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Columbia University

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National Center for Postsecondary Research Kickoff:
Using Research to Strengthen Equity, Access, and Student Achievement in Higher Education

On October 11th, nearly 100 people gathered at Teachers College, Columbia University, to celebrate the launch of the National Center for Postsecondary Research. The Postsecondary Center was created through a five-year grant of $9,813,619 awarded to the Community College Research Center (CCRC) and its partners at MDRC; the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia; and professors at Harvard and Princeton Universities. The theme of the event, Using Research to Strengthen Equity, Access, and Student Achievement in Higher Education, reflected the purpose of the center -- to rigorously examine higher education practice and policy in order to produce sound findings that can improve postsecondary education access and success for all students.

 

The kickoff event featured a panel presentation by NCPR partners and associates, and was followed by a reception with poster sessions about core research areas. After an introductory speech by Dr. Susan Fuhrman, president of Teachers College, Dr. Thomas Bailey, director of CCRC and NCPR and the panel’s moderator, explained that NCPR will fulfill the need for rigorous research on college access and success issues, such as the transition from high school to college and assessing student performance in the early years of college. He also highlighted the symbolic importance of the Center. "It’s significant that this national center was awarded to an organization that focuses on community colleges," said Dr. Bailey. "It's a sign of a change in the understanding of the importance of these institutions."

 

Dr. Bailey's remarks were followed by presentations on the main topics that will be examined by NCPR over the next five years.  Dr. David Breneman, dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, emphasized the importance of conducting research at community colleges, given that more than half of the U.S. student body attends these two-year institutions. Dr. Regina Peruggi, president of Kingsborough Community College, gave an overview of how learning communities have contributed to student achievement at her institution.  Dr. Patricia Windham, associate vice chancellor for the Division of Community Colleges at the Florida Department of Education, discussed the impact that dual enrollment programs have had in Florida and elsewhere.  Dr. Bridget Long, associate professor at Harvard University and an NCPR research affiliate, discussed the value of using state data collection systems in quantitative analyses in order to produce research findings with valid causal inferences.

>> The NCPR Kickoff was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Group shot with layer alter

Pictured above (clockwise, top left to bottom left):  Thomas Brock (MDRC), David Breneman (The Curry School of Education, UVA), Thomas Bailey (CCRC, Teachers College),  Robert Ivry (MDRC), Susan Fuhrman (Teachers College), Patricia Windham (Evaluation for the Division of Community Colleges, Florida Department of Education), Diane Troyer (Cy-Fair College), Regina Peruggi (Kingsborough Community College), and Bridget Long (Graduate School of Education, Harvard University)

 

Picture form kickoff

Above- left: Susan Fuhrman, Teachers College President; right: David Breneman, Dean of The Curry School of Education at UVA 

 

ASSOCIATED FILES:


Type: Lectures & Talks

Location: 179 Grace Dodge Hall, Teachers College, Columbia University

Date & Time: 10/11/2006, 1:30:00 PM - 6:00:00 PM

Website: http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/Seminar.asp?UID=23