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Research Report
February 19, 2020

Expanding Opportunity for Lower-Income Students

Three Years of the American Talent Initiative

The American Talent Initiative (ATI) was formed in December 2016 to address a persistent issue—specifically, that the American colleges and universities with the greatest resources, and where students have the highest likelihood of graduating, have historically served far too few young people from low- and middle-income backgrounds. The American Talent Initiative has a goal to enroll an additional 50,000 low- and middle-income students at these institutions by the year 2025. ATI is on track to meet its goal. Between 2015-16,…
Research Report
February 13, 2020

Raising the Bar

What States Need to Do to Hit Their Ambitious Higher Education Attainment Goals

Over the past decade, there has been considerable attention placed on the role that state higher education systems play in preparing residents for a rapidly changing labor market. Given the increasing importance of a postsecondary degree in this market—both due to disproportionate growth in high skilled jobs and an influx of credentialization—educational attainment has become a focal point in discussions amongst researchers, policy advocates, and institutional actors. The attainment rate, calculated as the share of adults possessing a postsecondary credential,…
Research Report
December 12, 2019

Teaching Business

Looking at the Support Needs of Instructors

Business represents the most popular undergraduate major at American colleges and universities and was seen as the ideal discipline to begin with, especially as the potential number of students to be positively impacted is correspondingly large. The goal of this report, therefore, is to provide actionable findings for organizations, institutions, and professionals who support the teaching practices of business educators. This report describes the teaching practices of business instructors, both those that are common to all college level instruction as…
Research Report
December 5, 2019

Organizing Support for Success

Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems

The Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems (CCASSE) project examines how academic and student support services at not-for-profit associate-degree granting colleges are organized, funded, and staffed, and how these services can most effectively advance student success. In spring 2019, we surveyed 249 chief academic and student affairs officers at community colleges across the United States on success measures, services offered, resource challenges and constraints, and vision for future service provision.
Research Report
November 7, 2019

Aligning Many Campuses and Instructors around a Common Adaptive Learning Courseware in Introductory Statistics

Lessons from a Multi-Year Pilot in Maryland

The Adaptive Learning in Statistics (ALiS) project was a multi-year pilot initiative in which faculty members from multiple two-year and four-year public institutions in Maryland used a common adaptive learning courseware in their introductory statistics courses and received training and instructional resources on an active learning and flipped classroom pedagogical approach. The project was organized and led by Ithaka S+R in collaboration with Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics (TPSE Math), the William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation at the…
Research Report
October 24, 2019

Surveying Community College Students

Strategies for Maximizing Engagement and Increasing Participation

Higher education researchers need to employ effective outreach methods in order to connect with the populations they study. For surveys in particular, low response rates can lead to non-response error, decreasing generalizability and representativeness. To combat these issues, Ithaka S+R has developed and tested a suite of outreach strategies that we have employed over the past two decades in our long-running national faculty survey as well as our local surveys of faculty and students.[1] In fall 2018, we surveyed students…
Playbook
October 17, 2019

Unlocking the Power of Collaboration

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

Recognizing that solutions to today’s complex problems go beyond the boundaries of a single organization or institution, some postsecondary education leaders and training providers are turning to a more focused and deeper level of collaboration to drive both individual and broader systemic change with potential for far-reaching social impact.
Research Report
September 30, 2019

Student Needs Are Academic Needs

Community College Libraries and Academic Support for Student Success

The Community College Libraries and Academic Support for Student Success (CCLASSS) project examines student success from the perspective of students themselves, what challenges they face in achieving it, and what services can be developed to effectively support them in their attainment of that success. In fall 2018, we surveyed 10,844 students across seven community colleges to assess the value of and demand for proposed services designed to address students’ expressed goals, challenges, and needs.
Research Report
July 10, 2019

Organizing the Work of the Art Museum

The career trajectory of art museum directors typically gives them deep exposure to, at most, a handful of institutional settings. While museum directors connect through leadership meetings such as those we host at the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and thereby learn from one another, few have the opportunity to assemble a system-wide perspective on how changes in strategy might, or perhaps should, affect their institutional leadership. Given the strategic transformations that many art museums are undertaking or considering,…
Research Report
June 27, 2019

Technical Supplement – Interim Findings Report: MAAPS Advising Experiment

Overview Monitoring Advising Analytics to Promote Success (MAAPS) is a multi-institutional project of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), supported by a U.S. Department of Education First in the World Grant to Georgia State University, the lead UIA member on this project. MAAPS is a large-scale randomized-controlled trial designed to validate the effectiveness of technology-enhanced proactive advisement in increasing retention, progression, and achievement for low-income and first-generation college students. Addressing documented obstacles to college completion that disproportionately impact at-risk populations,…
Research Report
June 27, 2019

