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Leading for Equity from Where You Are: How Leaders in Different Roles Engage in Shared Equity Leadership

November 28, 2022

In this report, the fourth in the On Shared Equity Leadership series, we describe the ways that leaders in different campus roles contribute to shared equity leadership (SEL) efforts. SEL is a leadership approach that scales diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work and creates culture change by connecting individual and organizational transformation. Individuals embrace a personal journey toward critical consciousness to become equity-oriented leaders. Collectively, leaders embody a set of values and enact a set of practices that form new relationships and understandings, ultimately working to dismantle current systems and structures that inhibit equitable outcomes. This report examines roles from both a functional perspective (e.g., faculty, student affairs, and DEI-specific roles) and from a positional view (e.g., senior-level, mid-level, and groundlevel leaders), and it highlights the ways in which different values and practices are especially important for leaders in particular roles.

Addressing Burnout Through Cultural Change: How Leaders Can Stem Attrition and Support Employees

October 17, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a slew of changes to higher education. Through a rapid pivot to virtual learning and in-person concerns about masks and vaccinations, many of these changes came at great costs to faculty and staff, who reported increased feelings of exhaustion and burnout.This brief explores the causes of faculty and staff burnout and offers solutions for campus leadership. It provides an overview of burnout and its consequences, including faculty and staff departures. It then discusses the reasons faculty and staff are burned out and offers suggestions for institutional leaders about what to do about it. The most effective solutions rest not at the individual level, but at the organizational level. In short, burnout is often the result of organizational conditions that allow it to thrive. As such, the responsibility to address the conditions that perpetuate this mental health challenge resides with colleges and universities.

Well-being for Students With Minoritized Identities

July 30, 2021

Over the past decade, mental health and well-being have increasingly become major priorities on college campuses as concerns related to student mental health have escalated. In a 2019 survey of college and university presidents, 81 percent of respondents stated that student mental health on campus had become more of a priority compared with three years prior (Chessman and Taylor 2019). This paper uses data from Wake Forest University's spring 2019 Wellbeing Assessment to unpack the differences in the subjective well-being of students with minoritized identities. We found that undergraduate students with minoritized racial and ethnic, gender, and sexual orientation identities have substantially lower subjective well-being levels than their peers with privileged identities. As students reported holding more minoritized identities, their subjective well-being levels decreased. 

International Student Inclusion and Success: Public Attitudes, Policy Imperatives, and Practical Strategies

May 17, 2021

This issue brief summarizes results from a series of surveys evaluating U.S. voters' attitudes and perceptions regarding international students. Three iterations of the survey were administered in March 2017, December 2019, and February 2021 in partnership with the Winston Group and with support from the Charles Koch Foundation.Key findings from the surveys include:A clear majority of those surveyed believe international students make significant academic and diplomatic contributions and have a positive impact on domestic peers.For example, 58 percent of respondents indicated they believe that "international students are valuable additions to campuses because they bring intellectual talent and energy to campuses."The belief that students from abroad "take seats" from U.S. students persists; however, there is growing confidence in international students' academic qualifications and preparedness.There is prevailing sentiment that international students should be "encouraged" to study in the United States. However, there is a lack of support for a concerted effort to grow the number of international students here.There is support for international students remaining in the U.S. after completing their studies.Overall impressions of the favorability of international students have not diminished since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, there is interest in ensuring that incoming international students—and all travelers from abroad—do not spread the virus.Though a minority view, there is some level of concern that international students are improperly vetted or do not adhere to visa regulations.When it comes to policy implications, the issue brief recommends actions for policymakers to take to strengthen and restore international student enrollment to pre-pandemic levels, and to facilitate institutions' ability to enroll the number of students they can effectively support.The issue brief also pulls from ACE's 2021 report Toward Greater Inclusion and Success: A New Compact for International Students to make recommendations for refining campus practices.

Race, Class, and College Access: Achieving Diversity in a Shifting Legal Landscape

July 21, 2015

This is a groundbreaking report examining how legal challenges to race-conscious admissions are influencing contemporary admissions practices at selective colleges and universities around the country. The report is especially timely in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to take a second look at the constitutionality of the University of Texas' admissions policy by granting review in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.Study findings are based on responses to a first-of-its-kind national survey of undergraduate admissions and enrollment management leaders administered in 2014 -- 15. Data reflect responses from 338 nonprofit four-year institutions that collectively enrolled 2.7 million students and fielded over 3 million applications for admission in 2013 -- 14. Among other findings, the authors examine the most widely used and effective diversity strategies; changes in admissions factors after the 2013 Fisher ruling and statewide bans on race-conscious admissions; and the most sought after research and guidance given the current legal and policy landscape

Recalibrating Regulation of Colleges and Universities: Report of the Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education

February 9, 2015

The federal government's substantial fiscal investment in higher education recognizes that postsecondary education is a linchpin in the nation's social and economic strength. The government helps ensure that colleges and universities continue to contribute broadly to the fabric of American society. The Department of Education is charged with developing procedures to carry out laws passed by Congress in regard to higher education and with overseeing institutional compliance. Institutions of higher learning recognize the important role regulations play in the oversight of federal investments.This report discovered that over time, oversight of higher education by the Department of Education has expanded and evolved in ways that undermine the ability of colleges and universities to serve students and accomplish their missions. The compliance problem is exacerbated by the sheer volume of mandates -- approximately 2,000 pages of text -- and the reality that the Department of Education issues official guidance to amend or clarify its rules at a rate of more than one document per work day. As a result, colleges and universities find themselves enmeshed in a jungle of red tape, facing rules that are often confusing and difficult to comply with. They must allocate resources to compliance that would be better applied to student education, safety, and innovation in instructional delivery. Clearly, a better approach is needed.

