Washington, D.C., June 14, 2010—Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) Vice President of Research and Programs Alisa Federico Cunningham has been appointed to serve as a member of the new U.S. Department of Education Committee on Measures of Student Success (CMSS). Created under the Higher Education Opportunity Act, the 15-member committee will develop recommendations for two-year degree-granting institutions of higher education to comply with the law's graduation and completion rate disclosure requirements. CMSS will also develop recommendations regarding additional or alternate measures of student success that are comparable alternatives to the institutions’ completion or graduation rates.
Cunningham is a higher education expert who is well versed in various issues related to disadvantaged student populations. Her experience in policy research and analysis includes both domestic and international fields. At IHEP, Cunningham oversees all of the organization’s research studies and project evaluations, while working closely with the president (Michelle Asha Cooper) to ensure all these efforts are integrated with IHEP’s mission and goals.
"This committee allows me the opportunity to develop new measures that reflect the successes and realities of two-year institutions, which serve a significant part of the undergraduate population in this country, and in particular traditionally underserved populations," said Cunningham. "These schools play multiple roles in their communities, from graduating students who are prepared to transfer to four-year institutions, to awarding degrees that help students go straight into the workforce, to offering courses that target returning adults. I look forward to identifying measures that establish effective policies to improve access and success."
CMSS members include experts in the field of higher education policy, state higher education officials, students, and other stakeholders in the higher education community. The members were appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in consultation with the Commissioner of Education Statistics.
The other 14 CMSS appointees are:
- Margarita Benitez, senior associate, Excelencia in Education, Washington, D.C.
- Wayne Burton, president, North Shore Community College, Danvers, Mass.
- Kevin Carey, policy director, Education Sector, Washington, D.C.
- Jacob Fraire, assistant vice president, Educational Alliances, Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation, Austin, Texas
- Isabel Friedman, student, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
- Millie Garcia, president, California State University at Dominguez, Calif.
- Sharon Kristovich, higher education consultant, Champaign, Ill.
- Harold Levy, managing director, Palm Ventures and former chancellor of New York City Public Schools, New York, N.Y.
- Geri Palast, executive director, Campaign for Fiscal Equity, New York, N.Y.
- Patrick Perry, vice chancellor, California Community College System, Sacramento, Calif.
- Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, deputy director, MDRC, New York, N.Y.
- Linda Thor, chancellor, De Anza College, Cupertino, Calif.
- Belle Wheelan, president, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges, Decatur, Ga.
Duncan has appointed Thomas Bailey, a professor of economics and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, N.Y., to serve as the CMSS chair. Bailey is also director of Teacher College's Community College Research Center as well as its National Center for Postsecondary Research.
All the members, including the chair, have been appointed for terms ending Dec. 31, 2011. A notice will be posted in the Federal Register about the first CMSS meeting—which is slated to be held this fall—along with subsequent meeting dates. CMSS meetings are open to the public.
The committee is expected to submit its recommendations to Secretary Duncan no later than 18 months from the date of its first meeting.