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.
- Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education
- C-SAIL Publications
- Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE)
- Dissertations (GSE)
- Graduate School of Education Dissertations
- GSE Faculty Research
- GSE Graduate Student Research
- Learning at the Bottom of the Pyramid
- Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions
- Penn Child Research Center
PublicationRedefining Competition Constructively: The Challenges of Privatisation, Competition and Market-Based State Policy in the United States(2007-01-01) Eckel, Peter DIn the United States, the relationship between state governments and public colleges and universities is being redefined with new notions of autonomy and accountability, and with funding policies that are highly market-driven (often referred to as "privatisation") as the centerpieces. Situations and institutional strategies unthinkable only a few years ago are becoming increasingly commonplace. For instance, a few business and law schools at public institutions are moving toward privatisation, distancing themselves from both the states and their parent universities. While American higher education has traditionally been competitive and market driven, emerging state market-based policies, which will clearly benefit some types of institutions over others, are further intensifying the competition with a variety of effects at the institutional and sector levels. Entrepreneurial or commercial activities may provide the additional resources individual institutions need to fulfil their public purpose. However, when all institutions pursue the same set of competitive strategies, no one gains an advantage. Institutions run harder to stay in place. The cumulative effect of competition may also work against important social objectives such as affordability and access. This paper explores the challenges that the current competitive environment creates for institutional leaders in the United States. It acknowledges that the competitive environment will not abate and suggests that by competing in different ways, over different objectives, with different purposes, US higher education might better meet its social objectives of increased access, lower cost and enhanced quality. PublicationMaking Sense of a Looking Glass World(2014-05-30) Zemsky, Robert M; Shaman, Susan; Perna, Laura WAs 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. PublicationRetaining African Americans in Higher Education: Challenging Paradigms for Retaining Students, Faculty, and Administrators (Review)(2002-09-01) Perna, Laura WRetaining 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. PublicationThe Not So Open Door(2010-11-18) Ruby, AlanLatest data on flow of international students to the U.S. raise questions about state quotas and tuition policies and how to calculate the economic value of students, writes Alan Ruby. PublicationHistorically Black Colleges and Universities as Leaders in STEM(2016-09-01) Nguyen, Thai-Huy; Gasman, Marybeth PublicationLife as a Chord: Heterogeneous Resources in the Social Identification of One Migrant Girl(2013-01-01) Wortham, Stanton; Rhodes, Catherine RThe social and natural worlds provide heterogeneous resources that contribute both to instances of social identification and to life trajectories. One might claim or be assigned membership in various groups, which emerge at different spatial and temporal scales, and resources for social identification are often combined in novel ways to yield unexpected identities. To account for the trajectories of identification that any individual travels, analysts must determine which configurations of resources become relevant in a given case. Of the many resources that might be relevant to identifying an individual, event, or setting, a few generally become salient—somewhat like several musical notes coming together to constitute a chord. We illustrate this contingent process by describing one young Mexican migrant in the USA, sketching relevant aspects of family interactions, educational practices, local community characteristics, and national discourses. This girl, her family, and other actors combine heterogeneous resources in contingent ways as they navigate and establish an emerging trajectory of identification through which she becomes a ‘good reader’. PublicationKeeping College Affordable: A Proposal From Two Economists(1992-05-01) University of Pennsylvania
In order to broaden discussion about higher education finance, this policy brief outlines a proposal for a major change in federal financial aid, state tuition, and state financial aid policies. The proposal is drawn from the book Keeping College Affordable: Government and Educational Opportunity by Michael S. McPherson and Morton Owen Schapiro.
PublicationResearch Qestions and Data Resource Needs For Examining Student Access to Higher Education(1998-08-01) Nettles, Michael T; Perna, Laura W; Millett, Catherine MThis 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 PublicationIntervening Early and Successfully in the Education Pipeline(2005-09-08) Perna, Laura W; Cooper, Michelle Asha PublicationMuch Accomplished, Much at Stake: Performance and Policy in Maryland Higher Education(2012-02-01) Perna, Laura W; Finney, Joni E; Callan, PatrickThe 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.