Category Archives: Higher Education

Yes They Can: Supporting Bachelor Degree Attainment for Early Childhood Practitioners

Source: Laura Sakai, Fran Kipnis, and Marcy Whitebook, Diana Schaack, Early Childhood Research & Practice (ECRP), Volume 16 Numbers 1 & 2, Spring/Fall 2014

From the abstract:
As part of a longitudinal study, the authors interviewed 73 nontraditional students regarding their perceptions of the challenges experienced and supports received as they returned to school to earn bachelor’s degrees. All participants were working in the early care and education field. Interviewees perceived the cohort structure of their B.A. program as important to their academic success; this positive assessment increased over time and continued after graduation. A majority reported that program services such as financial assistance and the scheduling and location of classes were critically important throughout their participation in the degree programs. In contrast, academic and technological challenges reportedly decreased over time, and thus students’ need for support such as tutoring, counseling services, and technology assistance decreased. Many students whose primary language was not English reported relying on English-language assistance throughout their school experience even when they perceived English academic work to be increasingly less challenging. These findings suggest that those who design and implement programs to assist degree attainment should invest in academic supports at the beginning of the program while other supports, including financial assistance, the schedule and location of classes, and the cohort itself, are critical throughout students’ educational experience.

Campus Law Enforcement, 2011-12

Source: Brian Reaves, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 248028, January 20, 2015

From the abstract:
Presents findings from a BJS survey of campus law enforcement agencies covering the 2011-12 academic year. The report focuses primarily on 4-year colleges and universities enrolling 2,500 or more students. Agencies serving public and private campuses are compared by number and type of employees, agency functions, arrest jurisdiction, patrol coverage, agreements with local law enforcement, requirements for new officers, use of nonlethal weapons, types of computers and information systems, community policing initiatives, use of special units and programs, and emergency preparedness activities.

– About 75% of the campuses were using armed officers, compared to 68% during the 2004-05 school year.
– About 9 in 10 public campuses used sworn police officers (92%), compared to about 4 in 10 private campuses (38%).
– Most sworn campus police officers were authorized to use a sidearm (94%), chemical or pepper spray (94%), and a baton (93%).
– Most sworn campus police officers had arrest (86%) and patrol (81%) jurisdictions that extended beyond campus boundaries.
– About 7 in 10 campus law enforcement agencies had a memorandum of understanding or other formal written agreement with outside law enforcement agencies.
Press Release
ASCII file

University Employee Sexual Harassment Policies

Source: Marcelline Fusilier, Charlie Penrod, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Online First, October 9, 2014
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The purpose of the study was to investigate the quality and online availability of policies for employee sexual harassment prevention. The availability and characteristics of employee sexual harassment policies were compared across the following types of colleges and universities: (a) government sponsored state nonprofit, (b) private nonprofit, and (c) private for-profit. Web sites of 496 U.S. colleges and universities were searched. Available policies were collected and coded for whether they included the following: (a) mandatory supervisory reporting of harassment, (b) availability of informal and formal complaint procedures, and (c) availability of multiple reporting options to ensure harassing supervisors can be bypassed. Each school web site was also searched for discussion of the availability of sexual harassment training for employees. Results suggested that only 23 % of for-profit universities made their policies publicly available on their web sites versus 99 % of state universities. Seventy percent of available university harassment policies/web sites were deficient on one or more of the characteristics studied. Based on these findings, it appears that universities should increase both the quality and accessibility of their sexual harassment policies as well as the availability of anti-harassment training.

National Center Newsletters 1973-2000

Source: National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions, 2014

Between 1973 and 2000, the National Center published a bimonthly newsletter with contributions from directors and newsletter editors Maurice Benewitz, Thomas Mannix, Theodore H. Lang, Aaron Levenstein, Joel M. Douglas, Frank R. Annunziato and Beth H. Johnson. In addition, issues of the newsletter included contributions by other scholars including Clark Kerr, Fred Lane, Clara Lovett, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, Myron Lieberman, Irwin Polishook, Matthew Finkin, Richard W. Hurd and Richard Chait.

Over its 27 year publication history, the newsletter contained articles, analysis and data on subjects that continue to be topical in higher education and the professions including: the impact of the Supreme Court’s Yeshiva University decision, the organizing and representation of adjunct faculty and graduate students, academic freedom and tenure, shared governance, discrimination and faculty strikes. The final issue of the newsletter appeared in 2000 with excerpts of a speech given by then AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney at the National Center’s 28th annual conference as the first annual Albert Shanker Lecture.

The Long Reach of Education: Early Retirement

Source: Steven F. Venti, David A. Wise, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NBER Working Paper No. w20740, December 2014
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The goal of this paper is to draw attention to the long lasting effect of education on economic outcomes. We use the relationship between education and two routes to early retirement – the receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and the early claiming of Social Security retirement benefits – to illustrate the long-lasting influence of education. We find that for both men and women with less than a high school degree the median DI participation rate is 6.6 times the participation rate for those with a college degree or more. Similarly, men and women with less than a high school education are over 25 percentage points more likely to claim Social Security benefits early than those with a college degree or more. We focus on four critical “pathways” through which education may indirectly influence early retirement – health, employment, earnings, and the accumulation of assets. We find that for women health is the dominant pathway through which education influences DI participation. For men, the health, earnings, and wealth pathways are of roughly equal magnitude. For both men and women the principal channel through which education influences early Social Security claiming decisions is the earnings pathway. We also consider the direct effect of education that does not operate through these pathways. The direct effect of education is much greater for early claiming of Social Security benefits than for DI participation, accounting for 72 percent of the effect of education for men and 67 percent for women. For women the direct effect of education on DI participation is not statistically significant, suggesting that the total effect may be through the four pathways.

