The "Changing the Debate" Initiative
While policies at the federal, state, and institutional levels have long been focused on reducing the barriers to postsecondary education, most research has relied on convenient standards and often-repeated remedies. With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IHEP launched its “Changing the Debate” initiative to bring timely, thought-provoking, and data-driven research and promising interventions to the policy debate.
Examining existing policies and making recommendations aimed to benefit underserved, and largely understudied, student populations—such as low-income young adults and incarcerated individuals—serves as the cornerstone to IHEP “changing the debate” among education decision makers at all levels.
The main components of the initiative are the following:
- Low-Income Young Adults in Higher Education: Understanding the critical linkages between low-income young adults’ experiences in postsecondary education and their transition to the labor market is an important first step to improving the value of each. Topics to be investigated focus on enrollment and attendance patterns, educational aspirations and academic readiness for college, movement in and between institutions, financing postsecondary education, patterns of persistence and attainment, and selected labor market outcomes.
- Incarcerated Individuals in Higher Education: Despite numerous studies demonstrating a correlation between education received in prison and improved social and economic outcomes post-release, such opportunities are not available to all individuals who are incarcerated. This project will utilize qualitative and quantitative data to gain a better understanding of postsecondary education access for jailed people during their time of incarceration and after their release.
- National Equity Index: This index will focus on the differences in access, success, retention and completion across racial and socio-economic groups using an easy-to-understand measure. It will also reveal where states are today and set a benchmark for monitoring progress in the future.
- Unlocking Potential: Results of a National Survey of Postsecondary Education in State Prisons
- A Portrait of Low-Income Young Adults in Education
© Institute for Higher Education Policy 1993-2010