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Topic: Access to higher education

Issue Brief
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.
Blog Post
October 31, 2022

Joining Hands to Improve Student Access to College

Successfully addressing student debt, transcript holds, and re-enrollment for adult learners often requires cross-organizational partnerships. The Ohio College Comeback Compact is doing exactly that in northeast Ohio. A regional collaborative of eight public colleges and universities, the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Ithaka S+R, and College Now Greater Cleveland, the Ohio Compact is an innovative program allowing students to return to one of the participating institutions despite owing institutional debt that likely resulted in a transcript hold.
Past Event
November 17, 2022

Stranded Credits: Challenges and Opportunities

Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) 2022 Conference

On November 17 at 2:00 – 3:15 pm PT, Ithaka S+R’s Elizabeth Looker and James Dean Ward will participate in an interactive symposium at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) 2022 Conference, which will bring together scholars who are addressing the challenge of stranded credits from multiple perspectives and contexts. The event provides an opportunity for attendees to better understand the causes and consequences of stranded credits, learn about existing solutions, and collaboratively reimagine new approaches…
Blog Post
October 24, 2022

Reflections on NCHEP 2022

National Conference on Higher Education in Prisons

Organized by the Alliance for Higher Education in Prisons, the 12th National Conference on Higher Education in Prisons brought together educators, administrators, and current and former students of higher education in prison (HEP) programs to share information about challenges, trends, and changes in the HEP landscape. The theme for this year’s conference was “What’s Next?” and we were eager to learn what educators and administrators were focusing on and preparing for in the proposed legislation.
Blog Post
October 11, 2022

CFPB Ends Transcript Withholding for Students Owing Institutional Loans

Last week, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued new guidance that postsecondary institutions cannot withhold academic transcripts from students owing past due institutional loan payments. The action is part of a series of decisions aimed at regulating institutionally-based aid programs such as loans and Income Share Agreements, or ISAs. This move protects some students with stranded credits, or credits students have earned but cannot document because of a past due balance.
Blog Post
September 22, 2022

Better Serving Library Patrons Behind Bars

New Project to Expand Public, State, Law, Prison, and Academic Library Collaboration

Over the past several years, public, state, academic, and law libraries have increasingly sought to serve people in prison through a variety of services. Now, with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Ithaka S+R is undertaking a planning project that will set the stage for future partnerships to develop and pilot wrap-around library services to meet the information needs of people who are currently incarcerated.
Past Event
October 18, 2022

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due: An Exploration of Articulation of Credit Transfer (ACT)

Grantmakers for Education Annual Conference

Martin Kurzweil and Lexa Logue will participate in a panel with the Hecksher Foundation's Peter Sloan and the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation's Miss. Cass Conrad focusing on new ways the Articulation of Credit Transfer project is helping students gain their credentials. The panel will discuss a transparent, public facing resource developed within The City University of New York system. The panel is scheduled to take place on October 18 at 1:45 - 3:00 pm CT. …
Past Event
September 23, 2022

Adequacy in Higher Education Funding Convening

On September 23, Sarah Pingel will participate in a convening hosted by Advance Illinois and Complete College America, bringing experts together to unpack Adequacy in Higher Education Funding and examine the possibilities and complexities of adequacy funding for two-year and four-year public institutions. Attendees include national and state higher education funding experts, researchers, academics, policymakers, advocates, and institutional and agency leaders.
Blog Post
September 13, 2022

Reflections on the 2022 Correctional Education Association (CEA) Conference

As the professional association for Department of Corrections (DOC) education staff, the Correctional Education Association conference is an important opportunity for sharing and learning about the latest trends, trailblazers, and trials facing those who provide education in prisons. With the restoration of Pell grants for incarcerated college students now less than a year away, we were eager to hear how DOC education leadership and staff were responding to this major shift in the field.
Past Event
March 16, 2022

Serving 500,000 New Students

Planning for Pell Restoration for Incarcerated College Students

Effective July 2023 incarcerated people will again be eligible to receive Pell grants to support their education, ending a 29 year ban. How will academic libraries support an estimated 500,000 newly eligible incarcerated students? This ACRL panel brings together practitioners and researchers from a public, academic, and college in prison program library to discuss how libraries are currently providing services, and to share strategies for providing library access to incarcerated college students. Recognizing the power and importance of…
Blog Post
September 7, 2022

