Upcoming Presentations

The Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) Conference

Implementing the Federal Work-Study Program: A Resource Utilization & Cost Study

March 24, 2023, 3:15–4:45 MST
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Room 10 - Mt. Elbert (GHCC, 2nd floor)

What do community colleges and universities need to spend to administer and operate the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)?

The FWS program is one of the oldest federal policy tools intended to promote college access and persistence for low-income students, pre-dating Pell Grants and Stafford Loans. Unlike other forms of federal student aid which are awarded to students on a formula basis, FWS allocations are granted in aggregate to institutions, which then have significant flexibility in implementing the program, including determining who receives an award and how much, and how students are connected to available jobs. Thus, the full resource cost for institutions to administer and operate FWS is quite different from the institutional allocation of FWS funds, and how much it actually costs institutions to administer and operate FWS is unknown.

We investigate what resources are required to administer and operate the FWS program at the City University of New York (CUNY), the single largest recipient of FWS funds nationally. This investigation is based on collected survey data and information from interviews at six CUNY’s community and senior colleges and student payroll records regarding the number of FWS jobs. We interviewed financial aid directors, FWS coordinators, and others involved in the implementation of the program at CUNY Central and at each participating institution. We analyze this evidence using the ingredients method where each resource is priced out to determine total resource cost.

To administer and operate FWS, institutions must commit resources to the following tasks: (1) accounting, compliance, and auditing of the FWS program; (2) program admission, placement and hiring; (3) overseeing and supervising FWS employment; and (4) processing contracts and payroll; and (5) manual packaging and distribution of discretionary funds. These resources include personnel, technology platforms and software, training, and materials. Since institutions have flexibility in terms of how they manage and operate FWS, the annual cost varies by institution and depending on the number of FWS students.

Institutions with relatively large numbers of FWS students have a FWS coordinator working full-time for the program with the support of at least two financial aid administrators with 60% of their work dedicated to FWS. These institutions also spend on a FWS software package used for online placement and hiring, electronic timesheet submission, tracking student earnings, managing the waitlist for the distribution of discretionary funds, and auditing and compliance. Institutions with fewer FWS students also have a FWS coordinator but that person typically works part-time for the program and without administrative support. At these institutions, FWS coordinators do not have access to a FWS software, which can make their job substantially more labor intensive.

The pandemic caused a few likely permanent changes in FWS training. Financial aid staff at all six institutions stopped attending in-person FWS trainings and workshops. FWS student and supervisor orientations are now delivered virtually at most institutions.

In this first-of-its-kind FWS cost study, we will calculate the full resource cost for institutions to administer and operate FWS and express this amount as total and net cost per student and per dollar of FWS allocation. The net cost will represent the amount of resources committed by the institution from participating in the FSW program.


Veronica Minaya, Senior Research Associate and Program Lead, CCRC

Adela Soliz, Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Public Policy, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University & Research Affiliate, CCRC

Amy E. Brown, Research Associate, CCRC

DREAM 2023

February 14-17, 2022
Chicago, Illinois

Achieving More Equitable Student Outcomes: Latest Thinking from CCRC Research on Guided Pathways

February 15, 2023
2:30–3:30 PM CST

CCRC researchers Davis Jenkins and Hana Lahr will discuss how their research on guided pathways has shaped their thinking about how colleges can achieve more equitable success for their students. They will present new findings from research on the adoption of guided pathways practices and the effects on student outcomes. CCRC Director Tom Brock will facilitate discussion with the audience about what CCRC and session participants see as the next phase of work on student success in the new and challenging post-COVID environment and how to reenergize colleagues to take on this important work.


