In an exploratory project funded by the Mellon Foundation, Ithaka S+R developed a novel approach to measuring a liberal arts and sciences educational experience and examining its relationship to student outcomes. We developed a framework for identifying, describing, and then measuring the core features of a liberal arts and sciences educational experience, and created an index to capture the degree to which a subset of higher education institutions in the United States have offered those features to their students. We then examined the relationship between those index scores and students’ short-term academic and long-term labor market outcomes at the institutional level.
We invite you to engage with this exploratory project and encourage you to provide us with your feedback through the form below or by contacting the project lead directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Blog post – a brief introduction to our motivation and approach for this project.
- Executive summary – highlights the key activities and findings of the project.
- Project report – describes in full detail the background, activities, methodology, analyses, and findings from our project, as well as recommendations for future research.
- Liberal Arts and Sciences Educational Offering (LASEO) Framework – an Excel sheet that lays out our framework, approach, and initial institution-level proxy metrics for measuring the degree to which institutions offer their students a liberal arts and sciences educational experience.
- Liberal Arts and Sciences Educational Offering (LASEO) Index Scores – an Excel file that lists the LASEO Index Scores generated for this project for a set of higher education institutions in the United States with available data.
On October 2, we presented on this project at the College and Beyond II: Liberal Arts and Life public colloquium series led by researchers from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan. The slides and recording are now available.