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Topic: Access to higher education

Blog Post
May 6, 2021

Reconciling with the Past: Addressing Institutional Connections with Slavery

In a series of blog posts, I have discussed the origins and developments of postsecondary efforts to address institutional connections with slavery. This final blog post will discuss how institutions can push beyond their historical entanglements with slavery to address the current legacies of institutional racism. While a growing number of institutions have sponsored historical inquiries examining their own institutional involvement with slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries, and many have issued statements decrying systemic…
Blog Post
May 4, 2021

A State-by-State Snapshot of Stranded Credits Data and Policy

As the higher education sector begins to address the adverse effects of the pandemic on enrollment, institutions and policymakers alike have begun to turn their attention to a pernicious form of debt that could be preventing over six million students, especially low-income students and students of color, from re-enrolling and earning their degrees. This form of debt prevents students from accessing their transcripts at institutions they attended in the past, leading those previously earned credits to become “stranded” at…
Blog Post
April 28, 2021

What Will it Take to Move the Needle on Student Basic Needs?

Last year, we released a landscape review delving into how different metrics of student success are currently prioritized, defined, quantified, and used within the community college sector—examining how traditional metrics of success, like those aligning with typical college objectives like graduation, retention, enrollment, and course completion, are more often prioritized and required for funding, accountability, and accreditation purposes. Subsequent interviews with institutional research and effectiveness officers provided even…
Research Report
April 28, 2021

Moving the Needle on College Student Basic Needs

National Community College Provost Perspectives

For many years, higher education data collection and funding efforts have focused on student success metrics like enrollment, graduation, retention, and course completion rates. At the same time, higher education leaders have become increasingly aware—in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic—of the vast array of challenges that college students face outside of the classroom that prevent them from fully succeeding. To shed light on the challenges and opportunities associated with the collection and prioritization of a broader set of student…
Blog Post
April 15, 2021

Three Questions for Kara Bledsoe

On April 1, Kara Bledsoe joined Ithaka S+R’s Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums team. In this interview, she reflects on what brought her to Ithaka S+R and what she hopes to accomplish through her work with us. What attracted you to Ithaka S+R? My background is in management consulting for cultural organizations. I drafted strategic plans, facilitated visioning workshops, and evaluated clients’ operations to help them optimize the balance between market forces and their missions. Most of the research…
Blog Post
March 15, 2021

Post-NCHEP Reflection

The Need for Digital Literacy in a Digitally-Connected World

The National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP) concluded earlier this month. Due to the pandemic, this annual meeting of practitioners, students, and advocates moved online for the first time, and, while the in-person experience of community building is not easy to duplicate remotely, the increased opportunity for engagement and access certainly aligned with this year’s conference theme, “Amplifying Access.” With its assembly of breakout sessions, plenaries, and chat-boxes, the virtualized conference was better able to prioritize…
Issue Brief
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…
Issue Brief
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.[1] 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…
Blog Post
March 8, 2021

Three Questions for Ithaka S+R’s Newest Analysts

In January, we welcomed three new analysts to our team. In this interview, they reflect on what brought them to Ithaka S+R and what they hope to accomplish through their work with us. What attracted you to Ithaka S+R?  Darnell Epps: I found the work around college in prison to be quite appealing, especially the goal of advancing educational equity through technology. Although I would later matriculate and graduate from Cornell University, the first…
Blog Post
March 3, 2021

How Can Community College Services Be Organized to Best Meet Student Needs?

Over the course of their attendance, community college students must navigate through an array of services—delivered through student affairs departments, academic affairs departments, libraries, and their instructors—to find the support they need. Whether they find that support depends in part on whether their institutions have developed effective service models and organizational strategies. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the attendant necessity for increased remoting learning amidst enrollment declines and budgetary strains, also creates new challenges for students as well as…
Research Report
March 3, 2021

Student Focused

Fostering Cross-Unit Collaboration to Meet the Changing Needs of Community College Students

Ensuring that community college students have access to academic and student support services requires more than simply understanding students’ needs—it also requires relating those needs to actionable service models and organizational strategies. Community college students navigate ecosystems of services provided and supported by academic affairs departments, student affairs departments, libraries, and faculty. How can these ecosystems best be organized and developed to adapt to changing student needs—particularly amidst the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic?…
Blog Post
March 2, 2021

