Topic: Educational Transformation
September 12, 2023
Today, 6.6 million students are facing the challenge of “stranded credits”—credits that cannot be transferred between colleges. In a system of competing higher ed institutions, a never-ending discussion on which courses count toward credits has resulted in a portion of the US population left in a perpetual state of near-completion toward a degree. Sometimes, these students have unpaid bills to colleges, so their transcripts are withheld. Underprivileged students are often disproportionately affected. In an upcoming virtual forum on September…
July 6, 2023
Enhancements to CUNY Transfer Explorer (CUNY T-Rex) empower students to explore paths to degree completion with transparent and accessible information
In January 2023, the ACT team and CUNY introduced several new features on CUNY T-Rex, which included a refreshed homepage, a student portal for CUNY students to access their transcript and explore how their courses are applied across CUNY colleges, and functionality to let users explore how course credits (from both CUNY and non-CUNY institutions) and CPL apply at various CUNY colleges and to major and minor requirements. Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of additional, new features…
July 5, 2023
The promise of the American Library Association annual conference is the opportunity to learn from many different colleagues, especially about issues that span public, academic, and research libraries. This year’s conference, held June 22-27 in Chicago, continued this cross-collaboration on a number of important topics. Discussions around intellectual freedom were front and center at this year’s conference. While ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom documented a record 1,269 demands to censor books or other materials within 2022, data gathered by the…
November 8, 2023
“Stranded credits” are credits that students have earned but can’t access because their former institution is holding their transcript as collateral for an unpaid balance to the institution. Ninety-five percent of institutions withhold transcripts when students have a balance, and Ithaka S+R estimates that 6.6 million students nationally have stranded credits. Like student loan debt, stranded credits are inequitably distributed: institutions with higher shares of students of color and Pell-eligible students are estimated to have more former students…
July 12, 2023
AACRAO Technology & Transfer Virtual Summit
Join a AACRAO Technology and Transfer Virtual Summit session honoring this year’s Bonita C. Jacobs Transfer Champion-Rising Star Award winners, including Ithaka S+R’s Emily Tichenor. Learn about their journeys as transfer agents, connectors, and advocates, how they’ve overcome challenges to find success, and their top tips and strategies for influencing change. Both seasoned professionals and newcomers to the transfer community will walk away with valuable insights and practical takeaways for creating and sustaining transfer-focused policies, programs, and supports. This…
June 25, 2023
A Culturally Responsive Program Evaluation for First-Generation Student Success
As higher education institutions serve more diverse student populations, culturally responsive research practices and equity-based perspectives are critical to ensure program evaluation is responsive to all students’ needs. In this session at the 2023 NASPA Conference on Student Success in Higher Education, presenters from Ithaka S+R and the Kessler Scholars Collaborative will highlight promising practices for conducting a culturally responsive evaluation and share a case study example from the Kessler Scholars Program, a comprehensive support program serving first-generation, limited-income…
June 14, 2023
At 11 am on June 14, 2023, Martin Kurzweil will moderate a panel on “The Chair’s Role in Enrollment, Retention, and Student Success,” hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Featuring conversation with panelist Allison Calhoun-Brown, the 75-minute session will explore how and why department chairs should recruit students and put in place systems that support them to remain enrolled and on track, and to complete their degrees. Register here.
June 13, 2023
At 11 am on June 13, 2023, Martin Kurzweil will participate in a session on national trends in higher education, hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The 75-minute session will focus on key trends in higher education and its economic and policy context, moderated by current department chair Manya Whitaker. Register to attend.
May 31, 2023
Research Reports by ATI Honorarium Awardees George Mason University, Marist College, and Muhlenberg College
Student success and equity are intrinsically linked. Students from lower-income, first-generation, and historically underserved backgrounds face deeply entrenched systemic inequities and a myriad of obstacles both on college campuses and beyond. To help address these challenges, with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Gray Foundation, three American Talent Initiative members each received a $7,250 honorarium to tackle research on key topics of academic equity.
