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Current Projects

Current research projects at SIHER include: the National Center for Postsecondary Improvement, a research collaborative addressing contemporary issues in higher education; the Bridge Project, a study of K-16 transitions and postsecondary success; Assessing Student Learning and Accounting for Student Achievement, a five-year study of accountability and assessment in higher education; and Academic Collaboration in Public Higher Education, an organizational analysis of exemplary initiatives.

National Center for Postsecondary Improvement (NCPI)

From 1996-2004 SIHER served as headquarters for NCPI. NCPI's research addresses concerns of policymakers and institutional leaders, such as studying student transitions from high school to college and from college to work; developing data sets and instrumentation to examine student outcomes and assessment; and analyzing planning and restructuring activities. Through research and dissemination, NCPI offers its constituentsópolicymakers, employers, faculty, students, and administratorsódata analysis, recommendations, and tools so they can better adapt to, and even thrive in, a rapidly changing environment.

K-16 Projects

A second major SIHER activity is the K-16 Projects, led by Mike Kirst. The primary project, The Bridge Project, is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts with additional support from the U.S. Department of Education through NCPI. An overarching aim is to enhance secondary student preparation for higher education and to better align higher education admissions and placement standards with K-12 curriculum. The project analyzes disjunctures between K-12 and postsecondary education concepts and practices and recommends changes. Another project, Standards for Success , analyzes the relationship between state K-12 standards/assessments and university admissions. Sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts and with contributions from the Association of American Universities, the project is developing a national clearinghouse of state educational standards while working with universities to articulate desired skills. SIHER's K-16 projects also include a community college research project, and collaborations with the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Education Commission of the States, the Education Trust and the California Master Plan Committee.

Assesing Student Learning and Accounting for Student Achievement
Led by Richard Shavelson, this five-year project evaluates assessments of student learning and alternative accountability systems through case study research. Findings will be used to recommend principles for measuring student learning and redesigning systems to improve teaching and learning.

Academic Collaboration in Public Higher Education
Led by Patricia Gumport, these multi-year projects examine initiatives to establish collaborative courses and programs across campuses within public university systems. Using case study methods, the project identifies the resources, structural arrangements and governance practices that support faculty collaboration as well as the strategies used by faculty and campus leaders to overcome obstacles and minimize the attendant risks. The research is funded by the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Efficiency in Community Colleges
Funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Gumport and Fong are developing a research agenda on strategies for improving efficiency in community colleges.

The Effects of Racial Diversity on Critical Thinking Among College Students
This study seeks to test the hypothesis that racial diversity in small group discussions among college students enhances their critical thinking. Anthony Lising Antonio and Kenji Hakuta are the Co-Principal Investigators. See Effects of Racial Diversity on Complex Thinking in College Students. Antonio and colleagues examine empirical evidence on educational benefits of diverse learning environments.

The Role of Friendship Groups and Networks in Student Development
A longitudinal study of college students, this research examines the friendship group and its impact on students. As opposed to college peer group studies that view the entire campus population as a peer group, this research breaks new ground by focusing on the interpersonal environment consisting of best friends and examines students’ development of cultural awareness, commitment to racial understanding, self-concept, and educational aspirations. The study is placed in the context of a multicultural campus and addresses the impact of racial diversity within friendship groups. This project is led by Anthony Lising Antonio.

Stanford University School of Education Doctoral program in Higher Education

As part of the School of Education's Social Sciences, Policy, and Educational Practice (SSPEP) program, the doctoral program in Higher Education is designed for students who plan to pursue careers as faculty members, university or college administrators, public policy analysts, or researchers in higher education institutions and other related organizations.

For more information download a copy of the Doctoral Program in Higher Education brochure and a list of recommended Higher Education courses for the 2006-07 school year.

For more information regarding the Doctoral program in Higher Education at Stanford University contact Patricia Gumport or Anthony Antonio.

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