NASFAA Shopping Sheet Study Released
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators today released a consumer preference study, prepared by JBLA, of three financial aid award letter templates, or "shopping sheets," finding that there was no clear preference among them. JBLA tested the templates with three diverse focus groups of high school seniors, college students, and parents to assess their effectiveness in communicating essential financial information. Analyses of qualitative data collected through focus groups as well as quantitative data from scoring sheets assessed which shopping sheet most clearly and effectively communicated information about cost and financial aid to students and their families. Participants, who were looking for a clear explanation of how much they would have to pay for college, liked parts of each shopping sheet but did not feel that any one met all their needs.
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JBLA Presented at NEA 2013 Higher Education Conference
Sue Clery and Amy Topper, JBLA Senior Research Associates, presented a paper at the NEA 2013 Higher Education Conference in Portland, Oregon, on the role of faculty and faculty unions in national student success initiatives. This pilot study used a sample of institutional, union, and initiative stakeholders to explore how faculty and faculty unions respond to these initiatives, how faculty are engaged and integrated into initiative work, how these initiatives change faculty roles and responsibilities, and their effect on faculty union contracts. Our findings will serve to develop our future research on how student success initiatives intersect with faculty work.
JBLA President John Lee also presented an overview of the current state of and trends in faculty salaries in 2011-12. Among the conclusions: the public still see value in higher education while the economic recovery pulls potential students back into the job market and the share of faculty that are part-time faculty continues to grow, as if has been for some time..
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JBLA's Mason Erwin was conducting training at NEA's workshops for the and systems, both of which were developed and are supported by JBLA.
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JBLA Releases the Winter Issue of Achieving the Dream’s Data Notes: Institutional Attributes and Student Outcomes
Student performance and persistence are influenced by a variety of individual and institutional factors. The majority of research conducted on student outcomes is based on identifying student characteristics and their relationship to outcomes. Characteristics such as student demographics, financial situation, and academic preparation, or previous education are among the factors typically examined. Colleges enrolling large proportions of students with such characteristics, or who have other specific embedded characteristics, such as organizational structures, local environment, economy, and politics, may find it helpful to compare themselves with institutions possessing similar characteristics. This issue of Data Notes reflects on the relationship between institutional characteristics and student outcomes by examining institutional size, type, locale, and the proportions of students attending part-time, that are Hispanic or black students, and their relationships with student outcomes.
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WE DREAM OF DATA JBLA was a hit at ATD's annual meeting, DREAM 2013, this year in Anaheim, CA. Check out all the great pictures on ATD's , learn more about , and don't forget to view our DREAM 2013 presentations: and .
Amy Topper, Mason Erwin and Hobie Bowman presented the State of the Data, courtesy of Achieving the Dream, Inc.
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Inside Higher Ed Article: New Research into College Readiness, Placement Tests and Achievement Gaps
Paul Fain, of Inside Higher Ed, takes a look at new research published in a Special Journal Issue guest edited by JBLA Senior Researcher Amy Topper.
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College Summit: Business Engagement in Education
College Summit, a nationally recognized nonprofit that increases the number of low-income students getting into and staying in college, with support from the Citi Foundation, released a new report at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce titled, "Business Engagement in Education: Key Partners for Improving Student Success" to raise awareness of the critical role the business community plays in partnering with schools and other stakeholders to support the learning needs of students and develop America‘s future workforce.
Prepared by JBL Associates, the report makes the case for school-business partnerships, including case studies and best practices that business leaders can take back to their companies to develop their own plans for support. The report also explores how building effective school-business partnerships are enriching ways to bring rigor as well as relevance to students‘ learning environments.
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JBLA Staff Guest Editor of Special Journal Issue on the American Community College in the 21st Century
About the Issue: Amy Topper, JBLA Senior Research Associate, served as a guest editor with Dr. Jeanne Powers for Education Policy Analysis Archive's (EPAA) Special Issue on Democracy's College: The American Community College in the 21st Century. The articles and video commentaries featured in this issue provide a complex portrait of the community college and its students, and advance our thinking about the role of community colleges in the 21st century.
Articles and Video Commentaries:
- Alicia C. Dowd (University of Southern California), Jenny Pak (Biola University), and Estela Mara Bensimon (University of Southern California) on The Role of Institutional Agents in Promoting Transfer Access.
- Michal Kurlaender and Matthew Larsen (University of California, Davis) study on K-12 and Postsecondary Alignment: Racial/Ethnic Differences in Freshmen Course-taking and Performance at California’s Community Colleges.
- Public and Private Lives: Institutional Structures and Personal Supports in Low-income Single Mothers’ Educational Pursuits by Christine Cerven (University of California, San Diego).
- A video commentary by Dr. William Tierney, University Professor at University of Southern California, Co-Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education, and current President of the American Educational Research Association.
- A video commentary by Dr. Alfredo de los Santos, Jr., Research Professor at Arizona State University’s Hispanic Research Center, founding president of El Paso Community College, and former Vice Chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College System.
JBLA Staff Contribute Book Chapter on Preparing Psychology Majors for the Workforce
About the Chapter: Abby Miller, JBLA Senior Research Associate, recently authored a book chapter, “Your Personal Life Changes After College," in Your Undergraduate Degree in Psychology: From College to Career, by Paul Hettich and Eric Landrum. This chapter focuses on how personal and professional relationships change after college, and how to successfully navigate this transition from college to career.
Achieving the Dream: Where We Came From,
Where We Are, and Where We Are Going
Achieving the Dream is a national reform effort with the goal of helping more community college students succeed. The initiative leads a comprehensive network of forward-thinking leaders and practitioners dedicated to college reform and student success. Beginning in 2004 with 27 community colleges, Achieving the Dream’s network has expanded to 209 colleges – touching nearly 3 million students.
JBLA designed Achieving the Dream’s longitudinal student-unit record data collection system, and continues to conduct the annual data collection and maintain the national database. JBLA prepares various types analytical reports, including a bi-monthly data-intensive issue brief on student outcomes to help stakeholders measure and achieve student success (see http://www.achievingthedream.org/resources/newsletter/data_notes). These reports allow stakeholders to view actionable persistence, course completion and graduation measures by specific student characteristics.
JBLA presented “The State of the Data: Where we came from, Where we are, and Where we are going” at Achieving the Dream’s annual DREAM conference. This presentation focuses on the outcomes of leader colleges and extrapolates what ATD colleges could achieve in aggregate through concerted reflection and action.
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PSC Project on CUNY and Race
JBLA is pleased to join with the CUNY-Professional Staff Congress to prepare the final report for the PSC's ongoing project on CUNY and Race. The CUNY and Race Project is examining racial disparities in the academic workplace by investigating the career trajectories of CUNY faculty and professional staff over a 10-year span from 2000-2009.
JBLA is preparing a report based on an analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data collected by CUNY PSC on hiring, retention, promotion and tenure, and compensation among the faculty and staff at CUNY institutions. The report will include a review of the pertinent literature to provide context in which to understand the CUNY data. It will also present examples of best practices at the national level, as well as those successfully implemented by CUNY institutions. Finally, the report will provide recommendations for next steps that PSC can take to address any inequities identified. A review panel of experts in faculty diversity are providing guidance on the report.
More Information: Visit PSC-CUNY web site