May 16, 2023
Postsecondary outcomes for lower-income students have been disproportionately harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Intensifying and systematizing evidence-based student supports is a promising practice for helping these students. While initially conceived prior to the pandemic, Monitoring Advising Analytics to Promote Success (MAAPS) is one such project that aimed to learn whether and how technology-enhanced advising could better support low-income and first-generation students and promote equity. From 2015 through 2022, the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) and its institutional members tested…
May 16, 2023
Evaluation Findings after Six Years
MAAPS is a large-scale randomized-controlled trial designed to validate the effectiveness of intensive, proactive, technology-enhanced advisement in increasing achievement, persistence, and completion of historically underserved students. This final report on the project presents impact findings for the intent-to-treat effect of MAAPS advisement on participating students’ outcomes for the final analytic sample of 10,037 students and at each participating institution after six academic years.
July 19, 2023
Students and the general public are increasingly interested in whether higher education is worth the cost. While it is important to showcase the value of higher education beyond individual economic benefits, we must also directly respond to the growing skepticism of higher education’s cost and economic benefits. One clear way to showcase the extent to which higher education is a worthwhile investment is to measure a student’s return on investment (ROI) from their degree or credential. In this session, a…
May 18, 2023
On May 18, Martin Kurzweil and Kent State University’s Chris Dorsten will talk about stranded credits and the Ohio College Comeback Compact at the (Re)Engage Alabama Convening in Montgomery, Alabama.
August 7, 2023
Institutions and states are facing increasing pressures to stop the practice of withholding student transcripts for failure to pay balances in full. In fact, over half of states have enacted or considered policies on this issue over the past several years. The Department of Education and the CFPB have also weighed in with guidance and new policies. In this session at the 2023 SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference, leaders from three states that have taken unique approaches to addressing…
July 11, 2023
A Cross-Organizational Effort to Promote Credit Transparency
In May 2020, the Articulation of Credit Transfer (ACT) team, a collaboration between Ithaka S+R and the City University of New York (CUNY), introduced CUNY Transfer Explorer, an online, public tool which allows anyone to see how courses at one college are treated at any other college in the CUNY system upon transfer. At a presentation at AACRAO’s Technology and Virtual Summit on July 11 at 4 pm ET, CUNY Lehman’s Juan Villalona, ITHAKA’s Maddie Danks and Jessica…
March 23, 2023
One of the most significant challenges that higher education institutions are currently facing is shrinking undergraduate enrollment, a trend accelerated by the disruptions of the pandemic. Among four-year institutions, enrollment declines have been particularly acute for those institutions that admit a relatively large percentage of their applicants and are dependent on tuition for a significant share of their revenue. Between fall 2020 and 2022, colleges and universities that admit between 75 and 85 percent of applicants experienced…
March 22, 2023
Ithaka S+R was commissioned by the Student Success Division of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to develop the Texas Student Success Program Inventory, an online resource that organizes information about student success programs at Texas institutions on an easy-to-use, searchable platform. On March 22, 2023 at 1:00 pm CST/2:00 pm EST, the THECB and Ithaka S+R will host a webinar to introduce users to this new resource. In this webinar, Ithaka S+R will provide some background…
March 9, 2023
Students can face numerous barriers on their path to a degree, especially given the hardships wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is therefore essential that colleges and universities provide students with the support they need to thrive on campus and complete their degrees. Student success programs play a vital role in facilitating this support through a range of innovative and evidence-based services. However, it can be difficult to access information about these programs across states and regions. This lack of…
March 9, 2023
How Public Undergraduate Institutions Are Supporting Student Success Across the State of Texas
Executive Summary The Texas Student Success Program Inventory (SSPI), available at https://www.highered.texas.gov/sspi, is an online database of information related to student success programs at public colleges and universities, commissioned by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Consistent with nearly every other state, prior to the creation of the SSPI, there was no organized source of information about student success programming in Texas. By creating a user-friendly tool for publicly sharing information, the SSPI is…
February 16, 2023
$4.4 Million in New Grants to Enhance and Expand "Transfer Explorer" within CUNY and Beyond
Losing credits when transferring to a new institution is a major barrier preventing many college students from earning a degree. Providing better information about how credits transfer, and providing that information early enough to enable students and advisors to plan, are crucial steps to tearing down that barrier. With an additional $4.4 million in philanthropic funding, the groundbreaking Transfer Explorer is poised to take those steps, at scale.