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November 15, 2018

What’s the ROI for Instructional Reform?

New Tool Provides Estimates

Last year, Ithaka S+R published Instructional Quality, Student Outcomes, and Institutional Finances, a white paper commissioned by the American Council on Education (ACE) that explored the relationship between institutional finances and instructional quality, asking whether improvements in instructional quality can increase a postsecondary institution’s net revenue. It’s an important question, as many higher education institutions are under strong pressure to improve student learning outcomes as they face increasing financial constraints. The conventional view is that increases in instructional quality…
November 14, 2018

The College Board and Ithaka S+R Host Veterans Week Conference

We are excited to be partnering with leaders from higher education, military, and veterans service organizations to increase the number of veterans who enroll in, and graduate from, college. In conjunction with a national conference we are hosting today, we issued the following press release. For Immediate Release: November 14, 2018 College Board and Ithaka S+R Host Veterans Week Conference to Increase the Number of Veterans Who Enroll in, and Graduate From, College  Higher education and veteran leaders highlight solutions…
November 13, 2018

Community College Student Success Project in the Journal of Academic Librarianship

Preprint Available

Last week, the Journal of Academic Librarianship published an article that I co-authored with Braddlee from Northern Virginia Community College on the Community College Libraries and Academic Support for Student Success (CCLASSS) project. The CCLASSS project is focused on understanding (1) how “student success” can be defined so that it is inclusive both of students’ own needs as well as important policy priorities, and (2) what services colleges and their academic libraries…
October 29, 2018

Perspectives on the Changing Ecology of Digital Preservation

New Issue Brief

A significant portion of our educational, cultural, and communication activities take place online, as the web has become the primary hub for information, inspiration, entertainment, and social interactions. But digital information is both pervasive and ephemeral at the same time–by some estimates the average lifespan of a website is between 44 and 100 days–and in dire need of preservation. The challenge is not only preserving the bits of digital objects but also being able to transition over time…
October 23, 2018

Reflections on the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color

From September 26-30 the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) held their third national conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The conference is sponsored by five associations of ethnic librarians and is a crucial venue for supporting librarians of color, and by extension, fostering diversity in the profession. A group of librarians on the Indigenous Studies project, in which 12…
October 22, 2018

Martin Kurzweil in Change Magazine

Alternative Postsecondary Pathways: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and Why It Matters

Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning recently published its 50th anniversary issue, featuring invited essays offering insights on a wide range of higher education’s most pressing issues. Drawing on his prior research on the subject for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education, Ithaka S+R’s Martin Kurzweil contributed a piece discussing “Alternative Postsecondary Pathways: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and Why It Matters.” As Change Editor David Paris…
October 18, 2018

Universities Are Changing and So Are Their Libraries

New Report from OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R

OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R, both known for exploring the implications for libraries of changes taking place in higher education, joined forces to work on a research project, generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that examines variations in institutional missions and how those missions affect the services offered to library users. The resulting report, University Futures, Library Futures: Aligning Library Strategies with Institutional Directions, has just been published. Our hope is that both academic administrators and librarians…
October 3, 2018

Assessing the Impact of State Policies on Higher Education Attainment

Ithaka S+R Launches New Research Project in Partnership with the Joyce Foundation

While aspirations to attend college are now more common among high school students, the opportunity to pursue higher education and complete a degree in order to enjoy the lifelong benefits of a college education varies widely by students’ race and socioeconomic background. Through financial support of public institutions, tax benefits for private institutions, student financial aid, and regulation of the higher education marketplace, state governments have the potential to mitigate these inequities for their residents. Yet with wide…
September 26, 2018

The Landscape of First-Year Programming in Two-Year Institutions

A student’s first year at a new college is a critically important period—academically, socio-emotionally, personally, and professionally. To help incoming college students succeed, many institutions offer First-Year Experience (FYE) programs. But most of the research on the scope and effectiveness of these programs centers on four-year colleges and universities, overlooking an important sector of the postsecondary student population–namely students in two-year programs. To begin to fill this research gap, Ithaka S+R and Two Year First Year (TYFY), with support from the…
September 20, 2018

Improving Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Art Museums

New Report Synthesizes Findings from Eight Case Studies

Over the past year, Ithaka S+R and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation have partnered in a major qualitative study of equity, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement in art museums. In this project, which was conducted through detailed case studies of eight art museums, we did not find a panacea. Our work, however, finds that these eight museums have followed an array of common strategies, and through ongoing hard work have made a meaningful…
September 19, 2018

