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Research News

by Larissa Lozano Denisa Gándara (PhD 2016) and Stijn Daenekindt, (Ghent University), take a unique approach to researching performance-based funding (PBF). While previous research focused narrowly on states that have implemented, their study also includes states that have not implemented this policy through data modeling and analysis of PBF-related rhetoric in newspapers.

A large number of MIHE students, faculty, alumni, and former postdoctoral associates are participating in the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Cultivating Equitable Education Systems for the 21st Century. The meeting was held April 21-26, 2002 with participants able to attend virtually and in-person in San Diego, CA.

AERA 2022 Thursday, April 21 2:30-4:00

by Larissa Lozano In their article for Review of Research in Education, Amy Whitaker (NYU) and Greg Wolniak argue that “dealing with social and racial/ethnic exclusion is a systemic problem that requires consideration of the many intertwined contributory factors.”

Amy Stich is a fellow on a new research-practice partnership grant team to explore financial burdens of college and how to improve. The 2022 Institutional Challenge Grant was awarded to Georgia State University’s Georgia Policy Labs (GPL) and Achieve Atlanta. The three-year project is led by co-PIs Sally Wallace, dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State, and Tina Fernandez, founder and executive director of Achieve Atlanta.

In their book Broke: The Racial Consequences of Underfunding Public Universities, Laura T. Hamilton and Kelly Nielsen analyze the impacts of defunding public institutions on racially marginalized students and “new universities” —competitive research universities primarily serving low-income and minority students. 

Nicola Ingram, Professor of Sociology of Education at the Manchester Metropolitan University, shared qualitative research that delves into the lived experiences of college graduates from non-middle class backgrounds in the British labor market.

Her survey data adds voice and context to the statistical data showing that graduates from underrepresented backgrounds have a more difficult time transitioning into appropriate employment and realizing the benefits of a postsecondary degree when compared with their more affluent peers.

As enrollment in graduate programs is increasing, so is educational debt. Many students wonder if they can afford to stay in school and how they can reduce the debt burden of attending college.

Using national data on student finance and institutional expenditures, Karen Webber, professor emerita of higher education at the McBee Institute of Higher Education, and Rachel Burns (MIHE Ph.D. 2018) a senior policy analyst at SHEEO, relate trends in student demographics and institution types on the amount of graduate debt. 

by Larissa Lozano

Dr. Amy Stich interviews Dr. Kathy Roulston on the skills needed to effectively conduct qualitative interviews and current developments in the field.

The podcast, released on February 10, is episode 30 of “Tricks, Tips, and Stories in Qualitative Interviewing” in the Qualitative Conversations series from the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

by Larissa Lozano

Brantley conducted interviews with chief academic officers and uncovered eleven key insights into what exactly makes chief academic officers stay or leave their positions. Brantley cites recent research indicating that 47% of CAOs have been in their positions three years or less and the median term is around six years. 

Tim Cain and co-author Michael Hevel highlight an important and precedent-setting piece of the broader history of LGBTQ+ student rights on college campuses.

Melissa Whatley (PhD 2019) and Amy Stich collaborated on a recent article published in Journal of Mixed Methods Research, "Pushing the Integration Envelope: A Network Analysis of Study Abroad Website Content."

Amy Stich, Elizabeth Ndika, Kanler Cumbass, and Collin Case recently presented their paper, Negotiating Ourselves: Navigating Paradigmatic Conflict and Diverse Identities in Collaborative Qualitative Research at the 2021 ICQI Conference.

With the onset of the pandemic, higher education was forced to adapt to online and hybrid education, and international students were significantly affected by these changes.

The Global Alliance for International Student Advancement (GAISA) recently partnered with Hanover Research to investigate and release a series of research briefs focused on international students.

The number of credit hours that transfer students can carry with them to their new institution can be an important factor in student momentum and degree completion. 

Big data is getting big attention. Karen Webber and Henry Zheng (The Ohio State University) presented at the EdgeEvents virtual summit, Big Data on Campus: Becoming a Data Informed Institution.

Webber and Zheng offered an overview of data analytics in higher education with terms, applications, trends, common barriers, and major issues, such as privacy and ethics. They drew on research and examples collected for their co-edited work, Big Data on Campus (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020).

Hee Jung Gong, doctoral candidate at IHE, recently published her article “Peer learning in STEM: a qualitative study of a student-oriented active learning intervention program” to the Interactive Learning Environments (IF=2.530) journal. The other co-authors are Hyeri Park (UGA, Ph.D. candidate at the College of Education) and Dr. Thomas Chase Hagood (UGA, the Direct of the Division of Academic Enhancement).

Greg Wolniak and Marjolein Muskens find that attending an undermatched institution “appears to have a positive influence, or no influence, but never a negative influence” on attributes, such as motivation, satisfaction, and self-efficacy.

The researchers studied over 14,500 incoming post-secondary students in the Netherlands to see if undermatching is associated with development of an individual’s affective-psychology. The study intentionally focuses on noncognitive and noneconomic outcomes.

The Horatio Alger Association awarded Greg Wolniak a nearly $100,000 extension to capture changes in students over four years of higher education.

The project focuses on the 2017 entering freshman class of Horatio Alger Scholars through the end of their spring semester of their fourth year of college (or four years after starting college) in 2021. 

Not all higher education intermediary organizations experience the sustained growth and effectiveness of Complete College America (CCA).

In "Becoming a “game changer”: Complete College America’s role in U.S. higher education policy fields," Erik C. Ness, Paul G. Rubin and Lindsey Hammond unpack some noteworthy characteristics that have contributed to CCA's decade of success and influence.

The researchers delved into organizational archives and conducted extensive interviews with CCA members and key policymakers in three states.

In a broad survey of master’s and doctoral institutions spanning the decade around the 2008 financial crisis, Jim Hearn and Rachel Burns (PhD 2018) found no evidence that the tenure structure leads to inefficiencies in budget.

Current research studies on contingency effects lack a holistic view of organizational costs and financial goals, and they tend to narrowly consider only short-term analyses. The authors address these limits in their longitudinal study.

Associate professor Greg Wolniak co-authored a chapter for Responsibility of Higher Education Systems: What, How, Why? (Brill, 2020).

Along with Marjolein Muskens and Lex Borghans, Woliank expands on his work on career and personal well-being outcomes associated with "undermatching" in the United States. Undermatching occurs when students attend higher education institutions that are less selective than their academic potential would indicate they could attend. 

Associate Professor Timothy Reese Cain examines two sit-ins at the University of Georgia in a paper published in the November 2020 issue of History of Education Quarterly.

Cain co-authored the piece with UGA Honors College graduate Rachael Dier. They focus on tactics and reactions to internally-focused activism at the University of Georgia to uncover work of women's rights activists between 1968 and 1972.

Sarah Burman, Matthew Gregory and Greg Wolniak assessed Paul Tough's The Years that Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us (2019) in a review published in Teacher's College Record.

While acknowledging the power of the vignettes and personal experiences woven through the book, the authors invite Tough to lean more into the scholar research to support his anecdotes and to recognize more of the promising programs around the country. 

Greg Wolniak is co-author of a chapter assessing current research on the growth of female student success in higher education.

In “Unpacking the ‘Female Advantage’ in the Career and Economic Impacts of College,” part of The Wiley Handbook of Gender Equity in Higher Education​ (2021), Tiffani M. Williams and Wolniak seek to uncover why the gender gap persist sin the labor market given the female advantage in higher education.

An eighteen-month study of the economic impact of advanced degrees led by Charles Knapp, Greg Wolniak, and Jeff Humphreys estimates the actual value to the economic health of the state of higher education degrees among the population. 

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