The MAPS Project is a student-centric initiative to chart the rapidly evolving higher education system and works to bring high-quality data and historically marginalized voices to higher ed decision-makers. The MAPS Project aims to Model, Analyze, Prototype, and Share innovative solutions to challenges in higher education.
Our value proposition: We provide foresight into the future of higher education through sophisticated data analysis that provides greater specifics than is currently available into the structure of the industry and the impact on students and equity. We then translate that foresight into meaningful findings for HEI leadership (Exec teams & Boards) and policy-makers and spread the information to those who need it to create change.
Our goal for our work: That our data-driven insights are used to transform the higher education system to be more equitable and more effective for all students
Our vision: An equitable and effective system of higher education
THE CRITICAL ROLE OF THE
Millions of students across the nation have faced the difficulties of transitioning to online learning, increasing inability to afford tuition, and general feelings of being abandoned by their universities and colleges. As institutions of higher education form decisions, it is critical that higher-ed decision-makers prioritize students.
With COVID-19 forcing the closure of campuses early this spring, colleges and universities moved classes online and closed housing facilities, separating students from their campus communities and resources. This disruption accelerated several trends that already existed in higher education, with a disproportionate impact on students from historically marginalized backgrounds. Given the rapid change brought on by COVID-19 and augmented by the United States’ accelerated fight for racial justice, it is more important than ever that students' voices and experiences are included in conversations on the future of higher education. To begin this work, the Sorenson Impact Center MAPS project convened students from across the nation to share experiences, perspectives, and needs from their institutions.
In response to major interest from this event and in an effort to continue these conversations, the MAPS project has launched the inaugural Student Coalition on Higher Education. The Student Coalition will provide opportunities for young leaders from across the nation to discuss emerging trends, engage with industry practitioners and community leaders, and contribute to key conversations within higher education as we seek to make higher education more equitable and student-centric. Now more than ever, we know that it is essential to elevate student voices and encourage higher education leaders to consider student experiences as they seek to chart the future of their institutions.
COALITION MEMBERS 2021-2022
Alex Rodriguez | He/Him
Abhi Harikumar | He/Him
Heidi Seabrooks-Smith | She/Her
THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF HIGHER ED DECISIONS
The U.S. higher education sector, already in the process of disruption before COVID-19, remains one of the most sensitive spaces to the effects of the pandemic given the multifaceted roles these institutions play in the lives of students, staff, faculty, and communities. As McKinsey & Co and other leaders have noted, many traditional, place-based Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) are essentially micro cities, serving not just as schools, but as employers, primary residences, healthcare providers, civic institutions and more.
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF INSTITUTIONS
As institutions grapple with the challenges brought by Covid-19, data on student preferences, state policies, and institutional reactions are more important than ever to help drive decisions that are student-centric.
This crisis raises new questions as we grapple with an uncertain future, but colleges and universities have an opportunity to help create a new system of higher education that is more equitable and improves outcomes for all students.