In a welcome break from the general trend, the College of St. Mary reduced its tuition rate last fall. As a result, the women-only Catholic school in Omaha had a 9.3% increase in enrollment. “It’s truly a mission-driven initiative,” President Maryanne Stevens told the Omaha World-Herald. “Because of our mission, we wanted to reach out to more students.”

Imagine the sound of a paper not being written. A study by Canadian professors concludes that mindfulness activities during classes improve student performance. The authors observed that a “scripted ‘Three-Minute Breathing Space’ mindfulness intervention” at the beginning of lectures resulted in “greater enhancements in positive emotionality, and fewer episodes of mind wandering and distractibility.” The researchers did not address whether a full 60 minutes of skipping class might generate even greater positive emotionality.

Pennsylvania state senator (and gubernatorial candidate) Scott Wagner drew attention for his prediction that his state’s public collges are “doomed for failure.” Wagner said union leadership and an enormous pension liability will drive the system to bankruptcy. He predicted school failures within four years.

The Ohio Board of Regents is withering away, with only two of nine seats filled. The Board’s future is uncertain as Ohio’s legislature considers consolidation of the state’s education management, possibly granting greater authority to the governor.

Health science remains a promising area for new graduates: there are reports of shortages of psychiatrists and pediatricians. We’ve already reported on the growing need for physician’s assistants.

Accounting software company Freshbooks.com forecasts that self-employment will triple by 2020. The projections are based on a survey of 2,700 American workers. The study also found that a majority of the self-employed expect to enjoy better health as a result of their career autonomy.

Computerweekly.com considers “What are the retail jobs which don’t exist yet?” One possible role: an “AI Intervention Officer” who can take over when bot-based retail functions fall short.

Update: we recently reported on FBI Director Chris Wray’s testimony that Chinese spies have infiltrated American universities. Since then, Confucius Institutes have come under greater scrutiny due to their apparent function as propoganda organizations for the Chinese government. More than 100 Confucius Institutes are established at American schools, operating according to largely undisclosed partnership agreements with their host institutions.

We’re always interested in characterizations of Gen Z, not least because this latest, most-important generation seems to serve as a Rorschach for the commentator at hand. Today’s generalization about Gen Z comes from the Fast Casual food blog, which declares, “Decadent meals and visually compelling gastronomic experiences create the shareworthy moments they’re hungry for.” The article cites “unicorn hot chocolate” and “fairy floss ice cream” as examples of the over-the-top treats which Gen Z craves.