New Research Alliance Spotlights Regional Public Colleges

The alliance was born out of a one-time project — which was recently published as the alliance’s first report — that quickly turned into a long-term effort. The alliance plans to publish additional reports and white papers, build accessible data sets, and advocate for regional colleges. The team also hopes that additional research partners and junior scholars will join the alliance and develop an interest in studying regional institutions.

Modeling the Spread of COVID-19 on College Campuses

Last fall, in partnership with Mathematica, the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) used agent-based modeling to inform its on-campus reopening decisions amid the pandemic. On this episode of On the Evidence, guests Ravi Goyal and Natasha Martin share lessons from using the model to predict the spread of COVID-19 in a university setting. Goyal is a senior statistician at Mathematica and an expert on epidemic modeling. Martin is an infectious disease economic modeler and an associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at UC San Diego.

‘Alarm Bells’ on First-Generation, Low-Income Applicants

The Common Application is the most widely used college application out there — with more than 900 institutions participating. No longer just used by liberal arts colleges, its members include many public institutions serving a variety of students. Newly released data about the Common App show that what has been reported anecdotally in admissions is actually occurring in large numbers. The larger and more competitive colleges and universities are having a good year and getting lots of applications. But smaller and less competitive colleges are not. And first-generation students and those who lack the money to pay for an application are not applying at the same rates they used to.

The Agile College

It’s been three years since Nathan D. Grawe’s book Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education was publisheddrawing widespread attention for detailed projections about who traditional-aged college students are likely to be in the coming decade-plus and where they will be most likely to want to enroll. This month Grawe is back with a sequel, The Agile College (Johns Hopkins University Press). The new book starts out like the previous one, with an updated set of even-more-detailed projections peering farther into the future than was previously possible, into the mid-2030s.

Panel Offers Recommendations On How Best to Recruit and Retain Faculty of Color

Faculty at minority-serving institutions are often perceived as “less than.” Damon Lewis Williams, Jr., assistant dean for diversity and inclusion at Northwestern University said that many faculty members advise their students to avoid teaching at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) because they are “too smart for that.” “Because of these experiences that they’ve had, they are more committed to changing the culture and preparing students of color at their institutions,” he said. “I challenge my colleagues to understand why certain people teach at certain institutions.” To change the narrative, graduate schools can play a role by mandating implicit bias training sessions for admissions, reevaluating the weight of Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and providing mentorship opportunities.