Skip to Main Content

Topic: Student learning and outcomes

Issue Brief
July 21, 2021

Right in Your Backyard

Expanding Local Community College Transfer Pathways to High-Graduation-Rate Institutions

Each year, our country’s most selective four-year institutions invest significant resources to recruit talented high school students from across the country. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, admissions representatives traveled far and wide to convince these prospective students that the academic rigor, amenities, and opportunities at their institution are unparalleled. These students, mostly affluent and white, contemplate admission offers and consider moves to new locales to pursue their postsecondary plans. Yet, many of these selective institutions are overlooking a talented and diverse…
Case Study
July 12, 2021

Using Equity Data to Guide the Design and Implementation of the New General Education Curriculum at Ohio State

In Fall 2020, the American Talent Initiative (ATI), an alliance of high-graduation-rate colleges and universities committed to expanding access and opportunity for low- and middle-income students, established its newest community of practice (CoP) focused on academic equity. Together, the 37 CoP members explore topics related to creating equitable academic communities. One such area of focus is how institutions can more effectively utilize data to enhance their equity-related projects. In January 2021, members participated in a webinar discussion on this topic,…
Blog Post
July 8, 2021

Provocative, Productive, and Collaborative: The 2021 Academic Equity Summer Institute

We gratefully acknowledge the many individuals who devoted their time, energy, and expertise to the 2021 summer institute and the insights shared below, including Randall Bass, Heidi Elmendorf, Mark Joy, Susannah McGowan, and Brittany Toscano Gore of Georgetown University, Katie Brock and Ulili Emore of the University of Texas at Austin, and Nathaniel Holmes and Richard Peters of Xavier University of Louisiana. The ongoing work of the ATI academic equity community of practice would not be possible without them. Introduction…
Research Report
June 29, 2021

American Talent Initiative 2021

Third Annual Progress Report

The American Talent Initiative (ATI) brings together a coalition of four-year colleges and universities in pursuit of a common goal: enrolling, supporting, and graduating 50,000 additional lower-income students by 2025 at the colleges and universities that consistently graduate at least 70 percent of their students in six years. ATI’s third annual progress report provides a snapshot of progress—and setbacks. It comes at a time when a global pandemic has deepened inequality, and a national uprising against systemic racism has sharpened…
Blog Post
June 28, 2021

Evaluating Success in the Midst of a Protracted Pandemic

Four Guiding Principles

There was a “before” and there will be an “after,” but how do we evaluate success while at our current locus—somewhere in the nebulous middle of a prolonged pandemic?  More than a year into the pandemic, many evaluations are being conducted using measures of success that were established in a radically different context. The environment has shifted, and the goals and definitions of success for items under evaluation—everything…
Blog Post
June 24, 2021

Four Years Later: Findings from a National Technology-Enhanced Advising Experiment

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and in many cases widened socioeconomic and other disparities in higher education, making evidence-based approaches that support underserved students more important than ever before. One project that aimed to promote equity and student success across a set of large, public universities is Monitoring Advising Analytics to Promote Success (MAAPS). In 2016, the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) and its institutional members began testing the effectiveness of MAAPS, an intervention consisting of intensive, proactive, technology-enhanced…
Research Report
June 24, 2021

MAAPS Advising Experiment

Evaluation Findings after Four Years

Acknowledgements This project is generously funded by a US Department of Education First in the World validation grant,[1] with additional support from Arnold Ventures. We thank the project principal investigator, Dr. Timothy Renick of Georgia State University, for inviting Ithaka S+R to serve as its independent evaluator and for being an invaluable thought and project partner. We would like to acknowledge the key role of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), which inspired the project by…
Issue Brief
May 26, 2021

Different Approaches to Piloting Advising Technology

Comparing Webster University and West Virginia State 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, due to hurdles such as overwhelming caseloads and limited interdepartmental communication, 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…
Blog Post
May 25, 2021

Using Data to Advance Equity in the Academic Experience

A New American Talent Initiative Case Study Series

We’re excited to announce the first publication in a new case study series from the American Talent Initiative’s Academic Equity Community of Practice, highlighting the ways in which colleges and universities have leveraged data and evidence-based research to enhance equity-related projects on their respective campuses. In Fall 2020, 37 members of the American Talent Initiative (ATI), an alliance of high-graduation-rate colleges and universities committed to expanding…
Issue Brief
May 25, 2021

Using Data to Fuel Inclusive Excellence at Virginia Tech

In Fall 2020, the American Talent Initiative (ATI), an alliance of high-graduation-rate colleges and universities committed to expanding access and opportunity for low- and middle-income students, established its newest community of practice (CoP) focused on academic equity. Together, the 37 CoP members explore topics related to creating equitable academic communities. One such area of focus is how institutions can more effectively utilize data to enhance equity-related projects. In January 2021, members participated in a webinar discussion on this topic, during…
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…
Past Event
April 28, 2021

Christine Wolff-Eisenberg and Melissa Blankstein at NISOD 2021

Christine Wolff-Eisenberg and Melissa Blankstein will unveil brand new national survey findings of community college provosts on efforts to measure and address student basic needs. Join them to discuss the current landscape of metrics for determining student success and opportunities for including new holistic student metrics going forward. For more information, please visit this site. …
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…