# Innovative Higher Education

Online ISSN: 1573-1758
Print ISSN: 0742-5627
Recent publications
Instructional reform in STEM aims for the widespread adoption of evidence based instructional practices (EBIPS), practices that implement active learning. Research recognizes that faculty social networks regarding discussion or advice about teaching may matter to such efforts. But teaching is not the only priority for university faculty – meeting research expectations is at least as important and, often, more consequential for tenure and promotion decisions. We see value in understanding how research networks, based on discussion and advice about research matters, relate to teaching networks to see if and how such networks could advance instructional reform efforts. Our research examines data from three departments (biology, chemistry, and geosciences) at three universities that had recently received funding to enhance adoption of EBIPs in STEM fields. We evaluate exponential random graph models of the teaching network and find that (a) the existence of a research tie from one faculty member i\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$i$$\end{document} to another j\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$j$$\end{document} enhances the prospects of a teaching tie from i\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$i$$\end{document} to j\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$j$$\end{document}, but (b) even though faculty highly placed in the teaching network are more likely to be extensive EBIP users, faculty highly placed in the research network are not, dimming prospects for leveraging research networks to advance STEM instructional reforms.

Motivated and effective leadership is necessary for college and university presidents and even more paramount at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), given the significant impact that these institutions have on Black lives and overall equity in the nation. Using Greenleaf’s (1970) servant leadership model as a guiding framework, we examine why aspiring leaders want to lead and serve HBCUs. Based on interviews with 26 aspiring Black leaders, our findings revealed that being a graduate of an HBCU, the impact of the HBCU experience, an interest in paying the HBCU experience forward and believing in the HBCU mission are factors that contribute to why aspiring leaders want to become HBCU presidents. Based on our findings, we provide concrete recommendations for future researchers and practitioners.

University-industry collaborations have been largely met with skepticism and resistance from faculty critics, who are concerned about the Academy adopting market-like behaviors and relying too heavily on industry. Yet, the pressures to engage in collaborations with industry, particularly to provide capital for universities, are likely to continue to increase. Guided by the capital-skill hypothesis, this study seeks to examine these realities through a case of a university-industry collaboration. We use an action research approach to analyze a collaboration between an academic college with a non-corporate centric focus at a public research university and a corporate entity within the healthcare field in which the college was contracted to develop a diversity, equity, and inclusion plan for the healthcare company. Findings illustrate how universities and industry can mutually benefit from collaborations when they adhere to what the authors refer to as the complementarity investment framework . Generated from the findings, this framework consists of four UIC design components: (a) the parties identify and clarify their roles, activities, and contributions to manage expectations; (b) the parties participate in learning exchanges, which are significantly valued as a component to this UIC; (c) the parties are open to experiences including unintended, yet positive, outcomes emerging from the UIC; and (d) the parties capitalize on the expert development by guiding and mentoring students as apprentices.

This study focuses on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on research and scholarship at a research university in the United States. Building on studies in higher education policy, we conceptualized the COVID-19 pandemic as a ‘wicked problem’ that is complex, nonlinear, unique, and requiring urgent solutions. Wicked problems highlight pre-existing struggles, and therefore, recent challenges in higher education inform the methods and the findings of this study. Qualitative and quantitative survey data from 408 faculty, staff, and students explicate the reasons for reduced research output and adaptations made for increased or sustained productivity, health, and wellness that influenced research activities. The analysis showed that most respondents experienced reduced productivity mostly due to increased work responsibilities, limited access to research fields, and inadequate resources. Despite self-reported reduced productivity, participants from the University we studied experienced increases in funding during the pandemic. Thus, the findings also reported on the adaptations for sustained or increased productivity. These included new research pursuits, participation in conference and learning opportunities across geographic regions, and purchase of computer equipment/accessories for home offices. A small percentage of respondents mentioned improved health and well-being; however, many linked reduced research activities to health and well-being issues such as anxiety and fear about the pandemic and being overwhelmed due to work and home-life expectations. Knowledge of the challenges and opportunities presented within the first year of the pandemic can provide a basis for solutions to wicked problems higher education may face in the future.

This article develops a two way of a scholarship of practice for independent college and university presidents: one loop from practitioners to researchers and the other loop from researchers to practitioners. We used the results of survey completed by presidents of independent institutions in California, New York, and Tennessee to develop this two-way loop that includes a practitioner defined research agenda for use by researchers and channels of communication to convey the results of such research to practitioners.

