Slides from presentations at the Working Students, Succeeding Students conference are posted at the links below.
Postsecondary Student Pathways in Northwest Indiana: Patterns in Enrollment
Desiree Zerquera and Jin Chen
Selected findings are presented from the Mobile Working Student in Northwest Indiana project's analysis of student enrollment patterns across institutions in northwest Indiana, providing contextual information for the Mobile Working Student Collaborative's exploration into student experiences in higher education.
A Delicate Balance: What Students Say About Balancing Work, Family, and College
Mary Ziskin and Jacquelyn Player-Sanders
This presentation shares findings and highlights discussion points based on student participants' descriptions in the Mobile Working Student in Northwest Indiana study of how they balance work and family obligations along with college.
Working Students' Perceptions of Paying for College: Understanding the Connections Between Financial Aid and Work
Mary Ziskin, Mary Ann Fischer, and Philemon Kiprono Yebei
This presentation outlines findings from a qualitative study in the Mobile Working Student in Northwest Indiana project of students' perceptions of financial aid and how these perceptions relate to students' financing strategies.
Practitioner and Faculty Perceptions of Mobile Working Student Experiences
Vasti Torres and Beth Pellicciotti
This presentation examines practitioner and faculty perceptions of the experiences of working students and the role of institutional policies and practices in their success.
Everybody’s Working for the Real World: The Benefits of Supplemental Instruction as Preparation for the Modern, Autonomous Working Environment
Jacquline Reason & Miranda Morley
The SI program at Purdue University Calumet offers students the opportunity to sample a real working environment while in college. Presents findings on the program participants’ social cohesion and networking, research opportunities, professional development, and professional autonomy.
Motivational Project for Enhancing Student Success in Introductory Mathematics
Mark Hoyert, Vanessa Meschede, and Cynthia O’Dell
Indiana University Northwest
This project is building mathematics course interventions based on understandings from its explorations of the link between learning goal orientation and academic success.
Practical Applications of the Northwest Indiana Working Student Research
Based on research by Purdue University Calumet (PUC)—with IU Northwest and Ivy Tech Community College Northwest—on the impact of work on northwest Indiana college students, PUC has created several initiatives to meet the needs of working students.
Experiential Learning at Purdue University Calumet: Providing a Working Experience That Makes a Difference!
Jan Anderson, Janice Golub-Reynolds, Catherine Ferguson, & Dachea Hill-Bryan
The experiential learning degree requirement at Purdue University Calumet (PUC), where 75% of students work while enrolled, is a faculty-led initiative integrating traditional learning and applied learning in a real job setting—changing the way students learn and contributing to the education and economic development of the northwest Indiana region.
Understanding the Working College Student: New Research and Its Implications for Policy and Practice
Edited by Laura Perna, published by Stylus
Includes Mobile Working Students: A Delicate Balance of College, Family, and Work
By Mary Ziskin, Vasti Torres, Don Hossler, and Jacob P.K. Gross
This book provides a multifaceted picture of the characteristics, experiences, and challenges of working college students as well as a more complete understanding of the implications of working for undergraduate students’ educational experiences and outcomes. It includes sections on work as a form of financial aid, work as a component of student identity, and work as a vehicle for promoting cognitive development and learning.
Traditional-Age Students Becoming At-Risk: Does Working Threaten College Students’ Academic Success?
By Vasti Torres, Jacob P.K. Gross, and Afet Dadashova
Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, and Practice, Vol. 12, No. 1
Using survey information from undergraduate students who work while attending two urban commuter institutions in Indiana, this study explores evidence that on average undergraduates under 21 years of age worked more than 31 hours a week while also enrolled in a full course load. The study’s findings indicate that grade point average and possibly course completion were influenced by working more hours per week.
Working Students’ Perceptions of Paying for College: Understanding the Connections Between Financial Aid and Work
By Mary Ziskin (IU Bloomington), Mary Ann Fischer (IU Northwest), Vasti Torres (IU Bloomington), Jacquelyn Player-Sanders (Ivy Tech Northwest), & Beth Pellicciotti (Purdue University Calumet)
Drawing on data from student focus groups with 116 participants from three urban commuter institutions in northwest Indiana, this paper explores students’ views of and experiences with financial aid. The paper centers on the research question: How do students describe and conceptualize financial aid policy?
is a two-year policy-oriented study that the Project on Academic Success (PAS) is pursuing in collaboration with Indiana University Northwest, Ivy Tech Community College Northwest, and Purdue University Calumet. Funded by Lumina Foundation for Education, the project focuses on the new majority student experience in higher education — that of the mobile working student.
Traditionally, much of the research on college students has focused on students who graduate from high school and then move on to attend a four-year college on a full-time basis, graduating in four to six years. However, as research and experience have shown, even among traditional-age college students this pattern of linear enrollment is decreasingly common. Thus, metaphors such as the education pipeline no longer fit. Instead, students are more accurately represented as moving along pathways or even swirling toward postsecondary success.
At the center of this work is the belief that finding more effective ways to serve these students and to increase the number of college graduates in the region is linked to the economic revitalization of northwest Indiana. Thus, this action research project is rooted in efforts to better understand how working students, commuting students, and independent students manage the pressures they face from work, home, and educational commitments. In addition, we are also exploring how campus policies and practices enhance or constrain the ability of working students to complete their college degrees.
This new project expands the traditional focus of education research in ways that will lay the foundation for promising education policy and practices, leading ultimately to improved opportunity for access and success for students in this region. This study will provide colleges, universities, and state policy makers with actionable insights into how learning environments and institutional policies and practices can be structured to speak to the enrollment patterns, work lives, and daily realities of the students.
