This report is based on findings from the Student Support Partnership Integrating Resources and Education (SSPIRE) initiative, run by MDRC and funded by the James Irvine Foundation. SSPIRE aimed to increase the success of young, low-income, and academically underprepared California community college students by helping community colleges strengthen their support services and better integrate these services with academic instruction. This report describes how the SSPIRE colleges implemented four basic approaches to integrating student services with instruction: learning communities, a “drop-in” study center, a summer math program, and case management programs. All of the colleges reached disadvantaged students on their campuses, an important goal of the initiative, and the report presents some of the colleges’ own data, which suggest that SSPIRE services may have led to modest improvements in students’ course pass rates and persistence in college. The report also offers cross-cutting lessons drawn from MDRC’s research on the initiative. These lessons present practitioners and policymakers across the state and nation with examples from well-implemented programs that integrated student services with academic instruction. The report also includes an appendix on research methods and data sources.
Diverse Issues in Higher Education: Top 100 Undergraduate Degree Producers
Diverse publishes lists of institutions ranked according to the total number of degrees awarded to minority students across all disciplines as well as in specific disciplines. As this article notes, this year’s report includes degrees conferred during the 2007-2008 academic year that were reported as of mid-March 2009 by U.S. postsecondary institutions to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). These preliminary data are complete and accurate for those institutions included in the analysis, which represents the vast majority of U.S. two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Analysis is restricted to Title IV-eligible and DOE-accredited institutions located in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, which excludes institutions from U.S. territories and protectorates, including Puerto Rico, as well as U.S. military service schools.
Graduation Rate Watch uses available federal data to identify universities with small or nonexistent gaps between the graduation rates of white students and black students and discusses how these institutions have achieved such success. The report lists 94 colleges and universities that have achieved graduation rate parity. It also highlights Historically Black Colleges and Universities that have improved graduation rates for black students. Graduation Rate Watch also contains a comprehensive list of universities with unusually large graduation gaps, institutions with disparities that are often 20 percentage points or more. Detailed recommendations are provided for policymakers to provide better incentives for institutions to close these gaps and give minority students the resources they need to earn a college degree.
Colleges and universities have responded to racial and ethnic disparities on campus by implementing a host of financial aid, mentoring, tutoring, and social support programs over the past five decades. Curiously, there has been little effort to catalog or assess these programs. To help fill this void, Cornell University, Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and Wells College received funding from the Teagle Foundation to study programs designed to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in college completion and achievement. This white paper is intended to help administrators inventory and identify promising diversity initiatives and consider assessment options.
Envisioning the Next Generation of Diversity Work: Core Agreements and Correspondences (podcast)
Caryn McTighe Musil of AAC&U and Laura I. Rendon of Iowa State University consider new directions in diversity work. The speakers examine the dominant institutional values that have trapped the academy in patterns of exclusion; practices that reward only certain kinds of thinking, scholarship, and teaching; and approaches that are needed to advance diversity and inclusion as educational assets. Click here for mp3 version and a complete listing of sessions from the AAC&U 2006 Diversity and Learning Conference.
Making a Real Difference with Diversity: A Guide to Institutional Change
Making a Real Difference with Diversity provides readers with a step-by-step guide for implementing, evaluating, and sustaining comprehensive diversity work on campus. Drawn from a six-year diversity initiative involving twenty-eight independent California colleges and universities, the monograph offers a set of promising practices and selected quantitative and qualitative findings pertaining to efforts to enhance college access and success for underrepresented students, increase the presence of underrepresented minority faculty, and strengthen overall institutional functioning regarding diversity.
This final evaluation report describes the outcomes of the James Irvine Foundation Campus Diversity Initiative (CDI), including quantitative findings related to the access and success of underrepresented students and faculty on the twenty-eight CDI campuses. The authors found considerable variation among the participating campuses, with some common themes among the most successful schools.
Characteristics of Minority-Serving Institutions and Minority Undergraduates Enrolled in These Institutions
The National Center for Education Statistics reports growth in minority enrollment and an increase in minority-serving institutions over the past 20 years. The report, available in pdf, examines various subgroups of institutions that strive to incorporate underserved students, while recognizing the challenges they face.
This study, released in April 2007 by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, examines multiple barriers that prevent immigrants from entering college and/or completing bachelors degrees education. Immigrant enrollment rates in college are lower than their native-born peers and are more likely to drop out of college. The study also provides recommendations, whereby federal, state, and local policymakers and higher education institutions can increase the access and success of immigrants by increasing support for programs that address barriers, creating a more transparent financial aid and college application process and creating state, local, and institutional policies that target the differing needs of various immigrant populations.
Promise Abandoned: How Policy Choices and Institutional Practices Restrict College Opportunities
This report, released by the Education Trust, sharply criticizes trends in federal, state, and college practices that discourage low-income and minority students from enrolling in and graduating from college. In fact, despite the perception of progress, gaps in college-attendance and completion for poor and minority students are actually wider than they were thirty years ago.
The School of Spellings: An Interview with Margaret Spellings
U.S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings has shifted her focus from K-12 to colleges and universities. The Commission on the Future of Higher Education was formed to launch a national dialogue to strengthen higher education and Spellings is pushing for a major overhaul of financing, assessment, accessibility and perhaps even coursework in higher education. The final report (pdf) argued that colleges and universities were not prepared for the challenges of an increasingly diverse population. In an interview with Diverse, Spellings talks about bringing her “business-style accountability” to colleges and universities.
According to this report by The Education Trust, the country’s fifty public flagship universities now serve disproportionately fewer low-income and minority students than in the past. The report shows that the African American, Latino/a and Native American groups combined account for only 12 percent of undergraduate students at flagship universities. Despite receiving more endowments and funding from states, the flagship universities provided more financial aid to high-income students than low-income students, as the high-income students help to increase their rankings. This caused more obstacles to college enrollment and success among low-income students.
Paying Double: Inadequate High Schools and Community College
The Alliance for Excellent Education, a high-school focused think tank, released a report estimating the cost of remediation for community colleges in all 50 states. The report indicates that two-year institutions spend $1.4 billion annually to help students receive the skills they need in order to graduate or join the work force — skills they ideally should have earned in high school.
Much of the effort to improve the status of women in
higher education has focused on the so-called "pipeline"
theory, which held that a large number of women undergraduates
and graduate students would, over time, yield larger
numbers of women at the highest academic ranks. However,
research on the status of women at research universities
confirms that the numbers for women full professors
have not increased in the past five years. Together
with the willingness of institutional leaders to grasp
the structural problems involved in women’s “failure” to rise in faculty ranks, these have created an important
opportunity to rethink the societal context of academic
the Nation: Opportunities and Challenges in the Use
of Information Technology at Minority-Serving Colleges
and Universities, Alliance for Equity in Higher
This report describes how Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities are in an unrivaled position to remedy the technological disenfranchisement of the nation's emerging majority populations-the nation's future workforce-but remain limited due to lack of financial resources.
This report, published by the American Council on Education, presents an overview of international
education at US colleges and universities. The report reviews
published and unpublished accounts of curricular and
co-curricular undergraduate internationalization. The
data suggest that in spite of the growing interest
in international education, few undergraduates gain
international or intercultural competence while in college.