Doctoral students’ program non-completion continues to be a worldwide phenomenon. Given the challenges across the globe following the 2020-22 pandemic, we need scholarly and skilled PhD and education (EdD) doctoral program graduates. A place to look for retention improvement is by studying what students learn and how they are taught in their university doctoral programs. One purpose of this case study was to describe how 12 EdD students in a program seminar responded to instruction in research and writing strategies during their first year of a four-year program. The second purpose was to examine student responses to formative assessments and describe and explain ongoing instructional adjustments using a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) framework within our own faculty community of practice. Analysis of surveys and student work indicated that writing and research strategies were instructive, engaging, and useful in building research and writing foundations. Analysis of multiple formative assessments helped us refine our instructional strategies during the year. Because all students completed the first high stakes program milestone (comprehensive paper) in year two, our findings suggested that the seminar’s instructional strategies established a foundation for student success and timely program progress. Using multiple formative assessments over time was critical in strengthening our teaching practice as well. We recommended instructional practices associated with student research and writing skill development as well as student progress and retention.

Research has shown that linear relationships do not adequately represent publication and citation measurement behavior. They are much more curvilinear than that. However, we tend to try to look to citation counts linearly to draw outcomes about productivity. This study examines bibliometric and altmetric measures for emerging and senior scholars to see if power law behavior helps explain patterns for both of these groups. Findings indicating the presence of the power law for both groups suggests the majority of work receives few references while a select few works receive the majority of references. Alternative best fit transformations of the data are also detailed.

The present study explores the impact of smartphone use on course comprehension and the psychological well-being of students during class. Students in four classes (N = 106) were assigned to either a control group or quasi-experimental group. Students in the quasi-experimental group were instructed to place their smartphones on the front desk upon entering the class, while the control group had no instructions regarding smartphone use. Students filled out a brief survey about their course comprehension and psychological state (anxiety and mindfulness) during class. Results indicated that students whose smartphones were physically removed during class had higher levels of course comprehension, lower levels of anxiety, and higher levels of mindfulness than the control group. This study gives a comprehensive picture of the impact of smartphone use on students’ psychological well-being in the classroom. The findings can aide educators in curriculum design that reduces technology use in order to improve the student learning experience.

The focus of this work is to examine the relationship between subjective and objective measures of prestige of journals in our field. Findings indicate that items pulled from Clarivate, Elsevier, and Google all have statistically significant elements related to perceived journal prestige. Just as several widely used bibliometric metrics related to prestige, so were altmetric scores.

Fifteen bibliometric research studies were published between 1979—2019 on articles published in journals focusing on higher education and student affairs. This study used the data science tool Altmetric Explorer for Institutions to answer research questions and complete article-level analyses on research impacts, subject area patterns of research topics, and sources and predictors of online attention. The data source was articles published in the Journal of College Student Development (JCSD) between 2007–2022 (N = 451) and six articles represented 67.7% of the research impact of all 451 articles. Multiple regression analyses investigated relationships between 17 online sources and attention scores for individual research articles. Seven predictors accounted for 99% of the variance in online sources and attention scores for JCSD articles. The results demonstrated the types of insights into research utilization that are possible using altmetrics; a deeper understanding of the audiences for research, dynamic developments of this attention, and new knowledge about the wide array of additional forms of research impact that are occurring beyond the limited scope of subsequent journal article citation counts.

This critical qualitative study illuminates how racially minoritized LGBTQ + faculty in the field of higher education navigate racist and heterosexist systems, leading to inordinate challenges related to tenure and promotion and deteriorating health and well-being. This system of higher education fosters isolation, hostility, racial battle fatigue, and LGBTQ + erasure offering limited support, negative institutional environments, and insufficient mentoring for faculty with multiple minoritized identities. With intersectionality as the theoretical foundation of this research, three themes emerged from the data including problematizing productivity, exposing tokenization, and the costs of staying in the academy. I posit that refusal is a necessary strategy for racially minoritized LGBTQ + faculty who navigate the neoliberal institution.

Despite the relative youth of bibliometric web platforms (Google Scholar was released in 2004), they play an increasingly significant role in the assessment of the impact of scholars and the research they produce. This scholarly essay provides a thorough review of the literature on bibliometric platforms, the extent to which they make available relevant manuscripts for inclusion in research, and their use for the assessment of scholarly work. We describe the metrics found on common bibliometric platforms, proposed metrics not commonly found in platforms, and how those metrics may differ based on scholar race and gender. We identify pitfalls of citation metrics present on bibliometric platforms. Finally, we identify areas for expansion of the research on bibliometric platforms and development of new metrics.

In this article, we consider faculty perceptions of journal prestige specific to the field of higher education administration research. Findings indicate stability in journal prestige rankings over time, and highlight journal criteria that faculty find most important to prestige.