Amplifying Equity in Education: 2021 NCHEP 

With the momentum of Pell restoration tempered by the continued challenges of distance-learning during the pandemic, this week marks the start of 2021’s annual National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP). NCHEP’s guiding theme of educational equity spans five days and over 60 presentations, covering a wide range of topics, from abolitionist teaching to the power of collaborative partnerships. The concerns and strategies of this national cohort…
Past Event
March 3, 2021

Kurtis Tanaka at 2021 Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP)

Kurtis Tanaka will be presenting more on his research on higher education in prison on March 3 and March 5 at 2021 Conference on Higher Education in Prison. For more information on the individual sessions, please see below. Registration information is available here.   Paper: Amplifying Technological Equity Time: Wednesday, March 3, 1-2pm EST. Abstract: This paper will share research on the technology and information supports available to incarcerated students and their instructors. By sharing this research,…
Past Event
February 24, 2021

Kurtis Tanaka at Mapping the Future of Technology in Prison Higher Education

On February 24, Kurtis Tanaka will be moderating a session with  Open Campus and Ascendium Education Group on the future of technology in postsecondary education in prison. For more information, please follow this link.
Past Event
March 1, 2021

Meagan Wilson, Mike Fried, Julia Karon at 2021 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison

On March 1, Meagan Wilson, Mike Fried, and Julia Karon will present at the 2021 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison. Their session will focus on the development of a research infrastructure for higher education in prison by articulating the need for this research infrastructure, providing an overview of existing efforts in this area, identifying the informational gaps a research infrastructure might help fill, and providing strategies for building such an infrastructure. For more information, please visit this…
Blog Post
January 28, 2021

Convening the Cohort

Teaching with Digital Cultural Heritage Materials in the Pandemic

Last summer we announced a Mellon funded project to study how higher education instructors are adapting their practices of teaching with cultural heritage materials during the pandemic. In this post we share how our project is developing and the issues we are tracking as our research gets underway. Why are we doing this project? We remain in a similarly unprecedented landscape six months later, as the COVID-19 virus remains a terrible threat. Technology has allowed certain types of activities…
Past Event
February 3, 2021

Cappy Hill interviews Shai Reshef for The Next Wave

Throughout 2021, The Next Wave, ITHAKA’s convening of partners from the academic, scholarly communications, and museum communities, will center on the subject of equity. The event series kicks off on February 3, 2021 with Democratizing Access to Education, a webinar featuring a conversation between Ithaka S+R Managing Director Catharine Bond Hill and Shai Reshef, president of the University of the People, the first non-profit, American-accredited, tuition-free online university   Register now to attend this free webinar.
Blog Post
January 19, 2021

A New Report Examining the Relationship between Postsecondary Attainment and State Finances

Over the past two years, Ithaka S+R, in partnership with the Joyce Foundation, has examined the role of state policy in ensuring postsecondary access and opportunity for all students. In a newly released research paper, we build on our previous work and make the economic case for states to increase their attainment rates. To reap the benefits of their investments in increased attainment, we recommend that state leaders increase investment into historically underserved students, adopt progressive tax…
Issue Brief
January 19, 2021

It’s Complicated

The Relationship between Postsecondary Attainment and State Finances

Increased college-going and attainment comes with a host of benefits for individuals and society. A college credential is associated with increased civic engagement, volunteering, happiness, life satisfaction, and better health and wellness, as well as lower incarceration rates and reliance on social services. In addition to the host of nonpecuniary benefits of higher education, there is a direct link between both college access and attainment and students’ future economic outcomes. For example, students with test scores just above the eligibility…
Blog Post
December 16, 2020

Three questions for Toya Wall

Ascendium Education Group

In October, Ithaka S+R announced that we are embarking on a new project funded by Ascendium Education Group that will allow us to expand our current work on increasing access to quality educational resources for higher education in prison (HEP) programs. For our quarterly newsletter, we recently asked Toya Wall, a senior program officer at Ascendium, about the challenges facing postsecondary education in prison and her organization’s focus on increasing access for incarcerated learners.   1.    Could you tell…