Helping Make Quality Higher Education Affordable for Students and Taxpayers
Access to higher education is critical for the well-being and success of our nation's youth and our nation itself. Yet, with costs sky-rocketing, a post-secondary education has become an unattainable dream for too many.
Making higher education more affordable for students, their families and taxpayers is important to us at Public Agenda. We are working across the country, in partnership with foundations, organizations and higher education institutions, to attain this goal.
While most agree on this common objective, sometimes those charged with reforming higher education don't see eye to eye on how to get there.
Public Agenda conducts research with a diversity of stakeholders who have an interest in higher education, including students, faculty, college and university presidents and trustees, community members, and business owners.
We then apply this research to help these stakeholders better work toward solutions that can be sustained.
Here are some examples of the work we've been doing in higher education. If you'd like more information on these or other initiatives, send us an email and we'll be happy to help.
- Finding a common vocabulary. College faculty and administration both want the college experience to be high quality and more affordable for students. But, through research these groups, we found out that some of the language presidents were using turned faculty off. Using the right vocabulary enabled faculty and administration to work together better on their common goal of transforming student experience.
- Understanding a diversity of viewpoints. Through qualitative and quantitative research with stakeholders in higher education, we are able to understand where these groups are entering the conversation about higher education costs and reform, their expectations, and things they may need to know more about. Groups we've researched include college and university presidents , financial officers, trustees, business leaders, faculty and the public.
- Injecting the voices of students. We conducted seminal research into the attitudes and insights of students, both those who graduated and those who didn't. The findings remain key for policymakers and education leaders to understand the hurdles students face and envision the policies that may help remove them.
- Improving the human side of change. There are a lot of exciting new innovations that help more students learn more efficiently and effectively, such as high quality online and hybrid courses. Yet sometimes the most promising innovations falter. Anything new requires a change, and change can be hard. Public Agenda has developed guidance and frameworks to help institutional leaders and other higher education stakeholders understand and purposefully create climates that are conducive to the uptake, implementation and sustainability of research-based innovations in teaching and learning.