AEFP 43rd Annual Conference Program
Chair:, Hunter College
Chair:, Syracuse University
Chair:, University of Southern California
Chair:, United Federation of Teachers
Chair:, University of Tennessee
Low-income and first-generation students continue to enroll in and complete college at significantly lower rates than their more advantaged peers. The stark differences in completion outcomes across socioeconomic groups, and the well-documented relationship between educational attainment and subsequent earnings, present an urgent need for effective strategies that promote persistence and degree attainment.
Several recent studies show that that programs that provide a combination of financial, academic and social supports have substantial impacts on persistence and degree attainment rates. The magnitude of these impacts reveal the pressing need for additional research on comprehensive college initiatives so that the field may operate with a detailed understanding of the mechanisms underlying these successful outcomes.
This policy talk contributes to this critical area by featuring a set of panelists that contributed to the rigorous impact evaluations of four unique comprehensive support programs: CUNY ASAP, the Dell Scholars Program, the Carolina Covenant, and Portland Community College’s Future Connect program. Although these four programs are similar in that they couple both financial and non-financial supports for the students they serve, the programs vary across program design elements, institutional settings, and the population of eligible students. The representation of these programs on one stage offers a broad and nuanced perspective around comprehensive support programs in higher education.
The panelists will talk about the evaluation findings in depth and discuss ongoing replication studies and implementation projects that build upon this prior work. This policy talk will highlight what the field needs to know across prior and ongoing comprehensive support initiatives and identify areas that are ripe for future research and innovation.
Chair:, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
Regional cost indices have been used in various circumstances and contexts across various states in the country to adjust for the differences in costs in various geographic contexts. Florida has an existing adjustment that has been incorporated into the state's school finance funding formula. Now, the formula is among the elements of the formula that are being discussed as part of a set of changes for the formula. This policy talk will bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss the intersection of how a review of the regional cost index may impact the way that policymakers think about and consider adjustments to the funding formula. This policy talk will also draw in larger contexts and considerations of the public education environment in Florida and its influence on how the debate of public school financing is being shaped.
From this Florida context the panel will discuss the benefits, challenges and opportunities presented by such reviews including the critical factor about how best to communicate what at times may be highly technical information. Further, the talk will aim to identify implications for policymakers and practitioners in other states and how research and evidence can be leveraged to contribute to the productive advancement of funding formulas that reflect the needs of the students in which these communities serve.