Title VI Part A of the Higher Education Act calls for “… producing graduates with international and foreign language expertise and knowledge.” In support of that goal, it authorizes “systematic collection, analysis, and dissemination of data [and]… activities to make data … publicly available and easy to understand.” The proposed project directly addresses the Title VI mandates regarding graduation and data collection by establishing a national Consortium for Analysis of Student Success through International Education (CASSIE). Drawing upon best practices in data collection and management from the University System of Georgia’s (USG) GLOSSARI project, IIE’s Open Doors project on international educational exchange, and the Generation Study Abroad initiative, CASSIE will be a partnership between USG’s Office of Research (lead agency) and IIE’s Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact. Other institutions will join as collaborators.
Diverse collaborating institutions from across the nation will contribute de-identified student records to create a sufficiently rich databank to address very granular questions. Essentially, CASSIE will enable a “big data” approach to understanding the impact of international education on college success. For example, CASSIE will be equipped to answer questions like:
- Are students who double-major or minor in world languages equally likely to graduate in a timely manner as students with other minors or double majors?
- Does the association between education abroad and timely college completion hold equally at minority serving institutions?
- Do students who receive need-based financial aid get lower grades than their counterparts if they education abroad?
Collaborating schools may also use CASSIE to benchmark their own program evaluations.
The impetus for the proposed CASSIE arises in large part from federal and institutional concerns about accountability for student learning outcomes, especially timely college completion. Adopting methods pioneered a decade ago by the IRS-funded GLOSSARI at the University System of Georgia, several studies concluded that education abroad actually increases the probability that a student will complete college efficiently and with a strong GPA. Moreover, these advantages are strongest for minority students and students at-risk. CASSIE extends this earlier work in several ways. Most notably, the sample of institutions supplying data will be broader (geographically and private as well as public). In addition, CASSIE will examine the impact of other forms of international education—advanced study of world languages and participation in Title VI or similar programs– as well as education abroad. CASSIE will also avail itself of more advanced statistical and data display tools. CASSIE is designed to build capacity among diverse institutions and among Title VI or similar programs for conducting learning outcomes assessment.
The proposed project seeks three years of IRS funding, and will work toward sustainability thereafter. Year 1 will focus on recruiting a full complement of institutions to the collaborative, in addition to the 28 public colleges and universities in Georgia. Protocols will be developed for working with institutional research offices at those varied schools. By Year 2, a multi-institutional databank will be yielding results about college completion and GPA for students matriculating 2010-2017. Year 3 will fund “mini-studies” of particular institutional interest.↑ Top