world. It is key that educational programs keep pace with technological advancements to equip students with necessary skills and knowledge. Thus, it is vital for higher education stakeholders to engage deeply with this report to strategically harness AI’s potential in enhancing educational quality and outcomes.

Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor
Senior Solutions Ambassador at Evisions

Allen Taylor is a self-proclaimed higher education and data science nerd. He currently serves as a Senior Solutions Ambassador at Evisions and is based out of Pennsylvania. With over 20 years of higher education experience at numerous public, private, small, and large institutions, Allen has successfully lead institution-wide initiatives in areas such as student success, enrollment management, advising, and technology and has presented at national and regional conferences on his experiences. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from Western Carolina University, a Master of Science degree in College Student Personnel from The University of Tennessee, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Teaching, Learning, and Technology from Lehigh University. When he’s trying to avoid working on his dissertation, you can find him exploring the outdoors, traveling at home and abroad, or in the kitchen trying to coax an even better loaf of bread from the oven.

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