Perna, Laura W

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 106
  • Publication
    Much Accomplished, Much at Stake: Performance and Policy in Maryland Higher Education
    (2012-02-01) Perna, Laura W; Finney, Joni E; Callan, Patrick
    The challenge: To maintain an internationally competitive work force, Maryland aims to increase the share of its adult population that holds at least an associate degree from 44% to 55% by 2025. To achieve this goal, the state must improve the performance of its higher education system, ameliorating its weaknesses and building on its strengths. The bottom line: Maryland’s higher education system is leaving poor, urban, black, Hispanic and native-born Marylanders behind. But a strong record of marshaling resources to achieve higher education goals and the state’s relative wealth put Maryland in a good position to do something about this problem, if it so chooses.
  • Publication
    Making Sense of a Looking Glass World
    (2014-05-30) Zemsky, Robert M; Shaman, Susan; Perna, Laura W
    As the Walrus in Lewis Carroll's knows, it is the sorting out that matters most. And in colleges and universities, just as in oysters, those of the largest size and most prestige will almost certainly insist on being grouped together, no matter what the consequences. Working with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation we have set for ourselves the task of doing just that—using data drawn from the U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to sort American colleges and universities into recognizable clusters that or segments that facilitate the making of comparisons within groups of similar institutions. No less, we seek a set of indices or measures that document the performance of these institutions in terms of access and completions. And to accomplish this latter task, we seek a reasonable means of describing each institution's undergraduate student body along four gauges of diversity: economic, race and ethnicity, age, and geography.
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    The Role and Contribution of Academic Researchers in Congressional Hearings: A Critical Discourse Analysis
    (2019-02-01) Perna, Laura W; Orosz, Kata; Kent, Daniel C.
    This study uses critical discourse analysis to explain how legislators determine the role and contributions of academic researchers in Congressional legislative hearings. The discursive practices that legislators use serve to construct the social identity of academic witnesses, characterize witnesses’ qualifications, solicit information from witnesses, frame comments from witnesses, and amplify and mitigate witness testimony. The findings make visible the ways that legislators use the power of their positions to depict academic witnesses as both experts who offer independent knowledge and experts who validate or confirm a legislator’s preferences and priorities. The results have implications for academics who seek to improve connections between research and policy, and academics who seek to further advance the production of knowledge of federal policymaking processes.
  • Publication
    Exploring the College Enrollment of Parents: A Descriptive Analysis
    (2010-01-01) Perna, Laura W; Walsh, Erin J.; Fester, Rachel
    Despite the substantial size of the population, relativelty little research has focused on the status and experiences of undergraduate parents. Using descriptive analyses of data from the NPSAS:04, this study provides a starting point for campus administrators, public policymakers, and educational researchers who seek to identify ways to better understand the characteristics of this population.
  • Publication
    Letters to the Editor: More to the Story
    (2005-01-01) Perna, Laura W; Fries-Britt, Sharon; Milem, Jeffrey; Williams, John
    Editor-We are writing to comment on your article, "A Mixed Blessing? Critics object to Mississippi's settlement of a 1975 anti-segregation lawsuit involving the state's 'historically black universities' " (National CrossTalk, Summer 2004). While shedding light on the "desegregation" of the historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Mississippi, the article could also mislead readers about the extent to which colleges and universities in the 19 southern and southern-border states are providing equal educational opportunity to blacks.
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  • Publication
    State Policy Leadership Vacuum: Performance and Policy in Washington Higher Education
    (2012-01-01) Perna, Laura W; Finney, Joni E; Callan, Patrick
  • Publication
    Intervening Early and Successfully in the Education Pipeline
    (2005-09-08) Perna, Laura W; Cooper, Michelle Asha
  • Publication
    Research Qestions and Data Resource Needs For Examining Student Access to Higher Education
    (1998-08-01) Nettles, Michael T; Perna, Laura W; Millett, Catherine M
    This paper examines some of the important policy issues pertaining to student access to higher education and raises evaluation questions for which evaluation research is needed. For illustrative purposes, the paper presents data that show the progress the nation has made in expanding access persistence and degree completion for various segments of the population at different levels, types and qualities of colleges and universities
  • Publication
    Is a College Promise Program an Effective Use of Resources? Understanding the Implications of Program Design and Resource Investments for Equity and Efficiency
    (2020-10-19) Perna, Laura W; Wright-Kim, Jeremy; Leigh, Elaine W.
    Also known as “free tuition,” college promise programs are emerging across the United States as a potential mechanism for improving college access and affordability, Whether these initiatives are an effective use of resources depends on whether programs advance societal goals for equity and efficiency. Although some emerging research explores the role of program design, few studies have probed how program design and resource investments influence program outcomes, efficiency, and equity. To address this knowledge gap, this study draws on case studies of programs that offer free tuition to attend four community colleges. Findings illustrate how program outcomes, efficiency, and equity may be influenced by the criteria used to determine program eligibility and the resources invested in the financial award and other program components. We hope the findings are useful to policymakers and institutional leaders, as they strive to allocate resources to advance both efficiency and equity.