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Topic: Student learning and outcomes

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…
Issue Brief
March 26, 2021

The Many Facets of Faculty Involvement in the Implementation Process

A Case Study of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Advising undergraduate students on how to succeed in their academics, careers, and life is one of the most common practices in higher education. Advising is also something that many institutions struggle to resource or coordinate sufficiently, potentially leaving students without needed support on their paths to successful program completion. The barriers to a successful college experience are not borne equally across higher education. In fact, the institutions that serve the highest proportions of students from historically minoritized backgrounds (including low-income,…
Blog Post
March 23, 2021

Teaching with Primary Sources: Pre-Pandemic Lessons for Post-COVID Futures

The second iteration in Ithaka S+R’s Teaching Support Services project investigates the teaching practices and support needs of instructors who work with primary source materials. Today we are excited to publish the project’s capstone report. Still in the pandemic but beginning to glimpse life on the other side, now is an opportune time to begin to envision not just the future, but the many potential futures…
Blog Post
March 23, 2021

Relationships Matter

How participation in the Teaching with Primary Sources Study Helped Strengthen and Develop Cross-Campus Relationships

Ithaka S+R’s capstone report on teaching with primary sources was published today. To coincide with its release, we invited one of the project’s local research teams to reflect on their experience participating in the project and how they are building on the project’s findings. Why did we want to participate in Ithaka S+R’s Teaching with Primary Sources Project?  In 2019, Ithaka S+R invited Washington & Lee University (W&L) Library to participate…
Research Report
March 23, 2021

Teaching with Primary Sources

Looking at the Support Needs of Instructors

Encounters with primary sources—historical or contemporary artifacts that bear direct witness to a specific period or event—are central to the pedagogy of many disciplines, especially in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Their use in undergraduate instruction aligns with universities’ commitments to experiential and inquiry-based learning and library initiatives focused on media and information literacy. Reflecting the importance of the topic within higher education, “Supporting Teaching with Primary Sources” attracted the largest cohort of any Ithaka S+R program to date.
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 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?…
Past Event
February 18, 2021

Christine Wolff-Eisenberg at Achieving the Dream Convening

On February 18th, 2021, Christine Wolff-Eisenberg will discuss with fellow panelists what we knew about student needs going into the pandemic, what we learned from novel data collection during the pandemic, and how institutions are using these data to shape practices going forward. Panelists will share key research findings, especially those related to sustained and deepened equity gaps during the pandemic, and new strategies for gathering student perspectives. For more information on this session, please visit this link.  …
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
January 14, 2021

Maximizing and Assessing Engagement with Virtual Library Space

While states across the US have begun vaccine distribution and plan for further tiered rollout over the course of the year, COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations continue to be at all-time highs across most of the country. Campuses continue to push back the start date of the spring term, and the CDC has just released new data tying county-level, off-campus infections to on-campus residency. It is all but certain that higher education institutions will continue looking to…
Blog Post
January 13, 2021

Upcoming National Survey of Community College Library Directors

We are excited to announce that Ithaka S+R will launch a national survey of community college library directors and those in equivalent leadership positions this February. This study is part of a three-year IMLS-funded initiative—the Community College Academic and Student Service Ecosystem (CCASSE) project—to examine the current landscape of student service provision at community colleges and the role of the library in best contributing toward student success within this ecosystem. Over the course of the project, we have already…
Blog Post
December 16, 2020

Creating Virtual Library Spaces

Emerging Technologies

Many college students across the country, in light of the impacts of the pandemic on teaching, learning, and the broader student experience, feel disconnected from their peers and institutions, and crave the right kinds of space—quiet space, in particular—for effectively completing their coursework. Fostering a sense of belonging and providing spaces for both collaborative and independent student work have long…
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…
Blog Post
December 15, 2020

Ithaka S+R to Expand Transfer Improvement Efforts with CUNY

With Support from the Petrie Foundation, ACT Project Expands from Three to Seven CUNY Campuses 

When students transfer from one college to another they frequently are unable to count their previously earned credits toward degree requirements at their new institutions, jeopardizing these students’ ability to earn their degrees. 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. While other…
Issue Brief
December 14, 2020

Accelerating Advising Technology Implementation in Response to COVID-19

A Case Study of Jacksonville University

Advising undergraduate students on how to succeed in their academics, careers, and life is one of the most common practices in higher education. Advising is also something that many institutions struggle to resource or coordinate sufficiently, potentially leaving students without needed support on their paths to successful program completion. It is also important to note that barriers to a successful college experience are not borne equally across higher education. The institutions that serve the highest proportions of students from low-income…