Apr. 2022 - Academic Operations, Students' Mental Health, and the State of Higher Education

Dr. Wendy Kilgore |
April 29, 2022
  • Research
  • 60 Second Survey
  • AACRAO Research Insights
  • AACRAO Research Resources
  • Academic Operations
  • Mental Health
  • Student Success


Comic of April 2022 Eye on Research Commentary

AACRAO Research Update

Ongoing Research and Other Initiatives Associated with the Use of Holds

Research about student success and administrative holds continues on several fronts. AACRAO and WICHE were recently awarded a research grant from Ascendium and Lumina to build on the work last year that culminated in this report. In addition, AACRAO and NACUBO released a joint statement on the use of administrative and student success holds.

Graduate and/or Professional Strategic Enrollment Management

The April 60-Second Survey focused on SEM at the graduate and professional levels. The full report will release on May 2. We received responses from 340 institutions. See the preview data figure below.

Chart of Percentage of Enrollment Management Responsibilities

Academic Operations and Student Success - Sneak Preview

AACRAO envisions a community centered on learner success driven by professional excellence and leadership in enrollment and academic services. In addition, one of our current strategic goals is to advance the knowledge and understanding of the complex and critical professions engaged in enrollment and academic services, a key component of institutional and learner success. Academic operations is an umbrella term that describes several functions and routinely includes curriculum management, catalog administration, classroom space management, class section scheduling/timetabling, course/program demand analysis, and degree audit management.

A report underwritten by Coursedog benchmarks academic operations and student success is in the editing stage and scheduled to release in late June, if not sooner. View one of the data figures below.

chart depicting a breakdown of the percentage of academic operations functions and structure

Current Higher Education Research and Related Topics

Mental Health Treatment for Students of Color Lags Behind Other Students

A new study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders finds that the rates of mental health treatment for students differ widely based on race. Key points include:

  • This was a national study of mental health from 2013 to 2021 among more than 350,000 students at 373 institutions of higher learning.
  • Mental health worsened among all groups during the study period.
  • The highest rate of treatment for Asian, Black, and Latinx students was at or below the lowest rate for white students.

Webinar Examines Financial Education and its Effects

A webinar from AIG and Higher Ed Dive examines reports from multiple organizations that have reviewed financial literacy skills. The webinar explores how this data should influence curriculum development and the role of both K-12 and higher educational institutions.

Employers Shifting to Skills-based Hiring and Away from 4-year Degrees

A new survey report from the Burning Glass Institute examines changes in hiring practices. The basis of the report is an examination of more than 51 million job postings in the United States. There is also a useful synopsis of this research published in The New York Times.

Participate in the 2022 IIE Spring Snapshot Survey

IIE is inviting all U.S. higher education institutions to participate in the 2022 IIE Spring Snapshot. This survey series builds on the organization's previous COVID-19 Snapshot Series. The survey closes today April 29, 2022. The 2022 Spring Snapshot will focus on:

  • The effects of COVID-19 on international students in the United States.
  • Effects on U.S. students studying abroad.
  • Institutional plans for the 2022/23 academic year.
  • Current events affecting international education, including the Ukraine crisis.

New Study Explores Student Perception of College Costs vs. Amenities

A new study from the Art & Science Group, LLC addresses the balance between the cost of college and campus amenities and how those factors affect student perceptions of the institution. Some key findings are in the graphic below.

Poll of Student Perception of College Costs vs. Amenities


Student Voice Survey examines Student Mental Health during the Pandemic

The latest Student Voice Survey from College Pulse, Inside Higher Ed, and Kaplan looks at how the pandemic has affected students' mental health. Some key findings include:

  • Only 9 percent of students rated their mental health as "excellent."
  • When asked the same question, 56 percent of students reported their mental health as "fair" or "poor."
  • Among students who had previously accessed mental health counseling, LGBTQIA+ students, and those identifying as lower socioeconomic class, 70 percent reported their mental health as "fair" or "poor."
  • About 75 percent of students report struggling with anxiety and/or depression during college.
  • About 25 percent of students have dealt with an eating disorder or significant mood swings.
  • 7 percent identify substance abuse as a recent mental health challenge.

New Survey identifies Operational Roadblocks in Academic Affairs

Coursedog conducted a new survey of more than 220 higher education leaders from looks at efficiency in academic operations and the effect on students. Areas examined included inefficiencies in course scheduling, curriculum management, and catalog management. An infographic includes the survey results (sign-up required to view).

The State of Higher Education 2022 Report Released

The report from Gallup and Lumina Foundation  examines the impact on students of the pandemic, remote learning, and burnout among faculty and staff, among other issues. The survey conducted accounted for more than 11,000 current and prospective students. Key findings include:

  • 44 percent of adults without a degree report they have considered enrolling in a program in the past two years.
  • Associate's degrees and certificate programs are the most popular credentials of interest for the currently unenrolled.
  • 76 percent of bachelor's degree students who have considered stopping out in the past six months say emotional stress was a factor.
  • 36 percent of bachelor's degree students and 39 percent of associate's degree students report it was difficult or very difficult to remain enrolled heading into the fall of 2021; this was very prevalent in students from historically marginalized groups.
Cover Image of State of Higher Education 2022 Report from Gallup and Lumina Foundation

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