February Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professionals

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The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publications of interest for higher education professionals. Click on the titles to access the full articles. These article summaries are credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (February 2013 edition).

Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates (Ellen Peters)

In the eighth edition of Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) forecasts high school graduates by state and race/ethnicity through the class of 2028. The projections indicate the recent growth in the number of high school graduates is coming to an end, and most states will experience modest declines in the short term, as well as more diverse graduating classes. The change in the number of graduates will vary by region and state, with some states projected to have losses of 15% or more and others to have increases of 15% or more. The full report, state profiles, map views, and data tables are available on the Knocking website, which also offers a tool for obtaining customizable data tables and graphs.

Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States (Zhao Yang)

Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States summarizes results of the 2012 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group. The number of students taking at least one online course during fall 2011 has now surpassed 6.7 million, a 9.3% increase over the previous year, with 32% of higher education students now enrolling in at least one online course. Currently, 2.6% of higher education institutions offer a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), and 9.4% report MOOCs are in the planning stages. The report notes academic leaders remain unconvinced that MOOCs represent a sustainable method for offering online courses, but believe they provide an important means for institutions to learn about online pedagogy. Other key findings indicate over 69% of the respondents believe online learning is critical to their long-term strategy, but report low retention rates in online courses remain a barrier to the growth of online instruction.

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (Zhao Yang)

The NCES Projections of Education Statistics to 2021 (NCES 2013-008) provides 15 years of national data and projections on key education statistics such as enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures in elementary and secondary schools, and enrollment, degrees conferred, and expenditures in postsecondary institutions.  At the state level, projections of public elementary and secondary enrollment and public high-school graduates are provided to the year 2021.

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