Due to time constraints and faculty resources, one-semester research methods courses, especially mixed methods, often do not result in meaningful student-produced work that contributes to scholarly literature. As publishing increasingly becomes expected for graduate students, instructors may seek ways to incorporate publishing opportunities into course curriculum. This case study presents one instructor’s collaborative teaching and publishing model along with graduate student feedback and recommendations for reproducibility of the course model. The model described in the course-based research model vignette was designed to give students practical experience working with raw data, presenting preliminary findings, navigating the IRB process, drafting a manuscript, determining authorship, and identifying and submitting the manuscript to a journal. Acknowledging the importance of and the challenges to graduate student publishing, the instructor in this case study sought to reduce some of the barriers for students. Post-course, the researchers employed a single-case study methodology that includes elements of participatory action research to answer research questions about student participants’ learning experiences related to conducting a collaborative mixed methods study and the research and publishing process. The interview protocol included questions about the participants’ perceptions about the success of the collaborative teaching methods to teach mixed methods research, their prior experience with research projects, and their interest and engagement with the publishing process during and after the course. The discussion includes practical information for instructors interested in implementing a similar model.

This study identifies the top 1% of highly-cited researchers at non-Research colleges and universities in the United States and explores the attributes of these researchers and their institutions that help predict their success. Data for the non-Research schools was collected from the National Center of Education Statistics, while citation data were collected via Google Scholar. The findings of this study indicate that, though faculty employed at public institutions outnumber those at private schools, there are roughly equal numbers of highly-cited researchers at both types of institutions. Large universities are responsible for producing more highly-cited researchers than smaller schools, though small schools outnumber large ones. West coast and Northeast institutions produce an outsized number of highly-cited researchers compared to the Midwest and South. Gender and discipline are the strongest predictors of highly-cited researchers, where men strongly outnumber women and researchers in natural science disciplines outnumber those in the social sciences and humanities. These findings may be helpful in identifying the most prolific non-Research institutions in terms of research productivity and acclaim, as well as increasing understanding of attributes that relate to an increased number of highly-cited researchers.

Using five years of publishing data from the Journal of Higher Education, we describe the publication pipeline at the journal, explore trends with respect to topic, the geographic distribution of authors, and each paper's methodological approach. Following the presentation of these trends, we discuss implications for the field of higher education and those publishing within it.

There is a range of barriers to postsecondary access and success for undocumented college students in the United States. Considering these barriers, scholars, practitioners, and activists alike have called on institutions of higher education to enhance their capacity to serve, support, and advocate for undocumented students. One way that institutions are responding to this call is by establishing Undocumented Student Resource Centers (USRCs). There is an emerging body of scholarship on the function and importance of USRCs on college campuses in the United States. Yet, there remains a dearth in the literature on the experiences of the higher education professionals committed to coordinating or directing these identity-based centers. This exploratory qualitative study relies on the voices and stories of USRC professionals to understand their self-described roles and responsibilities as well as what keeps them motivated to continue serving, supporting, and advocating for undocumented students.

Research has examined the influence of a graduate student matching their advisor’s demographic characteristics on a variety of outcomes, but comparatively few studies have examined students’ preferences concerning such matching. Using data from a national survey of U.S. graduate students in five natural and social science disciplines, the analyses examine the importance students place on matching their advisor on three focal characteristics: gender, race, and religion. Overall, the analyses also find that the importance a student places on matching on one characteristic tends to be positively associated with the importance they place on matching on other characteristics. On gender-matching, the analyses find that female graduate students are more likely than male students to place importance on gender matching, but a majority still indicate that it is not at all important. However, a majority of Black students place importance on matching their advisor’s race. Few students place any importance on religion matching, even among those who identify with a religion. While not discounting some groups’ greater preference for matching their advisor’s characteristics, these findings suggest that graduate programs should not assume that such preferences are universal or even particularly strong.

Most postsecondary instructors in the United States require students to use textbooks in their courses; however, the cost of commercial materials has increased, and copyright policies impede sharing, editing, and customizations of materials. The current study aimed to examine faculty motivation to adopt Open Educational Resources (OER) and how OER use relates to effective teaching practices. Survey data from 469 professors, instructors, lecturers, and research scientists were analyzed using structural equation modeling, which found that autonomous motivation (engagement with OER textbooks based on enjoyment, value) was the strongest positive predictor of current and future OER textbook use. However, use of OER textbooks was not related to self-reported teaching success. The results of this study contribute to better understanding faculty perceptions of and motivation for OER textbook use, along with informing OER adoption initiatives at postsecondary institutions. Postsecondary students are negatively affected by the high expense of commercial course materials in numerous ways. Higher education students spent an average of \$1,200 on books and supplies in the 2018-2019 academic year (The College Board, 2019). Students who cannot afford the materials for multiple courses in each term may enroll in fewer courses, extending their time to graduation. Also, rather than personally having current versions of required textbooks, students may

While higher education scholars have become progressively more interested in employing critical approaches within quantitative research, there is a significant need to improve our understanding about the dissemination and publication of such work. Drawing from a systematic scoping review of 15 years of published higher education literature that integrates quantitative methods and critical inquiry, this article examines 45 manuscripts explicitly using quantitative criticalist or QuantCrit (i.e., quantitative critical race theory) perspectives. Specifically, we investigate which outlets published the included articles, scope and metrics of each outlet, and disciplinary (mis)alignment between contributing authors and publishing outlets. Findings reveal important trends about the uptick in published scholarship using critical quantitative approaches, the equity-focused scope of outlets that have published the majority of manuscripts in our sample, and how scholars’ disciplinary training and affiliation may be associated with publication trends. Given that publication processes may serve as a gatekeeping mechanism in academic knowledge dissemination, we conclude with implications for faculty holding power in publishing outlets (e.g., on editorial boards) as well as scholars engaging quantitative criticalism and QuantCrit in higher education.

