October has been a quiet month so far for the publication of new higher education research. I am chugging away on the data from the prior learning assessment survey and prepping the November 60-Second Survey. I was intrigued by the latest release from NCES highlighted by Inside Higher Ed because I keep an eye on what constitutes a representative sample size for U.S. Title IV eligible institutions. The number of U.S. Title IV eligible institutions of higher education is at its lowest points in two decades, at 6,281.
AACRAO Research Update
The 2019 Academic Records and Transcript Practice report is now available on the AACRAO research webpage.
Prior Learning Assessment Practices Sneak Peak
AACRAO has partnered with WICHE and others to examine the PLA landscape from several perspectives. AACRAO has sought the academic records management perspective from our members, and 458 undergraduate, U.S. institutions participated in the survey. We are seeking answers to the following questions:
- What are current institutional policies and practices on two-year and four-year campuses around tracking PLA credits on student transcripts and institution information systems?
- Are there any issues of equity associated with the application and availability of PLA across the student populations served?
- What are some challenges and successes associated with using data to improve PLA policies and practices?
I have just started to analyze the data and write the report. WICHE will release the report in early spring as part of the larger project. However, I have included a couple of sneak peaks into the data here: 79% of institutions reported using at least one type of PLA (figure below), and 60% charge a fee for at least one of the options their institution offers.
November 2019 60-Second Survey
The November survey will ask about territory management. I hope institutions that don’t use territory management also respond to the survey. Understanding the who, what, and why from institutions that do not use a particular practice contributes just as much to our understanding of the higher education landscape as hearing from those who do.
Current Higher Education Research and Related Topics
CCLASSS Project Final Report “Student Needs Are Academic Needs”
The Community College Libraries and Academic Support for Student Success (CCLASSS) researchers surveyed 10,844 students at seven colleges and conducted eight in-depth interviews. They sought information from students about proposed services aimed at helping them reach their educational goals. The survey presented the proposed services and asked about educational goals and personal challenges associated with those goals. Insights include:
Challenges outside of the classroom can have an impact on academic success
College is perceived as “a means to an end and as having intrinsic value in and of itself”
Advising, library services and tutoring-related services are “highly valued”
Childcare at the college is a sought-after service
30,000+ Veterans Respond to Survey
STRADA and Gallup partnered to study the education and work experiences of veterans who have not completed a college degree but have at least one certificate or certification. Among the 127,340 adults without degrees in the Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey, 11,308 were veterans (a total of 31,858 veterans responded to the survey). The data about certificate and certification completion is self-reported. The findings include:
Veterans are more likely that other adults without a college degree to have a certificate or certification.
Veterans perceive that they have received a benefit from their certificate or certification. They would recommend others seek the same educational path.
Those with a certificate or certification make, on average, $10,000 more than those without one. In addition, a higher percentage of those with a certificate or certification are working.
The top occupations for those with a certificate or certification and their income premium are:
Installation, maintenance and repair: $13,000
Construction or mining: $15,000
Manager and executive: $9,000
Security and protective services $21,000
College Friendships Bridge Divides
Researchers associated with the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Study (IDEALS) found that “gaining an interworldview friendship can potentially double the percentage of first-year college students who highly appreciate the worldview of a new friend.”