July 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 (July 2013 edition).

Supporting Latino Community College Students: An Investment in Our Economic Future

Supporting Latino Community College Students: An Investment in Our Economic Future, a report from Exelencia in Education and Single Stop USA, examines obstacles to Latino degree completion and outlines recommendations for moving these students through the education pipeline and into successful careers. According to the report, low degree attainment among Latinos is a result of several challenges including college cost, limited knowledge about college, increased family responsibilities, and the need to work while attending college.

Condition of Education 2013

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Condition of Education 2013 (NCES 2013-037) presents 42 indicators on the status and condition of education covering all levels of education from early childhood through postsecondary education. This year’s report spotlights four issues of current interest: (1) trends in employment rates by educational attainment; (2) kindergarten entry status; (3) rural education; and (4) financing postsecondary education.

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June 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 (June 2013 edition).

Preparing Students for College (Melodie Christal)

Using data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09), the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) provides information on what high schools are doing to help students transition to postsecondary education in Preparing for College: What High Schools are Doing and How Their Actions Influence Ninth Graders’ College Attitudes, Aspirations, and Plans 

What Does It Really Mean to Be College and Work Ready? (Melodie Christal)

In What Does It Really Mean to Be College and Work Ready?, The National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) investigates the level of mathematics and English literacy required for high school graduates to be successful in the first year of a community college program.

April/May 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 (April 2013 edition).

Adaptability to Online Learning: Differences Across Types of Students and Academic Subject Areas (Jim Lynch)

The Community College Research Center (CCRC) study, Adaptability to Online Learning: Differences Across Types of Students and Academic Subject Areas, reports students enrolled in face-to-face courses achieve higher retention rates and better grade-point averages compared to students enrolled in online courses; furthermore, black students, males, younger students, and students with poor academic records were more susceptible to weaker performance in online courses. The study suggests postsecondary institutions need to take a hard look at how to improve the quality of the online course experience, ensuring that “learning outcomes are equal to those of face-to-face courses, regardless of the composition of the students enrolled…” Colleges must prepare students to take online courses, especially during their formative exposure to distance education – for example, a growing number of institutions require students to take a prerequisite online learning tutorial to ensure they are prepared to enroll in online courses.

The College Decision-Making Process: A Survey of Parents of 5th – 12th-Grade Students (Patricia Gregg)

Inside Higher Ed and Gallup have released The College Decision-Making Process: A Survey of Parents of 5th – 12th Grade Students (March 2013). The survey addresses questions about the process parents go through in making or influencing where their children will attend college. Telephone interviews were conducted with a random sample of over 3,000 parents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Parents responding to the survey indicated the most important reason for their child to get education beyond high school was to get a good job. However, nearly half (47%) of those surveyed believed there might be ways other than college that would lead to a good job. The majority of parents reported they were likely to restrict the colleges to which their children could apply based on tuition and fees. Survey findings also address affirmative action and acceptable levels of student loan debt. The report breaks out responses for parents of younger (5th-8th grade) and older (9th-12th grade) students and by demographics or family income levels where germane to the question.

March 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 (March 2013 edition).

America’s Call for Higher Education Redesign (Susan Gracia)

The Lumina Foundation and Gallup report, America’s Call for Higher Education Redesign, presents results from a telephone survey of 1,009 adults in U.S. households. The objective of the study was to determine perceptions of the general American population about higher education issues including degree attainment, quality and value, costs, and innovative learning models. The findings indicate although Americans believe higher education is important and a college degree provides financial and job security, there are barriers to enrollment and degree completion such as family demands and the high cost of tuition and fees. Interviewees encouraged colleges and universities to rethink outdated ideas about who students are, how to educate them in this technological age, and how to assess what students have learned. The findings suggest Americans are open to new ways for making higher education accessible and affordable.

