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News - Working Paper Series

The Center for Higher Education publishes papers, original research studies, and reflective essays that reflect multidisciplinary fields, contribute to research on higher education, and enhance dialogue among educators, policy makers, practitioners, and the public.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Higher Education, its research staff, or other affiliated researchers. Questions regarding the content of individual contributions and Center research reports should be directed to the authors. For details about each paper, please click on its title below.

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Fostering Global Leadership Development Through Service-Learning, by Diana L. Marvel. CHEWP.1.2014

Abstract: This paper discusses the potential of service-learning as a proven high-impact educational practices that can effectively prepare students to face the inevitable challenges of an increasingly globalized economy. Global service-learning programs can be active sites of global leadership development in which students learn to think critically and act responsibly while gaining a greater understanding for the complex web of interdependent relationships involved in decision-making and social mobilization. Although it has gained in popularity, however, service-learning remains an add-on curricular feature that professors may or may not choose to integrate into their courses. Furthermore, despite a national push to encourage education abroad, international study still remains inaccessible to many students who do not possess adequate resources to finance international travel. The author argues that service-learning should be more widely and intentionally integrated into the undergraduate curriculum as a means to foster the development of global leadership skills.

Summer Melt at Community Colleges: Effective Intervention Strategies for Research, by Patrick Gill. CHEWP.2.2014

Abstract: This essay addresses the gap in higher education’s response to summer melt, looking specifically at community colleges. It provides a summer melt literature review, a description of student
populations it impacts, and evidence on how community college students are most prone to summer melt. The essay acknowledges strides that k-12 educators have made in the larger study of summer melt, while highlighting potential challenges higher education administrators face in addressing the problem. To provide more than a theoretical understanding of factors impacting education administrators, the essay outlines a 2014 research study to be conducted by the author at his institution. By building upon intervention strategies from k-12, asking new questions, and providing a comprehensive design, the author both situates the study of summer melt at community colleges in the larger discussion and provides an example of a study to be put into practice (adapted, tested, and improved) at other  community college institutions.

Pathways to Prosperity: Central Ohio Phase One, by Pamela G. Wilson. CHEWP.3.2014

Abstract: Central Ohio school districts are collaborating in an unprecedented manner, under a Straight A Grant, to implement demonstration sites for four industry-focused Pathways to Prosperity (PtoP). The postsecondary partner is Columbus State Community College (CSCC), who is providing the college level content and assisting with updated curriculum and course progression. PtoP is an example of the many initiatives underway nationwide to provide college credit opportunities to high school students in a structured program. The consortium of schools, also working with Jobs for the Future, Battelle for Kids, and Paul Werth Associates, are collaborating to share resources and information for the benefit of the region and in support of Columbus 202 and the Central Ohio Compact. The initial phase of the project provided me with an opportunity to observe and participate in steering committee meetings, issue discussion, and coordination efforts. This paper provides an overview of the pathways concept, Ohio Straight A Grant objectives, and personal observations (as of week nine in an 18-week involvement) of the initial phase of this initiative across Central Ohio public school districts.

Historical Perspective on the Disparities in the Proportion of Women in Higher-Education Leadership, by Laura Risler. CHEWP.4.2014

Abstract: The number of women ascending to senior administrative positions in American higher education has grown over the past decades. Yet these overall percentages mask a substantial variation in the representation of women by institution type. A notable inverse relationship also exists between the proportion of women administrators and the prestige of the institution. It is the position of this paper that it is equally important to consider how American higher education has evolved over the nation’s history and became the diverse array of institutions that it is today. An understanding of this history can illuminate the gendered origins of four-year and graduate institutions versus two-year colleges. In general, the former inherited a centuries-old legacy of male privilege that eroded gradually (in the face of considerable resistance) in the unique cultural context and pragmatic realities of the New World. The latter inherits a hybrid of culture from secondary and post-secondary institutions that was coeducational from the beginning, and pragmatic concerns drove the sector’s hiring of large numbers of women. The history of higher education is a story that continues to unfold. American higher-education institutions face a host of challenges that, while not obviously gender-related, may nonetheless open more opportunities for women in academic leadership.



