Policy Issues in Higher Education

Course Information

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Day Time Location
WED 1:00 - 4:00 pm SZB 364


Policymakers and the public are increasingly aware that the economic vitality and competitive position of our communities, states, and nation will depend significantly on getting more Americans into and through higher education. Large infusions of public funds into colleges and universities seem unlikely, however, as every state faces long-term structural deficits. A number of policy options have been proposed to raise college attainment rates while improving the return on existing investments. Can the costs of higher education be contained without sacrificing program quality? In this seminar, students will gain an overview of recent policy discussions and the theoretical and empirical literature regarding higher education efficiency and productivity. In particular, we will examine intersections between the financing of higher education and the educational goals of states and nations. We will consider ways in which institutional, state, and federal policy regarding academic program design, student preparation, financial aid, finance, admissions, placement, and accountability can facilitate or impede student success. Besides examining the research literature, we will discuss practical strategies for shaping policy and for navigating moral dilemmas that can arise when working on these issues. Students will engage in intensive study of selected policy developments. This course is designed for Master's and doctoral students in public policy, law, or educational policy and planning.


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