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Tyton Partners publishes three reports highlighting how higher education institutions struggle to support students in the post-pandemic era and what is working to close equity gaps.1 2
BOSTON, July 12, 2022
Tyton Partners has released the annual updates of Driving Toward a Degree, Hitting Their Stride, and Time for Class, highlighting 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.
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.
This research was conducted in coordination with Strong Start to Finish, the Every Learner Everywhere Network, and the Advising Success Network, organizations focused on reducing race and income as predictors of postsecondary success. More than 7,400 respondents at over 1,500 higher education institutions addressed issues of perceived prioritization, definition of equity at their institution, and perception that their area of focus has played a role in systemic racism. The research was made possible by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The findings and conclusions contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of the foundation.