Supervision in Student Affairs: A Study of Synergistic Supervision, New Professionals, and Attrition, by Jolene A. Petroc. CHEWP.4.2013 (August 2013)

Abstract: This study examines supervision in the field of student affairs and the relationship between the synergistic approach to supervision and the attrition of new professionals. In this study, literature concerning supervision in the field, synergistic supervision, the experiences, needs, and expectations of new professionals, and attrition are reviewed and analyzed. Conclusions based upon analysis indicate current supervisory practices in the field do not reflect the synergistic approach or align with the needs of entry-level professionals. Recommendations for improving supervision and propelling the field forward are provided at the conclusion of the study.

Understanding the Frequency, Mode, and Impact of Parental Communication and Involvement With Students on Four-Year College Campuses, by Danielle L. Oldfield. CHEWP.3.2013 (July 2013)

Abstract: The field of higher education has seen an increase in parental interactions not only with administrators, but also with their students. With more opportunities to talk to their students daily, parents are able to receive immediate updates on happenings with classes, roommates, and other day-to-day situations than in the past. With increased issues of safety and security on campuses following school shootings and an increased prevalence of mental health issues, parents are even more inclined to stretch and test their ability to procure information and create change on behalf of their students. This increased involvement is driving institutions to find ways to partner with parents in order to find a balance between their involvement and the development of autonomy for their students.

Overcoming Failure: An Exploration of Psychosocial Characteristics and Interventions That Best Help Students Succeed After Academic Failure, by Julie French. CHEWP.2.2013 (June 2013)

Abstract: This paper provides an overview and analysis of the literature on psychosocial characteristics of resilient students who successfully overcome failure, as well as interventions designed to assist students in developing and strengthening those characteristics. Major theories reviewed include attribution theory, achievement goal theory, and regulatory focus theory. Interventions include attributional retraining, feedback intervention, self-compassion and praise designed to shift goal-orientation and/or self-esteem. The most resilient students seem to be those who attribute failure to external, unstable and controllable causes, pursue learning goals, and have a prevention focus that defines success as the avoidance of failure. While many interventions have been developed to assist these students, attributional retraining seems to be the most research-based and effective.

University and Community Partnerships: Building Successful and Mutually Beneficial Relationships While Addressing University Readiness and the Unequal Balance of Power, by Kevin Davis. CHEWP.1.2013 (May 2013)

Abstract: While recent trends suggest a strong desire between universities and the local surrounding communities to build mutually beneficial partnerships, these partnerships often struggle and are not successful. Therefore, the question must be asked why university and community partnerships are so difficult to form and what can be done to increase the chances of forming a mutually beneficial union. The following article will introduce a community and university partnership, provide a brief history of university and community relations, detail issues that make partnership building difficult (including university readiness and the unequal balance of power), and highlight three distinct models aimed at helping universities build mutually beneficial partnerships with their local communities.


Proceedings of the Interlink Alliance 2nd Faculty Development Conference: Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century, edited by Brandon Wolfe. CHEWP.4.2012 (September 2012)

Abstract: This paper is a summary of proceedings for the “Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century” conference that took place in March 9-10, 2012, at North Carolina Central University. Hosted by The Interlink Alliance, this faculty development conference provided higher education instructors the opportunity to share best practices in teaching and learning, discuss research on teaching and learning processes and establish relationships with faculty from other Interlink Alliance campuses. Conference programs and activities centered on four tracks: Teachers and Leaders; Teaching the Millennial Student with Technology; Knowledge Economy and University-Industry Research Collaborations and Distance Education.
A table of contents with links to jump directly to each individual topic is included in this paper.