We have structured this project in such a way as to expand the focus beyond what one institution can do for "its" students. Rather, the study represents an effort to bring clear-sighted description to the study of how patterns of college-going, working, family demands, and institutional policies influence student success and degree attainment for students located in this key region of Indiana. Our research questions and methods focus on students, student experiences, and the region as a whole.
The primary research design for the study combines an applied ethnographic approach with a range of descriptive and inferential analyses and simulations based on a statewide longitudinal student unit record database. In the course of the two-year study we will conduct focus groups with students, faculty and administrators at the collaborating institutions. In addition throughout the study we will place our qualitative research findings within the broader scope and perspective provided by our analyses using the statewide database.
Mary Ann Fischer, Associate Professor of Psychology, Indiana University Northwest
Beth Pellicciotti, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Quality Programs, Purdue University Calumet
Jacquelyn A. Player-Sanders, Regional Manager of Tutoring, Computer Information Systems, Ivy Tech Community College Northwest
Vasti Torres, director of the Project on Academic Success, is director of the Center for Postsecondary Research and professor of higher education and student affairs at the Indiana University School of Education, where she teaches courses in student development theory, higher education research, and student affairs administration. Her research focuses on the college experiences of diverse populations, with an emphasis on Latino students. In 2007–2008 she became the first Latina president of the American College Personnel Association. Prior to coming to IU she was a faculty member at The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. During her 15 years of administrative experience she was associate vice provost and dean for enrollment and student services at Portland State University. In 2009 Torres received the Outstanding Contribution to Literature/Research Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
Don Hossler, project director of the College Board Study on Student Retention and former director of the Project on Academic Success, is professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the Indiana University School of Education and former executive director of research at the National Student Clearinghouse. His areas of specialization include college choice, student persistence, student financial aid policy, and enrollment management. He has served as vice chancellor for enrollment services for IU Bloomington, associate vice president for enrollment services for IU’s seven-campus system, and chair of the School of Education’s educational leadership and policy studies program. Hossler is the 2009 recipient of the Association for Institutional Research Sydney Suslow Award for significant contributions to the development of institutional research, planning, and decision making.
Robert K. Toutkoushian, project director of PAS’s Spencer Study on Educational Equity Programs, is professor of higher education at the University of Georgia. He was previously associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Indiana University School of Education. Toutkoushian specializes in the application of economic theories and methods to problems in higher education. He has a Ph.D. in economics from IU and has worked as a research analyst at the University of Minnesota and as executive director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the University System of New Hampshire. His numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals are on topics including faculty compensation, student demand for higher education, finance, and policy analysis. Toutkoushian also is editor-in-chief of New Directions for Institutional Research and president of the Association for Institutional Research.
Mary Ziskin, Ph.D., senior associate director of the Project on Academic Success, conducts research on college student persistence and academic success. Her research interests also include the racial stratification of educational opportunity, discourses surrounding academic merit, and critical research methodologies. She teaches qualitative methods and survey research at the Indiana University School of Education.
Desiree Zerquera is a doctoral candidate in higher education and student affairs, with a minor in public policy. Her research interests center on access to and equity within higher education, particularly for Latino and underrepresented students, and include community colleges and other open-access institutions, admissions and transfer processes, and education policy.
Afet Dundar collaborates with the Project on Academic Success in the College Board Study on Student Retention. She earned her Ph.D. in education policy studies at Indiana University. Afet is currently associate director at the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
Jacob Gross, an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Louisville, collaborates with the Project on Academic Success on several projects. He received his doctorate in history, philosophy, and policy studies in education, with a concentration in higher education, from Indiana University in 2008. His general research interests relate to the ways education policies reproduce and challenge social inequality. He focuses on academic success for underrepresented students in U.S. postsecondary education. Specific areas of interest include financial aid, racial and gender equity policies, postsecondary financing, and the effects of institutional contexts on student success.
Sarah Martin is publications coordinator at the Project on Academic Success. She has master's degrees from Indiana University in applied linguistics and instructional systems technology.
Jin Chen, research associate at the Project on Academic Success, is a Ph.D. student in educational leadership and policy studies at Indiana University, with a minor in applied statistics. She holds a master’s degree in the economics of education. Her general research interests include the economics of education, education finance, and quantitative research methods. Jin has been working closely with the Indiana School Finance Project team at the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy and is now involved in research on the effects of financial aid programs on college students’ academic attainment.
Tomika Ferguson, research associate at the Project on Academic Success, is a Ph.D. candidate in higher education and student affairs at Indiana University’s School of Education, with a minor in cultural studies. She has a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University. Her research interests include recruitment and retention of low-income students in postsecondary education and college student-athlete identity development.
Yi-Chen Chiang, research associate at the Project on Academic Success, is a Ph.D. student in inquiry methodology at Indiana University’s School of Education, with a minor in education policy studies. She has a master’s degree in educational psychology from National Taiwan Normal University. Her research interests include educational policy, measurement, and assessment.
Autumn T. Harrell, research associate at the Project on Academic Success, is a Ph.D. student in higher education at Indiana University’s School of Education with a minor in inquiry methodology. She has a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University. Her research interests include the underrepresented college student experience, equity implications of research methodology and reporting, and assessment in higher education.
Regina Biddings-Muro, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor for Engagement, Purdue University Calumet
Victor M.H. Borden, Associate Vice President for University Planning, Institutional Research, and Accountability, Indiana University Bloomington; Associate Professor of Psychology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Barbara Cope, Former Executive Director, Gary Educational Development Foundation
R. Keith Howard, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Ivy Tech Community College Northwest
Cynthia O’Dell, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies, Indiana University Northwest
Mara Candelaria Reardon, State Representative, District 12, Indiana House of Representatives
Dave Ryan, Executive Director, Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce for communities in northwest Indiana
Gary Wilk, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Indiana University Northwest