AACRAO Eye on Research December 2016

by Wendy Kilgore | Dec 21, 2016

Commentary

As I have noted before, we regularly receive questions from our members about how their policy and/or practices compare to other institutions.  While these questions influence the content of the 60-Second surveys, we believe it would be useful to our members and ongoing research to have an AACRAO policy library.  With your help, we will start building the library in 2017.  The content will be provided by and available to AACRAO members.  Beginning in early 2017, we will begin to ask the primary contacts at your institution to respond to a series of brief surveys that include a document upload feature.  Once collected the policy documents will be categorized and tagged to enable them to be searched by keywords in the library.  We will also establish procedures to support the ability for institutions to update their policies as applicable.   Please let me know if you have any questions about this project (wendyk@aacrao.org).

I received an email announcement for the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE) at the Ohio State University Affiliates and Fellows Program, and thought I would share the opportunity.  This program is designed to connect researchers conducting social science research on student success.  The deadline for applying is February 1, 2017.  Benefits of the program include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • “Eligibility to apply for seed grants to support student success research
  • A $500 annual stipend for research purposes
  • Opportunities to collaborate on mutually beneficial research projects and grants, scholarly publications, and outreach programs
  • Opportunity to request special access to CHEE data for scholarly purposes
  • Professional biographical statement and photo included on CHEE’s website and promotional material”

Eligibility requirements include the following:
  • “Tenured/Tenure-track faculty members
  • Administrators at research universities or in research-related positions
  • Earned doctorate degree from an accredited college/university”

AACRAO Research Insights

The just-released AACRAO report on the career profile of U.S. Chief Admissions Officers provided the following insights among others.  A chief admissions officer in the United States likely has these characteristics:

  • is between 35 and 49 years old
  • has been in the position fewer than five years
  • spent most of her career in higher education
  • has a master’s degree
  • has more than 20 years of experience in higher education
  • reports to the Vice President of Enrollment Management
  • has five or more direct reports
  • is generally satisfied in the position
  • has worked at more than one institution
  • views skill in communication and enrollment management as most important for the position
  • spends the most time on enrollment management
  • finding time to get things done is the most challenging aspect of the position

The January 2017 60-Second Survey topic is records management.  This particular survey will provide data for an annual conference session by Sue Hamilton and Nora McLaughlin tied to the book AACRAO’s Student Records Management: Retention, Disposal and Archive of Student Records.  In February, we will be seeking input via a survey on grading practices to help update the AACRAO book on the same topic.

Current Higher Education Research and Related Topics

College Attainment Rates

A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Research Center examines the pathways to completion for students who started in fall 2010 and fall 2008.  Authors found that college completion rates are on the increase reversing an earlier trend.

Using Multiple Measures to Improve Placement Accuracy in Community Colleges

In November this year, a postdoctoral research associate at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) presented on the early results of a Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR) project.  This project involves creating a multiple measures course placement algorithm for seven community colleges.  The presentation highlights the results of placement levels for the study groups so far.  Additional work will incorporate the course outcomes, persistence, and credits earned.

One-Third of Community College Students Struggle to Meet Basic Needs

The Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) released a report “Struggling to survive: Striving to Succeed: Food and housing insecurities in the community college.” Among other findings, the study found that twelve percent of community college students face the “threat of hunger”, and one-third “experience the threat of homelessness and housing instability.”  In addition, students in remedial education, especially math, account for the majority of students faced with either or both issues. 

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education

The What Works Clearinghouse (IES-WWC) created a comprehensive evidenced-based practice guide to help underprepared students.  It includes six primary recommendations (below), and each contains an implementation checklist.

  1. “Use multiple measure to assess postsecondary readiness and place students.
  2. Require or incentivize regular participation in enhanced advising activities.
  3. Offer students performance-based monetary incentives.
  4. Compress or mainstream developmental education with course redesign.
  5. Teach students how to become self-regulated learners.
  6. Implement comprehensive, integrated, and long lasting support programs.”