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In Brief - Education - Oct. 21, 2011

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From The Associated Press

UNM grad rate has gone up
ALBUQUERQUE — The University of New Mexico is crediting an increase in its graduation rates to its decision to hire more student advisers.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the university’s six-year graduation rates rose about a half percent this year and 1.5 percent in 2010.

Still, the university’s new 45.1 percent six-year graduation rate for full-time students remains well below the national six-year average of 55.1 percent.

Officials say the university is beginning to show signs of improvement after years of stagnant graduation numbers.

More than 15 additional advisers have been hired over the past three years at a cost of $1.2 million.

The university says most students who graduated over the last two years had better access to advisers throughout their college careers.

Maine asks for $32M grant
AUGUSTA, Maine  — Two Maine departments are applying for a $32.2 million federal grant for education programs.

The departments of Education and Health and Human Services submitted a joint application this week in a federal grant competition.

The money would be used to strengthen the quality of Maine’s early childhood programs and make them available to more high-needs children.

State officials say Maine is one of about 30 states expected to submit applications to the Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge, a $500 million competition among the states.

Girl in intensive care after beating
BOAZ, Ala. — Authorities say a Boaz High School student is in intensive care after being beaten by at least one other student in a bathroom at school.

Police say they responded to the school Tuesday to investigate the assault of a 16-year-old female.

Authorities say she was hit in the head and face by at least one other 16-year-old girl in a bathroom at the high school.

Boaz student Kyle Adams tells WAFF-TV that he heard a bang and the sound of a screaming girl.

Authorities say the girl was taken to Marshall Medical Center South. She was later transferred to Huntsville Hospital, where she is in neuro intensive care in fair condition.

Police say they’re working to obtain juvenile petitions for the suspects.