The lack of academic engagement in introductory science courses is considered by some to be a primary reason why students switch out of science majors. This study employed a sequential, explanatory mixed methods approach to provide a richer understanding of the relationship between student engagement and introductory science instruction. Quantitative survey data were drawn from 2,873 students within 73 introductory science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses across 15 colleges and universities, and qualitative data were collected from 41 student focus groups at eight of these institutions. The findings indicate that students tended to be more engaged in courses where the instructor consistently signaled an openness to student questions and recognizes her/his role in helping students succeed. Likewise, students who reported feeling comfortable asking questions in class, seeking out tutoring, attending supplemental instruction sessions, and collaborating with other students in the course were also more likely to be engaged. Instructional implications for improving students' levels of academic engagement are discussed.
Using a longitudinal sample of Texas high school seniors of 2002 who enrolled in college within the calendar year of high school graduation, we examine variation in college persistence according to the economic composition of their high schools, which serves as a proxy for unmeasured high school attributes that are conductive to postsecondary success. Students who graduated from affluent high schools have the highest persistence rates and those who attended poor high schools have the lowest rates. Multivariate analyses indicate that the advantages in persistence and on-time graduation from four-year colleges enjoyed by graduates of affluent high schools cannot be fully explained by high school college orientation and academic rigor, family background, pre-college academic preparedness or the institutional characteristics. High school college orientation, family background and pre-college academic preparation largely explain why graduates from affluent high schools who first enroll in two-year colleges have higher transfer rates to four-year institutions; however these factors and college characteristics do not explain the lower transfer rates for students from poor high schools. The conclusion discusses the implications of the empirical findings in light of several recent studies that call attention to the policy importance of high schools as a lever to improve persistence and completion rates via better institutional matches.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of technology commercialization on researcher practice and productivity at U.S. universities. Using data drawn from licensing contract documents and databases of university-industry linkages and faculty research output, the study findings suggest that the common practice of licensing technologies exclusively to singular firms may have a dampening effect on faculty inventor propensity to conduct published research and to collaborate with others on research. Furthermore, faculty who are more actively engaged in patenting may be less likely to collaborate with outsiders on research while faculty at public universities may experience particularly strong norms to engage in commercialization vis-à-vis traditional routes to research dissemination. These circumstances appear to be hindering innovation via the traditional mechanisms (research publication and collaboration), questioning the success of policymaking to date for the purpose of speeding the movement of research from the lab bench to society.
Targeting four institutions with structured science research programs for undergraduates, this study focuses on how underrepresented students experience science. Several key themes emerged from focus group discussions: learning to become research scientists, experiences with the culture of science, and views on racial and social stigma. Participants spoke of essential factors for becoming a scientist, but their experiences also raised complex issues about the role of race and social stigma in scientific training. Students experienced the collaborative and empowering culture of science, exhibited strong science identities and high self-efficacy, while developing directed career goals as a result of "doing science" in these programs.
Despite the many benefits of involving undergraduates in research and the growing number of undergraduate research programs, few scholars have investigated the factors that affect faculty members' decisions to involve undergraduates in their research projects. We investigated the individual factors and institutional contexts that predict faculty members' likelihood of engaging undergraduates in their research project(s). Using data from the Higher Education Research Institute's 2007-2008 Faculty Survey, we employ hierarchical generalized linear modeling to analyze data from 4,832 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) faculty across 194 institutions to examine how organizational citizenship behavior theory and social exchange theory relate to mentoring students in research. Key findings show that faculty who work in the life sciences and those who receive government funding for their research are more likely to involve undergraduates in their research project(s). In addition, faculty at liberal arts or historically Black colleges are significantly more likely to involve undergraduate students in research. Implications for advancing undergraduate research opportunities are discussed.
Using longitudinal data from the UCLA Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) and Your First College Year (YFCY) surveys, this study examines predictors of the likelihood that science-oriented students would participate in a health science undergraduate research program during the first year of college. The key predictors of participation in health science research programs are students' reliance on peer networks and whether campuses provide structured opportunities for first-year students even though only 12% of freshmen in the sample engaged in this activity. These experiences are particularly important for Black students. The findings inform efforts to orient students at an early stage, particularly under-represented minorities, toward biomedical and behavioral science research careers.
It has been long assumed that it takes some optimum size in order to obtain a sufficient critical mass to have an economy of scale operation, but there has been little substantive study of the topic. This paper looks at the relationship between enrollment and costs at colleges and universities. The question under study is whether large size provides economy of scale for operating. The question, unfortunately, is masked by the complexity of an institution. The manner in which complexity, size, costs, and enrollment interrelate is the substance of this paper. The findings suggest that curricula and complexity have an exceedingly important bearing on per-student costs.
