News

Edvance Foundation Report Receives National Attention

The Edvance Foundation recently issued a call to action for American higher education in its new report, Strengthening the Transfer Pathway from Community to Four-Year Private Colleges.  Based on original and existing research about the transfer process from community college to four-year institutions, the report provides an analysis and set of recommendations for creating a national college transfer partnership.

Washington Post article  Jay Mathews

Inside Higher Education article  Ashley Smith

 

Edvance Foundation Calls for Creation of a National College Transfer Partnership

Edvance Foundation Calls for Creation of a National College Transfer Partnership as a Path to Enhance American Higher Education

New report unveils nationwide research about the community college transfer process, identifies improved access to four-year institutions as a national imperative 

Get the Transfer Report, FAQ and Fact Sheet here

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 18, 2015 – Today, the Edvance Foundation issued a call-to-action for American higher education in its new report, Strengthening the Transfer Pathway from Community to Four-Year Private Colleges. Based on original and existing research about the transfer process from community college to four-year institutions, the report provides an analysis and set of recommendations for creating a national college transfer partnership.  Such an effort would improve the transfer process, enabling increased access and opportunity to community college students across America.  The report was developed in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

“Education is a critical contributor to success in this country, not only for the students involved but also for the prosperity of the nation as a whole,” said Arthur J. Rothkopf, chair emeritus, Edvance Foundation, and president emeritus, Lafayette College. “Our report highlights the potential of an often overlooked segment of the student population – community college students and transfers – and it maps out a crucial first step toward increasing the number who go on to receive their bachelor’s degrees and providing greater opportunities for those most in need of academic upward mobility.”

Four out of five first-time community college students say they eventually want to earn a bachelor’s degree. Unfortunately, only 25% succeed in transferring to a four-year institution within five years, and only 17% achieve their goal of earning a bachelor’s degree within six years of transferring.  The Edvance Foundation, seeking to improve access to higher education and address barriers to social mobility, explored ways to bridge the gap between aspirations and reality for the 13 million community college students in the United States.

“By making the transfer process less complicated and providing appropriate support along the way, we can increase the flow of community college graduates to four-year private colleges and universities and enhance students’ prospects for success – in school, in work, and in life,” said Brian C. Mitchell, chair, Edvance Foundation and former president, Bucknell University. “The learnings from our own research, combined with analysis of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Community College Transfer Initiative, revealed quantitative and qualitative evidence of missed opportunities in the college transfer process, clear steps that both two- and four-year institutions can take, and a willingness from leaders in the higher education community to join forces with us as we address this critical national issue.”

The report’s recommendations for a national college transfer partnership are based on the largest-ever survey of transfer practices at private, four-year undergraduate institutions, administered by Human Capital Research Corporation; discussions with roughly 800 college and university presidents and practitioners from 18 states; and findings from the Cooke Foundation’s Community College Transfer Initiative, a pilot program designed to help high-achieving, low- to moderate-income community college students transfer successfully to four-year baccalaureate programs.

Based on the research findings, the Edvance Foundation identified five core components for smoothing the transfer pathway:

  1. Early identification of promising students, together with concentrated academic support as they prepare to transfer to private colleges, and regular evaluation of their readiness for these demanding institutions.
  2. Establishment of virtual bridge programs, delivered through mobile technology, to strengthen academic and soft skills and promote college and career readiness.
  3. Support for rigorous, discipline-based study at community colleges.
  4. Creation of a network of mentors for two-year students, staffed through regional offices.
  5. Emphasis on data collection and analysis to inform college transfer programs.

To apply these best practices on a national level, the Edvance report offers detailed recommendations for two- and four-year institutions as well as for partners who stand to benefit from a more diverse and better-prepared student and graduate population.

“Increasing access to higher education is a national social and economic imperative. Only by removing the existing obstacles to a seamless educational pathway can we chart a new, more inclusive future for American higher education,” said Margaret Daniels Tyler, former Gates Foundation Senior Program Officer, Managing Partner at TheTylerGroup, LLC, and educational consultant.  “Implementation of Edvance’s proposals will ensure that deserving and hard-working students can contribute to society to their fullest potential. We invite national, state, and local partners to join us as we push this initiative forward.”

