2022 saw Ithaka S+R deepen its commitment to broadening access to quality postsecondary education, improving student outcomes, and advancing research and knowledge. Against a backdrop of growing uncertainty in higher education, we are setting long term goals and sharing the progress we’ve made on them in the past year. Below, I reflect on what we accomplished in 2022—thanks to collaborations with a number of organizations and institutions—and preview some of what is on the horizon for 2023.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!
Catharine Bond Hill
Managing Director, Ithaka S+R
Goal: Increase degree attainment
In 2022, we led research, collaborations, and initiatives that moved the needle on degree attainment: a playbook to strengthen transfer pathways between community colleges and independent colleges; a pilot partnership between eight public institutions in Northeast Ohio to help stopped-out students with stranded credits get back in the classroom; an improved system for the articulation of credit transfer at CUNY. We introduced a framework for “holistic credit mobility” that lays out the types of technological innovations, policies, and practices that institutions, systems, and states should consider so that more students can count the credits they’ve earned towards a credential.
What’s next? We’re continuing to expand our work on all fronts by providing recommendations on the strategic investments states can make to increase attainment, evaluating the initiatives we’ve undertaken, and welcoming new partners.
Goal: Support students’ basic needs
Across the United States, college students struggle to meet their basic needs—many lack access to food, housing, childcare, transportation, or the internet. But there are policies and programs that can help. We’ve put together a series of recommendations for how state and federal government can better serve food insecure students, wrapped up a four-year grant-funded initiative designed to foster cross-campus collaboration to support student needs inside and beyond the classroom, and published a resource designed to assist higher education stakeholders—from front-line staff to college presidents—understand basic needs data.
What’s next? With funding from IMLS and in partnership with the Borough of Manhattan Community College, we will publish a series of case studies documenting how community college libraries are meeting the non-curricular information needs of students to inform service provision at other institutions. Stay tuned for announcements on new work and research on student basic needs.
Goal: Build library services and collections to meet universities’ evolving needs
This year we drafted a set of recommendations for academic libraries as they seek better alignment with their research university leadership, a report on how libraries can support teaching with data in the social sciences, and research on the challenges libraries face with licensing streaming media. Recognizing that libraries have a unique role in supporting institution-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion goals through their collection strategies, we also developed a guide to help library leaders address and improve the diversity of their collections.
What’s next? In 2023, we are undertaking research on collective collection development practices and will also share findings on how libraries can align their streaming media acquisitions to better support instructional practices. We’re also looking forward to bringing together cohorts of librarians and representatives from other campus units to develop strategies for coordinating data support services. If you are interested in joining us, please reach out.
Goal: Ensure learners in prison have access to quality higher education
With the restoration of Pell grants for students in prison on the horizon, we expect to see an explosive growth of offerings designed to serve this population. It’s critical that as federal dollars become more readily available, higher education in prison programs adopt pedagogical practices that lead to positive student outcomes.
We launched a survey to document the technological resources incarcerated students are currently able to access so that state and federal correctional policymakers, as well as educators, can see what is available and advocate for better access to technology based on successful implementations elsewhere. We also brought together a diverse group of stakeholders committed to conducting research to further our collective understanding of best practices.
What’s next? We’re engaged in a two-year initiative to explore how space acts as a limiting factor on the quality and scalability of higher education in prison and propose solutions to mitigate these challenges. We have also undertaken a project to document the challenges system-impacted library patrons face, and to overcome silos blocking collaboration between key stakeholders serving their information needs. And be on the lookout for a series of new reports coming in early 2023.
Reflections on the Ithaka S+R fellowship program: an interview with Christy McDaniel and Ruby MacDougall
Do you know anyone interested in working with our team in summer 2023? Starting in January, we will be accepting applications for our summer fellowships. In this interview, former fellows Ruby MacDougall and Christy McDaniel reflect on how the program shaped their career trajectories and led them to join Ithaka S+R in full-time positions.
In the media:
December 1, 2022
Rising Income Inequality to Blame for Continued Influence of U.S. News Rankings
Catharine Hill, The Chronicle of Higher Education
December 1, 2022
Earning Credit From Multiple Sources Is the Norm in Higher Ed
Sarah Pingel and Martin Kurzweil, Inside Higher Ed
November 30, 2022
A Holistic Approach to Transferring Credits
Johanna Alonso, Inside Higher Ed
November 29, 2022
Museums Must Retain Recently-Hired Employees To Maintain Diversity: Survey
Natasha Gural, Forbes
November 23, 2022
A Possible Solution to Transfer Credit Loss: Holistic Credit Mobility
Jon Edelman, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
November 17, 2022
Foreign Students — Who Often Pay Full Tuition — Are Returning to U.S. Colleges and Universities
Stephanie Hughes, Marketplace
November 16, 2022
Art Museums Becoming More Inclusive? New Surveys of Museum Workers and Trustees Provide Modest Hope
Torey Akers, The Art Newspaper
November 16, 2022
U.S. Museums Became More Racially Diverse During the Pandemic
Fang Block, Barrons
November 16, 2022
How Library Collections Can Help Colleges Diversify
Laura Spitalniak, Higher Ed Dive
November 11, 2022
Facing a Crisis Head-On: Institutional Borrowing Decisions During Times of Uncertainty
James Dean Ward and Mya Haynes, New Directions for Higher Education
October 19, 2022
The Growing Importance of Video and Audio in Scholarly and Academic Publishing
October 10, 2022
Opinion: Knocking Down an Affordability Barrier to Returning to College
Martin Kurzweil, Crain’s Cleveland
October 10, 2022
An Alternative Approach to Affirmative Action
Catharine B. Hill, Inside Higher Ed
October 6, 2022
Blanket Transcript-Withholding Policies Are ‘Abusive,’ Federal Agency Says
Sylvia Goodman, The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 27, 2022
How Will Academia Handle the Zero Embargo?
Roger C. Schonfeld, The Scholarly Kitchen
September 24, 2022
Why Many in the HBCU Community Celebrated Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness
Arthur Jones II, ABC News
September 21, 2022
Bridging the Gap with Video
Siãn Harris, Research information
September 12, 2022
Who’ll Pay for Public Access to Federally Funded Research?
Susan D’Agostino, Inside Higher Ed