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MAPS
Research

The MAPS Project team at the Sorenson Impact Center has compiled several resources to complement the MAPS data tools. 

Use cases, an additional data dashboard showing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education, and topical white papers can help leaders apply context to the data found in the dashboards. 

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To learn more about how the MAPS data tools can be applied, please read through our use cases.

Dashboard
Use Cases

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COVID-19 Impacts

As institutions grapple with the challenges brought by COVID-19, data on student preferences, state policies, and institutional reactions are more important than ever. The COVID-19 impact dashboard shows the immediate impact of the pandemic on higher education at the state, institutional, and student levels.

This index is part of the MAPS Project, which is hosted and run by the Sorenson Impact Center. The MAPS project charts the shifting landscape of higher education to help create a more equitable future. This project is based on research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These materials do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Get updates on MAPS Project data tools, industry insights, and peer discussions by joining our LinkedIn community.

White Papers & Reports

Our team produced the white paper Five Themes for Centering Student Equity after holding our Fall 2020 convening. The paper synthesizes insights from a diverse group of higher education stakeholders—including students, researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers—to identify strategies to foreground equity. The takeaways of this white paper would become guiding principles as the MAPS Project continued to evolve in coming years.

 

In the spring of 2022, our team reviewed several leading data sources and interviewed more than 30 higher education leaders about how they measure and address equity at their institutions. While most leaders agree that addressing equity gaps is a priority, a lack of robust and consistent metrics makes it difficult to define and track equitable institutional achievement. We outline the challenges and opportunities for improving the measurement of equity and highlight several promising initiatives focused on improving high-quality postsecondary data in our white paper, Missing Metrics: An Analysis of Equity Measurement Gaps in Higher Education.

Threats of undergraduate enrollment decline have dominated higher education headlines for years. But are enrollment declines impacting all sectors and types of students in the same way? In Uneven Terrain: The Shifting Landscape of Enrollment Trends in Higher Education, we explore the trends around enrollment in higher education, illuminating the disparate experiences of different types of institutions in a system that is too often treated as monolithic. This paper also covers enrollment trends for students with an intersectional demographic lens, exploring trends by race, gender, and type of institution. Finally, this paper covers innovative strategies for increasing enrollment and retention, as well as system-wide tools designed to support the sector as a whole in reviving and better serving an increasingly diverse student population.

In the summer of 2022, the MAPS Project engaged a historically Black private college in a partnership focused on determining additional ways the college may provide targeted support to underserved students in its community. The team employed the full suite of MAPS data tools to better understand the institution's financial health, equity performance, and trends in demographics and enrollment. The result was the college's increased ability to compare their institution’s performance against peers and aspirational schools, gain insight into their strengths, identify potential areas for improvement, and validate their ongoing strategy to engage marginalized groups of learners. Read more about this partnership in the anonymized report: MAPS Tools Institutional Use Case.
 

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