Comments on the Department of Education’s Proposed Regulations for Pell Grant Restoration for Incarcerated People

Effective July 1, 2023, incarcerated people will once again be eligible to receive Pell grants to support their education, ending a 29 year ban. Below we publish Ithaka S+R’s letter to the Department of Education, outlining our concerns and providing recommendations that would help ensure that people who are incarcerated in the United States are provided the opportunity to participate in and benefit from a quality education.
Past Event
September 8, 2022

The State of Affordability in Higher Ed: State Aid’s Role in Student Success

Come To Believe Network Panel

On Thursday, September 8 at 1-2 pm ET, Ithaka S+R Senior Researcher Sarah Pingel will participate in a panel discussion on the importance of state grant aid in higher education, hosted by the Come To Believe Network. The event will feature a research presentation on the impact of grant aid by Brent Evans and will a discussion with state aid providers in Illinois and Minnesota, as well as national stakeholders, including Jacqueline Moreno, Meghan Flores, and Frank Ballman. Register for…
Blog Post
August 23, 2022

Technology Access in Higher Education in Prison Programs

New Survey Launch

We are excited to announce the launch of a new survey on the landscape of technology access in higher education in prison programs. This survey is a part of Ithaka S+R’s larger work on access to information for incarcerated students and the role of media review in higher education in prisons. While early research on the expansion of educational opportunities in prisons is positive, existing research suggests that educational and skills-based inequities hinder system impacted learners.
Blog Post
August 18, 2022

Diversity, Equity, and the PhD Pipeline

Expanding the Toolkit

The growing mismatch between the profiles of current full-time faculty, 75 percent of whom are white, and the nation’s increasingly diverse undergraduate student bodies, 45 percent of whom are people of color, represents a serious threat to socioeconomic and racial equity and intergenerational mobility. In spite of a generation of comprehensive targeted enrichment interventions from the undergraduate through postdoctoral fellowship stages, public and privately-funded efforts to increase the number of PhDs from historically underserved populations has been painstakingly slow.
Issue Brief
August 18, 2022

Post-Baccalaureate Bridge Programs

An Underutilized Tool for Strengthening Faculty Diversity

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.
Blog Post
August 15, 2022

Stranded Credits: State-Level Actions and Opportunities

Over the past several years, state and federal regulators have increasingly scrutinized the practice of transcript withholding. As of June 15, 2022, five states have pending bills and eight states have enacted bills that prohibit postsecondary institutions from withholding transcripts. Without transcript holds, students will be able to re-enroll in college, transfer to an institution that better fits their needs, apply for jobs that require postsecondary degrees, and potentially be in a better position to pay off their educational debt.
Blog Post
August 2, 2022

New Opportunity for Stopped-Out College Students in Northeast Ohio to Settle Debt and Access Stranded Credits

Ohio College Comeback Compact Launches Summer 2022

Thousands of college students in Northeast Ohio who left school without a degree and owe money to their former college now have a pathway back to settle the debt and continue their education. Beginning this month, the Ohio College Comeback Compact is contacting approximately 15,000 students with a new proposition: come back to any public college in the region, even if you owe money and your transcript is being held because of it. Eligible students who…
Blog Post
July 12, 2022

The Show Goes On: Growing an Ecosystem Devoted to Academic Equity

2022 Academic Equity Summer Institute

in 2019, 18 colleges and universities from across the country came together at Georgetown University for the inaugural Summer Institute on Equity in the Academic Experience, devoted to surfacing strategies and programs to help ensure the success of students from underrepresented backgrounds. Three years later, the number of participating colleges has nearly tripled (50), with over 400 institutional representatives joining the 2022 Summer Institute on Equity in the Academic Experience last month to advance this mission.
Issue Brief
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.
Past Event
June 14, 2022

Webinar: Solving Stranded Credits and Institutional Debt

The Washington Student Achievement Council

On Tuesday, June 14, from 1:00 – 2:00 PDT, Martin Kurzweil will present on “Solving Standard Credits and Institutional Debt” during a webinar for the Washington Student Achievement Council. To register, visit the Council’s website. About the webinar Recent research by Ithaka S+R and others has revealed that more than 6.6 million students nationally owe debt on an unpaid balance to a previously attended college or university, with an average balance of $2,400. The vast majority of institutions withhold…