The Effectiveness of African American and Hispanic Mentoring Programs at Predominantly White Institutions by Vincent T. Harris. CHEWP.3.2012 (May 2012)

Abstract: This research paper will examine the usefulness of undergraduate mentoring programs, specifically those geared towards supporting African American and Hispanic male students attending a PWI; highlighting pre–college and existing environmental factors affecting both African American and Hispanic students, including perceptions, academic outcomes, mentoring approaches, and the significance of ethnicity and gender in a mentoring relationship. Lastly, influential approaches to mentoring: “ethnic–matching mentoring” and “gender–matching mentoring” are discussed.

Gender affects students of color’s academic outcomes and perceptions on a college campus (Frierson, Hargrove, and Lewis, 1994). The conclusion of the study suggests necessary support services are needed in order to positively alter the lives of male students of color.

Misery Loves Company: A Perpetuation of Body Dissatisfaction in Sorority Women by Erica N. Schwartz. CHEWP.2.2012 (May 2012)

Abstract: Prior research shows that struggling with body image is a problem among the college women population. This struggle is compounded in the sorority environment due to a few factors. High socio-economic status is a risk factor for body image struggles according to the research because of the cost of being a member of a sorority. The formal recruitment process also contributes to this problem as recruitment requires quick interactions almost entirely based on appearance. Rejection from an organization can cause women to associate the rejection with their body. A common characteristic of being a sorority member is living among other women in a sorority house. Research shows that women living among all women can contribute to body image struggles and disordered eating. Women model each other’s behavior and compare themselves to other women which can lead to lowered self-esteem.

Financing Higher Education: Approaches to Funding at Four-Year Public Institutions by John Hummell. CHEWP.1.2012 (March 2012)

Abstract:This paper examines declining state support for higher education and explores various
funding models that colleges and universities in the United States employ, including incremental budgeting, formula budgeting, zero-based budgeting, program budgeting, performance-based budgeting, initiative-based budgeting, and responsibility-centered budgeting. The mechanics, advantages, and disadvantages of responsibility-centered budgeting are emphasized. This paper looks at the literature on declining state support and the various budgeting models and provides an analysis regarding information on dwindling state support for higher education, the importance of budgeting, terminology discrepancies and application differences.


Ohio Early-College Strategies and Their Potential Relevance to Families and Students from Rural Appalachian Ohio by Tom Duncan, Craig Howley and Aimee Howley. CHEWP.2.2011 (February 2011)

Abstract: This working paper examines various provisions that have enabled Ohio high school students to participate in college before they would otherwise be scheduled to graduate from high school. The examination focuses, unusually, on the relevance of such arrangements to families in rural Appalachian Ohio.

Faculty Senate Leader Survey: Preliminary Results of Master's Institutions by James Archibald. CHEWP.1.2011 (January 2011)

Abstract: The National Study of Faculty Leadership is conducted by the Center for Higher Education at Ohio University. The purpose of the study is to investigate faculty’s role in shared governance and to collect information about faculty leaders generally. The inaugural survey of the study, the Faculty Senate Leader Survey (FSLS:09), targeted faculty senate chairs with endorsement from the American Association of University Professors in 2009. The FSLS:09 collected information from senate leaders regarding the characteristics of the faculty senate and critical issues in higher education from the perspective of the faculty senate leader. The FSLS:09 was sent to faculty senate leaders at doctoral and master institutions across the nation. Faculty senate leaders reported allocation of funds, fiscal constraints, erosion of public trust, enrollment, and retention to be the top critical issues in higher education. This report focuses on the responses from senate leaders at master's institutions.


