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January 10, 2019

New Report: Enrolling More Veterans at High-Graduation-Rate Colleges and Universities

In November, Ithaka S+R and the College Board hosted “Improving Opportunities for Veterans.” This conference brought together leaders from higher education, the military, and veterans service organizations who share the goal of increasing the enrollment and graduation of veterans at colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates. In our new report with Catharine Bond Hill and Martin Kurzweil, we investigate the underrepresentation of United States military veterans at colleges that graduate at least 70 percent of their students.
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December 17, 2018

American Talent Initiative Publishes First Public Report on Progress

In December 2016, 30 leading colleges and universities joined forces to address a persistent problem: Too few talented, low- and moderate-income students from across the country were enrolled at the U.S. colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates. By joining the American Talent Initiative (ATI), an initiative co-managed by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R, these colleges and universities committed to work together to change this reality. Specifically, these colleges and universities set a…
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…
June 27, 2018

New Research from the American Talent Initiative on Community College Transfer to Top Colleges and Universities

The American Talent Initiative (ATI) just released new research suggesting that, each year, 50,000 high-achieving, low- and moderate-income community college students do not transfer to any four-year institution. Approximately 15,000 of these lower-income students have the academic credentials to be successful at even the most selective colleges and universities, having earned a 3.7 GPA or higher at their community college. ATI’s research demonstrates that enrolling more lower-income freshman is not the only viable strategy for increasing socioeconomic diversity…
April 18, 2018

American Talent Initiative Reaches 100 Schools Committed to Expanding Opportunity for More High-Achieving, Low-and Moderate-Income Students

We’re happy to share the news that the American Talent Initiative now includes 100 institutions committed to expanding opportunity for more high-achieving, low- and moderate-income students. The full press release about reaching this milestone is below.   In just over a year, ATI has grown from 30 to 100 institutions working to attract, enroll, and graduate high-achieving, low- and moderate-income college students The American Talent Initiative (ATI), a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative led by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence…
April 25, 2017

Growing the American Talent Initiative

Increasing Access and Opportunity for Lower-Income Students

In December 2016, Ithaka S+R, in collaboration with the Aspen Institute and with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, launched the American Talent Initiative (ATI), a venture aimed at substantially expanding the number of talented low- and moderate-income students enrolling in and graduating from the colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates. Since its launch, ATI’s mission to increase access and opportunity has resonated with college leaders around the country, and in a few short months, we’ve rapidly expanded…
December 13, 2016

Joining Together to Expand Access and Opportunity

Introducing the American Talent Initiative

Thirty of the nation’s most respected colleges and universities today announced a new venture to substantially expand the number of talented low- and moderate-income students at America’s undergraduate institutions with the highest graduation rates. Coordinated by Ithaka S+R and the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and supported by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the American Talent Initiative (ATI) brings together a diverse set of public and private institutions to ensure that talented young people from every zip code…
July 5, 2016

Prepare to Travel: Across the U.S. Access to High-Completion-Rate Colleges Uneven

The American Council on Education (ACE) recently published a report on “education deserts” that identified the geographical areas in the United States where there is limited access to higher education institutions. Across the country, the authors identify 295 education deserts, areas where there are either zero colleges and universities or one community college that serves as the only “broad-access” public option. Students in the Midwest and Great Plains states face more deserts than students in other regions. The…
March 24, 2016

Moving Beyond “Fit”: Industry Engagement in Competency-Based Education Design

Competency-based education (CBE) is an approach to higher education that is based on students mastering specific skills that are aligned to certain competencies. These competencies can be aligned to objective measures of student preparedness or aligned to labor market needs and defined in collaboration with employers. Rather than measuring students’ progress in terms of course completion and “seat time,” a competency-based system measures students’ progress in terms of tangible skills and allows students to progress at their own pace. From…
February 4, 2016

Creating Opportunity in the Tech Industry Pipeline

The lack of diversity in the tech industry has been well documented by the media. Some of the roots of this problem lie in the companies themselves: there’s broad consensus (see here, here, and here) that tech company culture, and perhaps unconscious bias towards underrepresented groups, contribute to low numbers of women, black, and Hispanic employees hired and retained in tech. Some see the lack of diversity as a “pipeline” problem, arguing that the K-12 and…