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Student Persistence

Student Persistence: A Decline for Spring 2021 Enrollments?

The National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) provides enrollment reporting from colleges and universities that educate approximately 97% of all college students. Several times a year, they issue reports utilizing the aggregated data submitted by its institutional members. Last week, the NSC issued a report about college student persistence that looks at the enrollment and re-enrollment data from the Fall 2019 first-time freshmen.

Should Elite Universities or Other Universities Enroll a Million Students?

In a recently published article in Forbes, Brandon Busteed makes the provocative statement that elite universities should enroll a million students. Busteed opens his article by writing that the Ivy Plus colleges (the Ivy League plus the University of Chicago, MIT, Stanford, and Duke) produce the highest social mobility success rate, with nearly 60 percent of their students from the bottom quintile of income distribution moving to the top quintile after graduating. (Note: Just 3.8 percent of students from the bottom quintile of income distribution are enrolled at these institutions.)

Undergraduate Degree Earners Remain Steady in 2020

In a newly issued report, the National Student Clearinghouse reported that the total of 3.7 million new undergraduate degree earners was flat in the 2019-2020 academic year for the first time in eight years. Even more alarming, while the total numbers remained the same, the number of first-time graduates decreased 1 percent (26,000), while non-first-time completers continued to increase by 2.7 percent.

COVID-19 Changes and a Crusade Against Terrible Advising

Somehow, I missed The Chronicle of Higher Education article titled “A Crusade Against Terrible Advising” when it was published on August 4. According to Scott Carlson, senior reporter, the genesis of the article stemmed from several emails that he received from Dr. Ned Laff, a retired academic advisor whose advising experience included stints at nine different colleges and universities.

The Comeback Story: Why Adult Learners Return to College

New America, a think tank dedicated to confronting the challenges created by technology and social change and seizing those opportunities, released a report this week titled The Comeback Story. The report, authored by Hadass Sheffer, Iris Palmer, and Annette Mattei addresses the various ways that adults return to school to complete their degrees. The topic interests me a great deal as I spent the past 18 years leading American Public University System (APUS) to collaboratively find ways to improve the success of our working adult students.

Indispensable Institutions: Reimagining Community Colleges

Opportunity America, a Washington, DC think tank and policy shop, issued a report last week that reimagines the role of community colleges. The JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the Lumina Foundation sponsored the initiative, which included assembling a group of educators and policy makers across the U.S. in 2019. The group met with guest speakers to discuss the current status of community colleges and how they might adapt in line with the future changes in the workforce due to technology innovations.