This paper aims to help institutions of higher education learn from and leverage existing research to enhance their ability to meet mission-driven diversity and inclusion goals through well-supported policies and practices. Based on a review of more than 1,200 research studies and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders over three years, the paper examines the existing research base in five areas:

  • Institutional goals related to the educational benefits of diversity
  • Defining and measuring success in achieving institutional goals
  • Enrollment strategies
  • Strategies in and outside the classroom
  • Alignment Across Policies and Programs

After summarizing the current landscape and highlighting particularly promising findings, the paper provides recommendations for policy, practice, and future research in hopes of continuing to bridge the research to practice gap.

This fifth brief in the Access and Diversity Collaborative (ADC) Issue Brief series addresses the anticipated U.S. Supreme Court Fisher II decision, with guidance for institutions of higher education to consider as they prepare for that decision. It includes guidance on practical steps to prepare for the decision, an analysis of the amicus briefs filed in this round of Supreme Court litigation, and important insights from oral arguments and the parties’ briefs that can help inform institutional dialogue and action.


October 30, 2015
On October 26th, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), the LBJ Presidential Library at the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas State University hosted an event in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Higher Education Act.


April 28, 2016
By Dan Gordon, Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, EducationCounsel

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then what should we make of the recent Negotiated Rulemaking for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)? To those (lucky? insane?) few who attended all eight days of these regulatory debates, “Neg Reg” was both beautiful—a rare and wonktastic event—and, well, not-so-beautiful—72 hours of crawling through the weediest of weeds. Regardless, it was a fascinating example of participatory democracy and a demonstration of the professionalism and commitment of both the U.S. Department of Education (ED) staff and all the negotiators.

To briefly set the scene, ESSA requires ED to go through the Neg Reg process if regulating on standards, assessments, or the “supplement, not supplant” (SNS) fiscal requirement. ED proposed regulations on the latter two issues, opting not to regulate on standards (at least not yet). After much debate, the committee reached consensus on the assessment rules but not on SNS. (Click here for the final assessment language.)

In this post, I won’t try to recap all the specifics (EdWeek‘s got that covered). Instead, I’ll offer some musings on a few of the most interesting issues, drawn from my time inside the edu-Thunderdome.

February 22, 2016
By Dan Gordon, Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, EducationCounsel

This is the second in a series of blogs from the EducationCounsel team unpacking ESSA and highlighting next steps for states and local school districts.

Assessment received a great deal of attention at the beginning of the final sprint to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, largely around the question of whether to maintain requirements for annual assessments. In the end, the headline-grabbing shifts mostly took place elsewhere, especially in Title I accountability and educator evaluation. Yet a deeper look at the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reveals complex and important changes to federal assessment policy as well. States and districts now have several opportunities to advance their development of high-quality systems of assessment.

December 7, 2015

For more than a decade, EducationCounsel has helped lead the College Board’s Access & Diversity Collaborative. As the Supreme Court hears “Fisher II” this week, members of the EducationCounsel team have weighed in.


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