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Wisconsin HOPE Lab

March 14, 2014

Minh Mai

on 5 May 2014

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Transcript of Wisconsin HOPE Lab


Wisconsin’s motto is

maintain a continuous drive to lead
promote strong communities that help everyone succeed

But talented, low-income people have fewer college opportunities than less-talented, wealthy people
Searching for Solutions
Practitioners see the challenges every day...

But too few people are listening
The HOPE Lab takes the PROCESS seriously, devoting resources to exploration and discovery to develop new ideas for solutions, and spending time on development and translation activities that will almost always require new data collection
How we work
Examples of our efforts
The Wisconsin HOPE Lab

61% of Wisconsin’s working-age adults (ages 25-64) lack any college degree
By 2018, 61% of Wisconsin’s jobs will require college education
While in Dane County almost 60% of the population is college educated...

...in Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Polk, Shawano, Washburn and Waupaca, at least 70% of the population is not
They want to cut to the chase–find what works, now

But very little of what's being tried really works
We need to collect new data, ask new questions, and be open to different solutions

More importantly, we need to learn how to listen
Yet this is typically work that is under-appreciated, and under-funded
We leverage existing resources in a strategic manner
The HOPE Lab initiates projects and then seek external funding when they have solid pilot data and are likely to succeed in funding applications
We must share what we learn
Too often researchers talk at practitioners and policymakers

The HOPE Lab talks with them, using every tool at our disposal to ensure a 2-way conversation

Directly with community partners
Creatively and carefully
As a team—full-time staff, faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, with a growing membership from campuses all over the state
The Model
Workshop on Housing & Food Insecurity Among Undergraduates
June 23rd, 2014
Researchers, policymakers, community advocates, and college personnel
Focuses on Southeastern Wisconsin
Identifies challenges and proposes next steps
College Access Professional Development Working Group
Creates greater support and collaboration among those leading programs to improve college readiness
Prison to College Pipeline
Works with a medium-security correctional facility
Understands challenges prisoners pursuing college face, especially during re-entry
Explores connections to two-year colleges
Perceptions of Wisconsin Higher Education

Collaborates with faculty and undergraduates from around the state
Statewide survey aims at assessing how regular people view the state’s colleges and universities
Time for Academic Success
How do Wisconsin college students spend their time? How does this correspond to how engaged they are in college life and how well they perform academically?
Develop phone-based surveying technology
Pilot project with UW College students
The Impact of a Financial Aid Office Call Center
Can a call center improve FAFSA refiling and student retention?
Partnership with University of Missouri Financial Aid Office
If effective, the HOPE Lab will expand this pilot randomized experiment to test its effectiveness throughout Wisconsin
We recently visited with the Steering Board of the AVID/TOPS program in Dane County to discuss what we are learning about promoting college persistence among low-income students.
How you can get involved
Bring us a project or a really good idea
Volunteer or apply for paid work in the Lab
Invite us to engage with your community


In February 2014, Director Sara Goldrick-Rab visited Washington, DC and met with staff of the U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and higher education advisers in the White House’s Domestic Policy Council to discuss President Obama’s higher education agenda.
Director Sara Goldrick-Rab also spoke with the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance and delivered a lunchtime talk (with board member Andrew Kelly) at the American Association of Community Colleges National Legislative Summit
The Impact of a Technological Study Platform on First-Generation Students
Can a technological study platform developed by Copley Systems increase academic success among first generation students by increasing peer interaction and building social capital?
Platform currently used at Gateway Technical College
This randomized experiment will involve 10 institutions across the country

The Impact of Financial Grant Aid on STEM Success.
Can additional need-based aid boost persistence in STEM majors and promote degree completion?
Also supported by the National Science Foundation
This randomized experiment at 11 Wisconsin colleges and universities begins in fall 2014
Key Challenges
Harvesting Opportunities for Postsecondary Education
Opening: Monday May 5, 2014

Founding Director: Sara Goldrick-Rab
Funder: Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation
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