It’s Our Turn: Inventing the Future of Education Together

Clare Reid has been one of the Graduate Associates for the Apprenticeship in Teaching Program at CNDLS, as well as the author of two other graphic essays for this blog, and the illustrator for our What We’re Reading series. She also recently completed the Master’s Program in English at Georgetown University. In this graphic essay, she shares an exciting and attainable vision for the future of higher education. (more…)

Higher Ed in the News: 5/24

Photo by Max Böttinger on Unsplash.

This week, two stories providing data around the disparities that exist for outcomes in higher education. You can read previous editions of this series here.

The disadvantages “nontraditional” students face

While many people think of a young adult aged 18-22 when they think of a college student, many other ages and profiles of people are pursuing their bachelor’s degree. Unfortunately, these individuals are concentrated in schools with fewer resources and also don’t have the same educational attainment as others. This inequity affects adult learners, low-income students and students of color most profoundly, according to a report by the Pell Institute written up by Sara Weissman of Inside Higher Ed.


Student Voices: Insights from the Instructional Technology Aide Program

One of the most exciting opportunities for enhancing the Georgetown experience in the virtual environment this year has been the increased incorporation of student voices in conversations around teaching and learning. Since the summer 2020 session, CNDLS has been at the helm of designing and implementing the Instructional Technology Aide (ITA) program alongside contacts at each of Georgetown’s schools. The ITA program employs student workers eligible for Federal Work Study to support professors on virtual platforms and during online classes, both synchronously and asynchronously.  (more…)

Higher Ed in the News: 5/17

Photo by Max Böttinger on Unsplash.

This week, a look at disparities in student outcomes and one school’s new approach connecting tenure to diversity, equity, and inclusion work. You can read last week’s edition of this series here.

Study on graduate outcomes finds disparities in race and gender.

Among graduates of 93% of public four-year institutions, median student earnings exceeded those of high school graduates, compared to 77% for private nonprofit schools and 69% for for-profit schools. This is according to a study by The Postsecondary Value Commission, a nonprofit advocacy group. 


What We’re Reading: The Socioeconomic Roots of Academic Faculty

A paper titled “Socioeconomic Roots of Academic Faculty” by Allison C. Morgan, Nicholas LaBerge, Daniel B. Larremore, Mirta Galesic, and Aaron Clauset, all from the University of Colorado Boulder, contained some interesting findings on the backgrounds of faculty and how they affect their career path.

A survey of over 7,000 faculty members from PhD-granting departments across eight disciplines (Computer Science, Business, History, Psychology, Physics & Astronomy, Anthropology, and Biology) noted stark differences in the percentage of faculty that have highly-educated or well-off parents compared to the general population.

The researchers concluded that half of the faculty surveyed had parents with a graduate degree and 22.2% of parents had a Ph.D. Additionally, Ph.D. holders who are faculty are twice as likely to have Ph.D. parents than Ph.D. holders who do not pursue faculty roles. Parents of faculty are also significantly more likely than the general population to live in wealthier neighborhoods and own their own house.

“Progress towards broadening participation in science will remain limited if our current definitions of meritocracy within academia implicitly favor individuals with the inherited advantages conferred by wealth and education,” the paper wrote. 

Additionally, when separating out faculty at “elite” institutions (defined as top 20 percentile in the US News World Rankings), that group was twice as likely to have Ph.D. parents compared to their peers at other institutions. The researchers noted this trend has held true going back 70 years, and that this data implies that the inequality is not limited to the pipeline into academia—it also affects their trajectories within academia. On top of that, faculty members with Ph.D. parents also experience more career support and financial support, which likely plays a role in their overrepresentation at elite schools.

Clauset, a computer science professor and an author of the paper, said on Twitter: “The intersection of the socioeconomic roots of faculty with race, gender, and geography poses broad challenges for efforts to diversify academia, and our findings highlight their intergenerational nature.”

Higher Ed in the News: 5/10

Photo by Max Böttinger on Unsplash.

This week on Higher Ed in the News, the state of campus mask mandates and private college finances. You can read last week’s edition of this series here.

Colleges are relaxing mask mandates on campus

Many schools are scaling back mask mandates in light of new guidelines from the CDC, Jeremy Bauer-Wolf reports at Higher Ed Dive. In most cases, masks may only be taken off outdoors and in relative isolation; they must be worn in large groups even outside.


What We’re Reading: University rationales for diversity highlight the structural inequalities of higher education

Artwork by Clare Reid

Universities’ motivations for pursuing diverse student bodies are mostly designed to attract and benefit white students, and this may negatively affect academic outcomes for BIPOC students, according to a recent paper by researchers Jordan G. Starck, Stacey Sinclair, and J. Nicole Shelton from Princeton University


Higher Ed in the News: 5/3

Photo by Max Böttinger on Unsplash.

This week on Higher Ed in the News, new legislation may improve institutional accountability and the increasing popularity of online learning techniques. You can read last week’s edition of this series here.


Proposed federal legislation seeks better data on student outcomes

A proposed bill that would “create a student data system” to track student outcomes in higher education is making waves in academia and political circles, according to a recent piece by Inside Higher Ed


Higher Ed in the News: 4/26

Photo by Max Böttinger on Unsplash.

This week on Higher Ed in the News, the latest on a key Education Department appointee and a call to action from university presidents in the wake of the Derek Chauvin verdict. You can read last week’s edition of this series here.

Education Department’s Higher Ed appointee Kvaal sets sights on student loans and financial aid

According to a recent piece by Higher Ed Dive, James Kvaal is on the verge of becoming the Department of Education’s “most senior department official focused on postsecondary education.” Kvaal, who previously served with the Clinton and Obama administrations in roles related to education, would be working closely with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to help the new-look ed department achieve its ambitious agenda.