This study aimed to analyze the influence of academic motivation on procrastination and, in turn, to examine the impact of procrastination on academic achievement, on the grounds of self-determination theory. Undergraduate students (N = 928) completed a sociodemographic and academic survey, the Tuckman Procrastination Scale, and the Academic Motivation Scale. Path-analysis findings revealed procrastination was negatively and significantly predicted by intrinsic motivation toward stimulating experiences, intrinsic motivation towards achievement, and extrinsic motivation external regulation. Further, procrastination was positively predicted by intrinsic motivation to know, extrinsic motivation identified regulation, extrinsic motivation introjected regulation, and amotivation. In turn, procrastination negatively predicted academic achievement. Overall, combining components of motivational interventions could aid in tailoring higher education interventions that seek to decrease procrastination and reduce the impact of this variable on academic achievement. Discussion of findings continues in light of previous literature concerning the relationship between motivation and procrastination.

In this study, we explore how first-generation status and type of research experience are associated with undergraduate students’ research self-efficacy and research outcome expectancy during their early research experiences using the framework of social cognitive career theory. Third- and fourth-year undergraduates (n = 242, 45% first-generation) at an urban public research university in the southern United States completed the Research Self-Efficacy Scale (RSES) and the Research Outcome Expectancy Questionnaire (ROEQ). Structural equation modeling results indicated that participation in mentored research activities outside of class was positively related to student research self-efficacy and research outcome expectations. First-generation status was not significantly related to research self-efficacy or research outcome expectations. High research self-efficacy was related to higher research outcome expectancy for all RSES subscales. For all students, participating in mentored research experiences beyond in-class research assignments was predictive of higher research self-efficacy and outcome expectancy, with higher research self-efficacy acting as a mediator between mentored research experiences and research outcome expectancy. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

In this paper, we examine the relationships between overall institutional faculty diversity and law student diversity at institutions with Top 14 law schools and Association of American Universities (AAU) member institutions with law schools over the past decade. We chose to examine these institutions because they are arguably the most influential and have the greatest likelihood to produce students who become university professors (Gasman, 2022). In addition, their graduates are more likely to become prominent judges, politicians, and attorneys (Deo, 2019). The paper includes 12 major findings, including: Diversity at higher ranking law schools shows more law student diversity in contrast to law schools that are ranked lower. It appears that law students of color tend to attend higher ranked law schools as a preference upon decision to attend law school.

Geography of opportunity research has identified places with few or no college options: so-called “education deserts.” This study extends this geography of opportunity research, exploring how geographical constraints affect students’ choices, particularly the choice to attend a for-profit college. Using the Education Longitudinal Study 2002 (ELS: 2002) and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we measure the number of college options within students’ commuting zones in the United States. When there are any for-profit colleges in a commuting zone, students are more likely to attend them and less likely to attend community colleges. Additionally, when there are any public two-year colleges in a commuting zone, there is a negligible impact on enrollment in for-profit colleges. This finding shows evidence of public-private competition and crowd-out in post-secondary education. Also, the presence of community colleges within education deserts makes community colleges a more favorable choice over for-profit colleges.

Learning communities for college students have been shown to improve first-year student outcomes and narrow equity gaps, but longer-term data to evaluate whether these benefits persist through multi-year retention and graduation are rare. This is especially important for students in science, technology, engineering and math, who often confront gateway courses and challenging academic cultures in their second and subsequent years. Here, we report on the second, third, and fourth year academic outcomes of three cohorts of a first-year placed-based learning community. Relative to a reference group, participants in the learning community generally showed similar grade acquisition in second- and third-year STEM courses, and initially higher GPAs for learning community participants later diminished to be statistically indistinguishable from the reference group. Nonetheless, units completed after one, two, and three years were slightly higher for learning community participants than for the reference group, and with narrower equity gaps. The learning community also increased and narrowed equity gaps in second- and third-year retention at the institution and in STEM specifically (+6 to +17%). Four-year graduation rates from the institution and in STEM specifically also increased (+8 to +17%), but equity gaps were only narrowed slightly. These results suggest that while benefits of first-year learning communities on grades decline over time, benefits for retention and graduation can persist, though they are insufficient to erase equity gaps. Future work should examine how scaffolding practices in students’ second and third years can better sustain and even magnify inclusive success improvements initiated by first year learning communities.