About the Edvance Foundation

The Edvance Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing American higher education through the development of bold, sustainable solutions that address the most pressing challenges facing students and institutions of higher education in the 21st century. The Foundation provides the expertise, resources, foresight, clarity, and ingenuity that educational institutions need to deliver lasting benefits to their students, their organizations, and the American higher education system as a whole.

Continued Support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Following support for planning to undertake a research study on the transfer practices of two-year students to four year independent colleges and universities, in the fall of 2014 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided additional assistance to complete production, including final draft, layout, and printing, for the findings produced by this research. 
 
The original planning grant permitted Edvance to undertake a national listening tour to nearly twenty states with approximately 800 higher education officials, many of them college and university presidents, and administer a survey completed by 425 private colleges and universities, or 34 percent of the sample surveyed. This survey is the most comprehensive in scope ever undertaken in the United States. Human Capital Research (Evanston, IL) consulted on the design and administration of the study.
We expect that the findings will be released nationally in the first half of 2015.
The Edvance Foundation is grateful for the grants provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help prepare this study for a wider forum. We are also appreciative to additional support provided by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Donnelley Foundation, AT & T Foundation, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Blackbaud, Eat n’ Park Hospitality Group, Pfizer Foundation, and UPS Foundation.

Edvance Study on Access to Independent Colleges

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Edvance undertook the largest study of transfer protocol practices of two-year graduates seeking admission to four-year independent colleges and universities.  Over 420 independent colleges and universities participated from among the 1247 institutions solicited, representing a response rate of 34.4%.

The study forms the research foundation which, when added to the lessons learned from the 5-year Bucknell University pilot project and the 18-state listening tour and webinars that solicited opinion from 800 higher ed leaders, will guide implementation of the national scale up of the Nexpectation Network.  This study is is being prepared for national release.

With Appreciation . . . .

The directors of the Edvance Foundation wish to thank the following corporations for their support of the Foundation’s college transfer project, the Nexpectation Network.  Corporate supporters include:

The A T & T Foundation
Blackbaud
Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, Inc
The Donnelley Foundation
Eat ‘n Park Hospitality Group
Jenzabar
The Pfizer Foundation
The UPS Foundation

The directors also wish to acknowledge the support of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Finally, we are pleased that the Edvance Foundation has begun early, first-stage exploratory discussions with a number of groups, including the Ford Foundation, to determine the match between donors and our programs.

The “Brian C. Mitchell Award for Excellence”

The “Brian C. Mitchell Award for Excellence in Collaboration” is an annual recognition granted by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) to an individual, a non-profit organization, or for-profit organization/company whose contribution to the promotion of collaboration within the Pennsylvania independent higher education community has been deemed by AICUP to be a best-practice or case-study to leverage the independent non-profit college sector’s consumer influence by providing superior services, products, programs and pricing through collaboration.

The Mitchell Award recognizes those persons or organizations whose leaders exhibit the highest standard in ethical business practices and affinity for the support of the independent college and university sector.

  1. Individuals will be recognized when it is more practical to track their contributions with multiple employers and/or programs.  Individuals can either be employees of AICUP members or one of its corporate affiliates;
  2. Non-profit organizations will be recognized when that organization is singularly responsible for an advancement or program that develops, fosters and/or leverages resources uniquely for the benefit of the entire sector; and
  3. For-profit organizations/companies will be recognized when they develop unique, first of its kind products, services or programs specifically designed to leverage the consumer influence of the independent college sector and/or in doing so merges, amends or creates a business model to specifically meet needs of the sector and its institutions.

Vice President of Finance and Administration, Tim Alexander, noted that: “This year marks the 20th year AICUP has offered collaborative business services to its member institutions . . . AICUP believes its members can reduce expenses, increase revenues and improve operational capabilities when they collaborate.  The Mitchell Award will recognize the very best people, practices, and outcomes that support these efforts.”

AICUP will announce the recipient of this award at its Members Meeting on Collaboration (June 12th – Hershey PA).

 

Board Actions

The Board of Directors of the Edvance Foundation meets in quarterly session.  At its recent meeting in March, 2014, the Board authorized the Foundation’s staff to release the national research study on transfer policies for two-year graduates applying to four-year colleges and universities and prepare for the first phase of implementation, subject to sufficient foundation and corporate support.

It further asked Foundation staff to examine best practices to see how Edvance might facilitate the good work already underway nationally by local groups committed to access by “connecting these dots” to scale up of the national program planned by the Network.

