Graduate School of Education

At the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, we are here for change. We’re here because we believe in the power of education to build communities, bridge barriers, improve lives, and heal society. Here, we convene an ambitious and diverse community of leaders and pioneers, connecting them to one another and to a world that will benefit from their work. We equip them with immersive, real-world-based learning and research opportunities that bring them results. And we mobilize them to fulfill the promise of education in the classrooms, boardrooms, governments, and learning settings where true innovation and real transformation become possible. We offer vibrant array of high-quality master’s and doctoral degree programs.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 94
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    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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    Retaining African Americans in Higher Education: Challenging Paradigms for Retaining Students, Faculty, and Administrators (Review)
    (2002-09-01) Perna, Laura W
    Retaining African Americans in Higher Education is a timely and novel approach to a critical topic. Edited by Lee Jones, associate dean for academic affairs and instruction in the College of Education and associate professor in Educational Leadership at Florida State University, the volume contains 14 chapters, a preface, a conclusion, and two personal reflections that describe issues related to the retention of African American students, administrators, and faculty at predominantly white colleges and universities. “Written about African Americans, by African Americans” (p. xii), this book is recommended by a white woman for higher education administrators, faculty, researchers, and policymakers of all racial and ethnic groups.
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    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
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    Intervening Early and Successfully in the Education Pipeline
    (2005-09-08) Perna, Laura W; Cooper, Michelle Asha
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    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.
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    Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Ten Ways to Ensure that Higher Education Research Continues to Matter
    (2016-01-01) Perna, Laura W
    Imagine what a keynote address at the very first meeting of what has become the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) would have forecast about ASHE in the year 2015. Would the conveners of the first ASHE conference have guessed that: ∙ The number of ASHE members would grow sevenfold, rising from 300 in 1977 (Kellams, 1977) to more than 2,200 in 2015? ∙ The conference would no longer be held over two days in March, immediately preceding or following the annual American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) meeting, but instead would be a standalone conference held over four days and with seven pre-conferences? ∙ The general conference would have not six research paper sessions with 19 papers (as in 1978) but 129 research paper sessions with 352 papers (as in 2015)?
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    Promoting College Access for All Students
    (2014-03-31) Perna, Laura W
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    Borrowers Who Drop Out: A Neglected Aspect of the College Student Loan Trend
    (2005-05-01) Perna, Laura W
    Most students benefit from loans and are able to repay them when they leave higher education. However, borrowing, combined with other risk factors for not completing higher education (such as working too many hours, lack of adequate preparation, and part-time attendance), puts many students, especially low-income and first-generation students, at a particular disadvantage. The authors raise important policy questions about whether the system of financing higher education is appropriate. We believe that these questions and the recommendations from the authors deserve serious attention. There are, of course, many legitimate points of view about how to best support students financially. However, requiring students to assume significant financial risks so early in their educational careers poses a barrier to educational opportunity for many low-income and first-generation students.