NotesFAQContact Us
Collection
Advanced
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED574361
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 20
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Degrees with Less Debt: Effective Higher Education Strategies for Underrepresented Student Populations. Executive Summary. IERC 2017-2
Holt, Janet K.; White, Bradford R.; Terrell, Sarah K.
Illinois Education Research Council
In 2016, a higher education task force of St. Louis Graduates (STLG), a collaborative network whose mission is to increase degree completion for low income students, first-generation students, and students of color from St. Louis, commissioned this study from the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC). Through discussion, the following goals were established for this project: (1) identify those higher education institutions that are more successful in supporting and graduating underrepresented students from the St. Louis region; and (2) determine the strategies that institutions are using to graduate underrepresented students with less debt. The higher education landscape is becoming increasingly more adverse for students of color, first-generation students, and low-income students. College affordability, or lack thereof, is cited as the primary reason students are not able to complete their degrees. Given this context this study was undertaken to determine successful college completion strategies for low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color. The ultimate goal was to identify practices for graduating underrepresented students with less debt and to share those strategies and practices with other institutions. This could ultimately create a network of colleges and universities using evidence-based strategies for affordable college completion for underrepresented students. With feedback from the STLG Task Force, a success metric based on the median student debt at graduation and 6-year actual versus predicted graduation rates for institutions with similar contexts was developed. The five highest ranking institutions based on the Success Formula (see Appendix in full report) identified as graduating underrepresented students with less debt in alphabetical order were: Maryville University, Missouri State University--Springfield (MSU), Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO), University of Central Missouri (UCM), and Webster University. Five themes emerged from the qualitative interview data that describe the practices or strategies that supported underrepresented minority students to graduation with less debt. Two of the five themes reflected the overall organizational culture of the university. One of these themes was University Leadership. Two of the five themes reflected the overall organizational culture of the university. One of these themes was University Leadership. The other three themes that emerged from the data were Early College Experiences, Flexible and Sufficient Financial Aid, and Just-in-Time Academic Supports. Implications are highlighted that the researchers believe are applicable in a broad array of institutional settings and if adopted, would further the persistence and completion of underrepresented students. [This study was funded from a grant from St. Louis Graduates through support from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, MOHELA. For the full report, "Degrees with Less Debt: Effective Higher Education Strategies for Underrepresented Student Populations. Policy Research. IERC 2017-2," see ED574359. For the research highlights, "Degrees with Less Debt: Effective Higher Education Strategies for Underrepresented Student Populations. Research Highlights. IERC 2017-2," see ED574360.]
Illinois Education Research Council. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Campus Box 1064, Edwardsville, IL 62026. Tel: 866-799-4372; Tel: 618-650-2840; Fax: 618-650-2425; e-mail: ierc@siue.edu; Web site: http://www.siue.edu/ierc
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Illinois University, Illinois Education Research Council
Identifiers - Location: Missouri