A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Institute Publications

Leading, Concurrent, or Lagging: the Knowledge Content of Computer Science in Higher Education and the Labor Market.

This monograph, authored by Clifford Adelman, senior research analyst, traces change in the nature and extent of college students' study of computer science over the period, 1972–1993, the occupational destinations of students with computer science backgrounds, and the forces that shape the path from higher education to the labor market. Its fundamental question is whether what we teach is leading, concurrent, or lagging the state of the labor market in a field in which nothing sits still long enough to measure.

Using the college transcript samples from national longitudinal studies of two cohorts that were followed from high school to age 30, and curriculum statements and surveys of professional and disciplinary organizations, the study demonstrates that:

Using surveys of graduate degree programs and studies of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) field test in computer science, the monograph points out that

The analysis of the labor market in light of student and curriculum history works in two directions: from the universe of students with backgrounds in computer science into the labor market, and from the universe of workers in computer-related occupations back into higher education. While these universes overlap, they are not identical. Using data from the National Science Foundation and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as the longitudinal studies of the National Center for Education Statistics, the analyses point out that:

The monograph concludes that for those who concentrated in computer science and earned degrees at both bachelor's and associate's levels, the knowledge content of higher education was concurrent with the demands of the labor market, but that leading edges of the field are more likely to emerge outside formal education environments.


NOTE: Since this monograph was published in May, 1997, it has been used in the formation of task forces for a joint project of the Departments of Commerce, Education, and Labor and the Information Technology Association of America on the current status and future of the information technology workforce in the U.S.

For a copy of this publication, contact Clifford Adelman at (202) 219-2251 or e-mail at clifford.adelman@ed.gov.

On the Road to Economic Development: A Guide for Continuing Education Programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

How do Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) use their continuing education resources to enhance their involvement in the economic development activities in their service areas? The Institute on Postsecondary Education, Libraries, and Lifelong Learning commissioned a study to answer this question. The recently published study identifies and describes the capacities and potential of HBCUs that are providing continuing education services within the context of their labor markets.

The continuing education arena was selected as the primary focus of the study because it includes community outreach to learners of all ages and backgrounds, and offers opportunities to glean examples from a wide range of programs.

The study was guided by analyses of local and regional economic development data and by assessment of continuing education programs. While all of the HBCUs and their regions and programs could not be covered in this study, a representative sample of promising practices, strategies, and labor market contexts are presented.

HBCUs have important local and regional economic roles to play in helping the Nation meet its educational workforce training objectives. This publication shares the results of the analyses and assessments, and offers guidance for HBCUs to develop or enhance their continuing education roles for improving the economic well-being of the communities they serve.

For a copy of this study, contact Sheila Maramark at (202) 219-1948 or by e-mail at sheila.maramark@ed.gov.

Women's Colleges in the United States: History, Issues, and Challenges

Women's Colleges in the United States: History, Issues, and Challenges offers a brief history of women's colleges and presents a summary of research on institutional effects of all-female higher education institutions. Most notably, this report presents data on enrollment, degrees, and staffing.

Women's Colleges in the United States: History, Issues, and Challenges is presented on this web site as follows: The Executive Summary; Chapter 1, "Women's Colleges in the United States, A Historical Context"; Chapter 2, "Women's Colleges in the United States, Recent Issues and Challenges"; and Chapter 4 "Women's Colleges in the United States, An Overview of Research and Questions for the Future."

Chapter 3, "Women's Colleges in the United States, A Statistical Portrait," and the appendix tables have not been included because the large number of data tables and the figures are difficult to present clearly on a web site. Please refer to the complete report in order to view the data and analysis. If you have any questions or comments, or wish to obtain information on how to order copies of this report, please contact Irene_Harwarth@ed.gov.

Women's colleges are those that identify themselves as having an institutional mission primarily related to promoting and expanding educational opportunities for women. Women's colleges were founded during the mid- and late-19th century in response to a need for advanced education for women at a time when they were not admitted to most institutions of higher education. Independent nonprofit women's colleges were founded to provide educational opportunities to women equal to those available to men and were geared toward women who wanted to study the liberal arts. These were largely located in the Northeast. Southern women's colleges were small schools, mostly affiliated with various Protestant churches. As educational opportunities in the South during the 1800s were limited to whites only, some higher education institutions for blacks sprang up during the post-Civil War period, including women's colleges founded especially to serve black women. As the Catholic population in the United States grew due to increases in immigration, the Catholic Church found a need for women's colleges to educate the daughters of Catholic families; and there was also a need for higher education for nuns. There were some movements in various states to provide public institutions of higher education for women, open to all women in the state.

The decades after World War II saw an explosion in the numbers of students entering higher education institutions due to returning veterans and later the "baby boom." Numbers of public higher education institutions increased to meet the new level of demand. During the 1960s and 1970s, due to social and legislative changes, several institutions of higher education that had been previously all -male opened their doors to women. Many women's colleges either became coeducational themselves, merged with all-male or coeducational institutions, or closed due to declining enrollment and financial problems related to the increased competition in higher education. As a result, the number of women's colleges shrank from over 200 in 1960 to 83 in 1993. Some women's colleges, however, reaffirmed their mission, believing that it was important to continue to offer an all-female educational environment for women. These colleges enhanced their connections with other institutions, and added new programs designed to appeal to students beyond the traditional college age. A few women's colleges were able to weather the changes of the past few decades due to generous endowments providing financial security and loyal alumnae who strongly supported their institution's decisions to remain all-female.

