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September 9, 2020

Supporting Language and Literature Scholarship in the COVID-19 Era

The latest installment in Ithaka S+R’s series of Research Support Services projects investigates the research practices and support needs of scholars in the field of languages and literature. Today we are excited to publish the project’s capstone report.  The research that underlies this report was conducted prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we believe our findings resonate now more than ever. The field…
September 4, 2020

Estimating the Impact of COVID-19 on Students’ Academic Outcomes

In May 2020, Ithaka S+R partnered with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and a group of its member institutions to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruption to the Spring 2020 term on students’ academic outcomes, and to inform subsequent institutional decision-making. We concluded our work with the first group of thirteen institutions earlier this month, and each participating institution received a customized confidential report of findings. A second group of…
September 3, 2020

What Your Students Want to Hear

Effective Communications in the Time of COVID-19

Kimmy Cacciato is currently serving as a student advisor to the Ithaka S+R Holistic Metrics of Student Success project. She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a major in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education – Mathematics Teaching. This fall, she is returning to TCNJ to pursue an MAT in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education.  During this time of uncertainty, effectively communicating with students is more important than ever. Campus administrators and…
August 31, 2020

Conducting Virtual Focus Groups

A Short Methodology Case Study for Social Scientists

In June of 2020, Ithaka S+R conducted 18 synchronous exploratory virtual focus groups with 46 undergraduate students and 37 faculty, to assist a higher education institution in learning from its emergency transition to online learning during the spring 2020 term due to Covid-19. We will publish our findings, a time capsule of a university community’s rapid adaptation in response to COVID-19, in a public report later this year. To conduct these focus groups in the midst of the pandemic, we,…
August 25, 2020

Incorporating Equity into Fall Reopening Plans

Earlier this summer, Ithaka S+R began aggregating colleges’ plans for re-opening campuses in Fall 2020, with the goal of facilitating collaboration and planning across the sector. As of August 17th, we have reviewed and synthesized 95 institutional plans, including updates to those plans, into a single resource (click here to view). We are publishing the findings from our analysis of these plans in a series of blog posts, hosted on Ithaka S+R’s…
August 19, 2020

Exploring the Effectiveness and Durability of Digital Preservation and Curation Services

Announcing a New Research Project Funded by IMLS 

With generous funding from the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS), we are pleased to initiate an 18-month research project to examine and assess how digital preservation and curation systems (DPCS) are developed, deployed, and sustained. Because our cultural, historic, and scientific heritage is increasingly being produced and shared in digital forms, libraries, archives, and museums are increasingly dependent on digital platforms to support the curation, discovery, and long-term management of digital…
August 17, 2020

Teaching with Cultural Heritage Online During the Pandemic

New Mellon-Funded Project

Today we are excited to announce a new project funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will explore how teaching and learning with cultural heritage collections and materials is evolving in response to the pandemic. Instructors who seek to use cultural heritage objects from museums, archives, and special collections face unique challenges when adapting to remote teaching. What is needed is deeper understanding of, and better support for these instructors in this current moment.  This…
August 12, 2020

Expanding Access and Opportunity Through Community-Based Organization-College Partnerships

New Report from the American Talent Initiative and College Greenlight

Today, the American Talent Initiative (ATI) and College Greenlight released a new report that highlights how community-based organizations (CBOs) and colleges can partner to expand access and opportunity for students from lower-income backgrounds. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially now, CBOs provide a leg up to tens of thousands of talented lower-income students nationwide who aspire to pursue a postsecondary education, but face…
August 11, 2020

Does Setting an Attainment Goal Move the Needle on Postsecondary Attainment?

As COVID-19 continues to threaten state budgets, statewide commitments to improving higher education outcomes remain more important than ever. While there are a multitude of individual, social, and civic benefits to investing in a well-educated population, supporting postsecondary access and completion should also be viewed as critical for states’ post-recession recovery. A college degree is associated with higher lifetime earnings potential, better health outcomes, and even a longer life expectancy. Closing equity gaps is also necessary to address broader social…
August 10, 2020

Is Online Instruction as Good as Face-to-Face?

Unpacking Assumptions in the Wrong Question Everyone is Asking

As the wave of optimism about returning to on-campus instruction recedes in the face of rising cases of Covid-19 around the country, more and more students, parents, policy-makers, and scholars are asking if online instruction is “as good as face-to-face instruction.” This question is not new, and has been raised for almost every new educational innovation, from television to computers to virtual reality. It does take on a new sense of…
August 3, 2020

Engaging and Supporting Prospective Students

How Can Institutions Draw Upon the Principles of Near-Peer Advising?

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the typical college admissions experience. At the same time, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others have drawn heightened attention to the structural and institutional racism that exists within our educational system and the impact this has on our students who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). Students preparing to enter college for the first time in Fall 2020 have made enrollment choices as the specifics of…
July 30, 2020

Academic Advising Technologies in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

Exploring the Human Element

Academic advising is one of the most ubiquitous functions in higher education and a central pillar of the student success apparatus at any institution. Prior to the emergency shift to online learning resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more of the administration of student life had become integrated with technology. This includes advising technologies, which are becoming both more common and sophisticated. From foundational degree audit systems to predictive analytics engines, the technologies available to support advising…
July 22, 2020

Addressing Challenges Faced by Institutions Supporting Student Veterans

ATI Veterans Community of Practice Comes Together Virtually

College students across the country have experienced the financial, social, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the heightened national conversation on systemic racism. Student veterans are no exception. As we discussed in a previous blog post, the pandemic has exacerbated the complex challenges that student veterans face in completing their postsecondary education: they are now navigating the uncertainties of GI Bill funding and in many cases, balancing financial insecurity and family…
July 21, 2020

Reflections on the Comprehensiveness and Equity Considerations of Institutional Plans for Fall 2020 Reopening

Last month, Ithaka S+R launched an effort to aggregate and synthesize information related to the fall reopening of colleges and universities to facilitate institutional collaboration and planning. As of July 10th, we have synthesized 57 institutional plans into a single resource (click here to view), and plan to continually update this resource with new and evolving information. We are publishing findings from our review of these plans in…
July 21, 2020

Senior Research Officers

Evolving Portfolios and Strategic Priorities

A university’s senior research officer (SRO), who may have the title of vice president, vice provost, or vice chancellor for research, can have a variety of responsibilities, including overseeing institutional research safety and compliance, purchasing advanced research equipment, grant seeking and external funding administration, research ethics and integrity, strategic research directions, and procuring research workflow tools. The scope of this role is  broadening as SROs participate in federal and state research-related policy making and develop new partnerships with…
July 20, 2020

Southern New Hampshire University’s FEATuring You

A New Tool Designed to Connect Marginally Engaged Youth to Employment

Digital tools that directly test and train individuals’ competencies are dramatically changing hiring and higher education. Technology platforms that boast robust analytic capabilities are increasingly being adopted by employers to securely and efficiently verify candidates’ fit through a wide assortment of skills-based evaluations, with 71 percent of North American employers utilizing pre-hire assessments during the screening process. In tandem, the push toward online learning and alternative credentialing in…
July 17, 2020

Testing, Tracing, and Supported Isolation

A Synthesis of 57 Fall 2020 College Reopening Plans

Last month, Ithaka S+R launched an effort to aggregate and synthesize information related to the fall reopening of colleges and universities to facilitate institutional collaboration and planning. As of July 13th, we have synthesized 57 institutional plans into a single resource (click here to view), and plan to continually update this resource with new and evolving information. We are publishing the findings from our review of these plans in a series of blog posts hosted on our…
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July 16, 2020

Overarching Findings from 57 Fall 2020 College Reopening Plans

Last month, Ithaka S+R launched an effort to aggregate and synthesize information related to the fall reopening of colleges and universities in an effort to facilitate institutional collaboration and planning. As of July 13th, we have synthesized 57 institutional plans into a single resource (click here to view), and plan to continually update this resource with new and evolving information. We capture information about several aspects of institutional…
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July 14, 2020

Now Available: Fall Semester COVID-19 Surveys

While the challenges colleges and universities faced in the spring semester were unprecedented, it’s clear that the disruptions are far from over. Even as the fall semester approaches, institutions are still deciding how many students to bring back to campus and how to deliver instruction effectively. Over the past few months, we have partnered with over 20 colleges and universities to provide actionable insights on student and faculty needs…
July 14, 2020

Streamlining Transfer for CUNY Students in the Bronx

Approximately one-third of college students begin their postsecondary education in community colleges, yet over 80 percent of these students aspire to earn at least a bachelor’s degree. In order to achieve their goals, these students will need to transfer from their community colleges (which mostly offer associate’s degrees) to colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees. Yet, only 13 percent of students successfully transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree within six years of entering community college. Black and…