In addition, the Board approved and authorized development of a collaborative partnership with Today’s Campus and the American Academic Leadership Institute to begin the planning and testing of a higher education senior executive continuing education series.

AICUP To Recognize Mitchell via Excellence Award

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania to Recognize Brian C. Mitchell through Creation of  “Award for Excellence in Collaboration”

The “Brian C. Mitchell Award for Excellence in Collaboration” is an annual recognition granted by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) to an individual, a non-profit organization, or for-profit organization/company whose contribution to the promotion of collaboration within the Pennsylvania independent higher education community has been deemed by AICUP to be a best-practice or case-study to leverage the independent non-profit college sector’s consumer influence by providing superior services, products, programs and pricing through collaboration. The Mitchell Award recognizes those persons or organizations whose leaders exhibit the highest standard in ethical business practices and affinity for the support of the independent college and university sector.

Individuals will be recognized when it is more practical to track their contributions with multiple employers and/or programs.  Individuals can either be employees of AICUP members or one of its corporate affiliates;

Non-profit organizations will be recognized when that organization is singularly responsible for an advancement or program that develops, fosters and/or leverages resources uniquely for the benefit of the entire sector; and

For-profit organizations/companies will be recognized when they develop unique, first of its kind products, services or programs specifically designed to leverage the consumer influence of the independent college sector and/or in doing so merges, amends or creates a business model to specifically meet needs of the sector and its institutions.

Vice President of Finance and Administration, Tim Alexander, noted that: “This year marks the 20th year AICUP has offered collaborative business services to its member institutions . . . AICUP believes its members can reduce expenses, increase revenues and improve operational capabilities when they collaborate.  The Mitchell Award will recognize the very best people, practices, and outcomes that support these efforts.”

AICUP will announce the recipient of this award at its Members Meeting on Collaboration (June 12th – Hershey PA).

Dr. Brian C. Mitchell Summary of Activities

On January 5, 2014, Dr. Mitchell participated at the CIC President’s Institute on a panel about college access on Marco Island, Florida.

On February 6, 2014, Dr. Mitchell spoke to the senior staff of the Eat ‘n Park Hospitality Group in Pittsburgh on the key higher education indicators affecting the food service industry. On February 23, 2014, he addressed the annual national “Ten States” meeting hosted by the Pennsylvania Academy of Physicians on parallels between higher education and the health care industry at The Hershey Hotel in Hershey, PA.

In addition, Dr. Mitchell participated in the opening panel of the Council of Independent College’s Community College Transfer Project Planning meeting on March 21-22, 2014 in Alexandria, Virginia.

Joining him on the panel were: Barbara Hetrick (moderator), senior vice president, Council of Independent Colleges; Emily Froimson, vice president for programs, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation; Stan Jones, president, Complete College America; and Robert G. Templin, Jr., president, Northern Virginia Community College.  The Kresge Foundation provided support for the two-day meeting.

For media commentary on the CIC planning session, please note:

 

Arthur Rothkopf Summary of Activities

Mr. Rothkopf was a panelist on three occasions during the past several months on the subject of college and university accreditation policy, a subject on which he is an acknowledged expert.

One was sponsored by the Association of College Trustees and Alumni and was held at Mount Vernon, Virginia.  The second was sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and held at AEI headquarters in Washington.  The third was sponsored by the New America Foundation and was held in the U.S. Capital as a primer for Congressional staff.

Board of Directors Quarterly Session

The Board of Directors of the Edvance Foundation meets in quarterly session.  At its recent meeting in March, 2014, the Board authorized the Foundation’s staff to release the national research study on transfer policies for two-year graduates applying to four-year colleges and universities and prepare for the first phase of implementation, subject to sufficient foundation and corporate support.  It further asked Foundation staff to examine best practices to see how Edvance might facilitate the good work already underway nationally by local groups committed to access by “connecting these dots” to scale up of the national program planned by the Network.

Edvance Featured in BostInno

BostInno is an online community publishing platform and local news site, focusing on innovation in Boston.

 

Building up to Boston’s Tech Gives Back 2012, BostInno interviewed Dr. Brian C. Mitchell to learn more about the Edvance Foundation and its first program the Nexpectation Network.

 

To read the interview, click here.