Doctoral students in education-related fields are required to take graduate level statistics courses and often face anxiety and negative attitudes about taking these courses. Using a mixed methods survey research design (N = 95), this study explored students’ experiences with statistics anxiety and how course instructors can support them to mitigate statistics anxiety and improve attitudes. Analyses of quantitative survey data found that students who had never taken a statistics course before beginning their doctoral program, and students that had completed less doctoral coursework had higher negative attitudes towards learning statistics; and older students had higher statistics anxiety. Plans to use research in the future predicted more positive attitudes and lower statistics anxiety. Analysis of qualitative survey data found that students: (1) expressed that their attitude towards learning statistics was very important and played a big role in how they approached their coursework; (2) considered their plans to use research skills in the future as motivation to learn statistics; and (3) believed that their instructors’ attitudes and instructional practices supported learning and decreased statistics anxiety. This study has implications for how statistics and research methods courses are taught in higher education, and how the experiences of graduate students in education may have lasting implications for research use in Prek-12 education settings.

In this essay, we conduct a review of the ways in which Google Scholar, Scopus, and other bibliometric tools may prove useful for faculty in tenure and promotion decisions. We begin with an examination of literature from multiple disciplines on the use of bibliometric platforms. We then examine the metrics provided by these platforms for citation analysis and determine their relative strengths and weaknesses. We provide a quantitative descriptive analysis of the differences in metrics across 1,840 faculty in six disciplines across 40 institutions in eight different Carnegie Classifications. The work concludes with recommendations for supplementary metrics and a call for tenure and promotion committees to augment the additional metrics we present with other forms of colleague recognition of the scholarship tenure and promotion candidates.

Transdisciplinary (TD) graduate training programs are growing in number, yet little is known about their effectiveness or the development of TD attitudes and behaviors among students over time. This prospective longitudinal mixed methods study compares graduate students participating in a federally funded TD training program with non-participating students from the same disciplines and degree programs (n = 26). The Interdisciplinary Perspectives Index (IPI) and Behavior Change Collaborative Activity Index (BCCAI) were used to assess TD attitudes and behaviors at beginning, middle, and end of an MPH/PhD program. Additionally, a multiple case-based approach was used to further analyze changes among the TD students at three time points (n = 10), including a novel sketch protocol to elicit TD student conceptualizations (mental maps) of TD teams. Four assessments were used to construct an overall TD orientation score. Wilcoxon Signed Rank Tests showed TD behaviors increased over time only among TD students, and favorable TD attitudes were high at baseline and did not change for any group. Generalized Estimating Equations showed that TD behaviors were higher among TD students than traditional students at both mid and endpoint, with no difference at baseline. Visual assessments showed TD students’ mental maps of TD research and team science, elicited under a novel sketch protocol, reflected greater integration and organization by endpoint. Two developmental patterns of increasing overall TD orientation emerged among the TD students. This article reports findings and insights applicable to TD graduate education and curriculum design and introduces a novel visual assessment tool.

To address the mounting concern about the validity of student self-reported data, this study relies on official matriculation records to gauge the effect of classroom diversity on student dropout risk. Using panel data to track the 4-year dropout risk of a cohort of new first-year students (N = 3545) at a public research university, we employ a discrete-time-to-event history model to estimate the marginal effect of classroom ethnic-racial composition while controlling for both time-variant and time-invariant student-level and classroom-level factors on demographics, precollege preparation, college academic experience, campus living arrangement, and financial aid support. The study finds: 1) The effect of classroom ethnic-racial composition during a student’s enrollment spell varies across student ethnic-racial identity, first-generation status, and level of academic preparation of classroom peers; exposure to Asian classmates is associated with a lower dropout risk for Black students, while exposure to underrepresented minority classmates (excluding Asians) is associated with lower dropout risk for Hispanic, Native American, multi-ethic, and first-generation students. 2) Semester-to-semester rise in exposure to Asian classmates is associated with a lower dropout risk for Black students. 3) Observed effects of classroom ethnic-racial composition do not vary significantly with enrollment in diversity-focused courses. 4) Estimated effect sizes of ethnic-racial classroom composition are very small in comparison to effects of student academic engagement and success. Thus, the nexus between diversity and academic persistence is moderated by a host of factors, both time variant and invariant, and is difficult to leverage operationally due to observed small effects and student discretionary behavior.

