April 18, 2023
Changing the Racial Demographics of Librarians
Librarianship has a racial diversity representation problem. Black, Indigenous, and people of color have been underrepresented in the field for decades, and despite the momentum and initiatives in support of diversifying the profession, the numbers appear to not have changed meaningfully. The data tell a consistent and compelling story: the library profession remains overwhelmingly white. Part of the problem stems from the fact that demographic information about the profession is not measured and reported in a consistent manner.
April 18, 2023
By Any Measure
The Racial Demographics of Librarians
The things that get measured by an organization are a tell for what matters to the organization. Librarianship has been grappling with an underrepresentation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) librarians for decades, and while libraries have developed a plethora of recruitment initiatives, the numbers appear to have not changed meaningfully, remaining static over the decades. A contributing factor may be that demographic information about the profession is not routinely measured and reported.
March 16, 2023
How Have Art Museums Been Impacted by Climate Change?
With climate change increasingly destabilizing environments, art museums find themselves in a highly precarious position, as they serve as a physical site for visitors, maintain their collections in perpetuity for future generations, and adapt their own practices to environmental sustainability standards. Ithaka S+R’s 2022 Art Museum Director Survey report, funded by the Kress Foundation and the Mellon Foundation, documents art museum leaders’ perspectives and strategies across a range of issues, including how museums are impacted by and planning for climate…
March 6, 2023
Are the Humanities Ready for Data Sharing?
This issue brief suggests that one key perspective that humanists can bring to larger debates about data sharing and open access research outputs is their uniquely well-developed infrastructure for the public sharing of knowledge creation, exemplified in the many public humanities initiatives that are a highly visible and vibrant part of humanities scholarship. Many recent public humanities projects emphasize community-driven, collaborative data generation efforts, in which knowledge is co-created with community participants not for the community.
February 10, 2023
Alternative Strategies to Support a Diverse Student Body
Affirmative Action at Risk
With a decision pending in two lawsuits challenging race-conscious admissions practices at Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), many observers are predicting that the US Supreme Court will significantly limit, if not completely prohibit, the use of race in college and university admissions. Such a decision would stand sharply crosswise to current needs. Selective colleges and universities, both public and private, are still far from embodying racial equity.
January 5, 2023
Copyright and Streaming Audiovisual Content in the US Context
Copyright law includes special rights for research and teaching, including the fair use right, which can help address gaps between the educational activities that technology facilitates and the exclusive rights copyright grants to authors. In this brief, we review how US copyright law currently applies to streaming content for educational and research purposes and explore the opportunities for academic libraries.
November 16, 2022
Holistic Credit Mobility
Centering Learning in Credential Completion
In this issue brief, we introduce holistic credit mobility as a framework for making sense of contemporary student mobility and devising solutions that center the success of mobile students with multiple forms and sources of validated learning. In the sections that follow, we define holistic credit mobility and highlight strategies to support its effective deployment throughout postsecondary institutions and systems.
August 18, 2022
Post-Baccalaureate Bridge Programs
An Underutilized Tool for Strengthening Faculty Diversity
Eugene Tobin, Daniel Rossman, Elaine Vilorio, Christy McDaniel, Martin Kurzweil, Catharine Bond Hill
Over the last 50 years, the US has experienced significant shifts in its racial and ethnic makeup, making it a much more racially diverse country than it was a half century ago. The racial and ethnic composition of the higher education system has shifted too. In spite of this progress, various forms of racial bias, socioeconomic inequality, and academic gatekeeping continue to limit access of students from underrepresented minority (URM) and low-income backgrounds to higher education’s resources and potential benefits.
July 7, 2022
Lost and Found: State and Institutional Actions to Resolve Stranded Credits
This brief provides a roadmap for stakeholders interested in the underlying practices that create stranded credits and what can be done to improve them. To begin, we provide specific definitions of the terms and practices implicated in the creation of stranded credits. While researchers and policy leaders have increased their attention on the problem of stranded credits, this brief lays out in detail how they are created, why they matter, and what can be done to better balance the interests.
May 16, 2022
Can Evidence-Based Teaching Techniques Address the Education Debt that Students of Color Are Owed?
Evidence-based teaching strategies (EBTs) have become increasingly popular, as the practices have been linked to positive academic outcomes and should, theoretically, benefit all students regardless of their background. In this brief we identify the areas where research on EBTs lacks a critical, equity-minded orientation and offer suggestions on how future research can utilize an equity-first mindset. We present strategies that can be used by practitioners who hope to orient EBTs towards creating equitable learning environments for their students.
