Higher education enrolment rates across the world have soared in recent years, but there is little evidence of celebration.
In the UK, September’s news that nearly 50 per cent of English under-30s are now entering higher education for the first time in the £9,000 fee era was quickly overshadowed by figures obtained by the MP David Lammy revealing that 13 University of Oxford colleges made no offers at all to black students between 2010 and 2015. Days earlier, the sector’s higher education watchdog, the Office for Fair Access (Offa), had called for universities to make “fundamental changes” in pursuit of the “further, faster progress we badly need to see”.
How College Shapes Lives: Understanding the Issues explains some of the ways the payoff of postsecondary education can be measured and provides insights into why there is confusion about that payoff, despite strong evidence. Focusing on the variation in outcomes across individuals helps to clarify that the existence of the high average payoff, and the reality of significant benefits for most students, is not inconsistent with disappointing outcomes for some. We hope to put the disturbing stories of this relatively small segment of students into context and to direct attention to improving opportunities for all
Any time a student moves from high school into postsecondary education, or from postsecondary into the workforce,
stakeholders on either side of the transition seem to say to the other side, “You got this, right?” Postsecondary institutions might say that secondary schools need to better prepare students for PSE, while employers might argue that higher ed does not produce enough “job ready” graduates. But these gaps are not necessarily any one group’s fault, as the entire school-to-work journey has been siloed into a number of distinct services that are in dire need of bridging. With no group focused on the spaces between the silos, it should come as little surprise that these points of transition represent some of the most challenging times in the school-to-work journey.
President Obama’s goal is for America to lead the world in college graduates by 2020. Although
for-profit institutions have increased their output of graduates at ten times the rate of nonprofits over the past decade,
Congress and the U.S. Department of Education have argued that these institutions exploit the ambitions of
lower-performing students. In response, this study examined how student characteristics predicted graduation odds at a large, regionally accredited for- profit institution campus. A logistic regression predicted graduation for the full population of 2,548 undergraduate students enrolled from 2005 to 2009 with scheduled graduation by June 30, 2011. Sixteen independent predictors were identified from school records and organized in the Bean and Metzner framework. The regression model was more robust than any in the literature, with a Nagelkerke R2 of .663. Only five factors had a significant impact on log odds: (a) grade point average (GPA), where higher values increased odds; (b) half time enrollment, which had lower odds than full time; (c) Blacks, who had higher odds than Whites; (d) credits required, where fewer credits increased odds; and (e) primary
expected family contribution, where higher values increased odds. These findings imply that public policy will not increase college graduates by focusing on institution characteristics.
Ontario ranks among Canada’s top-performing provinces on equity of outcomes in kindergarten to Grade 12 education and high school attainment.1 The province also earns an “A+” for college attainment in the Conference Board of Canada’s How Canada Performs rankings.2 What makes Ontario such a strong performer in these areas?
In part, these good results are due to special programs targeting individuals who are at high risk of dropping out of school. One such initiative is the School Within a College (SWAC) program. SWAC helps struggling students complete high school and get a head start on a college or apprenticeship credential. Other jurisdictions can take a page from the SWAC program’s model of transitioning struggling students into college-ready learners.
This report is a companion to a study that found that high school grade point average was a stronger predictor of performance in college-level English and math than were standardized exam scores among first-time students at the University of Alaska who enrolled directly in college-level courses. This report examines how well high school grade point average and standardized exam scores predict college grades by the urbanicity of students’ hometown and timing of college entry. Among recent high school graduates from both urban and rural areas of Alaska, high school grade point average was a better predictor of college course grades than were SAT, ACT, or ACCUPLACER scores. It was a more powerful predictor of college performance among students who entered college within a year of high school graduation than among students who delayed college entry. For students who delayed college entry, high school grade point average was a better predictor than were standardized exam scores in English, but that was not always the case in math.
This article documents the design, delivery, and evaluation of a first-year experience (FYE) course in media and communication studies. It was decided that CMNS 110: Introduction to Communication Studies would start to include elements to address a perceived and documented sense of disconnectedness among first-year students in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. These elements included coping, learning, and writing workshops facilitated by various services units across campus. We present results from surveys and focus groups conducted with students at the end of the course
and discuss the predicaments that the new realities of an accreditation and audit paradigm—under the cloak of the neoliberal university—produce. On one hand the FYE course may help students transition into a post-secondary institution; on the other hand, too much emphasis on the FYE can result in an instrumental approach to education, jeopardizing the integrity of the course.
We offer some insights into the challenges and opportunities of implementing
FYE curricula within a large classroom setting.
SIX YEARS AGO, Georgia State University (GSU) gathered a decade’s worth of its historical data with the help of a third-party vendor — some 15,000 student records and 2.5 million grades — and applied advanced analytics. Officials hoped to use this information to uncover early-warning signs for students in danger of dropping out of school.
High expectations are an essential condition for student success. Simply put, no one rises to low expectations. But establishing high expectations is no simple matter. It requires more than just words, more than telling students that the community college holds high expectations for them. It also requires the establishment of policies and practices — and in turn, patterns of faculty, staff, and
student actions — that reinforce those words in everyday practice. High expectations have to be experienced, not simply heard.
“Look to your left and look to your right. The odds are one of you is not going to graduate.”
Many of us who attended college in years past will recall receiving some such an admonition from a professor or adviser. The message was simple: our job is to give you an opportunity; your job is to take advantage of it. If you don’t, oh, well.
