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Topic: Educational Transformation

Blog Post
August 3, 2020

Engaging and Supporting Prospective Students

How Can Institutions Draw Upon the Principles of Near-Peer Advising?

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the typical college admissions experience. At the same time, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others have drawn heightened attention to the structural and institutional racism that exists within our educational system and the impact this has on our students who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). Students preparing to enter college for the first time in Fall 2020 have made enrollment choices as the specifics of…
Blog Post
July 30, 2020

Academic Advising Technologies in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

Exploring the Human Element

Academic advising is one of the most ubiquitous functions in higher education and a central pillar of the student success apparatus at any institution. Prior to the emergency shift to online learning resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more of the administration of student life had become integrated with technology. This includes advising technologies, which are becoming both more common and sophisticated. From foundational degree audit systems to predictive analytics engines, the technologies available to support advising…
Blog Post
July 22, 2020

Addressing Challenges Faced by Institutions Supporting Student Veterans

ATI Veterans Community of Practice Comes Together Virtually

College students across the country have experienced the financial, social, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the heightened national conversation on systemic racism. Student veterans are no exception. As we discussed in a previous blog post, the pandemic has exacerbated the complex challenges that student veterans face in completing their postsecondary education: they are now navigating the uncertainties of GI Bill funding and in many cases, balancing financial insecurity and family…
Blog Post
July 21, 2020

Reflections on the Comprehensiveness and Equity Considerations of Institutional Plans for Fall 2020 Reopening

Last month, Ithaka S+R launched an effort to aggregate and synthesize information related to the fall reopening of colleges and universities to facilitate institutional collaboration and planning. As of July 10th, we have synthesized 57 institutional plans into a single resource (click here to view), and plan to continually update this resource with new and evolving information. We are publishing findings from our review of these plans in…
Blog Post
July 20, 2020

Southern New Hampshire University’s FEATuring You

A New Tool Designed to Connect Marginally Engaged Youth to Employment

Digital tools that directly test and train individuals’ competencies are dramatically changing hiring and higher education. Technology platforms that boast robust analytic capabilities are increasingly being adopted by employers to securely and efficiently verify candidates’ fit through a wide assortment of skills-based evaluations, with 71 percent of North American employers utilizing pre-hire assessments during the screening process. In tandem, the push toward online learning and alternative credentialing in…
Case Study
July 20, 2020

FEATuring YOU

A Soft Skills Training and Assessment Program for Opportunity Youth

Skills-based training and assessment technologies promise to democratize the hiring process. By automatically evaluating whether candidates possess the necessary competencies to succeed in the role to which they are applying, these tools can help eliminate human bias, diversify the talent pool, and reskill our workforce—especially appealing given that the World Economic Forum estimates a need to reskill more than one billion people in the next ten years. They are also well-suited for empowering younger learners and job candidates who are…
Blog Post
July 17, 2020

Testing, Tracing, and Supported Isolation

A Synthesis of 57 Fall 2020 College Reopening Plans

Last month, Ithaka S+R launched an effort to aggregate and synthesize information related to the fall reopening of colleges and universities to facilitate institutional collaboration and planning. As of July 13th, we have synthesized 57 institutional plans into a single resource (click here to view), and plan to continually update this resource with new and evolving information. We are publishing the findings from our review of these plans in a series of blog posts hosted on our…
Blog Post
July 16, 2020

Overarching Findings from 57 Fall 2020 College Reopening Plans

Last month, Ithaka S+R launched an effort to aggregate and synthesize information related to the fall reopening of colleges and universities in an effort to facilitate institutional collaboration and planning. As of July 13th, we have synthesized 57 institutional plans into a single resource (click here to view), and plan to continually update this resource with new and evolving information. We capture information about several aspects of institutional…
Blog Post
July 14, 2020

Streamlining Transfer for CUNY Students in the Bronx

Approximately one-third of college students begin their postsecondary education in community colleges, yet over 80 percent of these students aspire to earn at least a bachelor’s degree. In order to achieve their goals, these students will need to transfer from their community colleges (which mostly offer associate’s degrees) to colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees. Yet, only 13 percent of students successfully transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree within six years of entering community college. Black and…
Blog Post
June 24, 2020

The Great Recession Playbook is Gone

Why Higher Ed Needs Government Support to Survive

In periods of crisis, we often look to history to guide us. Throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic, experts have drawn comparisons to the 1918 influenza pandemic, the Great Depression, and most recently, the 2008 Great Recession. Given its recency, many in the higher education community rely on their experiences in the Great Recession to both project the financial consequences of the widespread disruption of COVID-19 and to seek inspiration for effective responses. Now that we have officially entered an…
Blog Post
June 18, 2020

