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Cheek Honored as Outstanding Alumni

Jimmy Cheek, Director of the Postsecondary Education Research Center, Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) is being honored by his alma mater.  Cheek has been chosen as one of the 2018 Outstanding Alumni for Texas A& M University.  Nominated by John Zomchick for his outstanding work at UTK, Cheek will be honored at the Outstanding Alumni Gala to be held on Friday, October 26th at the Thomas G Hildebrand Equine Complex on the Texas A & M campus.

Cheek served as administrator at the University of Florida for thirty-four years, last as senior vice-president of agricultural and natural resources, before joining UTK.  Upon taking office as Chancellor for UTK, Cheek was challenged with taking the university to the Top 25.  His work during his chancellorship helped improve campus infrastructure, increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates, secure additional resources, and aid in recruitment and retention of world class faculty and staff. “Throughout his tenure, Cheek has worked for the students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders of the University of Tennessee. He has put people first, always, and he has succeeded in transforming our institution physically, economically, socially, and morally. Whether behind the scenes with his staff, the state’s political leaders, or our devoted alumni; or whether from the public bully pulpit, he has done his utmost to make UT better for all. In my opinion, he has been the most effective leader in my 33 years here because he inspired all of us to join him in transforming the lives of others” said John Zomchick, Vice Provost for Faculty Affiairs is his nomination letter.

Cheek now serves as Director of the Postsecondary Education Research Center in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.  The mission of the center is to identify, conduct and coordinate research on initiatives and ideas designed to enhance higher education at the institutional, state, and national levels to enhance policy and practice.

*Courtesy of Bonnie J Maples

Downtown Tampa Florida

Chris Davidson to Present at ASHE

Chris Davidson to present at the 43rd Annual Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) conference in Tampa, Florida happening November 15-17, 2018.  Dr. Davidson’s presentation, From the Foxhole to the Ivory Tower: A Critical Analysis of Veteran Transitions from the Military to College, examines the transition experiences of Post-9/11 student veterans from the setting to college through a composite narrative using Veteran Critical Theory.

Charlottesville, Virginia

Patrick Biddix to present at the 2018 Virginia Assessment Group Conference

The Virginia Assessment Group invites Patrick Biddix to be the keynote speakers at the 2018 Virginia Assessment Group Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia happening on November 4-6.  The Virginia Assessment Group is a network for communication and collaboration among organizations of higher education, state and federal agencies and accreditation bodies.  They promote quality higher education through assessment and institutional effectiveness practices in all Commonwealth and regional post-secondary institutions.

Read more about the 2018 Virginia Assessment Group Conference here.

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PERC and ELPS honored at Big Orange Family Campaign Celebration

The department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, including the  Postsecondary Education Research Center and the Center for Educational Leadership, were honored at the the Big Orange Family Campaign celebration for achieving 100 percent participation among its faculty and staff.

The Big Orange Family Campaign is an annual month long initiative to enhance philanthropy among faculty and staff.  Last year donations helped provide 6,148 undergraduate and graduate students with scholarships.  This year the Big Orange Family Campaign reached 59.56% participation.  A full 5.5% higher than the campus-wide goal of 54%.

Read more about the Big Orange Family Campaign here

Image for Promising Practices Chattanooga State Community College’s “Focus on Completion” Sees Results

April 2018 Promising Practice

PERC publishes another Promising Practices for 2018 discussing results of results for Chattanooga State Community College’s “Focus on Completion.”

Promising Practices is an initiative sponsored by the Postsecondary Education Research Center (PERC) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The series highlights evidence-based practices promoting student success inclusive of access, persistence, retention, and postgraduate success.

Read more about April’s 2018 Promising Practice

Cover to the Re: Reflections and Explorations Volume II

Chris Davidson has Essay Published in Book Series

Chris Davidson’s essay, Public vs. Private good: How Neoliberalism Has Changed the Role of Higher Education and Creating Issues of Access, has been published in Volume II of the RE: Reflections and Explorations: A Forum for Deliberative Dialogue book series.

About the series: “In 2013, the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance (VTIPG) launched an edited online essay series, RE: Reflections and Explorations, for Virginia Tech graduate students to share articles and commentaries about their evolving research, interests and experiences on topics relevant to the VTIPG mission. The “RE: Reflections and Explorations” book series features essays from the online platform selected and edited by VTIPG Director Max Stephenson Jr. and affiliated research faculty member Lyusyena Kirakosyan. Volume I of the series was published in 2015.” For more information about this volume please go to doi: 

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Patrick Biddix to Teach NASPA Online Course on March 26, 2018

Patrick Biddix will join Joseph Levy and Rishi Sriram in teaching an online course hosted by The NASPA Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge Community.  The course titled, “Assessment versus Research.  What is the Difference?  Why Does It Matter?”, will help students to establish and clarify the language used for assessment and research, expectations of practitioners at multiple levels, and trends in the field.

