Blog + Higher Ed
Blog + Higher Ed
Today, we published three reports which highlight how the higher education system misses the mark for students, especially those from historically under-represented groups and those with financial needs. Especially for Black, Latino, and Indigenous students and students with financial needs, the college experience continues to be a challenging one.
Thanks to the participation of 7,400 faculty and administrators at more than 1,500 different institutions, these three reports, Driving Toward a Degree, Hitting Their Stride, and Time for Class, identify where in the student journey obstacles remain.
With the publication of these three papers, we have made the following discoveries.
While the macro picture is not good, there are pockets of progress illuminated in part by a novel technique that Tyton and its collaborators developed for measuring graduation rate gaps disaggregated by race and income-levels. Driving Toward a Degree studies the systems, practices, sentiments, and technology that enable student support, especially academic advising. Hitting Their Stride measures the adoption and current state of classroom implementation of key developmental education reforms. Time for Class examines the interplay of evidence-based teaching practice, digital learning products, and faculty attitudes in service of improving the student learning experience and introductory-level course outcomes. In each study, we have highlighted specific opportunities and challenges for closing equity gaps at the intersection of attitudes, practice, products, institutional infrastructure, and policy. For example:
The implications for the field from these findings are far-reaching. Institutions should be more motivated than ever to ensure students persist and graduate, and these studies offer specific actions to improve the student experience. Policy makers and researchers need to ensure that progress toward closing equity gaps is not eroded by creating the environment for scaled and sustainable implementation. Suppliers can identify opportunities to better support end users with target services and training.
We are excited to share that later this year we will be taking our annual study of these critical areas for improvement in a new and expanded direction. The student voice and experience have not been sufficiently prioritized in various efforts to improve outcomes in higher education. So we are launching an effort to change that. Our 2023 reports will build on prior years’ study of faculty and administrator perspective and will measure the experience of students with these specific components of their college experience. With the student at the center of this research and connected to the feedback we gather from faculty and administrators, we are excited to share with the field how the student voice will catalyze new insights in service of equitable outcomes.
We are looking for partners in this work–institutions, foundations, and suppliers all have an opportunity to collaborate in the development of this new direction and share in the unique insights generated by this work. If this sounds intriguing, we would like to hear from you.