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Preliminary Findings from National Advising Study
Monitoring Advising Analytics to Promote Success (MAAPS)

Can changes to the advising process help less advantaged students persist and graduate? This is the question at the heart of an $8.9 million First in the World validation grant awarded to Georgia State University, on behalf of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA).  The Monitoring Advising Analytics to Promote Success (MAAPS) project seeks to bring to scale and test the impacts of a proactive advising system for low-income and first-generation students. Ithaka S+R was brought on to the project as the independent evaluator of the 10,499-student randomized trial, and we are now sharing the results from the first year of…


Ithaka S+R and Two Year First Year (TYFY) Launch National Study
Exploring Programming for First-Year Students in Two-Year Programs

To help incoming college students succeed, many institutions offer First-Year Experience (FYE) programs. But most of the research on the scope and effectiveness of these programs centers on four-year colleges and universities. This is a significant oversight given that 38 percent of all postsecondary students are enrolled at community colleges or other two-year programs. To begin to fill this research gap, Ithaka S+R and Two Year First Year (TYFY) recently launched a research collaboration focused on this student group. TYFY is a learning community dedicated to identifying and promoting best practices for supporting first year students at two year institutions. With support from the Jack…


For-Profit Colleges – What Went Wrong?

Mention the phrase “for-profit college” and I can’t help but immediately picture a single parent working two jobs while attending college at night, after the kids are asleep, saddled with debt and no prospects for improving their employment conditions or earnings despite their best efforts. Vivid in my mind are the painful stories of young low-income mothers I interviewed during my graduate studies, whose economic, family, and personal decisions (and opportunities) were often dictated by their (relatively exorbitant) loan repayments for credentials, completed at for-profit institutions, with no value in the labor market. This knee-jerk reaction to the for-profit sector,…


Training for a Tough Job: The Community College Presidency Pipeline

To say that the community college presidency is in flux is no overstatement. Many existing community college presidents have been reaching retirement age at a time when both the traditional presidential pipeline and rigorous leadership training programs have narrowed. At the same time, there has been a wave of community college president resignations and terminations, leading to warranted concerns about a shortage of qualified candidates who can tackle the increasingly challenging role. Leadership matters. And high-quality sustained leadership is important for educational reforms to take hold and have long-term impacts. On the flip side, leadership shortfalls and transitions are harmful…


Large Advising Study Launches
Many Opportunities to Learn

After a busy planning year, Ithaka S+R and the 11 public universities that are a part of the University Innovation Alliance recently launched the Monitoring Advising Analytics to Promote Success (MAAPS) study. As my colleague Martin Kurzweil explained last fall when the project was just getting started, MAAPS consists of an intensive proactive and technology-enhanced advisement intervention for first-time low-income and/or first-generation freshmen. It is funded by a First in the World grant from the Department of Education, with Georgia State University as the lead institution and Ithaka S+R as evaluator (see figure 1 below for a visual summary of…