April 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 (March edition).

The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance released the report Pathways to Success: Integrating Learning with Life and Work to Increase National College Completion outlining the barriers traditional and nontraditional college students face in completing their degrees. The report highlights best practices at higher education institutions and describes state and federal government strategies to improve student completion rates. The Advisory Committee calculates that increasing the number of successful nontraditional students will require significant modifications in the structure and delivery of higher education as well as changes to federal student aid programs. The proposed changes most relevant to institutional researchers are revisions to IPEDS to better reflect how nontraditional students complete their educational goals and the need for cooperation between different data consortia to define key data elements.

The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2011 report was released in January by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) at UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). This annual report of entering first-year students is based on the findings from the 2011 Freshman Survey and includes responses from over 200,000 first-time, full-time students at 270 colleges and universities. The report shows that fall 2011 first-time, full-time students differ from respondents in past years in their political views, academic behaviors and attitudes, resources for paying for college, and use of social networking. In addition, there were differences in the reasons students attend college by intended major and in college choice for first-generation students.

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