One of the major issues related to critical thinking in higher education consists of how educators teach and inspire students to develop greater critical thinking skills. The current study was conducted to explore whether Decision-based Learning (DBL), an innovative teaching method, can enhance students’ critical thinking skills. This mixed methods ex-post facto study aimed to identify the areas of overlap between DBL and critical thinking components based on an empirically tested framework. The study was conducted at a large, private university in the western United States with two instructors and 89 undergraduate students. Data were collected via DBL publications, course midterm exam scores, and instructor interviews. Since this was an ex post facto study, the exam items were not initially written to target critical thinking skills as defined by the critical thinking framework we chose. An analysis was done on the cognitive processes elicited by the exam items after the fact, and it was found that they elicited three of the six skills described in this framework. In addition, participation in DBL activities related to statistically significant higher exam scores on these items after controlling for a standardized pre-test taken by both treatment and control groups prior to beginning the course. The effect sizes were large in favor of the DBL courses. In addition, two instructors reported their perspectives on the critical thinking skills exhibited by their students using DBL. The evidence collected across these three sources of information supports a connection between DBL and four of the six critical thinking components within the framework we selected.

This study seeks to identify dimensions of the academic work environment that affect mid-career faculty vitality. Previous research suggests that mid-career faculty may struggle to maintain their vitality, as they are susceptible to high levels of burnout and extensive workload demands. We distributed an online survey to a random sample of 300 tenured faculty who were employed at three public comprehensive universities. Mid-career faculty (N=30) with the highest scores on a vitality survey measure were invited to participate in individual interviews. Study findings highlight the importance of creating vitality-enhancing work environments for mid-career faculty. In addition to identifying collegiality as a contributor to mid-career vitality, the study findings reveal specific sources of vitality-enhancing collegiality, including informal relationships in academic departments, participation in faculty development programs, and support and messaging from top-level academic leaders. Additionally, this study found that public comprehensive university missions served as a compelling basis for establishing collegial relationships and sustaining faculty vitality.

A growing body of research examines the experiences of the Latinx population in the Nuevo South in the U.S., however, Higher Education scholarship on the experiences of the Latinx student population that grew up and attend college in this region is scarce. Situated within the context of the Nuevo South, this study examined Latinx college students’ perspectives on how much their state values their presence in relation to how they ethnically identify and explored their definitions of social justice and equity. Results revealed Latinx students do not feel that their state values the presence of the Latinx community. Further, study participants demonstrated limited understandings of the meaning of equity and social justice and showed minimal variability across institutions and Latinx ethnic groups. Results also suggest the sociopolitical context of the Nuevo South influences participants’ understandings of these terms, which manifest in positive, disparaging, and mixed sentiments. Implications for research and practice are provided.

The emergence of university LGBTQ+ resources over the last couple of decades indicates promising movement toward fuller engagement of minoritized students in higher education. Despite this growth, LGBTQ+ communities continue to experience marginalization, even on campuses with dedicated services. This critical discourse analysis advances a conceptualization of digital campus climate by exploring how three institutions represent their LGBTQ+ resources through their university-sponsored webpages. We leverage the Campus Pride Index as a lens for understanding how institutional webpages align with best practices and convey a richer understanding of digital campus climate. Findings illustrated the burden LGBTQ+ resource centers undertake as they work to serve their campus communities through intentional partnerships and institutional policies to support LGBTQ+ communities. Implications for research and practice reveal considerations for how colleges and universities may enhance their digital campus climate, as well as strategies for improving practice through purposeful applications of the Campus Pride Index and enhanced digital presence for college and university LGBTQ+ resource centers.

Anticipating the deleterious effects of pandemic mitigation protocols on faculty’s research and creative work, many universities introduced mechanisms for pre-tenured faculty to receive tenure clock extensions. Unlike most stop-the-clock extensions, which occur on an individual basis, the stop-the-tenure-clock during COVID-19 was a mass-triggering event that applied to all faculty. Informed by social role theory, we examined this unique situation of stop-the-tenure clock decisions by faculty at two different universities within the same state system. Institutional level demographic and field of study data on faculty decision making at one high research activity university (n = 97) and one very high research activity university (n = 387) were examined at two time points; a first tenure-clock stop opportunity and a second tenure-clock stop opportunity. Results show that although the overall rates of clock-stops were much larger at the research-intense university, the characteristics of who was most likely to accept or opt out of the first tenure-clock stop were similar at both universities. Ethnic minoritized faculty at both universities had greater odds of accepting the clock-stop. Results also showed that at both universities, women were somewhat more likely to accept the first tenure clock extension, and exploratory follow-up shows this gendered decision manifested differently depending on field of study. Relatively few faculty accepted the second tenure clock-stop. Our findings provide a portrait of who accepts or declines tenure clock extensions with important implications for downstream effects on equity within the academy.

Developing student critical thinking skills is a core purpose of higher education, and requires the cognitive and disposition components of critical thinking to be fostered. The present study aims to examine the relationship between disposition towards critical thinking and engagement in higher education students. Participants were 836 students from two universities in Spain. Results showed a direct and positive relationship between student critical thinking disposition and several aspects of student engagement, such as reflective learning and participation in high-impact practices. These results could inform general pedagogical practices within the higher education curriculum so as to foster critical thinking disposition among future graduates.