Evaluating Online Instruction and Cross-Institutional Course Sharing

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), in collaboration with Ithaka S+R, recently concluded its four-year initiative with the Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction (2014-18), which provided opportunities for two distinct cohorts of private liberal arts colleges to first design and teach online humanities courses in their own institutions and later to revise and offer the same courses to all students in the Consortium.[1] The second Consortium just completed its final year of work and participants shared valuable insights…
September 17, 2018

From 101 Innovations to a Roadmap for Collaboration

Open Source Tools for Scholarly Workflow Support

Last month, I participated virtually in the Joint Roadmap for Open Science Tools (JROST) workshop as 86 individuals from 58 different organizations gathered in Berkeley on August 27-28 to explore the growing category of open source scholarly workflow tools, to compare notes, and to identify areas of cooperation and integration.The event program includes all the background information and presentations so I’ll try to highlight…
September 4, 2018

“The Degree Is Cool, But I’m More About the Knowledge”

How Community College Students Define Student Success

“Student success” has moved to the forefront of the higher education agenda. Success at community colleges — and four-year colleges — has often been defined by the achievement of institutional outcomes, predominantly comprised of various measures of student persistence, achievement, and attainment, including rates of transfer, enrollment in postsecondary education, GPA, retention, time to graduation, graduation, and post-graduation job attainment and compensation. However, these traditional measures of student success have often been derived from higher education institutions, state…
August 30, 2018

Dispatch from IFLA 2018

I recently presented at the 2018 IFLA World Library and Information congress on the Indigenous Studies project. For the project, Ithaka S+R is working with 12 university libraries to understand the research support needs of Indigenous Studies scholars. The project is endorsed by IFLA’s Indigenous Matters section and I presented alongside section member Camille Callison, who is serving…
August 30, 2018

Community College Academic Support Ecosystems

Ithaka S+R Launches New Research Project

Thirty-nine percent of all US undergraduate students attend community colleges, with roughly nine million enrolled in public two-year colleges annually. These institutions serve a wide range of students, including underrepresented minorities, veterans, low-income, adult, and first-generation students, as well as underprepared and non-traditional learners. But with only 37.5 percent earning a degree from either a two- or four-year institution within six years of starting…
August 23, 2018

Announcing the 2018 Demographic Survey of Art Museum Employees

In 2014, Ithaka S+R partnered with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to study the representational diversity within art museums through quantitative means. Today, four years after the first study, we are undertaking a second cycle of the demographic survey, to measure what we hope will be positive change in the field. The initial demographic survey arose from a growing concern that cultural organizations are struggling…
August 16, 2018

Where Did All the E-Books Go?

A LAP Blog Post

The Library Acquisition Patterns: Preliminary Findings report published in July was the culmination of several years’ worth of work to build a data infrastructure, gather the data, and begin analysis of patterns in U.S. academic libraries’ acquisitions. Although just a stepping stone to publishing a final analysis later this year, we decided to release this preliminary report with a few goals in mind. First, we wanted to update our many dozens of participants…
August 15, 2018

Announcing a New Project on Language and Literature

This fall Ithaka S+R is launching the tenth project in our ongoing Research Support Services program. This project will focus on the research practices of faculty in the fields of language and literature, broadly defined, and will seek to identify areas where these scholars need further support. Research in language and literature is typically delineated through sub-fields grouped by genre, theory and/or method of analysis (e.g., poetry, history of…
August 12, 2018

New Report: Supporting Student Success at Community Colleges

What goals are community college students trying to achieve through their education? What challenges are they facing? What services might help them succeed? These questions are at the center of a multi-year research project that Ithaka S+R and Northern Virginia Community College, along with six other community college partners and with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), are currently undertaking. Today, we’re issuing our first report from the project,…
August 6, 2018

The Talent Is Out There

So Why Don’t Elite Colleges Enroll More Low-Income Students?

Martin Kurzweil and the Aspen Institute’s Joshua Wyner published “The talent is out there. So why don’t elite colleges enroll more low-income students?” in The Washington Post.  Writing in response to a recent report from the American Enterprise Institute, they argue that “both low- and middle-income students are severely underrepresented at selective institutions. The report presents a false trade-off that diverts attention from the real issue: Students in the top income bracket are extraordinarily overrepresented at our nation’s most…