October Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professionals

The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publications of interest for higher education professionals. Click on each of the titles to access full articles. The synopsis of each article is credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (September edition).

Improving Student Transfer from Community Colleges to Four-Year Institutes
In Student Transfer from Community Colleges to Four Year Institutes College Board highlights the experiences of higher education leaders from four-year institutions with success in recruiting, enrolling, and serving community college transfers. The report provides examples of effective policies and strategies that four-year campuses have used to facilitate the transfer process. One recommendation is to understand the differences between first-year students and transfer students and make transfer students an integral part of the campus mission. Recommendations also address outreach and preparation, admission and enrollment, financial aid, and providing a welcoming environment to address the unique needs of this student population.

Promoting Educational Opportunity: The Pell Grant Program at Community Colleges
The federal Pell Grant Program, established in 1972, has helped remove financial barriers allowing millions of students to enroll in postsecondary education. In 2010-11, more than 9.5 million students depended on Pell grants to provide them access to higher education. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) examines the history and trends of Pell grants in Promoting Educational Opportunity: The Pell Grant Program at Community Colleges. The brief provides a context for understanding the importance of the Pell grant program to college students with a focus on those attending community colleges.

The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2011
ACT reports on 2011 high school graduates’ academic readiness for college in The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2011. ACT defines “college and career readiness” as “the acquisition of the knowledge and skills a student needs to enroll and succeed in credit-bearing first-year courses at a postsecondary institution without the need for remediation.” This ACT report addresses: (1) college readiness; (2) the extent to which student aspirations match the workforce needs; (3) the number of students taking college entrance exams and pursuing a core curriculum; (4) academic performance; (5) the impact of academic behaviors on high school performance; and (6) recommendations for states and schools to improve college readiness

One Year Out: Findings from a National Survey Among Members of the High-School Graduating Class of 2010
On behalf of the College Board, Hart Research Associates surveyed 2010 high school graduates. One Year Out: Findings from a National Survey Among Members of the High-School Graduating Class of 2010 presents the survey results. Almost 70% of the 2010 high school graduates surveyed reported requirements for graduating high school were easy and not challenging. Their greatest regret was not studying more or getting better grades. Paying for college was a major concern for those who went to college and for those who did not. Despite concerns about the affordability of college, 60% of the 2010 high school graduates said a college degree was definitely worth the time and money and 26% said it was probably worth it.

Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation
In Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation, the Department of Commerce reports women are vastly underrepresented in STEM jobs (i.e., jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math). More specifically, although women hold nearly half of all jobs, women hold only a quarter of STEM jobs. Furthermore, this discrepancy has persisted throughout the past decade, even though college-educated women have increased their share of the overall workforce. One reason is women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering. Furthermore, women with a STEM degree are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation–they are more likely to work in education or healthcare. On the positive side, women who hold STEM jobs earn one-third more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs, a wage premium that is considerably higher for women than for men, which means that the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs.

For more info about the Association of Institutional Research, visit airweb.org

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