The Future of Undergraduate Education Video Series
The TIAA Institute has partnered with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences on a series of videos highlighting how higher education institutions are addressing the recommendations of the Academy’s Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education. The Commission—co-chaired by Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., TIAA president and CEO, and Michael S. McPherson, member of TIAA’s Board of Overseers—set forth three national priorities: strengthen the student educational experience, improve completion rates and increase affordability. Each video explores innovative ways institutions are meeting these challenges.
Overview of the Commission
Report by the Commission
Cornell University: Strengthening the student educational experience
Cornell has revamped its instructional practices with the goal of helping students fail less and learn more.
- Faculty are encouraged to use active learning techniques that get students involved and reinforce their knowledge of the material.
- Teaching post docs and other experts work with faculty to enhance lecture content and teaching approaches.
- Good feedback loops are critical for students to gauge their level of understanding and receive help as needed.
- Assessments of student outcomes suggest these approaches help close preparation gaps among students.
Cincinatti State: Increasing affordability
Cincinnati State’s Accelerate Program provides financial assistance and support services that help break down barriers to degree completion.
- To ease the financial burden of attending college, CState Accelerate provides tuition assistance, book vouchers and financial incentives, such as gas and grocery cards.
- Financial assistance alone is rarely enough. Students at high risk of dropping out also need ongoing mentoring and academic support.
- Personal accountability is critical. To remain in the program, students must attend classes full time and participate in monthly tutoring and coaching sessions.
- Success is a team effort. Liaisons throughout the college are committed to assuring the program achieves its goals.
Florida State University: Improving completion rates
FSU’s 72% four-year graduation rate is among the highest in the nation and the highest by far in Florida. Here’s how they achieved it.
- An enrollment management team, representing more than 20 offices from across campus, analyzes recruitment and retention data to flag critical issues.
- Data and data analysis are crucial to pinpoint needs and prepare students to meet eventual career challenges.
- Class sizes are kept small. Over 50% of classes have 19 or fewer students—in an institution with more than 42,000.
- Faculty are trained to know the resources available to students, and they actively encourage students to seek out those resources.