Here are some new resources and news for the field of higher education.
Highest Upward Mobilty Rate Colleges—This project uses data on 30 million college students to construct mobility report cards — publicly available statistics on students’ earnings and their parents’ incomes — for each college in America. The analysis sheds light on how colleges shape children’s prospects of upward mobility and how we can help more children climb the income ladder through higher education. (Equality of Opportunity Project)
California Launches the Nation’s Largest Community College Course Exchange—To help students get the credits they need, some colleges are pooling resources on an unprecedented scale. California Community Colleges, the nation’s largest system with 113 institutions, just launched a course exchange so students at one campus can take classes online at another if those courses aren’t available on their home turf. (EdSurge, Jan. 24)
Nonpecuniary Returns to Postsecondary Education—While research consistently finds positive earnings returns to educational attainment, there is little evidence on postsecondary education’s impact on other employment-related outcomes. Using longitudinal data following a nationally representative sample of young persons who enrolled in at least some college education, the author examines nonpecuniary labor market outcomes, such as job security and opportunity for upward mobility, associated with different levels of postsecondary educational attainment. Overall, the results indicate that increasing levels of postsecondary educational attainment positively predict a number of beneficial employment outcomes. This is particularly the case for fringe benefits. After controlling for participants’ backgrounds and educational experiences, attainment positively predicts access to employer-provided health and dental insurance, retirement, and paid leave. Results concerning job satisfaction and flexibility are weaker and more complex. (Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment)
Colleges Increasingly Use Contingent Faculty to Cut Costs—Colleges are increasingly hiring lower-paid, part-time and limited-term contingent faculty, who in 2013 made up more than half of all instructors in higher education, finds an AIR study for the TIAA Institute. This trend has led to instructor salary and benefits cost reduction, but savings are modest when accounting for compensation for all types of college employees.
Uneven Access, Equal Success—Although students who come from wealthy backgrounds are far more likely to attend highly selective colleges than students from poor families, rich and poor students who go to the same college will achieve equal financial success, a new study from the Equality of Opportunity Project found. (Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 19)