Stylus Higher Education Policy Series Series Read Description

State Postsecondary Education Research

New Methods to Inform Policy and Practice

April 2007
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  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    10th April 2007
  • ISBN 9781579222116
  • Language English
  • Pages 160 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
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December 2011
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    30th December 2011
  • ISBN 9781620360422
  • Language English
  • Pages 160 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

This is an opportune time for researchers in higher education to examine policy via cross-state comparative analyses. Momentous court, legislative and policy developments that impact state-level higher education policy are emerging at a rapid rate. The states have emerged as postsecondary policy innovators in the areas of student financing, institutional accountability, and student access.

Following political scientists’ "rediscovery" of states as units of analysis--because they constitute unique "natural laboratories" for testing theory and hypotheses about political behavior and policy adoption dynamics--this book introduces this perspective as an increasingly important tool for researchers in higher education.

State Postsecondary Education Research provides an in-depth examination of the challenges and opportunities inherent in conducting cross-state higher education policy research. The authors of each chapter use their individual research projects to demonstrate the array of methodological, theoretical, analytical, and political challenges inherent in conducting comparative state-level policy research.

Among the innovative methods described is the use of pooled cross-sectional time-series analytic techniques and event history analysis--now widespread within the disciplines of economics and political science--to shift the unit of analysis from the state to the state-year, thus expanding greatly both the statistical power of the models being tested and the data-demands of those models.

The goal is to introduce comparative state-level postsecondary policy research to a broader audience, and to contribute to discussions of both the challenges and the importance of this approach to higher education policy research.

The book is intended as a resource for researchers in higher education policy and as a text for higher education policy courses. It may also appeal to scholars of educational policy as well as higher education policymakers.

"The book is rich in historical and contemporary statistics on participation of students of color in advanced-degree programs. and even richer in qualitative data that gives life and voice to everyday challenges, successes, microaggressions, resilience, and coping strategies. Throughout this book, the themes of invisibility and isolation reverberate in numbers and words. Standing On the Outside Looking In should convince even the most skeptical reader that higher education is not doing enough to promote what Tuitt in his summary chapter calls 'inclusive excellence'.
Authors in this volume provide ample recommendations for educators interested in increasing the number and improving the experiences of underrepresented students in advanced-degree programs.
Standing On the Outside Looking In delivers on its promise to address access, retention, and success for underrepresented students in advanced-degree programs. The incorporation of theoretical perspectives, empirical data, and fresh voices moves the field forward. I recommend it for faculty who teach in any advanced-degree program, deans of graduate schools, and underrepresented students themselves"

- Journal of College Student Development

"Mary F. Howard-Hamilton, Carla Morelon-Quainoo, Susan Johnson, Rachelle Winkle-Wagner, and Lilia Santiague have arrayed a rich collection of articles that address critical issues affecting students of color in graduate and professional degree programs including choice, access, financial aid, retention, STEM degrees, mentoring, curricula, and spirituality. By including the voices and perspectives of students of color from varying racial and ethnic backgrounds, they illustrate the similarities and uniquenesses among and between these perspectices--a strength of this compilation of research... We believe that our field needs an ongoing discussion of policies that will improve the experience of graduate students of color... this book is a good first step in that direction."

- The Review of Higher Education

"Standing on the Outside Looking In is an ambitious undertaking that will likely exceed readers’ expectations. The well-chosen studies are a rich treatment of an important, yet underexplored, topic. Moreover, most of the studies use research methods that feature the voices of students. As a result, graduate and professional students of color will identify with, and gain inspiration from, the experiences of the participants. For faculty and administrators, this collection provides recommendations that are critical for the success of postgraduate students of color who represent our nation’s next generation of practitioners, policy makers, and scholars."