This article reports findings from a study of laboratory-styled humanities undergraduate research (UR) programming designed to increase access to this high-impact practice, better reaching historically excluded students and less visible institutions. The Humanities Collaboratory (HLAB) is a ten-week summer research program that emerged from the partnership of a research university and the area community college system. Aimed at actively addressing educational inequity, and the more specific lack of access humanities students have to impactful UR opportunities, HLAB offers an intensive humanities research experience to first-generation students, low-income students, and Students of Color currently enrolled in two-year colleges, HBCUs, MSIs, and HSIs. Since the program’s creation in 2018, qualitative data collected from 50 participating students over three years of self-evaluations illustrates why HLAB presents a significant learning opportunity for students and highlights the critical importance of relationship-building in UR. Analyzing students’ responses through the heuristic of communities of practice provides insight into a community-focused UR pedagogy that emphasizes relationality among students, mentors, and institutions. Students detail the importance of collaborative skill-building, opportunities for peer support, networking connections, and possibilities for more holistic personal growth in UR experiences. Our findings describing the benefits of relational UR signal the need for cooperative programming designs that increase access to undergraduate research for humanities students across institutions of higher education.

Given the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the forced adoption of online teaching in several academic institutions across the world, we set out an objective in this paper to examine salient factors that may affect the decision to use online teaching by faculty members (teaching staff). We propose and validate a model based on an extended innovation diffusion theory and 284 online survey responses from Ghana and find that the attitude towards online teaching is predictably influenced by relative advantage and observability. Contrary to theory, complexity boosts rather than inhibits the attitude towards online teaching. The most salient predictors of willingness to use the mode of online teaching are attitude, observability, institutional trust, and compatibility. We conclude with discussions on the important implications for the scientific community and educational policymakers.

The present mixed-methods study provides insight into how students in higher education describe and form multiplex relationships in a cohort of students attending a commuter college, thereby improving our understanding of the complex relationships within student groups and their relation to learning. The main aim was to understand the student experience of networking with other students, particularly how commuter students perceive their academic multiplex relationships. Relational data were collected in a cohort of students ( n = 109), complemented by 15 semi-structured interviews. One main finding was that students perceived that their largely homophilous multiplex relationships were central to academic achievement, but if students also had limited friendship relations these multiplex relationships could limit students’ academic experience. Another finding was how orientation week and group work done during the first semester mainly supported the formation of multiplex networks but were also perceived as barriers by some students. Likewise, commuting both scaffolded network building and became a barrier, especially for students with an immigrant background. One important implication for curriculum development is that faculty cannot leave relationship building to the students alone. A strategic model is discussed that supports emerging multiplex relationships, which can lead to gains in learning, retention, and integration.

The categorization of predominantly white institutions (PWIs) and minority serving institutions (MSIs) affects the distribution of resources, privileges, and inequities in higher education. As PWIs increasingly tout having “majority-minority” student bodies and take on enrollment-based MSI statuses due to demographic shifts, it remains unclear how these institutions will disrupt the dominant ideologies of privilege and whiteness that have been pervasive throughout their history in order to create positive campus environments for people of color. Using Ray’s (American Sociological Review, 84(1), 26–53, 2019) theory of racialized organizations as a sociological framework to test these dynamics, we aimed to interrogate the organizational identity of PWIs transitioning to MSI. Through a comparative content analysis of existing PWI and MSI literature, we established the dominant features of each institution type and provided implications of the power dynamics as PWIs increasingly take on MSI characteristics. Given that enrollment-based MSIs gain eligibility to apply for federal grant funding, regardless of intentions to better serve students of color, the ways that PWIs are privileged throughout the literature have implications for institutional actors, policymakers, and scholars alike.

There to date exists limited research on how emotion regulation shapes students’ emotional experiences and academic development in higher education. The purpose of this study was to address this gap by examining how students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) degree programs (N = 174) use emotion regulation strategies related to their achievement emotions, approaches to learning, and exam performance. Data was collected across four phases pertaining to a required STEM course at the beginning of the semester, while studying for a midterm exam, and within 48 h following the exam. Results suggested that while emotion regulation while studying did not predict students’ emotions more than control and value appraisals, their emotion regulation specific to the exam predicted their emotions above and beyond control and value appraisals. Findings also showed cognitive reappraisal to correspond with more positive emotions, less negative emotions, more complex approaches to learning, and better exam performance. Conversely, suppression was associated with poorer exam performance. Results additionally showed that associations between cognitive reappraisal and emotions were stronger during exams than while studying. Overall, these findings indicate that how post-secondary students choose to regulate their emotions in STEM degree programs has important implications for how they feel, learn, and perform.