Interim Findings Report: MAAPS Advising Experiment

Monitoring Advising Analytics to Promote Success (MAAPS) is a multi-institutional project of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), supported by a U.S. Department of Education First in the World Grant to Georgia State University, a UIA member. The large-scale, randomized-controlled trial was designed to test and validate the effectiveness of technology-enhanced, proactive advisement in increasing retention, progression, and achievement for incoming low-income and first-generation college students. The MAAPS intervention was officially launched during the Fall 2016 term at the 11 institutions…
Research Report
May 30, 2019

Unbarring Access

A Landscape Review of Postsecondary Education in Prison and Its Pedagogical Supports

Postsecondary education in US prisons is a growing topic in both academic and political circles. While much of the discourse surrounding higher education more broadly focuses on students’ educational and employment outcomes, the conversation around postsecondary education in prisons often centers on the societal benefits of this programming, with a strong focus on reduced recidivism rates – the rates with which formerly incarcerated individuals engage in criminal acts that result in their re-arrest, re-conviction, or re-incarceration. With 1.5 million people…
Research Report
May 15, 2019

Better Than We Thought

Comparing Publicly Available Data on College Students’ Income Distribution

In this report, we compare and contrast three datasets—IPEDS, CDS, and Opportunity Insights—for various categories of public and private four-year institutions, in the aggregate. We find that, when grouping students who do not receive federal financial aid—whose income is therefore unknown—with students in the top income category, the IPEDS income distribution is very similar to the Opportunity Insights income distribution at this aggregate level. Furthermore, comparing IPEDS data with CDS data provides insights about which students benefit from institutional financial…
Research Report
April 12, 2019

Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2018

The Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey has tracked the changing research, teaching, and publishing practices of higher education faculty members on a triennial basis since 2000. Our aim in this project is to provide actionable findings and analysis to help colleges and universities as well as relevant support services, such as academic libraries, learned societies, and scholarly publishers, plan for the future.
Research Report
April 11, 2019

When Research is Relational

Supporting the Research Practices of Indigenous Studies Scholars

In 2017 Ithaka S+R launched a project to explore the changing research methods and practices of Indigenous Studies scholars across Canada and the US with the goal of identifying services to better support them in ways that are also beneficial to Indigenous communities more broadly. The project was undertaken by a cohort of research teams at 11 academic libraries with guidance from a group of advisors comprised of Indigenous scholars and librarians. Each research team in the cohort developed findings…
Research Report
January 29, 2019

Library Acquisition Patterns

The Library Acquisition Patterns (LAP) project was undertaken with the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with the aim of examining trends in US academic libraries’ book purchasing. The findings of this report consist of two distinct areas: 1) an analysis of library book acquisitions within the specified sample for fiscal year 2017 at 124 US academic institutions, and 2) a trend line analysis of print and e-books acquired within the specified sample, the university press presence in these…
Research Report
January 28, 2019

Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey 2018

In order to gauge the extent to which progress has been made since 2015 towards increasing staff diversity in art museums, in 2018 we undertook a second iteration of the demographic survey. At a high level, the study has found some meaningful progress in the representation of people of color in a number of different museum functions, including the curatorial. We also found an increase in the number of women in museum leadership positions from 2015 to 2018. Nevertheless, the…
Research Report
January 10, 2019

Enrolling More Veterans at High-Graduation-Rate Colleges and Universities

Higher education plays a vital role in raising income, moderating income inequality, and increasing economic growth and global competitiveness. But U.S. higher education attainment continues to lag for lower-income and underrepresented-minority students, particularly at the colleges and universities that have the most resources and the highest graduation rates. As a stark example, research by economist Raj Chetty and his team found that there are more students from the top one percent of the income distribution at the Ivy-Plus colleges than…
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Research Report
December 17, 2018

A 2018 Report on the Progress of the American Talent Initiative in its First Two Years

This report offers the first look at the progress achieved during the American Talent Initiative’s first two years. Between the 2015-16 academic year (the year before ATI’s founding) and the 2017-18 academic year, ATI members increased their enrollment of low- and moderate-income students by 7,291, an increase that represents about 15 percent of the 50,000-by-2025 goal, achieved by about a third of eligible schools. During this period, more than two-thirds of ATI members increased Pell enrollment, and for about half…