Academic Recognition of Military Experience in STEM Education

June 1, 2013

Recent calls for increases in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education attainment and veterans' education success have created a platform for examining how veterans with military experience in STEM fields can more efficiently complete postsecondary education and training.The American Council on Education (ACE) military evaluation program provides credit recommendations for military courses that align servicemembers' training with postsecondary curricula and competencies. These recommendations,if accepted as transfer credit, can decrease the time it takes servicemembers and veterans to complete STEM certificates and degrees.Numerous challenges exist in considering military credit recommendations for postsecondary courses and degrees. The process is complex, requiring an acute understanding of military transcripts and the resources and tools available to assist institutions of higher education in awarding credit for military training. Additionally, misinformation and lack of awareness regarding the content, scope, and rigor of the ACE review process and resulting credit recommendations create resistance to awarding credit.Successfully increasing acceptance of military credit recommendations at institutions of higher education can be achievedthrough public-private partnerships between colleges and universities, federal agencies, workforce development experts, and other key stakeholders using available resources and tools to build degree pathways that accurately map military training to STEM courses.An education campaign about the ACE review process and the value of the resulting credit recommendations will also help eliminate the stigma surrounding credit awarded for prior learning, and boost support among leaders and institutions for increased acceptance of military credit recommendations. This approach will lead to the developmentof best practices and, ultimately, increases in both STEM attainment and veterans' education success.

Does Federal Financial Aid Drive Up College Prices?

May 2, 2013

The "Bennett Hypothesis" is the theory that : The availability of federal loans -- particularly subsidized loans offering a below-market interest rate and payment of interest as long as the student is enrolled in school -- provides "cover" for colleges to raise their prices, because students can offset a price increase, or at least a portion of that increase, with federal loans.This report examines research that attempts to prove or disprove the Bennett Hypothesis, with a focus primarily on the impact of federal grants and loans on college and university tuition price increases. Section two presents a brief overview of federal student financial aid programs, recent trends in tuition prices, and the economic theory behind financial aid and tuition prices. Section three reviews some of the research that has analyzed the veracity of the Bennett Hypothesis over the years.Section three also describes studies with similar methodologies but contrary findings. The research suffers from limitations in the data used, particularly in the measures of federal aid used as predictors. There are also limitations in the data analysis methodologies employed, including the researchers' inability to fully control for all of the complex factors that go into the decisions that institutions make when determining tuition prices. More details about these issues are presented in this section. The final section summarizes what this body of research tells us about the relationship between federal student aid and tuition prices.

Post-traditional Learners and the Transformation of Postsecondary Education: A Manifesto for College Leaders

January 1, 2013

Our traditional system of two- and four-year colleges and universities is not well-suited to educate post-traditional learners, writes Louis Soares. Postsecondary education leaders need to be challenged to embrace a future of innovation that may put their current institutional, instructional, and financial models at risk. This paper includes a brief primer on innovation, a profile of post-traditional learners, a look at the U.S. investment in postsecondary education and training, and concludes with three principles to "catalyze a manifesto for college leaders on how to proceed."

From Soldier to Student II: Assessing Campus Programs for Veterans and Service Members

July 1, 2012

The United States is in the process of bringing more than 2 million service members home from Iraq and Afghanistan and reducing the size of America's military. Today's veterans are the beneficiaries of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which has provided unprecedented financial support for attending college. More than 500,000 veterans and their families have utilized Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits since the law's enactment in 2008. Many returning veterans -- as well as service members in the active and reserve components of the armed forces -- will enroll in higher education to enhance their job prospects, achieve career goals, expand their knowledge and skill sets for both personal and career enrichment, and facilitate their transition to civilian life.How well prepared is higher education to serve these new students, and what changes has it made in response to the first wave of Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients on campus? Despite the long history of veterans' education benefits and presence of veteran students on campus, current research is still catching up to the veteran and military student population. This report represents the second assessment of the current state of programs and services for veterans and service members on campuses across the nation, based on survey results from 690 institutions.

Promising Practices in Veterans' Education: Outcomes and Recommendations from the Success for Veterans Award Grants

October 7, 2011

This is an evaluation of the Success for Veterans Awards program, and includes reports from 20 grantees.

Accommodating Student Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Tips for Campus Faculty and Staff

June 1, 2011

Service members and veterans transitioning from deployment to higher education bring with them a degree of maturity, experience with leadership, familiarity with diversity, and a mission focused orientation that exceed those of nearly all of their peers. They may be expected to emerge as campus leaders; to enrich any class focused on history, politics, or publicpolicy; and to serve as an engine for innovation on their campuses. However, many veterans acquired these assets at great personal expense, including battlefield injuries.Cognitive injuries are among the most prevalent of these battlefield injuriesfor today's returning service members. By some estimates, individuals who serve in Iraq and Afghanistan have as much as a 40 percent chance of acquiring such an injury by the time they have completed their service. Predominant among these cognitive injuries are traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Consequently, to allow and encourage this transitioning population to realize the greatest gain from postsecondary education, campus faculty and staff must recognize the potential learning challenges associated with these invisible injuries and make adjustments or implement accommodations to help ensure their students' academic success.To support faculty and staff who seek a better understanding of TBI and PTSD, this guide focuses on functional limitations commonly associated with these conditions and provides forms of classroom accommodations and modifications, also known as academic adjustments, responsive to these limitations. However, this information should not be divorced from the bigger picture, that individuals with combat-related TBI and PTSD will see themselves not as individuals with disabilities, but as veterans and service members. Campuses that are already well-prepared to serve veterans and service members in general will have far less need to specifically adapt to persons with cognitive impairments than campuses that have developed few veteran-specific programs or resources.