April 28, 2022
Supporting Low-Income Students with SNAP
States and institutions of higher education have, until recently, been approaching the problem of student food insecurity in separate, sometimes contradictory ways. While some institutions have developed wrap-around assistance programs for low-income students that have improved retention and completion rates, the students with the most needs often attend institutions with the fewest resources to support them. Developing state policies that support low-income students will not only increase the number of successful graduates but also improve students’ work-readiness and earning potential.
November 9, 2021
No “One Size Fits All” Impact of Doubling Pell Grants
Understanding the Impact of Changing the Maximum Pell Grant on Low- and Middle-Income Students
As policy makers consider revisions to the Higher Education Act (HEA), understanding the impact of increasing the size of Pell grants is important if it is to have the intended impact of improving educational outcomes for lower income students across the various types of colleges and universities. Proposals to increase the Pell grant have been put forward by the Education Trust, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Urban Institute, the Biden administration, and many others. House Republicans have…
August 25, 2021
Improving Clarity in Financial Aid Offers
Content and Design Recommendations for Transparent Student Communications
The American Talent Initiative’s latest issue brief, “Improving Clarity in Financial Aid Offers,” centers on the need for colleges and universities to prioritize clear, transparent financial aid communications, especially as the cost of college has significantly increased over the past three decades and left a shrinking number of students able to afford higher education (especially amid the pandemic). To address this enduring challenge, institutions can use powerful tools like the financial aid offer to help students understand the true…
July 21, 2021
Right in Your Backyard
Expanding Local Community College Transfer Pathways to High-Graduation-Rate Institutions
Each year, our country’s most selective four-year institutions invest significant resources to recruit talented high school students from across the country. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, admissions representatives traveled far and wide to convince these prospective students that the academic rigor, amenities, and opportunities at their institution are unparalleled. These students, mostly affluent and white, contemplate admission offers and consider moves to new locales to pursue their postsecondary plans. Yet, many of these selective institutions are overlooking a talented and diverse…
May 26, 2021
Different Approaches to Piloting Advising Technology
Comparing Webster University and West Virginia State University
Advising undergraduate students on how to succeed in their academics, careers, and life is one of the most common practices in higher education. Advising is also something that many institutions struggle to resource or coordinate sufficiently, due to hurdles such as overwhelming caseloads and limited interdepartmental communication, potentially leaving students without needed support on their paths to successful program completion. The barriers to a successful college experience are not borne equally across higher education. In fact, the institutions that serve…
May 25, 2021
Using Data to Fuel Inclusive Excellence at Virginia Tech
In Fall 2020, the American Talent Initiative (ATI), an alliance of high-graduation-rate colleges and universities committed to expanding access and opportunity for low- and middle-income students, established its newest community of practice (CoP) focused on academic equity. Together, the 37 CoP members explore topics related to creating equitable academic communities. One such area of focus is how institutions can more effectively utilize data to enhance equity-related projects. In January 2021, members participated in a webinar discussion on this topic, during…
March 31, 2021
The Disproportionate Impact of the Pandemic on Women and Caregivers in Academia
Evidence is mounting that women in academia have disproportionately been affected by the pandemic. Recent research points to new gender gaps in productivity and publishing, with fewer women publishing articles and manuscripts. And in addition to these professional challenges, women in academia are also facing unique personal challenges during the pandemic, including balancing childcare and home responsibilities while working towards achieving tenure in an academic pipeline where it is already challenging for women to succeed.
March 26, 2021
The Many Facets of Faculty Involvement in the Implementation Process
A Case Study of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Advising undergraduate students on how to succeed in their academics, careers, and life is one of the most common practices in higher education. Advising is also something that many institutions struggle to resource or coordinate sufficiently, potentially leaving students without needed support on their paths to successful program completion. The barriers to a successful college experience are not borne equally across higher education. In fact, the institutions that serve the highest proportions of students from historically minoritized backgrounds (including low-income,…
March 15, 2021
Federal Policies for Increasing Socioeconomic Diversity at Selective Colleges and Universities
Earning a bachelor’s degree is increasingly important to an individual’s longer-term economic prospects. Communities, at all levels, also benefit when their members earn postsecondary credentials, through improved economic, social, and health outcomes. Yet, despite an increase in college participation over the last two decades, severe inequities in bachelor’s degree attainment remain; inequities that often leave lower-income and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) students with debt and no or low-value credentials. With Democrats coalescing around a number of federal…
March 11, 2021
Homeless and Foster Youth, Racial Inequity, and Policy Shifts for Systemic Change
Each year, roughly 4.2 million young people experience homelessness, and more than 600,000 children interact with the foster care system nationwide. Although youth homelessness and foster care are distinct experiences, many youth will crossover between these two groups. Both groups also face similar challenges, including highly unstable living environments, food insecurity, and often gaps in educational achievement and attainment. While the legal definition of youth homelessness varies across states and targeted policies, the Department of Education defines homeless…