Reports and Videos

To learn more about the resulting research from these projects, please visit our Scholarworks page.

Developmental Education and Disability

Prior results are mixed regarding the effects of traditional prerequisite developmental education on college students’ academic progress and success. However, underrepresented or underprepared students may experience relatively positive outcomes compared to other students. For this reason, heterogeneous effects of developmental education should be studied for students with learning or attention disabilities, who have been left out of salient research and policy discussions to date despite their growing representation on college campuses. The purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of developmental education on college persistence for students with learning and attention disabilities. We used data from the High School Longitudinal Study (HSLS) and a doubly robust research design combining coarsened exact matching with regression analyses. Results show that students with these disabilities experienced relatively negative effects on persistence compared to other students. Findings are not strong regarding effectiveness at two-year institutions versus four-year institutions for these students but suggest potential differences. As the first causal evidence of the effects of developmental education for this important student group, results imply that more attention must be paid to disability in policy conversations and much more research is needed to understand these effects thoroughly.

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Policy Briefs from EDUC 674B - Higher Education Policy

This series of policy briefs aims at providing higher education policymakers and advocates with an evidence base to address how to best serve students in light of the challenges facing higher education. This series was authored by University of Massachusetts Amherst graduate students as a course assignment for EDUC 674B: Higher Education Policy and was reviewed for accuracy by Professor Sade Bonilla.

Financial Insecurity at UMass Amherst

In collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Student Success, the Center for Student Success Research (CSSR) is conducting a Provost-funded study to examine financial insecurity among UMass. Amherst undergraduate students. In pursuing this study in 2020-2021 in particular, we are seeking to learn more about how COVID-19 interruptions interact with existing issues of financial insecurity, and to identify new areas of financial stress, insecurity, or lack of well-being among students, which can inform campus interventions and supports. The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand what financial insecurity looked like for college students in 2020 and the beginning of 2021, to consider implications and future impact, and to provide recommendations. A preliminary report of immediate needs was released in January of 2021. The full report is now available.

First Generation Students at the University of Massachusetts

During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Center for Student Success Research (CSSR) led a mixed methods study of first generation students (First Gen) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in collaboration with the First Gen steering committee led by Carolyn Bassett and the Office of Student Success. The study explored First Gen student populations on campus, their experiences, and strategies to better support their success. The final report is now available.

Disability and Higher Education - Video Series

The Center for Student Success Research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducted a year-long study of disability-related issues in public institutions in Massachusetts, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. The study focused on the ecology of college-going and in-college experiences for students with disabilities, and particularly students with intellectual disability. Along the way, we learned valuable lessons and gathered important findings. To share some of these, we have created a four-part video series. 

 

Disability Online: The Digital Lives and Navigation Strategies of Young Adults with Disabilities

 

 

 

What Encourages College-going among Students with Disabilities? The Key Roles of Messaging and Support

 

Measuring Disability on Campus

Developing Inclusive Instrumentation to Support the Participation of Individuals with Intellectual Disability

 

Disability and Higher Education - Report Series

The Center for Student Success Research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducted a year-long study of disability-related issues in public institutions in Massachusetts, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. The study focused on the ecology of college-going and in-college experiences for students with disabilities, and particularly students with intellectual disability. Along the way, we learned valuable lessons and gathered important findings. To share some of these, we have created a six-part series of Issues Briefs, each of which focuses on some aspect of disability and higher education.