Building a Practice-Sharing Resource on Planning for Fall 2020

Colleges and universities across the country are planning for a fall semester unlike any other. Now more than ever, the health and safety of the campus community and the needs of the most vulnerable students should guide decisions about whether and how to resume in-person campus activities in Fall 2020.  To facilitate institutional collaboration and planning during this period of uncertainty, Ithaka S+R is launching an effort to aggregate and synthesize information related to fall reopening…
Blog Post
June 18, 2020

Student Veterans Need Targeted Support Due to COVID-19 Educational Disruptions

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the educational experiences of millions of college students around the country, including for students who are US military veterans. Under normal circumstances, student veterans must overcome significant structural barriers to enroll and complete college: veteran students are more likely than civilian students to be Black, Indigenous, and people of color, the first in their families to go to college, and have families of their own. Students with these attributes…
Blog Post
June 11, 2020

New Report Identifies Strategies for Independent Colleges Looking to Improve Transfer Pathways 

Covid-19 has fundamentally altered the landscape of higher education, producing both challenges and opportunities for higher education institutions to better serve traditionally understudied student populations. Transfer students, specifically students that transfer from community colleges to four-year independent colleges, are one such population that has been historically underserved but whose needs will be all the more relevant during and after the pandemic. Enrollment shifts caused by the pandemic highlight the need for…
Research Report
June 11, 2020

Transfer Pathways to Independent Colleges

Every fall, an estimated one million American students begin their postsecondary education at community colleges. In fact, close to half of all postsecondary students start off at these institutions—especially students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. While most intend to eventually earn their bachelor’s degree, less than a third transfer-in to a four-year institution and only 13 percent actually earn their bachelor’s degree in six years. Transfer between two- and four-year institutions is a difficult pathway for students, leaving the well-documented benefits…
Research Report
June 11, 2020

Executive Summary: Transfer Pathways to Independent Colleges

COVID-19 and its aftermath highlight the urgency for innovation around community college to independent college transfer. The pandemic is expected to produce an increase in community college enrollment due to students’ inability to safely travel further from home and families’ financial situations in the current recession. Meanwhile, independent colleges facing declines in fall enrollment will need to turn to local transfer students as a source of much-needed tuition revenue. Yet, the path from community college to four-year institution is often…
Blog Post
June 10, 2020

Resource Launch: Tracking Higher Ed’s Response to COVID-19 and Plans for Reopening

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought major disruptions to every college and university across the country. Faced with a myriad of challenges—financial, educational, and health-related—each institution must decide how to continue to deliver on its educational mission in a way that safeguards the health of its community and maintains financial viability. While the state of higher education and plans for the fall have received a great deal of…
Blog Post
June 5, 2020

A New Resource to Help CUNY Students Transfer Smarter

When students transfer from one college to another they frequently are unable to count their previously earned credits toward degree requirements at their new institution, jeopardizing these students’ ability to earn degrees at their new institutions. Nationally, 43 percent of credits are wasted during transfer, and students who lose that many credits are far less likely to graduate than students who are able to transfer most of their credits. The COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate this problem. Due to…
Blog Post
May 4, 2020

Constructive Disruption in Higher Education

Every college and university is having conversations about what to do for the fall term, if not the summer, and considerations and decisions are slowly being made public, with understandable caveats. Even as approaches emerge, one thing should be top of mind: institutions have the opportunity to reconsider the familiar modes of both teaching and learning, and in doing so, improve the efficacy of both. This is not…
Blog Post
April 27, 2020

Online Learning During COVID-19

Digital and Educational Divides Have Similar Boundaries

In 2018, nearly 78 percent of households in America had a desktop or laptop computer and 74 percent had a broadband Internet subscription, a significant increase in digital access over the last two decades. Yet, millions of Americans are without access, and the distribution is wildly uneven across geographic regions (as well as demographic subgroups). A digital divide has existed in America for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed it and made it more relevant than ever…
Blog Post
April 23, 2020

Going Test-Optional with Equity in Mind 

Colleges and universities across the nation are revisiting nearly every aspect of their operations in order to best respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of SAT and ACT administration changes and cancellations, at least 70 colleges and university systems have implemented test-optional policies, which either eliminate the requirement for prospective students to submit standardized test scores or…