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November 12, 2019

Taking the Temperature on Open Access Among UC Berkeley Faculty

In fall 2018, UC Berkeley fielded the Ithaka S+R local faculty survey, concurrent with our national initiative. In this post, Chan Li, Assessment Program Librarian, shares how data from this survey can be used for decision-making in supporting scholarly communication efforts of faculty members. — Christine Wolff-Eisenberg To promote a publishing ecosystem where the impact of research can be maximized by removing readership barriers, the UC Berkeley Library is making many efforts to push for open access publishing,…
November 11, 2019

Flipping the Script From Obligation to Opportunity

The American Talent Initiative’s Inaugural Veterans Community of Practice Convening

United States military veterans are underrepresented at high-graduation rate colleges and universities, with only one in ten veterans attending institutions that graduate at least 70 percent of their students. And yet, we know that veterans who do attend these colleges and universities thrive. In fact, student veterans are 1.4 times more likely to earn a certificate or degree than adult learners overall, and student veterans have an average GPA of 3.34, compared to the average for traditional…
November 7, 2019

Adaptive Learning Technology + Active Learning Pedagogy in Introductory Statistics

New Reports on Results and Lessons from a Multi-Year, Multi-Campus Pilot in Maryland

There is a general consensus that a quality postsecondary education and credential are critical to success in today’s rapidly changing economy. However, a growing body of evidence has shown that entry-level mathematics courses required to progress toward a degree constitute a formidable barrier to completion of postsecondary credentials, especially for underrepresented minority, first-generation, and lower-income students. Key reasons for this include the disconnected nature of these course offerings and their misalignment with students’ academic and career aspirations, as well as…
November 6, 2019

A Methodology for Testing Service Concepts

New Issue Brief

As academic libraries continue to evolve beyond a focus on collections, their leaders have long recognized the importance of developing new services that add value for learners, instructors, researchers, and other stakeholders. Sometimes, the demand for new services is self-evident, but in other cases the library must develop services speculatively and in a competitive environment. In these cases, planning and assessment tools can be of tremendous value in allowing library leaders to focus their new service initiatives most…
October 31, 2019

Three Questions for Mark McBride

SUNY central system administration and its 64 campus libraries have been working with Ithaka S+R to develop strategies for collaboration and partnership in the context of substantial strategic and technological change. For our most recent newsletter, we spoke with Mark McBride, senior strategist in SUNY’s Office of Library and Information Services, about how this is unfolding across the system and why he thinks it is so important. What did you learn from Ithaka S+R’s analysis of publishing across SUNY’s…
October 30, 2019

Innovation in the Talent Pipeline Development Sector

FEATuring YOU: A Case Study

Ithaka S+R is excited to announce that we will be partnering with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to document how SNHU conceptualized, developed, and designed the Future Employment Assessment Tool (FEATuring YOU) to offer scalable, reliable, and engaging methods to assess soft skills and connect “opportunity youth”–young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market–to learning and employment…
October 29, 2019

Do Emergency Micro-Grants Help Financially-Disadvantaged Students Succeed?

Over the last 10 years, tuition and fees at degree-granting institutions have risen by 27 percent, making it more difficult for students, especially those already struggling to cover basic needs like housing and food, to afford to remain in college in the face of unexpected financial trouble. In many cases, unpaid term balances prevent students from continuing in the current term or enrolling in the following one, and as a result, students dropout or are automatically dropped. Unpaid balances…
October 24, 2019

How to Survey Community College Students

New Report Now Available

Last month, we published a report based on the findings of a survey of over 10,000 students at seven community colleges. While the project itself is aimed at better understanding the needs, goals, and challenges of students, and assessing demand for a number of services that might support their success, a helpful byproduct of this research is what we have uncovered in administering a survey to this population. Today we are publishing…
October 22, 2019

Driving Liberal Arts Transfer Pathways

It’s Time for Independent Colleges to Target Community College Students 

Every fall, an estimated 1.1 million American students begin their postsecondary education at community colleges. While most (80 percent) intend to earn their bachelor’s degree, less than a third transfer to a four-year institution and only 13 percent actually earn their bachelor’s degree in six years. Transfer practices between two- and four-year institutions are not adequately serving students. What’s more, scalable policies designed…
October 21, 2019

Getting My CLAWs into Assessment

The biennial Canadian Library Assessment Workshop (CLAW) is set to take place this week at the University of Windsor. This will be my first time attending the workshop, which primarily focuses on outcome-based initiatives and decision making to better support libraries and demonstrate their impact on research, teaching, and learning. As I eagerly await for the  workshop to kick off, I’m sharing some emergent themes and takeaways from the conference…
October 21, 2019

Beyond Innovation: Emerging Meta-Frameworks for Maintaining an Open Scholarly Infrastructure

There are numerous free and community-based academic and cultural resources that are designed and built on open source or open access principles. Undertaken by not-for-profit mission-driven organizations, such services and technologies aim to introduce innovation to various stages of scholarly communication from designing research projects to publishing results.  Today, amid growing concerns about their long-term durability and agility, there is renewed interest in sustainability, business models, revenue, and maintenance. In our previous post, we looked back at some…
October 17, 2019

How to Develop a Successful Collaborative Network in and around Higher Education

New Playbook

At the same time that it is becoming more essential to individual mobility, economic vitality, and social cohesion, postsecondary education is becoming a more complex endeavor. In response, a growing set of leaders in higher education, workforce development, business, and government are turning to focused and deep collaborative efforts to drive change within their own organizations and across the ecosystems in which they operate. In a new Ithaka S+R publication, Unlocking the Power of Collaboration, Jenna Joo, Jeff Selingo,…
October 16, 2019

Why we are adding a basic needs module to the Ithaka S+R local surveys

Students often struggle with balancing their personal, professional, and academic responsibilities, including affording their most basic needs in conjunction with course expenses. Recognizing this reality, we will be offering a basic needs module for the Ithaka S+R local student surveys starting in spring 2020. In late 2018, colleagues and I worked in partnership with a cohort of community colleges to survey their students about their goals and challenges.
October 15, 2019

Prisons, the Higher Ed Market, and Second Chance Pell

Both houses of Congress are debating a set of bills to update portions of the Higher Education Act, the key federal postsecondary education law. The long-overdue refresh has been held up by disagreements over levels of funding, accountability, and how to handle sex discrimination under Title IX, among other issues.  Whenever the HEA finally does come up for reauthorization, the move to restore Pell grants to the incarcerated is expected to make the final draft. Legislators who care about improving…
October 10, 2019

Update on Ithaka S+R Student Surveys: 2020 Edition

The process for updating Ithaka S+R’s local student surveys is underway. In August, we brought together a fantastic group of advisors and gathered their feedback on current student practices, perspectives, and needs. We then set out to incorporate their feedback into the instruments this past September by adding new thematic areas of focus, expanding on areas of particular importance, and phasing out questions that have become less relevant…
October 2, 2019

An Interview with Dr. Dominique Baker

The Strategic Alignment of State Appropriations, Tuition, and Financial Aid Policies

Dominique Baker is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy and an Associate at the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Baker is an expert in financial aid policies and student debt, and examines the equity implications of higher education policies. Ithaka S+R graciously thanks Dr. Baker for sharing her thoughts on the strategic alignment of state higher education finance policies. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length. With limited funding, where…
October 1, 2019

Sustaining the Open Sector: A Brief Look Back

During the last two decades, we’ve seen the emergence of several open source (OS) and open access (OA) initiatives designed to support the academic and cultural community’s needs for more effective, versatile, and cost-efficient tools. Since 2006, Ithaka S+R has explored the sustainability requirements of these resources, investigating both the factors that lead to success and the reasons behind setbacks and failures. Today, amid the failure of several cross-institutional “open” initiatives and the broader search for funding to…
September 30, 2019

Students Are the Experts

New Report Explores the Needs of Community College Students

How do community college students define their own success? And what services do they think will help them succeed? To find out, we started with a radical idea: students are the experts. Last year, we interviewed dozens of students at seven community colleges on their goals and unmet needs. Today, we release a new report, Student Needs Are Academic Needs, on a…
September 23, 2019

Concerned About Bots Taking Over Your Survey?

Reflections on Maintaining Data Integrity

Last week, a researcher from the University of Minnesota, Melissa Simone, shared an honest and frightening account of having bots infiltrate data gathered via an online research study. Within 12 hours of launching a survey, Simone found over 350 responses within the resulting dataset from bots. The process of identifying, screening for, and cleaning these data took hundreds of hours, she reported via Twitter. My online #researchstudy was recently infiltrated by…
September 23, 2019

Supporting Postsecondary Access and Success for Rural Students  

The American Talent Initiative (ATI), a coalition of high-graduation-rate colleges and universities committed to enrolling and graduating more low- and middle-income students, began a webinar series on special interest topics that we hope will elevate best practices in recruiting talented low- and moderate-income students. This summer, we hosted a webinar on the challenges of identifying, recruiting, and enrolling rural students. In this post, we summarize the key research and best practices presented on the webinar. What is the definition…