Or, enter the following URL in your browser:  http://bostinno.com/channels/bostons-top-social-innovators-brian-mitchell-of-edvance-foundation/

 

Edvance to Participate in Open Source Philanthropy Event

Technology Underwriting the Greater Good (TUGG) has selected the Edvance Foundation to participate in its open source philanthropy event, Tech Gives Back 2012, on September 21st.

TUGG’s open source model leverages the thousands of professionals comprising the New England entrepreneurial ecosystem to:

  • Collaborate to identify the most promising emerging social innovation.
  • Help TUGG screen and select the most compelling recipients.
  • Spread the word by hosting a fund raising event for TUGG.

 

Click here to sign up for the TUGG celebration and fundraising event.

USG Makes the Economic Case for Higher Ed

The United States Government, by way of the Treasury Department and Education Department, released an analysis that found higher education to be “critical for socioeconomic advancement and an important driver of economic mobility.”

Click here to view a PDF of the findings.

 

Restructuring Board-level decision making

A director of the Edvance Foundation, Brian C. Mitchell, recently penned an article (How Governing Boards Operate:  The Case for Restructuring Decision Makingfor Today’s Campus, an online magazine for American higher education.

Mitchell makes the case that institutions must restructure their governing boards to reflect the new realities of the 21st century. In a new model, smaller boards, capable of efficient decision making, can work with external groups (rather than internal committees) to develop “tactical compliments to board strategy driven by the institutional strategic plan.”

Read all of Dr. Mitchell’s article here.

Edvance to Attend Gates Grantee Forum

4th Annual Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success Grantee Convening – Seattle, WA

Wednesday, 06/13/2012 – Friday, 06/15/2012

 

CEO and director, Brian C. Mitchell, will participate in the 3-day convening of the 4th Annual Postsecondary Success Grantee forum hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, WA. The event will be attended by representatives of all organizations receiving grant support from the Gates Foundation’s postsecondary success program.

IHE Calls it ‘Common Sense’

An article recently published in Inside Higher Ed makes the case for “reverse transfer” of credits to achieve a number of efficiencies in the American higher education system, including:

  • crediting students with the associate’s degree they have earned despite the transfer from community college to four-year institution;
  • crediting community colleges with the completion statistics they deserve for students who transfer before degree completion; and
  • emphasizing the value of an associate’s degree credential.

See Common Sense on Completion

Edvance Director Gets Ink in NYTimes

On May 8, 2012, Edvance director Brian Mitchell’s letter to the editor appeared in the New York Times:

In “The Campus Tsunami” (column, May 4), David Brooks argues that American higher education must deal with online education, embracing it as a tool to transmit inexpensive and global knowledge. He suggests that the test will be how online education can push higher education away from information transmission and up to higher things.

Mr. Brooks is correct that online education is a powerful driver, illustrated by the Harvard-MIT investment in free online courses. These schools have it right; they will use online education to interpret data on how students learn. Ultimately, that’s the point of the exercise.

It’s not that the Socratic method is worse than technology-based learning or even imperiled by it. They’re simply different and complementary teaching styles. The fine point is that global culture has embraced an alternative approach. That’s good, because the negotiated truce is likely a mutually reinforced “more and also” if American education is to remain our most influential export.

A Call to Action for Community Colleges

Call to Action, Again

A recent Inside Higher Ed article covered the release of Reclaiming the American Dream – Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future, a report commissioned by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). The report took issue with the stigma that can be attached to community colleges, saying “Too many senior college and university leaders, faculty, department chairs and deans [at four-year institutions] are ambivalent about community colleges, understanding them not as having different missions but as somehow inferior because of their open-door admissions.”

As the article summarizes, the AACC commission developed seven final recommendations, which fell into three categories - redesign students’ educational experiences; reinvest institutional roles; and reset the system.

To view the Inside Higher Ed Article click here

To view the AACC report click here

Edvance to Participate in Project Kaleidoscope

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) has invited the Edvance Foundation to participate in Project Kaleidoscope.  On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, the Nexpectation Network’s Executive Director, Kurt Thiede, will attend a roundtable meeting of higher ed leaders to discuss key features of replicable and scalable models for STEM student success, emphasizing general education and entry into STEM baccalaureate programs.  Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Project Kaleidoscope is aimed at “advancing what works in STEM education” and will help to ramp up STEM success and pathways for STEM student transfer.