Indiana Project on Academic Success
Research-based inquiry for enhancing student success


small logo


IPAS Resources and Publications

Research Papers by IPAS consultants and invited conference presenters
Conference Papers and Presentations by IPAS staff on topics related to IPAS
Research Reports by IPAS staff on extensive analytic studies
Project Resources for participating IPAS campus teams
Research Briefs on IPAS studies at individual participating campuses
Policy Briefs on topics of interest to education policy makers and practitioners
Hoosier Briefs on IPAS research for counselors, students, and families
Topic Briefs on IPAS Indiana statewide analyses
Press Releases on IPAS news

Research Papers

Improving Educational Opportunities for Students Who Work
By Laura Perna, Michelle Asha Cooper, and Chunyan Li

The prevalence of working and the restrictions that working places on students’ time for educational activities raises the following question for campus officials: What can institutions do to improve the educational experiences of students who work? To address this overarching question, this paper first examines the following subquestions: What is the nature of student employment? Why do students work? And what are the consequences of working for students’ educational experiences?

Conference Papers and Presentations

ASHE 2006

Institutional Practices and Student Persistence: Extending the Empirical Record
Mary Ziskin, Jacob P. K. Gross, and Don Hossler

In this paper, we explore how actionable institutional practices and structures, in combination with student behaviors, play a role in students’ institutional commitment and intent to persist at the end of the first year of college. We use logistic regression to examine the influence that student characteristics, social integration, and academic integration experiences have on college students’ intent to persist.

A Multi-Institution Analysis of the Effects of Campus-Based Financial Aid on Student Persistence at Public Four-Year Institutions
Don Hossler, Jacob P. K. Gross, and Mary Ziskin

Most of the studies that have considered the effects of financial aid on persistence have only had access to the amounts of state and federal financial aid awarded to students. These studies typically lack data elements for campus-based financial aid awards. As a result, institutional and public policy makers know little about the effects of campus-based aid on student persistence and graduation. Using an integrated state database for public four-year institutions, this study examines the unique effects of campus-based financial aid on student departure.

College Board Annual Forum 2006

In Search of a Grail: Identifying Best Practices for Attracting and Retaining Students
Don Hossler, Mary Ziskin, and Jacob P. K. Gross

A panel of researchers and campus administrators involved in this project presented results from the College Board Pilot Study on Student Retention. The panel focused on analyses of survey data, discussed implications for student persistence, and also considered the potential future use of the surveys developed for this study.

AACRAO 16th Annual Strategic Enrollment Management Conference

Affecting Student Persistence via Institutional Levers: A Report on the Pilot Study on Student Retention
Don Hossler, Jacob P. K. Gross, and Mary Ziskin

Although considerable research exists on factors affecting student persistence, little work exists that relates significant factors to institutional policies and practice. This presentation highlights results of a pilot study intended to connect research to institutional practice in a way that informs campus practitioners and policy makers.

Research Reports

Diversity and Persistence in Indiana Higher Education: The Impact of Preparation, Major Choices, and Student Aid
Using independent samples of Hispanic, African American, and White students in Indiana higher education, this report examines the factors that affect persistence in higher education for each group separately.

Academic Success in Independent Colleges: Analyses of Persistence by Indiana’s 2000 Freshman Cohort
Examines the factors influencing persistence within the first two years of college for students who began their higher education at Indiana’s independent colleges.

Academic Preparation and College Success: Analyses of Indiana’s 2000 High School Class
Examines the relationship between course work and curriculum in high school and enrollment and persistence in higher education for traditional-age students in the State of Indiana.

Persistence Among First-Generation College Students in Indiana: The Impact of Precollege, Preparation, College Experiences, and Financial Aid
Substantial research has shown that students whose parents did not go to college are less likely to persist than children of college graduates, but little has been done to examine the factors related to persistence that differentiate first-generation college students who persist from those who withdraw. Many of the same factors which define who persists among all students are important among first-generation students, such as academic preparation and financial aid. Implications for institutional practice and future research are included.

Project Resources

IPAS Resource Guide
Outlines the first steps of the IPAS process, including identifying campus challenges through assessment, organizing to address the challenges, and carrying out the stages of action inquiry in the IPAS process.

IPAS Process Stage 4: Evaluation
This supplement to the IPAS Resource Guide is dedicated to the evaluation stage of the IPAS process.

Retention Project Bibliography
Compiled as part of the Indiana Project on Retention, this 71-page annotated bibliography includes sections on a range of subjects related to retention and a summary of retention literature.

Research Briefs

SI Leaders Take On Cooperative Learning and Supplemental Instruction at IU Northwest
Findings from a focus-group study of SI leaders at IU Northwest highlight four major areas of interest: the campus community's knowledge about SI, the impact of cooperative learning on the SI program, the SI training program, and the SI program staff. Includes recommendations.

Discovering Life Purpose: Retention Success in a Leadership Course at Indiana Wesleyan University
This mixed-methodology research report evaluates the effects of participation in a leadership and life calling course on student persistence at Indiana Wesleyan University. Results indicate a strong positive effect on retention.

Finding Their Way: Evaluation of the Pilot Orientation at Ivy Tech Richmond
This brief reports the results of a qualitative evaluation of a new orientation program targeting three challenge areas: the needs of first-generation students, the provision and reinforcement of academic support for these students, and the enhancement of students’ knowledge about vital aspects of financial aid.

ITCCI Richmond’s Pilot Orientation Program: Effects on Student Persistence
This brief presents evaluation results on a mandatory orientation program for all students new to the ITCCI Richmond campus. The orientation program was designed to increase students’ academic literacy to address the needs of first-generation students, provide and reinforce academic support, and develop students’ knowledge about vital aspects of financial aid.

Policy Briefs

Characteristics and Destinations of Students Who Transfer Across Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities
Responding to the growing interest in student mobility, the Indiana Project on Academic Success reports on student transfer across the state, focusing on the cohort of students who first enrolled in 2004-2005 and transferred the following year.

Characteristics and Destinations of Students Who Transfer Across Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities (Second Report).
This second report on student transfer in Indiana focuses on first-time, first-year students at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (ITCCI) from fall 2000 through 2005–2006 to see which students transferred and which institutions they transferred to, with particular interest in transfer from the community college to a baccalaureate-degree-granting institution.

Hoosier Briefs

High School Curriculum, Diplomas, and SAT Scores: How High School Curriculum and Diploma Choices Relate to SAT Scores and College Choice
Based on research from the Indiana Pathways project, conducted by Edward St. John and colleagues, this brief highlights findings on how high school curriculum and the various Indiana diploma choices relate to SAT scores and college choice.

High School Curriculum Helps Indiana’s Urban and Rural Students on SAT: Family Background, Locality, and the Influence on SAT Scores for the Indiana Class of 2000
Based on research from the Indiana Pathways project, conducted by Edward St. John and colleagues, this brief discusses the links—links with a strong role in college pathways—between family background, locale (urban, suburban, or rural), income, and academic success, as defined by SAT scores.

Topic Briefs

Part-Time Students: Enrollment and Persistence in the State of Indiana (AY 2000-02)
In AY 2000, nearly 40,000 first-year students in Indiana attended college part time. This brief explores part-time enrollment and persistence in Indiana, comparing two levels of part-time and full-time enrollment. Enrollment intensity was found to be associated with persistence, as was receiving financial aid. Sixty percent of part-time students did not apply for financial aid. First-year part-time college students with a “C” GPA in high school were more likely to persist than students with a “B” GPA.

Press Release