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The Landscape

"Casting New Light on Old Notions: a Changing Understanding of Community College Facility."
December 1998
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Based on the work of Mary Taylor Huber at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (CFAT), this issue of The Landscape dispels stereotypes about community college faculty, using comparative responses of faculty from both two- and four-year institutions to a national survey conducted by CFAT. Not only do faculty at two-year institutions share many of the same values as their colleagues elsewhere, they also have taken the lead in areas identified as the future directions of reform efforts for all of postsecondary education.


"The Choice-Income Squeeze: How Do Costs and Discounts Affect Institutional Choice?"
October 1998
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This article expands on the May/June 1997 issue of The Landscape, which documented the "price-income squeeze" in higher education, to ask a question about price and choice: As tuition has risen substantially faster than inflation, has there been a redistribution of enrollment associated with price hikes? The article reports on research by Michael McPherson of Macalester College and Morton Schapiro of the University of Southern California, that examines the relationship between financial aid; the average net tuitions that low-, middle-, and upper-income students are expected to pay at both public and private institutions; and shifts in enrollment that may be associated with family income.


"Are the Doors Closing? Assessing Affirmative Action at Selective Colleges and Universities"
August 1998
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Based on the work of Michael Nettles, executive director of the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute of the United Negro College Fund, this issue of The Landscape identifies the stake that college and universities have in maintaining affirmative action policies. The article explores evidence that represents both progress and regress in the affirmative action debate: the role these programs have played in expanding minority student entry to selective institutions and the effects of recent challenges in dramatically decreasing that access.


"Toward Clearer Connections: Understanding Employers’ Perceptions of College Graduates"
June 1998
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This issue of The Landscape explores the question: What ought to be the connection between the worlds of work and education? While few educators understand the role that work might play in transforming education, employers complicate the matter by sending contradictory signals to schools and students about what they expect. Based on an analysis of the National Employer Survey, this issue helps to clear up some of the static by presenting the factors that influence employers' perception of the work-readiness of college graduates.


"Tracking a Subtle Storm: Assessment Policies in Higher Education"
April 1998
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Little systemic knowledge is available to measure the extent and scope of publicly mandated outcomes assessment at the postsecondary level. By focusing on the work of Michael Nettles, John Cole, and Sally Sharp of the University of Michigan, this issue of The Landscape supplies a foundation for renewed discussion of this topic. State-level policies in all 50 states are surveyed, compared, and categorized—affording a comprehensive look at trends in current assessment practice.


"The User-Friendly Terrain: Defining the Market Taxonomy for Two-Year Institutions"
February 1998
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Having previously described the structure of the market for baccalaureate education (November/December 1997), this Landscape asks: "Is there a similarly segmented structure to the market for two-year programs?" The answer is yes—although the differences between market segments are more muted than in the market for baccalaureate education, based more on the extent to which an institution's focus is on providing a broad range of courses or degrees and certificates.