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Addressing the current issues that impact higher education.

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May 15, 2015

Understanding the Costs of Publishing Monographs

Until now, university press monographs have largely remained on the sidelines as author-side payments have facilitated OA models in journals publishing, particularly in STEM fields. Today, there is real interest in exploring what it would take to create and disseminate high quality digital OA monographs, but the question remains: what would it cost? 
 
This year, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has funded Ithaka S+R to conduct a study of the costs of publishing monographs. Since January, industry expert Kim Schmelzinger and I have been on the Read More...

May 15, 2015

Nancy L. Maron

May 14, 2015

How is Income Related to the Community College to Bachelor’s Degree Pathway?

Last week, we explored what the data behind “The Effects of Rising Student Costs in Higher Education: Evidence from Public Institutions in Virginia” tell us about degree-attainment rates at community colleges. We noted that eight years after students started at a community college, only 20% of those on track to earn a bachelor’s degree had earned one, and only 14% of students in the lowest income quintile had earned one. (See the blog post from May 7, 2014 for a full description of these results and the sample of students they were based on Read More...

May 14, 2015

Christine Mulhern

May 12, 2015

Unbundling Higher Education: To What End?

Recently, Arizona State University announced that it would partner with edX, the online platform for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) founded by MIT and Harvard, to offer an online freshman year of college that students could take for free without admissions and apply for credit after the fact. 
 
The announcement is just another example of efforts in recent years to rethink the bachelor’s degree from a bundle of services offered by one college over four years (usually in a physical place) to an “unbundled product” that is consumed when and Read More...

May 12, 2015

Jeffrey J. Selingo

May 07, 2015

Community College as a Pathway to a Bachelor's Degree: What the Numbers Say

Community colleges serve an important role in educating people from a variety of backgrounds and providing affordable access to higher education for people with a variety of educational goals. In recent years the missions of community colleges have grown, as has the number of students attending these institutions. Many community colleges serve some or all of their missions very well; others less so.  All operate with very limited resources.
 
One important role of community colleges is to prepare students to transfer to a four-year institution Read More...

May 07, 2015

Christine Mulhern

May 07, 2015

Educating the Research Librarian: Are We Falling Short?

Arguing that the enormous changes occurring in research libraries are not matched by the pace of change in library program curricula, Deanna Marcum explores the gap between teaching and practice in our latest issue brief.
 
We hope that this brief will stimulate others to think about what we should expect from our MLIS programs. Please use our blog as a forum to share your ideas for reform and change.
 
 

Interested? Download "Educating the Research Librarian: Are We Falling Short?"
Read More...

May 07, 2015

Deanna Marcum

May 05, 2015

Cause and Effect in Virginia Higher Education

In a recent report, we described changes in student-level net costs at Virginia’s public colleges and universities and their effects on student outcomes, particularly for the poorest individuals. In our most robust analysis, for example, we found that a $400 decrease in net cost for Pell-eligible students caused a 5.9-percentage-point increase in the rate at which those students stayed for a second year of college. 
 
I use the word “caused” carefully – in the social sciences, to say that one thing causes another requires a methodology that Read More...

May 05, 2015
May 04, 2015

Defining Institutional Boundaries

Academic library systems, such as ILS, proxy, and content management system like LibGuides, are typically selected, managed, and organized on an institutional basis. Even when systems are increasingly cloud-based or hosted elsewhere, there is an institutional logic inherent in them. There are often good reasons for this logic, but I would like to use the example of discovery to raise questions about where this approach is effective and where it poses limitations. 
 
Thinking about the researcher’s discovery starting point, library systems are Read More...

May 04, 2015

Roger C. Schonfeld

April 23, 2015

Small Steps Lead to Big Change at Georgia State

For more than a decade, Georgia State University has focused intensively on improving the retention and graduation rates of students with long odds of succeeding. The results of this effort are truly remarkable.
 
Between 2003 and 2014, GSU’s six-year graduation rate increased by nearly 70 percent, from 32 percent to 54 percent.  During the same period, the share of its undergraduate population eligible for Pell grants has increased by nearly 90 percent, from 31 percent to 58 percent.
 
This dramatic improvement has attracted attention and Read More...

April 23, 2015
April 17, 2015

The Vital Need to Link Discovery and Access

Over the past few weeks, there has been an interesting set of discussions about whether the Liberian part of the Ebola outbreak this winter was foretold and therefore could have been stopped earlier. Writing an op-ed in the New York Times, several researchers noted that they recently “stumbled across” an article indicating the reasonable likelihood that Liberia would be faced with cases of Ebola, which turned out to have been one of several studies predicting Liberia being in the zone of likely exposure for the virus. Public health officials Read More...

April 17, 2015

Roger C. Schonfeld

April 13, 2015

Christine Wolff Joins Ithaka S+R's Surveys Team

Ithaka S+R’s surveys program is growing. Nearly 60 colleges and universities have fielded our student and faculty surveys with their own campus community, with questionnaires that are developed and tested in partnership with the academic library community. This fall, we will be fielding the next cycles of the US Faculty Survey and, in collaboration with Jisc and RLUK, the UK Survey of Academics, with findings due to be released in the spring.
 
A few weeks ago, we were fortunate to have Christine Wolff join us as survey administrator. Read More...

April 13, 2015
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