Featured Jul 16, 2019

Higher Education Research Digest

Articles in the 2019 Higher Education Research Digest provide relevant, timely, and practical research insights to help higher-education professionals.

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An Annual Research Report

The inaugural Higher Education Research Digest was released in 2017 along with the Enrollment Management Database, a tool assisting enrollment managers, admissions personnel, and other college administrators with student recruitment, enrollment, and success strategies. For this third edition of the Digest, the Enrollment Management Database has been updated with the 2018 ACT-tested graduating cohort. In 2018, ACT also launched two more databases—Ten-Year Trends Database and College Completion Database. The three databases—which are available in an interactive, Tableau environment— are described below in more detail, highlighting an example of the research insights you can capture from each tool.

Articles in the 2019 Higher Education Research Digest will provide research insights for higher-education professionals on topics such as:

  • Student pathways to college and remediation for college-level
  • The Eduventures Prospective Student Mindsets™
  • How enrollment leaders can use the Student Mindsets
  • Female students’ performance in college and the importance of
    SEL skills
  • Using ACT scores to predict international students’ success
    in college
  • The Eduventures Student Success Ratings
  • The three publicly available ACT databases

Articles from the 2019 Higher Education Research Digest

Reworking Remediation:

Streamlining Student Pathways to College-Level Coursework

Many students graduate from high school lacking the foundational knowledge needed for college-level coursework. This study examines the effectiveness of CollegeReady, a low-stakes college readiness system that assesses students’ knowledge in English and mathematics and then provides a personalized learning path to help the student fill in the gaps in their knowledge and skills at their own pace.

Demography is Not Destiny:

Introducing the Prospective Student Mindset

Based on data from Eduventures’ annual Prospective Student Survey of college-bound juniors and seniors, we have developed a behavioral and attitudinal market segmentation, the Prospective Student Mindsets™ (Mindsets), which help institutions understand the dreams and desires students have for their college education. Eduventures research indicates that by segmenting the market like this, schools can transcend a purely demographic view of their prospective students and can then tailor messaging.

From Application to Enrollment:

Putting the Student Mindset to Work at Your Institution

Eduventures research suggests that adopting a Mindset-based approach to student recruitment can help institutions move beyond a demographics-based view of the market. We recommend that enrollment leaders approach prospective undergraduates in different Mindsets through a three-part framework, which takes into consideration the reality that students are maturing throughout the enrollment cycle. They begin with a specific viewpoint and are on a particular learning journey related to that viewpoint.

Why do Females Perform Better in College than Test Scores and Grades Predict?

The Importance of Social and Emotional Learning Skills

Females tend to exhibit higher levels of academic discipline, an SEL domain which other research shows is related to higher academic outcomes. This study demonstrates that gender differences in academic discipline helps explain why females do better in college than their test scores and/or high school grades would predict. Information on students’ SEL skills provides valuable insight to those who work in higher education as it allows educators and administrators to more accurately identify students that are ready for college-level work and those that may benefit from additional resources and supports.

Looking Beyond the Domestic Applicant Pool:

Value of ACT Scores for Identifying International Students who are Prepared to Succeed in College

Every year a growing number of international students take the ACT test. Institutions use these scores to make admissions decisions and to identify those most likely to struggle academically. This study provides validity evidence supporting the use of ACT scores for these purposes.

Rating (Not Ranking) Student Success

Eduventures’ Student Success Ratings (for traditional undergraduates) serve as a key data point for institutional self-management, allowing institutions to measure themselves against their own efforts within the context of their peers. They also play a growing role in how high school students and their families evaluate which college they want to go to, based on where they might be most successful.

Explore ACT Data to Help Inform Recruitment, Enrollment, and Success Strategies:

Three Publicly Available ACT Databases

The three ACT databases are: (a) The Enrollment Management Database, which includes data on multiple recent ACT-tested high school graduating classes matched to college enrollment and second-year retention data obtained from the National Student Clearinghouse; (b) the Ten-Year Trends Database, which includes data on the ten most recent ACT-tested high school cohorts; and (c) the College Completion Database, which includes data on the 2010 ACT-tested high school graduating class matched to six years of college enrollment and graduation data obtained from the National Student Clearinghouse.

Collaborative Research Partnership Opportunities

National ACT College Success Research Partnership

Collaborate on a broad research agenda related to student success and the use of ACT data.

ACT English Language Arts (ELA) and Writing Initiative

Examine relationships between scores and performance in postsecondary reading- and writing-intensive courses.

International Student Success Initiative

Examine relationships between ACT scores and first-year college performance for international students.

WorkKeys/NCRC 2.0 Efficacy Study

Examine relationships between ACT WorkKeys 2.0 scores and relevant performance outcomes (job performance ratings, productivity, grades, etc.).

Superscoring: Is it fair? Free webinar about the truth and validity of superscoring. Discover how superscoring in your recruiting process can have positive impacts and predict college outcomes in this free webinar. Our experts will be sharing empirical evidence based on the latest research from ACT.