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To Measure or Not to Measure: Which Student Outcomes Should Make the Cut?

Few would question whether colleges and universities should have administrative systems in place for measuring learning and course outcomes for all students, in ways that can be quantified and used to help institutions meet their goals. But not all outcomes are created equal, and deciding which outcomes schools should systematically measure for all students can be difficult and controversial. When thinking about colleges engaging in systematic quantitative measurement of student…

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Moving Innovation Off Campus

When Paul LeBlanc arrived at Southern New Hampshire University in 2003, he realized that the small, private, tuition-dependent college on the banks of the Merrimack River was destined to decline right along with the downward projections for high school graduates in the state. “I studied the cards we were dealt and looked for the best ones,” he said. In one corner of campus, he found his ace in the hole:…

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Parenting as a College Outcome

Amidst the flurry of a vital and long-overdue national conversation surrounding college completion, affordability and debt, and post-graduate employment, it is easy to conceive of the outcomes and value of higher education as mostly economic. Do students learn skills and earn credentials that lead to fruitful labor force participation and economic self-sufficiency? However, as change and innovation sweep across higher education, it is important to keep in mind the broader…

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On Non-Traditional College Students, Libraries and “Family Space”

The majority of college students are now what are considered “non-traditional,” meaning, they are over the age of 24, commute to campus, work part-time or full-time, are financially dependent, and/or have children. As a previous Ithaka S+R blog post by Jessie Brown highlights, this demographic trend necessitates policy shifts that better reflect that non-traditional students are now the “typical” students in higher education. Academic libraries are one such area of higher…

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Shifting Policy to Support the “Typical” College Student

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times’ Education Life section published a series of articles dedicated solely to incoming college freshmen. With advice on how to navigate the dining hall, when to move into one’s dorm, and how to manage helicopter parents, the articles imagined the typical college student as an 18-year-old who was entering a four year institution straight from high school, living on campus, and whose…

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