Highlights of Findings--June 2000
E. Study MethodologySurvey: The Title III grantee population was defined as those schools receiving a Title III grant under Parts A or B in the 1995-96 academic year. The list of schools falling under this definition was provided to Mathtech by the U.S. Department of Education's Division of Institutional Development and Undergraduate Education Services. There were 368 schools in the grantee population, broken down as follows:
- 218 Part A schools, excluding Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs)
- 37 Part A HSI schools
- 97 Part B Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
- 16 Part B Historically Black Graduate Institutions (HBGIs)
Overall, 328 of the 368 schools in the survey population responded to the survey, resulting in an overall survey response rate of 89 percent. Of the 40 schools not responding, 23 were Part A schools (excluding HSIs), 3 were Part A HSIs, 12 were Part B HBCUs, and 2 were HBGIs.
In addition, the results of the survey were merged with data from IPEDS and the Pell Grant Universe file. IPEDS is a system of surveys designed to collect information on the condition of postsecondary education in the United States. IPEDS collects data on all institutions that are accredited at the college level. IPEDS is broken down into several different surveys. For this study, data were used from the Institutional Characteristics survey, the Completions survey, the Fall Enrollment survey, the Higher Education Finance survey and the Fall Staff survey. Data on the number of Pell grant recipients at the institution were obtained from the Pell Grant Universe file.
Case Studies: The selection of case studies was not designed to be representative, since only a very small percentage of the population of 368 schools could be visited. Thus, all results reported here from the case studies are to be interpreted as examples or illustrations of certain aspects of the program. No case study results should be interpreted as representative of the full population of grantees. Individual institutions within pre-selected categories were, however, selected randomly, to minimize any bias about a particular category of institution.
Based on the population of 368 1995-96 Title III Part A and B grantees, 21 programs at 19 institutions were visited. Two of the institutions were both HBCUs and HBGIs. The sites visited had the following characteristics:
- Nine were Part B grantees, ten were Part A grantees. Of the ten Part A grantees, two were HSIs and one was a tribal college.
- Eleven were public institutions, eight were private. Of the eight private schools, five were church-affiliated.
- Eight of the institutions were two-year schools, eleven were four-year schools.
- Twelve had grants ending in 1996 or 1997, and seven had grants ending in 1998, 1999 or 2000.
Although some of the institutions visited had exemplary programs, this was not a criterion for selection.
Interviews and Review of Documents: The project included interviews with Department staff members who had knowledge of the program, review of program documents, and review of source materials concerning performance measurement. Overall, nineteen Department staff members were interviewed, both Federal and regionally-based employees, based on a standardized questionnaire protocol.
Advisory Team: The study was guided by an 11-member advisory team, which consisted of grantee representatives and experts in research, institutional development, and institutional finance. Several of the team members were past or present Title III coordinators at grantee institutions. The members are:
- Ms. Miriam Cruz, President, Equity Research Corporation
- Dr. Harry E. Douglas, III, Executive Vice President, Charles R. Drew University
- Dr. Ronald Ehrenberg, Vice President for Academic Programs, Planning and Budgeting, Cornell University
- Mr. C. William Fischer, Senior Vice-President for Business and Finance, Northwestern University (retired)
- Dr. Gloria James, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Clark Atlanta University
- Ms. Susan Kelley, Vice President for Resource Development/Governmental Relations, Valencia Community College (former Title III Coordinator)
- Dr. Anthony Knerr, Anthony Knerr & Associates
- Dr. Frances McKinney, Title III Coordinator, University of Maryland/Eastern Shore
- Dr. Talbert Shaw, President, Shaw University
- Ms. Julie Slark, Executive Director, Research, Planning & Development, Rancho Santiago Community College District College (former Title III Coordinator)
- Dr. Zaida Vega-Lugo, Chancellor, Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico/Arecibo
The first two meetings of the advisory team took place in February and June of 1996. The principal issues discussed at these meetings were the study design and the program mission and objectives. In April of 1998, the advisory team held its last meeting, where it reviewed and discussed the survey results and preliminary findings from the case study site visits. All members of the advisory team have been sent the major deliverable documents for review and comment throughout the project.
Grantee Input: Grantees were informed about the performance measurement study through four mailings that were sent to all 1995-96 Title III grantees. One mailing requested their input on program mission and objectives, and asked their views on performance indicators that could appropriately be used to measure funded activities.
To keep grantees informed, two presentations were made at the 1996 Title III National Workshop and two presentations at the 1997 Title III National Workshop. There have also been presentations made concerning the study to regional meetings of Part A and Part B grantees. Since the membership of NAFEO, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, overlaps to a large extent with the group of Part B grantees, three presentations have been made at meetings of NAFEO as well. In addition to these contacts with program grantees, there have been frequent meetings and other communications throughout the study between the study team and the U.S. Department of Education.