September 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).

Online College Students 2012: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences (Ellen Peters)

In Online College Students 2012: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences, The Learning House, Inc. reports survey results of 1,500 individuals enrolled in or planning to enroll in fully online undergraduate or graduate programs. The survey compiled data on motivation for online study; strengths and weaknesses of online formats; services needed; and effective promotion and advertising of online programs. The report notes that students of all ages participate in online education with about 40 percent of online students younger than 30. Most online students live within 100 miles of the physical location of the institution in which they enroll and about two-thirds attend not-for-profit institutions. Survey findings also indicate that online students rely on institutional websites for communication and want compressed terms of study at an affordable cost.

The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm (Katie Zaback)

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce report, The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm, provides a broad analysis of how educational attainment impacts employment for workers in times of recession. The report shows that although unemployment levels increased sharply for all workers, individuals without a college education bore the brunt of the recession’s job losses – losing nearly 5.6 million jobs. Further, the jobs gained during the recovery that began in 2010 have been limited to those requiring a college education. The analysis also examines the differential effects of the recession on wages and by industry, occupations, and for men and for women.  The report concludes that the recession exposed the shortcomings of the U.S. workforce and accelerated the long-term trend toward more skilled jobs requiring higher levels of postsecondary education.

Strategies for Success: Promising Ideas in Adult College Completion (Melodie Christal)

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Policy Exchange, Strategies for Success: Promising Ideas in Adult College Completion, addresses five topics relevant to increasing adult degree and certificate completion: (1) the need for better data on adults with prior college; (2) partnerships between employers and higher education institutions; (3) effective marketing campaigns targeted to reach adults with prior college credits; (4) evaluation of transfer credits; and (5) credit for prior learning and work experience. The report highlights promising strategies and practices for each topic.

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