Completing College: A State-Level View of Student Attainment Rates (Christine Keller)

The National Student Clearinghouse released Completing College: A State-Level View of Student Attainment Rates – a supplement to their national study on college completion. The report offers a state-by-state look at the various pathways students take to complete a college
degree or certificate. The report is based on student-level data made available to the Clearinghouse by more than 3,300 colleges and universities, and includes nearly 97 percent of students attending public and private nonprofit postsecondary institutions. Among the study’s state-level findings: In Minnesota, 27 percent of students who started at a four-year public university in fall 2006 completed their degree at a different
institution. One in five students in Virginia who started at a two-year public institution completed at a four-year institution within six years. In Alaska, 28 percent of students who started at a four-year public institution and later graduated had earned that credential in a different institution and in a different state.

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.

January 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 (January 2013 edition).

Improving the College Scorecard: Using Student Feedback to Create an Effective Disclosure (Marv Noltze)

The Center for American Progress (CAP) report, Improving the College Scorecard: Using Student Feedback to Create an Effective Disclosure, provides user feedback on the White House College Scorecard — a one-page summary of institutional metrics such as tuition cost, job placement, and loan repayment intended to assist students and families in identifying and choosing high-quality, affordable colleges. As part of the study, CAP conducted focus groups with college-bound high school students to elicit their input on the utility of the College Scorecard. The students expressed confusion and uncertainty about the Scorecard’s purpose, terminology, and interpretation of key measures. The CAP report includes the following recommendations for improving the Scorecard: (1) introduce the scorecard with a simple descriptive statement; (2) highlight the four-year graduation rate, not the six-year rate; (3) develop alternatives to communicate concepts such as net price and student debt; and (4) provide links to additional employment outcomes so students can see details by program.

2012 Year-End Poll of Employers:  A Look at Hiring and Salary Projections for the Coming Year (Marv Noltze)

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) reports hiring prospects for business graduates in the report, 2012 Year-End Poll of Employers: A Look at Hiring and Salary Projections for the Coming Year. According to this report, hiring projections are looking up in 2013 for a broad spectrum of business graduates, particularly for MBA graduates. 2013 salaries are also expected to increase at or above the rate of inflation. In addition, internships will be abundant for MBA students. The report details employment prospects by industry and business specialty as a resource for graduate business programs, campus career centers, and institutions overall.

Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2011 (Bruce Mentzer)

Results from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) annual Survey of Earned Doctorates are now available through an interactive web portal: Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2011. The report provides information on individuals who receive research doctoral degrees including demographic trends, common paths to the degree, fields of study, financial support/debt, and labor market outcomes and salaries. The 2011 report shows an increase in the number of doctorates awarded in science and engineering, the increased representation of women in all fields, and a tight labor market.  A summary report, an interactive report, and detailed data tables are available through the NSF web portal.

November and December 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 (December 2012 edition).

Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates (Christine Keller)

A November report by the National Student Clearinghouse, Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates, provides new analyses about the pathways, progression, and completion of students in U.S. postsecondary education. Several of the findings from this report indicate higher college completion rates than other published data on college completion. For example, more than 1 in 5 students who completed a degree did so at an institution other than the one where they started, and over 15% of two-year starters completed a degree at a four-year institution within six years. The Clearinghouse manages institutional data for 94% of students at all types of institutions and enables analysis of enrollment and completion for students across multiple institutions.

Transfer: An Indispensable Part of the Community College Mission (Melodie Christal)

The American Association of Community College policy brief, Transfer: An Indispensable Part of the Community College Mission, reports that 28% of bachelor’s degree recipients began their postsecondary education at a community college, and 47% took at least one course at a community college. This brief addresses the role of community colleges in bachelor’s degree attainment, the mobility of credits between different types of institutions, and cost savings accrued to students who start at a community college. Challenges associated with capturing the effects of transfer include providing a “precise, data-driven definition” and the ability to identify and track transfers given the nonlinear paths of students in their postsecondary endeavors.

Survey of College and University Admissions Directors (Melodie Christal)

The 2012 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Admissions Directors provides information on key issues for admissions professionals, including policies and practices related to recruiting, admission procedures, and higher education costs and programming. Highlights from the survey responses indicate that a substantial number of admissions directors believe the current average loan volume is reasonable, and students and parents are increasingly interested in identifying degree programs with strong job prospects. Other topics included in the survey are: “What student populations are the focus of admissions recruitment efforts? Are higher education costs and levels of student indebtedness affecting admissions choices? Are two-year colleges increasingly competing with four-year colleges/universities for
students?”