The Changing Ecology of Higher Education


Mitchell Stevens presents on Education's Digital Future

US higher education is undergoing profound change. How Americans fund, govern, assess, and experience college all are in flux. The changes are particularly dramatic for broad-access colleges with open admissions that educate the vast majority of college students. Broad-access colleges do their work within a complex ecology of competitor schools and other educational firms, government funding programs, and myriad regulatory agencies. Our project is designed to help researchers, students, and policymakers understand, navigate, and shape this ecology productively.

Our work has five major components:

  • identifying research priorities in broad-access higher education
  • synthesizing research to inform policy
  • convening critical dialogue on the digital future of higher education
  • studying the role of broad-access schooling in regional economic development
  • training new scholars and college leaders

Policy Briefs

Finance Policy and Broad-Access Public Colleges and Universities: Opportunities to Spur Increases in Student Success. Jane Wellman, Ph.D., Founding Director, Delta Project on Postsecondary Costs. Mapping Broad-Access Higher Education. 2012
Removing the BA Blinders: Reconceiving Community College Procedures to Improve Student Success. James E. Rosenbaum, Ph.D., Northwestern University, Janet Rosenbaum, Ph.D., State University of New York, New York City, Jennifer Stephan, Ph.D., American Institutes for Research. Mapping Broad-Access Higher Education. 2013
What We Don’t Know about Community College Students: The Case for a Better Understanding of Student Pathways. Peter Riley Bahr, Ph.D., Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, University of Michigan. Mapping Broad-Access Higher Education. 2013


Incentives, Results and Research Needs: The For-Profit Sector. Jorge Klor de Alva. Mapping Broad-Access Higher Education.

Measuring College Performance. Richard Arum, Josipa Roksa. Mapping Broad-Access Higher Education.

Research Directions for Understanding Human Resources in Broad-Access Higher Education Institutions. Susanna Loeb, Eric Taylor, Agustina Paglayan. Mapping Broad-Access Higher Education.