As a result of attending the course, students will:

  • gain foundational knowledge about the concepts of assessment and research;
  • learn approaches to assessment and research based on definitions and philosophy;
  • apply assessment and research processes to student affairs practice; and
  • articulate the need for assessment and research skill development as professional practice.

The course will take place on March 26, 2018 at 1:00pm est.  It is free for members of the Assessment, Evaluation, and Research KC and $99 for non-members.

Read more about the course here

Lisa Driscoll and Terri Ishitani at Cumberland University

PERC Partners with Cumberland University on Student Success

Cumberland University has agreed to partner with PERC as one of the participating institutions for the Tennessee Reconnect project.  The project seeks to understand the experiences of students who participate in the Tennessee Reconnect Program.  It hopes to find the most effective ways to recruit, retain, and ensure completion among returning adult students.  The project also helps the Drive to 55 initiative where it hopes to address the gap in the current educational attainment rates of Tennesseans to support current and anticipated workforce necessities.

Read more about Cumberland University here

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Terry Ishitani Article published by Research in Higher Education

Research in Higher Education has just published an article written by PERC’s affiliated faculty Terry Ishitani.  The article titled “Student Trasfer-Out Behavior at Four-Year Institutions” discusses behaviors of students who left their four-year institutions.

Terry Ishitani is an Associate Professor of Higher Education.  His work has been published in reputable journals including the Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, and Journal of College Student Retention.  His work currently focuses on student post-graduate migration and student loan default behavior.

Read more about Dr. Ishitani’s article here

Florida Beach Phptp

Chris Davidson to Present at the 2018 Eastern Educational Research Association Conference on February 7-10, 2018

Chris Davidson has been invited to present at the 2018 Eastern Educational Research Association (EERA) Conference occurring on February 7-10, 2018.  As an affiliate with the American Educational Research Association, EERA have been one of the successful educational research organization for the past 40 years.  The organizations allows educational professional who are interested in conducting and spreading research to improve education to come together.  The 2018 conference will be held at the sandy beaches of Clearwater, Florida.

Read more about the 2018 Eastern Educational Research Association Conference

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PERC’s Graduate Student Receives First Grant

Gresham Collom, a graduate research assistant for PERC, receives his first grant with Faculty member Dorian McCoy from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  This Student/Faculty Research Award will help support student research and foster the mentor relationship between faculty and graduate students.

The project titled. “Stories to be Told: Life-Course Narratives of Previously Incarcerated Persons” will identify the need here at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to support previously incarcerated individuals and also work towards breaking barriers to their enrollment through recruitment initiatives.  Collom states. “By gathering rich, qualitative narratives from previously incarcerated person who have attended or wish to attend UTK, we hope to bring to light important stories which do no often get told.”

As a first year PhD student Collom is grateful for this opportunity and hopes everyone keeps an eye out for the results.

Skyline of Dallas Texas

Gresham Collom to present at the 2017 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison on November 4, 2017

Gresham Collom will present at the 2017 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison on November 4, 2017.  Collum will be one of the presenters for the Qualitative Research on Reentry and Higher Education session.  He will provide an overview of research examining the benefits of attending a postsecondary institution for previously incarcerated individuals.  He will also discuss a case study of an individual who went from incarcerated to a college student and then to graduate student.

Read more about the 2017 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison

Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium

Patrick Biddix presents at the 2017 Assessment Institute in Indianapolis

Indiana University invited Patrick Biddix to be one of the keynote speakers at the 2017 Assessment Institute in Indianapolis held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.  The Assessment Institute in Indianapolis is the nation’s oldest and largest event solely focused on outcomes assessment in higher education.  Patrick spoke on quality and rigor as essential practices in assessment.  He was also a panelist for the opening plenary with about 1,000 professionals in attendance.

Read more about the 2017 Assessment Institute in Indianapolis.

Photo of Dr. Jimmy Cheek

University of Tennessee launches PERC

The University of Tennessee has officially launched the Postsecondary Education Research Center (PERC) led by Dr. Jimmy Cheek and Dr. Patrick Biddix.  In an effort to raise awareness about postsecondary education, PERC will conduct research with strategic partners in the State of Tennessee to help fulfill the state’s and nation’s completion agenda leading to a post-manufacturing workforce.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

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