Skip to navigation menu

Skip to main content

Education Policy and Social Analysis
Teachers College, Columbia University
teachers college logo columbia univertsity logo

Education Policy and Social Analysis

News from EPSA

EPSA Alumnae Speak at Reception for Admitted Students

EPSA extends warm thanks to alumnae, Dana Leon-Guerrero (Sociology & Education, 2010) and Lauren McDade (Politics & Education, 2013), who were featured speakers at TC's Washington DC Admit Reception on Wednesday, April 2. The reception, sponsored by the Office of Admission, allowed newly admitted students to meet with TC alumni and learn more about their academic and professional experiences. Published: 4/9/2014 12:48:00 PM

EPSA Faculty at AERA conference April 3-7, 2014

The faculty members of the department of Education Policy and Social Analysis will be participating and presenting at this year's AERA conference in Philadelphia, PA. Published: 4/2/2014 11:19:00 AM

Amy Stuart Wells: "Colorblind" Policies Harm Our Diverse Public Schools

In a new policy brief, Amy Stuart Wells writes that so-called "colorblind" educational policies work against diverse public schools. Published: 4/1/2014 8:08:00 PM

The Trouble with "Teacher Voice" by Jonathan Gyourko

Jonathan Gyurko received his Ph.D.in Education and Politics in 2012 from Teachers College Columbia University, where he serves as an adjunct assistant professor. He also runs Leeds Global Partners, an education consultancy. The article, published in the Spring 2014 edition of the Politics of Education Association Bulletin, draws on his dissertation research titled "Teacher Voice." Published: 3/26/2014 4:14:00 PM

Profs. Jeff Henig and Carolyn Riehl receive grant from the Wallace Foundations.

The grant will support a comparative research in Buffalo and two other cities and study whether and how community institutions in three mid-sized cities can work together to tackle social and educational challenges in their local communities. TC Media Center in Research/Publication section announced the information about the grant in their article "TC team to study Collective Impact Approach to Education Reform " on March 25, 2014. Published: 3/26/2014 4:03:00 PM

Miya Warner, Ph.D., the recipient of the 2014 AERA Division L (Education Policy & Politics) Dissertation of the Year Award.

AERA Division L (Education Policy and Politics) Newsletter has announced the 2014 Dissertation Award Winners. Miya Warner,Ph.D., an alumna of the Sociology and Education program at Teacher College is the winner of this year's Dissertation of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the annual AERA conference in Philadelphia on April 4, 2014. Published: 3/6/2014 3:02:00 PM

Joe Rogers, Jr., a recipient of the TC Black Excellence Community Service Award 2014.

Black Student Network at Teachers College held its 9th Annual Black Student Network Gala on Friday, February 21, 2014 to celebrate Black Excellence. The gala acknowledged and honored the accomplishments of unsung heroes within the Harlem and Columbia University communities. Joe Rogers, Jr. (in the photo with the award), an alumnus of the Education Leadership Program, with concentration in Leadership, Policy and Politics (currently Education Policy) at Teachers Collage, was one of the recipients of the award this year. Published: 2/28/2014 10:35:00 AM

Meet Amanda Washington, Education Policy student at the EPSA department.

In TC People section of TC News, Joe Levine introduces M.A. degree student in Education Policy, Amanda Washington, where she talks about her interests, her family, her inspirations, her work, and her road to Teachers College. Published: 2/28/2014 10:27:00 AM

Scott-Clayton Proposes Changes to Pell Grant System

Judith Scott-Clayton

Judith Scott-Clayton

At an October forum hosted by the Brookings Institute’s Hamilton Project, Assistant Professor Judith Scott-Clayton presented a proposal on changing the Pell Grant program to improve college outcomes. The proposal, described in detail in a paper released by the Brookings Institute, addresses the issue of low completion rates for Pell Grant recipients.

Professor Scott-Clayton and co-author Sandy Baum of the Institute for Higher Education Policy recommend three major Pell Grant reforms to strengthen student success and on-time completion. The Pell Grant was originally designed as a one-size-fits-all voucher intended to serve the needs of recent high school graduates from low-income families. Since the program’s inception in 1972, it has grown to serve a much larger and more diverse population—9.4 million students now receive $35 billion in Pell Grant funds—even as graduation rates for recipients remain stubbornly low. Only about 45 percent of Pell recipients obtain a degree or credential within six years.

Scott-Clayton and Baum propose three major structural reforms to improve outcomes for Pell recipients. First, the authors argue that financial assistance alone will not help high-need students complete college: “Handing students money and expecting them to steer their own courses through the maze of available options is an insufficient strategy for supporting their success.” Instead, they propose that the program’s financial assistance should be supplemented with guidance and support services that have been shown to improve academic outcomes.

Scott-Clayton and Baum suggest that the Pell Grant program provide services tailored to meet the needs of the different populations it serves: younger, dependent students would receive personalized, technology-assisted outreach and coaching services from initial application through the first year of college; adult, independent students—who often are returning to college to obtain specific career-related credentials—would receive third-party pre-enrollment counseling to help them choose appropriate institutions and programs, as well as one-on-one guidance provided by their institution at least once per year while enrolled.

The authors also recommend that the Pell Grant program simplify the application process by automatically calculating eligibility using information retrieved electronically from tax returns and by making eligibility fixed for several years. Furthermore they argue that eligibility should be based on a simple formula based on income and family size so that students and families can easily calculate in advance what college costs will be. Finally, Scott-Clayton and Baum suggest strengthening incentives for student effort and completion, including larger grants for students who take more credits than the current Pell maximum of 24 per year, and small monetary bonuses for on-time completion.

According to the authors, the proposal would require only a minimal increase in funding. For instance, providing each Pell recipient with technology-assisted guidance and counseling worth $500—which research evidence suggests would have meaningful impacts on student outcomes—would cost $1.3 billion, less than 4 percent of current Pell spending. If not additional funds are available, services could be financed by setting the per credit award size to maintain cost neutrality.

---------
Read coverage of the proposals by Inside Higher Ed

Read coverage of the proposals by The Chronicle of Higher Education

A link to the full study is here: Redesigning the Pell Grant Program for the Twenty-First Century

Scott-Clayton spoke with the New York Times about a new higher education ranking system: Lists That Rank Colleges’ Value Are on the Rise


(10/31/2013)

Video