Higher Education: State Funding Trends and Policies on Affordability

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), GAO-15-151, December 16, 2014

From the summary:
From fiscal years 2003 through 2012, state funding for all public colleges decreased, while tuition rose. Specifically, state funding decreased by 12 percent overall while median tuition rose 55 percent across all public colleges. The decline in state funding for public colleges may have been due in part to the impact of the recent recession on state budgets. Colleges began receiving less of their total funding from states and increasingly relied on tuition revenue during this period. Tuition revenue for public colleges increased from 17 percent to 25 percent, surpassing state funding by fiscal year 2012, as shown below. Correspondingly, average net tuition, which is the estimated tuition after grant aid is deducted, also increased by 19 percent during this period. These increases have contributed to the decline in college affordability as students and their families are bearing the cost of college as a larger portion of their total family budgets.

The Influence of Low-Income Children’s Participation in Head Start on Their Parents’ Education and Employment

Source: Terri J. Sabol and P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Volume 34 Issue 1, Winter 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Head Start is the oldest and largest federally funded preschool program in the United States. From its inception in 1965, Head Start not only provided early childhood education, care, and services for children, but also sought to promote parents’ success. However, almost all evaluation studies of Head Start have focused solely on children’s cognitive and social outcomes rather than on parents’ outcomes. The present study examines whether children’s participation in Head Start promotes parents’ educational advancement and employment. We use data from the Head Start Impact Study (HSIS), a randomized trial of over 4,000 newly entering three- and four-year-old children. We find that parents of children in the three-year-old cohort (but not the four-year-old cohort), who were randomly assigned to and participated in Head Start, had steeper increases in their own educational attainment by child age six years compared to parents of children in the control group. This pattern is especially strong for parents who had at least some college experience at baseline, as well as for African-American parents. We do not find evidence that Head Start helped parents enter or return to the workforce over time. Results are discussed in the context of using high-quality early childhood education as a platform for improving both child and parent outcomes.

The Impact of the Great Recession on Public Colleges

Source: Elizabeth Baylor and Antoinette Flores, Center for American Progress, October 27, 2014

Public investment in higher education is vital to the performance of our economy. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, the country invested heavily in postsecondary education—and it paid off, resulting in significant increases in the share of high school graduates going to college. However, after making great strides for decades, the country has begun to lose ground. College costs have skyrocketed. Between 2008 and 2012, the share of students borrowing to finance their education increased from 35 percent to 40 percent, and the average amount borrowed annually increased from $6,200 to $7,800.
We have measured the direct state investment in and enrollment at public universities and community colleges since the Great Recession. Information about each state is presented to support the need for a restored state-federal partnership in postsecondary education to ensure that high-quality programs remain affordable and a central tenant of the American Dream.

The information presented in this interactive is a state-by-state analysis of the pattern of direct investment in and enrollment at public colleges since the onset of the Great Recession in 2008. It presents data to support the need for a restored state-federal partnership in postsecondary education to ensure that high-quality programs remain affordable and a central tenant of the American Dream. In order to ensure that America continues to lead the way postsecondary education, our system of public universities and four-year colleges, community colleges, and vocational training centers need proper resources to adequately prepare the next generation of Americans to learn, work, and live in the 21st century.
See also:
A Great Recession, a Great Retreat by David Bergeron, Elizabeth Baylor, and Antoinette Flores
Effects of State Higher Education Cuts on Communities of Color by Farah Z. Ahmad

Do Public Tuition Subsidies Promote College Enrollment? Evidence from Community College Taxing Districts in Texas

Source: Paco Martorell, Brian P. McCall, Isaac McFarlin, US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP- 14-32, September 1, 2014

From the abstract:
This paper estimates the effect of tuition rates on college enrollment using data for Texas from the 1990 and 2000 Censuses and the 2004-2010 American Community Surveys and geographical data on Community College Taxing Districts. The effect of tuition on enrollment is identified by the facts that tuition rates for those living within a taxing district are lower than those living outside the taxing district and in Texas not all geographic locations are in a taxing district. While the estimated effect of tuition on enrollment depends on the sample used, it is negative and mostly statistically significant in the samples of adults 18 and older and negative and sometimes statistically significant in the samples of traditional age students 18 to 24. The estimated effect of tuition on enrollment, however, is found to vary considerably by poverty level status with an increase in tuition rates having a statistically significant negative effect on college enrollment for those with household incomes that are at least 200% of the poverty level both for traditional aged students 18 to 24 years old and all adults 18 and older.

State Expenditure Report (Fiscal 2012-2014 Data)

Source: National Association of State Budget Officers, 2014

This annual report examines spending in the functional areas of state budgets: elementary and secondary education, higher education, public assistance, Medicaid, corrections, transportation, and all other. It also includes data on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and on revenue sources in state general funds.

The latest edition of NASBO’s State Expenditure Report finds that total state spending in fiscal 2014 is estimated to have grown at its fastest pace since before the recession, largely due to an increase in federal Medicaid funds as a majority of states chose to expand enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. Total state spending growth in fiscal 2013 was more modest; however, total state expenditure did return to positive growth following declines in fiscal 2012.