Community College: The Unfinished Revolution

James E. Rosenbaum, Julie Redline, Jennifer L. Stephan

Although public two-year colleges have dramatically improved college access for large numbers of disadvantaged students, serious deficiencies in how they operate are limiting their value. In the current debate about U.S. economic competitiveness and the need to provide better education for everyone, there is a new consensus that nearly all young people should attend college. […]

This article is in Policymaking in the Information Age, Summer 2007

The Path Not Studied: Community Colleges under Stress

Matthew Zeidenberg

Publicly funded two-year colleges are facing daunting challenges in dealing with surging enrollments of disadvantaged and unprepared students. It is now generally recognized that a high-school degree is no longer sufficient to achieve a family-supporting income in today’s society. Society is increasingly divided by income, and income is highly correlated with education, with higher earners […]

This article is in The Path Not Studied, Summer 2008

Perspective: Using University Knowledge to Defend the Country

Stephen M. Maurer

Everyone understands that the United States will need new ideas to meet the threat of terrorism, and indeed, history shows the way. Seventy years ago, the country’s scholars ransacked their respective disciplines for the ideas that won World War II. Academic ideas continued to produce key technologies, including hydrogen bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles, well […]

This article is in Better U.S. Health Care at Lower Cost, Winter 2010

Science and the Entrepreneurial University

Richard C. Atkinson, Patricia A. Pelfrey

Research universities have been key in driving the U.S. economy. Keeping their engines revving will require facing some critical challenges. During the second half of the 20th century, research universities in the United States remade themselves into an important engine of the modern economy. Everyone has heard of the technological miracles wrought by Silicon Valley […]

This article is in Making College Affordable, Summer 2010

Making College Affordable by Improving Aid Policy

Bridget Terry Long

Financial aid programs to expand college access could be improved by simplifying processes and favoring grants over loans and need-based rather than merit-based criteria. Higher education plays an important role in U.S. society. In addition to providing numerous public benefits, such as an increased tax base and greater civic engagement, it helps individuals attain economic […]

This article is in Making College Affordable, Summer 2010

Reforming Regulation of Research Universities

Tobin L. Smith, Josh Trapani, Anthony Decrappeo, David Kennedy

Regulatory and reporting requirements have become excessively burdensome. A more balanced approach is needed. In recent years, research universities and their faculty have seen a steady stream of new federal regulations and reporting requirements imposed on them. These new requirements, in combination with other factors, have exacerbated already significant institutional financial stress and diverted faculty […]

This article is in Affordable National Security, Summer 2011

Applying New Research to Improve Science Education

Carl Wieman

Insights from several fields on how people learn to become experts can help us to dramatically enhance the effectiveness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is critical to the U.S. future because of its relevance to the economy and the need for a citizenry able to make […]

This article is in Applying New Research to Improve Science Education, Fall 2012

Changing the Way We Account for College Credit

Amy Laitinen

Our system of certifying credit based on seat time rather than on learning no longer makes sense in an era in which college costs are skyrocketing and nontraditional students have become the majority. For centuries, the United States has been the envy of the world in terms of its higher education system. But now we […]

This article is in Science in the Gilded Age and the Birth of NAS, Winter 2013

Does Education Pay?

Mark Schneider

Yes and no. It depends on what, where, and how long one studies—but the outcomes do not align with conventional wisdom. Higher education is one of the most important investments that people make. Whereas most academics emphasize the nonpecuniary benefits of higher education, most students making this investment are seeking higher wages and good careers. […]

This article is in Does Education Pay?, Fall 2013

The New Normal in Funding University Science

Daniel J. Howard, Frank N. Laird

Government funding for academic research will remain limited, and competition for grants will remain high. Broad adjustments will be needed—and here’s a plan. Science policy analysts have focused recently on the federal budget sequester and the dramatic effects it could have on funding scientific R&D in U.S. universities, certainly a serious problem. But looking only […]

This article is in Does Education Pay?, Fall 2013

The University As Innovator: Bumps in the Road

Robert E. Litan, Lesa Mitchell, E. J. Reedy

Many university technology transfer offices have become bottlenecks rather than facilitators of innovation. New approaches are needed. For much of the past century, universities and university-based researchers have played a critical role in driving technological progress. In the process, universities have been a strong catalyst for U.S. economic growth. But a perennial challenge related to […]

This article is in Policymaking in the Information Age, Summer 2007