Career and technical education (CTE) and college preparation curriculum in high school are often treated as mutually exclusive options rather than integrated, symbiotic tracks. However, increasingly career fields require some postsecondary education, and access to four-year college degrees are important for long-term earnings and mobility. In this two-year case study, we examined how 16 juniors enrolled in a CTE high school described and perceived their college and career aspirations. Our findings revealed that participants saw vocational and academic goals as mutually beneficial but experienced them through distinctive pathways, a disconnect amplified by a lack of resources in our sample site. While mechanisms to promote college-going existed, they were often only available to subsets of students and of limited utility. From this research, we suggest that the education system should expand dual enrollment opportunities, provide mentorship of diverse career possibilities, and begin integration between college and career planning earlier in students’ schooling. Moreover, we examine the possibilities demonstrated by this case study for K-16 pathways and how postsecondary institutions can meaningfully engage with CTE schools to support this integration.

Extensive research suggests that ideal worker and mothering expectations have long constrained academic mothers’ personal and professional choices. This article explores how academic mothers experienced their dual roles amid the unprecedented shift in the work-life landscape due to COVID-19. Content analysis of questionnaire data (n = 141) suggests that academic mothers experienced significant bidirectional work-life conflict well into the fall of 2020. Increased home demands, such as caring for young children and remote schooling, interfered with their perceived capacity to meet ideal academic norms, including a singular focus on work, productivity standards, and their ability to signal job competency and commitment. Likewise, work demands reduced their perceived ability to meet ideal mothering norms, such as providing a nurturing presence and focusing on their children’s achievement. Academic fathers experienced increased demands on their time but primarily described intra-role conflict within the work domain. Despite a pandemic landscape, ideal academic and mothering norms remained persistent and unchanged. The article concludes with implications for policy and practice in higher education.

Despite the emergence of new scholarship, public higher education boards in the United States remain relatively under-investigated. While the literature on higher education governance and boards, in particular, tends to profess these knowledge gaps repeatedly, few works have scratched the surface as to why our understanding of boards is so limited. In this paper, the authors move past the acknowledgment that boards are vastly understudied to reflect on why that is the case. Using a case study centered on interviews with governance scholars, the authors highlight findings of logistical, theoretical, methodological, and epistemological rationale that have prevented governing boards from being studied in a manner, depth, and scope on par with their import in higher education. The authors present the case that researchers must first recognize and then identify ways to address and overcome these challenges to innovate research in the field of governance, particularly in a higher education environment in which boards are more visible. Implications for future research are provided.

It is estimated that over a third of college students switch majors at least once (Astorne-Figari & Speer, Economics of Education Review 70:75–93, 2019), but the impact of this switching behavior on students’ pathways towards a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) degree are not well understood. In this study, using panel data from the Pathways through College Research Network, we explore how initial science identity-related beliefs about math and science recognition relate to students’ STEM major plans over time- that is are students more likely to maintain their plan, switch among STEM majors, or leave STEM fields altogether? We account for students’ motivational beliefs in pursuing STEM, their experiences of high-impact practices on campus, and the “additive effect” of credit accrual on persistence and maintaining aspirations. Using competing risk event history analysis, we test influential factors in the decision to leave a STEM major or switch among STEM majors in the first three years of undergraduate education at three institutions (n = 518). We observe that credit accrual was significantly related to lower odds of students either leaving or switching, and that different forms of science and math recognition predict significant differences in odds of switching among and leaving STEM majors. We observe significantly different sets of influences on switching and leaving behaviors which suggests that students who depart STEM might be fundamentally different from students who switch among fields, but who do not stay in their original field of interest.

Service blueprinting is a service design technique commonly used by for-profit organizations to illustrate and enhance customer experiences. This article describes an extensive service blueprinting initiative conducted at a large public research institution in the U.S. using a case study methodology. The case included the creation of 114 service blueprints by staff members across 29 departments to enhance non-academic student experiences. Data sources included interviews, observations, archival data, and artifacts. The researcher details the methods and benefits of service blueprinting as they apply to services in a higher education context. In addition to describing the case and the short-term and longer-term consequences of the large-scale blueprinting initiative, the article includes a series of recommendations for university administrators seeking to improve student satisfaction and student-centeredness.

The faculty sabbatical leave has been present in many institutions of higher education since its inception at Harvard University in 1880 but is relatively underexamined in the literature related to the outcomes not only to the institution but also to the faculty member. This study included interviews with 12 faculty members at one research university in the U.S. to better understand their perceptions of their sabbatical experiences in relation to the model of faculty professional growth. Findings underscored that faculty were agentic in their learning, the professional relationships they sought out to do this learning, as well as the commitments they made in this learning and growth, including that of their own work-life balance.

Top-cited authors
• University of Kentucky