The earliest studies of undergraduate retention in the United States occurred in the 1930s and focused on what was referred to at the time as student mortality: the failure of students to graduate (Berger & Lyon, 2005). Historically higher education research has had an eye toward pathology with a focus on repairing students’ problems (Shushok & Hulme, 2006). To this end, much research exists on why students fail to persist as opposed to why they succeed. Strength-based approaches to the study of undergraduate retention involve studying successful students. Studying what is right with students may illuminate new aspects of successful student experiences which can in turn be applied to supporting all students. This paper will provide a brief historical overview of undergraduate retention followed by factors commonly related to undergraduate retention. Finally, an overview of the recent application of motivational theories to understand undergraduate retention including attribution theory, expectancy theory, goal setting theory, self-efficacy beliefs, academic self-concept, motivational orientations and optimism will be provided. Considerations for the future of motivational theories in undergraduate retention will be discussed with particular emphasis on the value of strength-based approaches to study and practice.
Abstract - The earliest studies of undergraduate retention in the United States occurred in the
1930s and focused on what was referred to at the time as student mortality: the failure of students to graduate (Berger & Lyon, 2005). Historically higher education research has had an eye toward pathology with a focus on repairing students’ problems (Shushok & Hulme, 2006). To this end, much research exists on why students fail to persist as opposed to why they succeed. Strength-based approaches to the study of undergraduate retention involve studying successful students. Studying
what is right with students may illuminate new aspects of successful student experiences which can in turn be applied to supporting all students. This paper will provide a brief historical overview of undergraduate retention followed by factors commonly related to undergraduate retention. Finally, an overview of the recent application of motivational theories to understand undergraduate retention including attribution theory, expectancy theory, goal setting theory, self-efficacy
beliefs, academic self-concept, motivational orientations and optimism will be provided. Considerations for the future of motivational theories in undergraduate retention will be discussed with particular emphasis on the value of strength-based approaches to study and practice.
The Government of Ontario’s Reaching Higher plan was a visionary document that provided needed funding to Ontario’s postsecondary system. However, it was not sufficient to overcome the long history of university under-funding in our province. Its impact was also eroded by unanticipated increases in enrolment and the current economic downturn.
If we believe in the active-learning classroom — that the only way to bring about real learning is to engage students in ways that help them revise and broaden their thinking — then student participation is a non-negotiable part of the equation. Learning does not happen without the student actively taking part.
Oddly, however, given its importance, our own definition of “student participation” is often quite limited. In the scholarship on teaching and learning, that term is almost always defined narrowly as the degree to which students take part in class discussions. And while discussion is obviously an important component of an active-learning classroom, it’s not the only component. There are many other ways in which students participate in class: writing, researching, and contributing to small group activities are just a few. If we want to accurately assess and reward participation in our courses, we need to expand our definition to include more than just the amount of times that students raise their hands.
This pilot study examines alternative entrance pathways into York University undergraduate degree programs for students who apply from outside the formal education system. These alternative pathways are designed to facilitate university access for students from under-represented populations (for example, low-income, first-generation, Aboriginal, racialized minorities, differently abled, newcomers to Canada, sole-support caregivers, students with incomplete high school education, or some combination of the preceding).
Occasionally I’m asked about quitting, particularly “quitting” a PhD program. This happened several times last week,
when I was in Vancouver.
Contrary to what you may hear or what your own internal critics tell you, there’s no shame in moving on. I remember a long post on a Versatile PhD forum from “PJ,” an ABD thinking about leaving instead of spending another two years (minimum) to finish their PhD. In response, one commenter wrote, “But the real question is, do you want to be a quitter? Now, not everyone will view that question the same, and I’m sure many will say that equating quitting a PhD program to being a quitter is not valid, but in reality, it is.” No! Thankfully, most other commenters on the thread offered more nuanced and helpful reflections and advice. “Finishing is not just about the destination,” one former tenure-track professor pointed out. “If that’s the only thing you want, then it’s a tough few years ahead.” Indeed.
Mentoring is one of the many aspects of faculty positions that are not generally taught, even though it is crucial in higher education. Faculty members are expected to advise undergraduates, graduate students and colleagues, although rarely with any support or recognition for this work. As a result, faculty members often mentor as a response to how they were mentored: a cold and distant adviser may serve as a cautionary tale or a role model.
This paper presents the findings of a research study on a complete course re-design of a large first-year class, which changed the learning environment and reduced boundaries to allow for more meaningful student engagement and improved student learning. The specific purpose of this study was to determine if a blended course design can increase student engagement and influence students’ approach to learning in a large first-year course.
Selon les estimations du Conference Board du Canada, la pénurie de compétences entraîne un manque à gagner annuel de 4,7 G$ pour le PIB de la Colombie Britannique et de 616 M$ pour les recettes fiscales provinciales.
• Le Conference Board a mené une enquête auprès de 854 employeurs de Colombie Britannique – ce qui couvre plus de 130 000 employés, soit 9 % des employés de la province – afin de connaître les compétences, les professions et les diplômes qui
leur sont nécessaires pour répondre à leurs besoins actuels et futurs.
• Il existe beaucoup de choses que les employeurs, les éducateurs, les gouvernementset les particuliers, notamment les étudiants, peuvent faire pour résoudre la pénurie ou l’inadéquation des compétences et préparer la Colombie Britannique à saisir les nouveaux débouchés qui lui permettront d’exploiter pleinement son potentiel économique.
Despite recent innovations, it remains the case that most students experience universities as isolated learners whose learning is disconnected from that of others. They continue to engage in solo performance and demonstration in what remains a largely show-and-tell learning environment. The experience of learning in higher education is, for most students, still very much a "spectator sport" in which faculty talk dominates and where there are few active student participants. Just as importantly, students typically take courses as detached, individual units, one course separated from another in both content and peer group, one set of understandings unrelated in any intentional fashion to what is learned in other courses. Though there are majors, there is little academic or social coherence to student learning. It is little wonder then that students seem so uninvolved in learning. Their learning experiences are not very involving.
Key Word: Tinto