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A critical synthesis of research literature on the process of organizational change at the institutional level is needed because higher education is being asked to be responsive to an ever-changing environment.
This work focuses on providing the reader several key insights into the change process by:
(1) presenting a common language for organizational change;
(2) describing the multidisciplinary research base on change;
(3) highlighting the distinct characteristics of higher education institutions and how this might influence the change process;
(4) reviewing models/concepts of organizational change derived within higher education, comparing and contrasting different approaches; and
(5) providing principles for change based on a synthesis of the research within higher education.

Kezar, Adrianna
ERIC Digest

Scale-up is the practice of introducing proven interventions into new settings with the goal of producing similarly positive effects in larger, more diverse populations. Scale-up research examines factors that influence the effectiveness of interventions as they are brought to scale across settings. This article has three objectives. First, it defines the goals of scale-up research with respect to broader efforts to enhance the quality of educational research and promote evidencebased education. Second, it clarifies the importance of context, conceptually and methodologically, in conducting scale-up research. Finally, it suggests practical guidelines that can assist researchers in developing designs that can be implemented in field settings to produce robust, generalizable findings.

Sarah-Kathryn McDonald, Venessa Ann Keesler, Nils J. Kauffman, and Barbara Schneider

Some educational interventions successfully “scale up.” Others do not. Little—arguably, almost nothing—is known about the factors that lead to successful scaling up.
The goal of this chapter is to identify a number of these factors through a disciplined and methodologically rigorous approach.
The difficulties associated with scaling up can broadly be summarized as falling into two classes: (1) difficulties associated with interventions (i.e., is a particular program suitable for upscaling?) and (2) difficulties associated with dissemination of the developed intervention (i.e., what geographical, economical, and human contexts are suitable for upscaling?).
There has not been a systematic review of the available knowledge, either at the
level of theory or at the level of empirical evaluation of hypotheses and observations on the process of upscaling. This chapter attempts to carry out a systematic analysis of some of the factors contributing to scalability of a given educational program. The chapter does not claim to address all factors. However, it does attempt to capture and characterize at least some of the critical dimensions of scalability.

Robert J. Sternberg, Damian Birney, Linda Jarvin, Alex Kirlik, Steven Stemler, Elena L. Grigorenko
PACE Center, Yale University

This report presents analyses from a statewide study on the impact of The Ohio Benefit Bank. It follows prior work which assessed the economic and social impact of The Ohio Benefit Bank program on the state, communities, families, and individuals. The Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks (OASHF), with funding from The Columbus Foundation, commissioned Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs to conduct this study.

In consultation with the project sponsors, the Voinovich School designed a three‐phase longitudinal telephone survey of Ohio Benefit Bank clients. The purpose of this study was to assess the factors that influence clients’ decisions to apply for certain benefits that they were estimated to be potentially eligible for through The Benefit Bank® online service, and the impact the accessed benefits had on these individuals. The study focused on Ohio Benefit Bank clients who had been screened for potential eligibility for Medicaid, food assistance, and/or cash assistance, but had not received these benefits in the past year. In particular, the project sought to understand why some Ohio Benefit Bank clients take the next step and apply for benefits with County Department of Job and Family Services and why others decide not to apply.

The study focused on these key questions:

  1. Who accesses Ohio Benefit Bank services?
  2. Do Ohio Benefit Bank clients complete their applications?
  3. How do benefits impact clients over the short‐term?
Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University
Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University

Despite their best efforts, community colleges continue to see low rates of student persistence and degree attainment, particularly among academically vulnerable students. While it is likely that academic interventions need to be reformed to increase their efficacy, another partial explanation for these low success rates is that students have other needs that are not being met. This Brief, based on a longer paper, examines programs and practices that appear to address these needs by providing non-academic support in order to encourage student success.

A review of the literature on non-academic support yields evidence of four mechanisms by which such supports can improve student outcomes: (1) creating social relationships, (2) clarifying aspirations and enhancing commitment, (3) developing college know-how, and (4) addressing conflicting demands of work, family and college. Identifying these mechanisms allows for a deeper understanding of both the functioning of promising interventions and the conditions that may lead students to become integrated into college life. Notably, each of these mechanisms can occur within a variety of programs, structures, or even informal interactions. The Brief concludes by discussing avenues for further research and immediate implications for community colleges.

Melinda Mechur Karp
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

This Brief, based on a longer review that considers the hypothesis that low-skilled students can learn more effectively and advance to college-level programs more readily through contextualization of basic skills instruction, presents two forms of contextualization that have been studied: “contextualized” and “integrated” instruction. There is more descriptive work on the contextualization of basic skills than studies with student outcome data. In addition, many studies with quantitative evidence on the effectiveness of contextualization have methodological flaws that limit conclusions. Further, only a small number of studies are with college students. However, despite these problems, contextualization seems to be a promising direction for accelerating the progress of academically underprepared college students. The method of contextualization is grounded in a conceptual framework relating to the transfer of skill and student motivation; practitioners who use it observe positive results, and the available quantitative evidence indicates that it has the potential to increase achievement.

Dolores Perin
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

This paper, prepared for the 2011 Fall Research Conference hosted by the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management, presents an overview of dual-generation strategies, including a conceptual framework and important components, an analysis of the major opportunities and challenges for these strategies, and thoughts on next steps for moving forward with a dual-generation agenda.

Christopher T. King, Tara Smith, Robert C. Glover
Ray Marshall Center, LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin