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Topic: Student learning and outcomes

Blog Post
July 14, 2020

Now Available: Fall Semester COVID-19 Surveys

While the challenges colleges and universities faced in the spring semester were unprecedented, it’s clear that the disruptions are far from over. Even as the fall semester approaches, institutions are still deciding how many students to bring back to campus and how to deliver instruction effectively. Over the past few months, we have partnered with over 20 colleges and universities to provide actionable insights on student and faculty needs…
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 29, 2020

Three Questions for Melissa Sturm-Smith

Drake University and COVID-19

Melissa Sturm-Smith, Associate Provost for Academic Excellence and Student Success, worked with Ithaka S+R to field the COVID-19 student survey at Drake University in the spring semester. We recently asked her about the challenges Drake students faced in light of the pandemic and the steps the university has taken to meet their needs. 1) Can you tell us about some of the challenges you faced as a leader at Drake University during the spring semester? Our…
Blog Post
June 25, 2020

COVID-19 and the Student Experience

Reporting Large-Scale Results from the Spring Semester

Today we release results from a large-scale study of student experiences during the spring term. The findings, which represent the experiences and needs of over 15,000 students, provide us with an understanding of the challenges that students—and in turn, their faculty, administrators, and institutions more broadly—have faced as we now approach a new year of instruction. While these results should not be interpreted to represent perceptions of online learning that occur outside of the context…
Research Report
June 25, 2020

Student Experiences During the Pandemic Pivot

The spring 2020 term was unmistakably shaped by forces outside of the control of higher education leaders. The COVID-19 pandemic caused colleges and universities across the country—and the world—to quickly pivot in an emergency fashion to online teaching, learning, and research while grappling with a host of complex issues in serving students, supporting faculty and staff, and ensuring their financial viability. Thousands of institutions and millions of students were impacted in the United States alone. In response to…
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…
Past Event
June 24, 2020

How Americans Perceive Higher Education in 2020

Christine Wolff-Eisenberg Speaks at New America Event

On Wednesday, June 24, Christine Wolff-Eisenberg is speaking on “Higher Education Polling During the COVID-19 Crisis” as part of New America’s Varying Degrees online event. Christine will be joined on the panel discussion by Eric Hoover (The Chronicle of Higher Education), Rachel Fishman (New America), and David Strauss (Art and Science Group). For more information and to register, please visit the event website.
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 18, 2020

When Knowledge Breaks

As research, teaching, and learning in higher education drastically changed over the course of a few weeks earlier this term, effectively providing campus communities with relevant—yet continually changing—information has been critical. However, as we have documented in a recent multi-institution service planning initiative, students already were facing substantial challenges with navigating the college landscape prior to the pandemic. A few years ago, LaGuardia Community College developed an online platform to provide students with answers related to college services and…
Playbook
May 18, 2020

Planning, Partnering, and Piloting

A Community College Library Service Innovation Playbook

Service Concept Testing As part of a multi-year student service innovation project, co-led by Northern Virginia Community College and Ithaka S+R, we developed and implemented a new mixed-methods assessment approach: service concept testing.[1] With participation from six additional community college partners and support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, we designed, evaluated, and piloted a variety of service prototypes. In this playbook, we describe the services generated and piloted as a result of these collaborations and…
Blog Post
May 14, 2020

Launching Two Projects on Supporting Data Work

Last summer we announced that we were going to begin two new collaborative projects on data, one focused on teaching, and one on research. While we couldn’t have anticipated then the conditions we are facing now, we believe the research is more important than ever. The first project will examine instructors’ support needs teaching with data in the social sciences, while the second project will study the support needs of researchers who work…
Blog Post
May 12, 2020

Leading the Library by Looking Beyond the Library

Library directors face a number of leadership dilemmas. Rising from the ranks, many feel the pull—or the need, given resource constraints—to work shoulder-to-shoulder with front-line employees as a “member of the team.” At the same time, many feel the need to engage with non-library constituencies across the campus and beyond in ways that take them out of the library. Which of these leadership models best positions the library for success? Last month, we released findings from our national survey…
Blog Post
May 8, 2020

Assessment Across Higher Ed

Join Us for a Webinar on May 13

Over the last few months, all units on campus have needed to plan in unprecedented ways for how best to support students, faculty, and other communities in response to the pandemic. As the activities related to teaching, learning, and research continue remotely during the spring term amid incredibly challenging circumstances, understanding the barriers students and faculty face has become more important than ever. Assessing and addressing community needs is also important for developing  appropriate supports for these communities…
Blog Post
May 7, 2020

How Will Postsecondary Education in Prisons Need to Change in Light of COVID-19?

Reflections from an interim report on technological equity for incarcerated college students

The rapid shift to online or distance instruction in the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most pressing and challenging issues for the field of higher education. This sudden, mass migration to online learning has crystallized issues of equity and access, as not all students, instructors, or even institutions are equipped to make this leap. Lacking regular access to computers, and with virtually no access to the internet, incarcerated college students, and the programs that serve them,…
Research Report
May 7, 2020

Advancing Technological Equity for Incarcerated College Students

Examining the Opportunities and Risks

Higher education programs that teach in prisons take on a near impossible task: to provide their students with a high-quality education, equal to anything beyond the prison walls, while working under strict constraints. Incarcerated students rarely have access to learning resources typically taken for granted on the outside—computers, books, and internet access are all heavily restricted by various state Departments of Corrections (DOC)—and instructors must work with and around DOC security protocols while planning and teaching their classes. While innovative…
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…