Hana Lahr, Senior Research Associate and Director of Applied Learning, CCRC

Davis Jenkins, Senior Research Scholar, CCRC

Thomas Brock, Director, CCRC

Supporting Learning and Success in Online Courses: Attending to Learning Skills and Mindsets

February 16, 4:30–5:00 CST

Faculty, staff, and administrators are seeking ways to support students to succeed in remote learning environments. In this session, researchers and practitioners from the Postsecondary Teaching with Technology Collaborative will present a framework of learning skills and mindsets that can support student learning and success in online and hybrid courses. Speakers will review evidence showing that skills and mindsets like sense of belonging, help-seeking, and reflection are associated with success in postsecondary courses. They will then describe instructional strategies that can be implemented in online courses to help students develop these skills and mindsets as a course progresses. This session will feature information on how attending to these skills and mindsets can mitigate barriers facing students from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education.


Nikki Edgecombe, Senior Research Scholar, CCRC

Rebecca Griffiths, Senior Principal Education Researcher, SRI International

Rachel McDermott, Associate Professor of English, Palm Beach State College

Eliana Mukherjee, Professor of Education, Palm Beach State College

Summit for Dual Credit Programs

February 19-21, 2023
South Padre Island, Texas

From "Random Acts" and "Programs of Privilege" to Dual Enrollment Equity Pathways

February 21, 2023
11:30 am—12:15 pm
South Padre Island Convention Center, Room 202

Drawing on in-depth qualitative data collection examining how three high school and community college partnerships in Texas collaborate to expand access to dual credit (DC) programs, this presentation, co-presented by researchers and K12 and higher educators, will focus on promising strategies and models for expanding access to and success in DC for traditionally underserved student populations, as well as ongoing challenges to expanding access. The presentation will also share the Community College Research Center’s (CCRC) dual enrollment equity pathways (DEEP) model, which advocates for making the school-to-college transition more equitable by intentionally recruiting and supporting low-income and racially minoritized students for DC courses, thereby helping them build postsecondary momentum while in high school. Through this approach, community colleges partner with K-12 schools to: (a) reach out to underserved students and families to encourage and support their participation in DE; (b) align DE course offerings to college baccalaureate transfer and workforce programs in high-opportunity fields; (c) assist with career and academic exploration, advising, and planning; and (d) deliver high-quality college instruction that builds students’ confidence as college learners.

National research on access to DC participation shows persistent racial equity gaps, so it is not surprising that DC is sometimes referred to as “programs of privilege.” Yet, CCRC’s analysis of federal data shows that despite widespread gaps in access, nearly one in five districts have equalized access to DE. This presentation will draw on CCRC’s research to illustrate how colleges and their K12 partners are working to expand access to DC in Texas. Models and strategies shared in the presentation may inspire those in attendance to reexamine enrollment patterns in their own schools/colleges with equity in mind, and/or to consider adopting new models and strategies to expand access.


Maggie P. Fay, Senior Research Associate, CCRC

Sarah Griffin, Research Associate, CCRC

Sonia Townsend, Dean of Student Development, San Jacinto College

Susan Jackson, Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Goose Creek Memorial Independent School District

Institute of Education Sciences' Annual Principal Investigators Meeting

Opportunities and Challenges of Long-Term Follow-Up Studies of Postsecondary Education Programs

May 16-18 2023, Time TBD

In this interactive discussion, you will hear from four researchers who have conducted long-term follow-up studies in postsecondary education using various methodologies. Long-term follow-up studies are becoming increasingly popular among educational researchers and funders. Importantly, these studies allow researchers and their practitioner partners to explore whether programs impact more distal student outcomes (like degree attainment or employment) which represent the ultimate goals of most educational interventions. However, while these studies are appealing and have the potential to inform policy, they also come with distinct challenges. Presenters will discuss the challenges and opportunities of longitudinal research and hold space for audience members to engage in a collaborative conversation.


Elizabeth Kopko, Senior Research Associate, CCRC

Susan Sepanik, Senior Associate, MDRC

Mike Weiss, Senior Fellow, MDRC

Kristina Zeiser, Principal Researcher, AIR

Nikki Edgecombe, Senior Research Scholar, CCRC

The National Concurrent Enrollment Movement and Lessons for Idaho

In this keynote address, Thomas Bailey discussed dual enrollment at the Idaho State Department of Education’s annual Advanced Opportunities Conference.


Director Emeritus and Senior Fellow
Community College Research Center