Women's colleges today are largely private 4-year institutions. They are more likely to be independent nonprofit institutions or affiliated with the Catholic Church, to be located in the Northeastern U.S., and to have smaller enrollments than most institutions of higher education. Analysis of data provided to the U.S. Department of Education by 76 women's colleges reveals that enrollment at women's colleges in Fall 1993 did have notable representation of part-time students, members of racial and ethnic minorities, and older undergraduate women students. In 1992B93, these women's colleges conferred 25,000 degrees, a little over one percent of all degrees conferred that year. Almost 17,000 of the 25,000 degrees were Bachelor's degrees. Overall, women's colleges, after facing some difficult times during the last three decades, are alive and well today. They are a small but vital part of the universe of higher education institutions in America. With their history of success in providing women with educational opportunities, women's colleges offer the higher education community a wealth of information on the ways to educate women best to face the challenges of the next century.

Learning and Earning: Analysis of HEA Title II-B Graduate Library Fellowship Program Recipients, Fiscal Years 1985-1991

This document summarizes a descriptive survey of fellowships awarded under the Library Education and Human Resource Development Program, Title II-B of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The study was undertaken to determine the success of the fellows who were recruited into the training program and to determine if this training enabled them to enter the library profession or re-enter with enhanced skills to further their careers. To this end the study provides:

The study revealed a high success rate in terms of degree attainment at all training levels, and showed little difference in completion rates between males and females, or between minorities and nonminorities. Eighty-nine percent of the fellows recruited entered the library field with a professional degree, or re-entered the library profession with enhanced skills to enable them to further their careers, or continued their education in library and information science to increase their opportunities in the profession.

For more information contact: Barbara Humes at (202) 219-1397 or e-mail at barbara.humes@ed.gov.

Realizing the Potential: Improving Postsecondary Teaching Learning, and Assessment

A reprint of the publication, Realizing the Potential: Improving Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment; Executive Summary, produced by the National Center for Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, synthesizes 18 focused studies and the National Study of Student Learning--the first study to assess students' knowledge gains in each of their first three years of college. This study expands our knowledge about college's impact upon students by examining the simultaneous influence of academic and nonacademic experiences on students' learning, attitudes, and persistence. Members of the higher education community, including faculty, deans, and administrators, will be particularly interested in this publication for the clues it provides for improving the academic environment.

For further information or a copy of the publication, contact Norman Brandt at (202) 219-1662
or e-mail at norman.brandt@ed.gov.

Public Libraries and Community-Based Education: Making the Connection for Lifelong Learning

This publication is the result of a conference sponsored by PLLI to begin the development of a research agenda by identifying researchable issues related to the delivery of education through community-based organizations.

Recognizing that the learning environment for adults extends far beyond the academic or vocational institutions traditionally charged with providing formal education, the Institute invited leading educators representing public libraries, museums, literacy volunteers, cooperative extension services, public television, religious organizations, health services, and the YMCA/YWCAs to explore the unique aspects of community-based education and to identify common areas where research would be most beneficial to our understanding of adult lifelong learning. Eight papers were commissioned to serve as a springboard for discussion at the conference.

The purpose of the conference was to discuss the ideas put forward in the commissioned papers and to begin the development of a research agenda to guide future efforts in the areas of community-based education and lifelong learning.

The conference participants concluded that the research into community-based education should be collaborative and interdisciplinary, and it should include multiple definitions of community. Since the system of community-based education has not been fully defined or described, the most pressing research need is to inventory the types and number of community-based programs available to adults, and to map out who is participating in these programs and why.

For more information contact:
Barbara Humes (202) 219-1376, Barbara.Humes@ed.gov

Family Literacy: Directions in Research and Implications for Practice

This publication lays the foundation for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to continue constructing a family literacy research agenda. The agenda-setting process is ongoing and must continue so that we can broaden the knowledge base and improve services and outcomes for families.

In early 1995, staff members at the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) began a dialogue with researchers and practitioners on the subject of family literacy. What began as an informal trading of papers, articles, and other information, soon grew into a project and a mission. The purpose of the project was to bring together as much existing information on the subject of literacy -- especially family literacy -- as possible. The mission, the first federal effort of its kind to be attempted on a nationwide scale, was to take the existing research and life experience available now and to synthesize that information into a "road map" for practitioners, researchers, and for the millions of Americans who need our help to become full participants n society. We designed Research Symposium on Family Literacy to bring together practitioners and researchers to discuss common themes and issues.

The symposium was designed around categories of questions that would help the participants focus their dialogue. The questions were designed to:

We chose distinguished practitioners to participate, and we commissioned 10 papers from leading research scholars that served as background reading for the symposium discussion. We selected the authors and their paper topics to present knowledgeable perspectives on diverse but relevant themes that would address the most pressing concerns of the various stakeholders in family literacy and related fields.

For more information contact:
Jerome Lord (202) 219-2242, Jerome.Lord@ed.gov

The New College Course Map and Transcript Files: Changes in Course-Taking Achievement, 1972-1993

The Map is based on two national transcript samples from two cohorts of students: those who were high school seniors in 1972 and those who were high school sophomores in 1980. The transcripts came from colleges, trade schools, and other postsecondary institutions attended by these students up to the time they were about 30 years old.

In effect, the Mapcomprises three reference works under one cover:

Copies of the report, The New College Course Map and Transcript Files: Changes in Course-Taking and Achievement, 1972-1993, are available from:

New Orders
Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 37954
Pittsburgh, PA 1520-7954

The stock number is 065-000-00828-9and the price is $18. Credit card orders may be faxed to (202) 512-2250or call (202) 219-2207for more information.

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Last update November 19, 1999 (lvb).