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Topic: Student learning and outcomes

Blog Post
September 27, 2022

Supporting Quantitative Learning in the Social Sciences

New Report Details Challenges and Opportunities

Confidence with quantitative analysis is necessary for college graduates to navigate the sea of data that shapes contemporary civic life and to build successful careers. Social science classes play important roles in teaching quantitative literacy to students because they ground quantitative reasoning in contexts that resonate with undergraduates. Understanding how social science instructors teach quantitative skills and identifying instructional barriers can help libraries and other university units support faculty and students. Today, Ithaka S+R releases findings from one of the…
Research Report
September 27, 2022

Fostering Data Literacy

Teaching with Quantitative Data in the Social Sciences

“Fostering Data Literacy: Teaching with Quantitative Data in the Social Sciences” explores why and how instructors teach with data, identifies the most important challenges they face, and describes how faculty and students utilize relevant campus and external resources. Full details and actionable recommendations for stakeholders are offered in the body of the report, which offers guidance to university libraries and other campus units, faculty, vendors, and others interested in improving institutional capacities to support data-intensive instruction in the social sciences.
Upcoming 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. …
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. To prevent bad actors from exploiting incarcerated people and this new stream of funding, the Department of Education engaged in the negotiated rulemaking process to determine what procedures and guardrails will be put in place to ensure that incarcerated people are provided with a quality education. After publishing the notice of proposed rulemaking…
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. Early research on the expansion of postsecondary educational opportunities in carceral settings is very positive. However, existing research suggests that educational and…
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. There…
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, or disallowing student access to transcripts or diplomas if they owe a past due balance to the institution. 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…
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 26, 2022

An Interview on QuadEx, Duke University’s New Equity-based Residential and Learning Model

Dr. Jenny Wood Crowley and Chris Rossi on Driving Campus Change

As part of our Academic Equity Interview Blog series (see linked our previous posts on campus climate and mental health), we explore how Duke University, a member of the American Talent Initiative’s (ATI) Academic Equity Community of Practice, is driving campus change through their inclusive living and learning model, QuadEx. QuadEx…
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…
Blog Post
June 14, 2022

Looking Forward to ALA Annual 2022

A Banner Year for Librarians Serving Incarcerated Patrons

The American Library Association (ALA) will be holding its annual conference next week (June 23-28) in Washington DC, in person for the first time since 2019. The conference theme, “together again,” points to the critical importance of building and sustaining community, and I am especially excited to see that the conference schedule has multiple sessions that will provide opportunities for librarians who serve incarcerated people to connect and learn. Even in an increasingly censorius national…
Blog Post
June 9, 2022

Academic Libraries’ Streaming Media Trends in the US and Canada 

New Survey Results Available

Libraries are the major purchasers of streaming media for their universities, and they face numerous challenges meeting the growing demand for these resources from students and instructors. Understanding how libraries are currently responding to these challenges and planning for future acquisitions of streaming media are important for both university decision makers and vendors hoping to serve this market. Today Ithaka S+R releases the findings from the most comprehensive survey to date of academic…
Blog Post
June 6, 2022

Announcing a New Partnership with the Kessler Scholars Collaborative

First-generation students face unique challenges upon entering college. Compared to their peers whose families have a history of college attendance, these students are more likely to have additional responsibilities outside of the classroom, receive less financial support, and struggle more frequently with their sense of belonging at their institutions. As the first of their families to attend college, many first-generation students often navigate…
Blog Post
May 25, 2022

Measuring the Impacts of Federal Oversight of Accreditation 

Since the 1960s, the accreditation process and accreditors have played an important gatekeeping function for institutions’ access to federal student financial aid. Recognizing this role, Congress and the federal Department of Education (ED) have introduced and modified federal requirements and oversight of accreditors to ensure that these gatekeepers are protecting students and public dollars. While these federal interventions have clearly shifted the ways accreditors operate and interact with the federal government, there has been little research conducted on…
Research Report
May 25, 2022

Overseeing the Overseers

Can Federal Oversight of Accreditation Improve Student Outcomes?

Since the passage of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, the federal government has relied on the accreditation process to ensure quality at postsecondary institutions receiving federal dollars. In the ensuing decades, spending on higher education by the federal government—most significantly through federal student loans and grants—and by individuals has increased exponentially. Even as this spending helped fuel substantial growth in enrollment, a completion crisis has left many former students with debt but no degree, and highly uncertain labor…
Blog Post
May 19, 2022

Assessing the Role of the Community College Library

Innovation, Collaboration, and Taking a Holistic Approach

For the last three years, Ithaka S+R has been examining how academic and student support services at community colleges are organized, funded, and staffed in order to provide insight into how these services can most effectively advance student success. Through this IMLS-funded research initiative, known as Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems (CCASSE), we have fielded two surveys, one of academic and student affairs leaders and one of library directors, as well as conducted interviews with…
Blog Post
May 18, 2022

Gateway Course Completion

Update on Ithaka S+R’s work on Multi-Year Initiative

Ithaka S+R is excited to be working on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s initiative on Gateway Course Completion. The foundation is seeking a solution to the high DFWI (D, F, withdrawal, or incomplete) rate in high-enrollment, general education courses that serve as “gatekeepers” to degree completion. Research has shown that students who do not pass these gateway courses experience delays in their academic progress and are more likely to drop out of college altogether. Working with an array…