The entire review can be found here

- Harvard Education Review

"This collection of policy research papers illustrates the methodological and practical challenges of multi-state policy research. Most education policy is set by individual states. Therefore cross-state comparisons are useful for examining policy implementation and outcomes. This book advocates for more multi-year and other comparative multi-state policy analyses.
The chapters illustrate a variety of research designs and methodological challenges in state-level policy research and offer rigorous models that would be useful for further investigations.
Although individual chapters could be useful for teaching and senior scholars, I see the book as helpful for early career policy scholars engaging in the research design process because of the excellent examples of quality research.
The suggestions for improving quantitative models are well argued, and the studies that used more constructivist or mixed-methods approaches illustrate the feasibility of important new approaches to government policy research."

- The Review of Higher Education

“[This book] has the potential to add significantly to our understanding of higher education policy making at the state level and how theory and practice can work together more effectively. The editors bring together an impressive list of contributors who have varying theoretical and practical perspectives on state education policy making. The book addresses important issues for both researchers and practitioners, including how politics shapes policy making, how data informs (and often limits) what can be done, and what would be needed to conduct more thorough investigations into the effectiveness of policies. A major theme of the book is that state policy making and evaluation can be improved through the creation of better data systems and use of analytical techniques for handling panel data. This theme helps separate the book from other books that focus on state higher education policy issues.
This book will be of great interest to many different audiences, including higher education faculty, state education policy makers, graduate students, and practitioners. It promises to help fill the substantial void that currently exists in the work of academics on state education policy and practitioners and policy organizations, and will be a must read for anyone who attempts to examine higher education policies across multiple states.”

The Journal of Higher Education

"Sparked by the biannual 50-State Report Card on Higher Education…published since 2000, interest in comparative state performance on a variety of educational measures has intensified. This excellent volume, with articles by several of those who have been pioneers in this field, will be of great value to scholars, policy analysts, and legislative staffers charged with understanding and developing sensible state policies for higher education."

David W. Breneman, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

“…a groundbreaking and essential text that will allow us to take our multicultural efforts in higher education to the next level. From addressing issues of access and choice, to exploring the realities of a particular field such as science and engineering, to highlighting the specific concerns and needs of particular student of color groups, this edited book has it all. One of the most powerful and unexpected aspects of this collection is the reliance on qualitative research by many of the authors. The rich voices and stories represented do so much more than document the experiences of graduate and professional students of color; they offer ideas, strategies, and solutions for addressing the concerns and barriers that currently exist in higher education. Standing on the Outside Looking In will be of tremendous value to faculty, administrators, staff, researchers, and other higher education professionals.”

from the Foreword by Raechele L. Pope - , University of Buffalo

Introduction: The Challenges of Comparative State-Level Higher Education Policy Research--Donald E. Heller, The Pennsylvania State University; The Challenges of Conducting Comparative Analyses of State-Level Policy Change Toward Community Colleges: Testing a Theory of Change Across Six Diverse States--Kathleen M. Shaw, Temple University and Thomas Bailey, Teachers College, Columbia University; Incorporating Political-System Data into Comparative-State Research on Postsecondary Policy: The Opportunities and Challenges of Space and Time--Michael K. McLendon & James C. Hearn, Vanderbilt University; The Role of Higher Education in State Budgets--Jennifer Delaney, Stanford University and Will Doyle, Vanderbilt University; Tracking How New Ideas Become Higher Education Policy and Practice: The Challenges of Gathering Comparative Policy Implementation Data--Sara Y. Goldrick-Rab, University of Wisconsin, Madison and Kathleen M. Shaw, Temple University; Higher Education Resources and Performance: Challenges in Collecting Comparative Financial And Outcome Data--Will Doyle, Vanderbilt University; Setting Agendas and Developing Policies: Understanding the Politics of State Higher Education Policymaking--Christopher Mazzeo.

Donald E. Heller

Donald E. Heller is Director, Center for the Study of Higher Education, and Professor of Education and Senior Scientist, at the College of Education, The Pennsylvania State University.

Kathleen M. Shaw

Kathleen M. Shaw is Associate Professor of Urban Education and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Temple University.

higher education policy; state-level higher education policy; student financing; institutional accountability; student access