S+R Blog

Addressing the current issues that impact higher education.

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July 01, 2015

Promising Directions for K-12 and Community College Partnerships

My colleague Derek Wu recently wrote about dual enrollment programs and the promise they hold for improving outcomes, especially for underserved students. These programs, which allow students to earn college credits while still enrolled in high school, are just one of many forms that partnerships between K-12 systems and postsecondary institutions can take. Two and four-year postsecondary institutions across the nation have created partnerships with local K-12 districts, sharing resources, aligning curricula, and coordinating support services Read More...

July 01, 2015

Jessie Brown

June 26, 2015

Without Ratings, How Can ED Help the Public Make Smart Use of its Data?

After nearly two years of debate, the Department of Education has backed away from its plan to produce public ratings of colleges and universities, deciding instead to produce a data dashboard with no ratings. Users of the dashboard will be able to organize the data into custom reports of their own design, and there may be some contextualizing information, such as a comparison to the national average on certain measures. But the Department will include no judgment as to whether each measure, categories of measures, or the institution’s Read More...

June 26, 2015

Martin Kurzweil

June 17, 2015

Earning College Credit Before College: A Worthwhile Investment

As college costs rise and student success rates stagnate, states and institutions of higher education have grappled with creative ways to improve student outcomes – particularly for those who are traditionally underserved. Recently, policymakers have increasingly turned to programs that target students even before they enroll full time in college, by implementing and expanding dual enrollment options that allow students to earn college credit while in high school. 
 
In theory, dual enrollment programs (along with programs like Advanced Read More...

June 17, 2015
June 10, 2015

Slow to Grow: Why Does Enrollment Lag Demand at Elite Colleges?

The chance of getting into an elite college or university seems to be getting more difficult by the year. Every spring, selective institutions promote their latest admit rate, which is almost always as low or lower than the year before. It’s now a figure tracked by the mainstream media, another statistic in an endless line of numbers reported about higher education in the United States   
 
This year, Stanford received 42,487 applications, and accepted 5 percent of them. Harvard collected 37,305 applications, and admitted 5.3 percent. Even Read More...

June 10, 2015

Jeffrey J. Selingo

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?"
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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
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