This paper describes the trends in course-by-course grading at a large public urban university over a recent six-year period. To determine if systematic grade inflation was occurring, the study analyzed 144 individual undergraduate courses. Multiple linear regressions were fitted to more than 125,000 final course grades by courses. Most course grading patterns showed little evidence of systematic and homogeneous change over time. Hence, the increasing cumulative GPA for undergraduates at the institution studied was not caused by a general relaxing of grading standards. Rather, the supposition is that more students are moving away from traditional curricula into courses and degree programs which they find have grading standards reflecting their abilities and/or interests.
The purpose of this research is to consider the applicability of catastrophe theory to research in higher education. The review of the literature concentrates on those efforts in which the variables and their use have an analogy to higher education. Several problems which typically appear in the literature are presented in a theoretical framework, and a catastrophe theory model is attempted for each. In this way the researchers were able to consider the fundamental assumptions about a given problem and its variables and to assess, at a theoretical level, whether catastrophe theory might be an appropriate tool for analysis.
The use of statistics and ratios of institutional performance has become integral to the study of organizations in higher education. Unfortunately, analyses have been limited becausehegis data and other comprehensive statistical bases have been compiled only for recent years. This study advances the notion of cliometrics—historical statistics — as a strategy for joining the study of the past and present condition of colleges and universities. To illustrate the applications of cliometrics, case studies of enrollment, retention, and attrition for the period 1880 to 1910 at Amherst, Harvard, Transylvania, Kentucky, and The College of William and Mary were summarized. The residual finding is that careful analysis of each institution''s retention profiles prompts researchers to rethink the conventional wisdom about going to college as a cohesive, four-year experience a century ago.
Since 1925, six reputational rankings of Ph.D.-granting English departments have been published. Though almost two-thirds of such departments are located at public institutions, most of the highest-ranked departments throughout these years have been at private universities. In addition, of those highly ranked English departments in the most recent (1982) ranking that ranked higher than their universities, overall, most are private; of those highly ranked English departments that ranked lower than their universities, overall, all are public. There has been great stability since 1925 in the highest-ranked English departments, with few departments entering or leaving this group.
This article describes the aggregate financing of student aid by the federal government, state governments, and institutions over the past 25 years. The major trends in student aid funding are sketched in historical perspective with attention directed to federal program changes that precipitated funding changes. All major programs are covered, and figures are presented in current and constant dollars. Trends in the composition of aid delivered (grants, loans, and work-study) are also discussed. Over time comparisons in the numbers of recipients and aid per recipient are given by programs. Changes in educational costs are compared with changes in income and aid to show the increased difficulty for families and students to pay for higher education in the 1980s.
This study contrasts the distributions of indices of academic abilities and achievements of entering freshmen classes and of classes at the end of the first year of college over an eight-year period. The data reported are based on two groups of students: one comprised of all students who completed the ACT Assessment Program and subsequently enrolled in college, and the other group comprised of all students in the first group completing their first year of college. Data collected show a decline in ACT test scores, an increase in the high school grades of college entrants, and the stability of test scores and increases in college grades of freshmen completing their first year of college.
The study examines changes in the productivity of U.S. colleges and universities in the provision of instruction from 1967–68 to 1976–77. Combining our data with that from June O''Neill''s earlier study of the 1929–30 to 1966–67 period it is possible to observe productivity trends over a period of nearly fifty years. Our figures show declining output per unit of input from the late sixties to the late seventies, and we attribute the decline to an inability to adjust rapidly to changes in demand, the momemtum of the 1960s expansion programs, and a dramatic decline in external funding of research.
In May 1970 most American universities were exposed to the aftermath of the Cambodian incursion, the Kent State shootings, and the Jackson State shootings. These episodes occurred midway in the course of a longitudinal study of 1,858 men enrolled at 25 different universities. The obtained panel data indicate that these events produced a sharp peaking of reported war-related protests and demonstrations, as well as pervasive changes in student attitudes. However, it is concluded that most of the effects upon attitudes were relatively transient.
Institutional research has been profiled several times in the literature. These profiles have typically included only an examination of the history and functions of the profession. A different perspective of the field is obtained from a content analysis of the employment classified advertising published in theChronicle of Higher Education from 1970 through 1985. Using this technique of analysis, it is possible to compare and contrast institutional research as it appears in literature with the profile of the field obtained from the content analysis. The functions of institutional research and the qualifications of the people employed to perform these functions have changed since the advent of the profession. Institutional research, its past, the qualifications of its people, and possibilities for the future are examined in this paper.