Pathways of Promise: A Review and Exploration of P-16 Initiatives and Governance by Zach Brown, Julie Cohara, Christopher Quolke, and Brent Patterson. CHEWP.4.2010 (September 2010)

Abstract: This paper examines the rationale behind P-16 educational initiatives and challenges to their successful implementation. Through two short case studies, it also demonstrates the effectiveness that P-16 alignment brings to bear on student success and regional economic development. Using Walsh’s (2009) framework of six thematic areas for improvement in P-16 Education, the authors specifically identify P-16 governance as a primary area of interest. Examining the need for Innovator/Bellwether Awards that go beyond Instructional Programs and Services, the two community college P-16 programs identified reflect P-16 education progressive success in Planning, Governance, and Finance (PGF) and also the category of Workforce Development (WD). We examine issues such as the lack of alignment between P-12 and higher education, the need for including a variety of stakeholders in the process, and, of course, the gains that can be made through successful initiatives. Our basic methodology involved examining outcomes of students in the featured programs in relation to national outcomes information for student populations in general. The literature describes several approaches being used to meet the challenges of college readiness and preconceptions about technical education programs. Our research revealed that data collection on P-16 initiatives varies widely in terms of types of information collected and its ultimate use in program accountability and deployment. Finally, we note that students, regional stakeholders, and states have much to gain from intensifying their focus on alignment efforts such as P-16 education as early outcome data have shown positive potential.

Community College Athletes: Tracking Progress to Gauge Success by David Horton. CHEWP.3.2010 (August 2010)

Abstract: This working paper provides an argument and case for a deeper focus and discussion
on community college student athletes. It also offer recommendations to institutions for the types of data that should be collected to gauge student success. A primary aim of these recommendations is to supply a framework for institutions to develop scholar athletes through intentional efforts to ensure that students are on an appropriate path to accomplishing their academic goals. The framework also presents a method for critical evaluation of the effectiveness of an athletic program’s contribution to its institution’s mission and goals.

Faculty Senate Leader Survey: Preliminary Results of Doctoral Institutions by James Archibald. CHEWP.2.2010 (August 2010)

Abstract: The National Study of Faculty Leadership is conducted by the Center for Higher Education at Ohio University. The purpose of the study is to investigate faculty’s role in shared governance and to collect information about faculty leaders generally. The inaugural survey of the study, the Faculty Senate Leader Survey (FSLS:09), targeted faculty senate chairs with endorsement from the American Association of University Professors in 2009. The FSLS:09 collected information from senate leaders regarding the characteristics of the faculty senate and critical issues in higher education from the perspective of the faculty senate leader. The FSLS:09 was sent to faculty senate leaders at doctoral and master institutions across the nation. Faculty senate leaders reported allocation of funds, fiscal constraints, erosion of public trust, enrollment, and retention to be the top critical issues in higher education. This report focuses on the responses from senate leaders at doctoral institutions.

Exploring the Cultural Identity of Community Colleges in Appalachia by Robert Young. CHEWP.1.2010 (August 2010).

Abstract: This is an examination of the cultural identity issues that affect community colleges in rural Appalachia. Appalachia has a distinctive cultural identity that is comprised of ideas and attitudes that isolate the people in the region from the rest of America. This identity must be understood, so that community colleges can be effective agents of educational and economic change in the region. Community colleges must know how Appalachians think about themselves, how those ideas relate to their own identity in the region, and how to shape their identity to be effective agents of change for their constituents. By adopting a “town-based” identity, community colleges can support and challenge the beliefs of their constituents, and help them improve their condition.


Institutional Research in Support of Student and Institutional Success by A. Michael Williford. CHEWP.1.2009 (August 2009).

Abstract: This paper explores the role of institutional researchers in support of student and institutional success. Specifically, Williford addresses the question of whether institutional researchers should advocate for student success. Prior literature in the field of institutional research is largely silent on the subject of advocacy. With the help of several case studies undertaken by the Office of Institutional Research at Ohio University, Williford argues that institutional researchers should be practically-oriented action researchers, active participants in helping their colleges and universities achieve their goals and objectives. Furthermore, as educators, institutional researchers need to be advocates for institutional and student success. They often participate in student assessment, in which the overall goal is improving teaching, learning, and student services.

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