This study compares the patterns of degree selection among women in the years 1970–71 and 1978–79. The selection pattern for women is compared with that of men; the rate at which the representation of women in a field of study changes is judged by an index of rate of change; and the redistribution of women among fields of study is analyzed. The changes in patterns of degree selection are described from several explanatory perspectives.
The present article reports a validation program at a large midwestern university using the CLEP General Examinations for Social Sciences and History, Humanities, and Natural Sciences. It outlines the various meetings and discussions that took place among the representatives of the various colleges in discussing the implications of the validation studies. It details the decision-making process followed in determining the cutoff scores and the amount of credit to be granted in satisfying the four general educational requirements at the University. It also documents some of the problems encountered in arriving at a final set of cutoff scores.
Returning to the same stratified random sample of American colleges and universities studied by Cohen and March (1974) during the 1969–1970 academic year, the authors explore the extent to which theoretical estimates of attrition rates presented by Cohen and March predict recent presidential departures within their sample. They find that in the past four years (1971–1974) there has been little change in the attrition pattern among college presidents in this national sample. If there has been any change it is very small and in the direction of slightly longer tenure among presidents of large universities.
The economic concept ofreal orconstant units of measure is utilized to assess the rate of inflation/deflation of opportunity for publication between 1972 and 1988 for the disciplines of biology, psychology, and English. Data for the study came from (1)Ulrich''s International Periodicals Directory; (2)Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature; (3)American Universities and Colleges; (4) 570 journal issues across the three disciplines; and (5) national surveys of faculty conducted in 1972, 1980, and 1988. Based on changes over time in the amount of space in which faculty can publish their research and the number of individuals competing for that space, indexes are developed that convert 1988 publication counts into 1972 equivalents. Results indicate inflation rates of 103, 85, and -45 percent for biology, psychology, and English, respectively, between 1972 and 1988. Due to these rates, faculty had to produce 14.65, 5.05, and 1.18 articles, respectively, in the two years prior to 1988 to have been as productive inreal articles as they were in the two years prior to 1972.
Universities were mandated in 1972 to expand their recruitment and hiring efforts with the intent of employing more individuals from underrepresented populations. This study presents data relating to the hiring of academic administrators over the period 1972–1979. While there appear to be substantial changes in the hiring process and in the costs of hiring, there is little evidence to support the intent of the legislation to involve more minorities in the academic leadership and management of higher education institutions.
This study examined differential enrollment, survival, progress, and academic success of both black and white first-time-in-college students according to three admission categories (unrestrictive, restrictive, and special) in predominantly white universities in the Florida State University System. Data were extracted from the Board of Regents'' student data course files and analyzed. White students were enrolled almost exclusively in the traditional (unrestrictive) category, while black students were almost equally enrolled in all three categories. Although the overall survival rate of white students was higher than that of black students, within each admission category, the survival rate of black students was higher than that of white students.
Two surveys of urban public universities, conducted in 1978 and 1987, provide a rich database for analyzing and explaining change in these institutions over a ten-year period. This report continues an analysis of trends and conditions begun in 1987. Data from a sample of urban institutions are compared to those for higher education in general; similarities and differences are noted. Particular attention is given to two dimensions of institutional development: access and graduate education. Local demographic data and economic conditions are examined as possible contributors to change or stability over the ten-year period. Findings have implications for institutional planning, particularly as it occurs in urban environments.
Growing interest in the study of the roles of scientific journals in the diffusion and utilization of knowledge has preceded fundamental research on the stability of journal characteristics frequently used in such studies. The results of the current study demonstrate rather high levels of stability for selected journal characteristics and the stability of the relationships among the characteristics over a 4-year period. These findings for education journals are compared to similar results obtained in an earlier study of psychology journals.
Although the limited past research on the effects of region on faculty salaries has presented inconsistent findings, it was expected that region would be significant in explaining faculty salaries over a seven-year period. The data had been collected from member institutions of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges in the annual faculty salary surveys during 1977–1978, 1980–1981, and 1983–1984. The data were weighted average salaries (N = 528) of new assistant, assistant, associate, and full professors in eleven grouped disciplines from four geographical regions. Analysis of variance was used to explain the variation in salaries by region, year, rank, and, to some extent, discipline. The significance level was set at .01. Year, rank, discipline, and the interaction of year and rank were found to be significant. The study revealed that since 1980 the ranges among salaries by region, rank, and discipline have been increasing.