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Research Reports

PERC leverages research to empower institutional and government policymakers to make informed decisions. Browse recent publications below, and reach out to PERC to explore partnership opportunities.


PERC’s newest nine-brief series identifies trends and practices as student affairs professionals actively innovate and adapt to engage students during times of global pandemic.

In partnership with the Tennessee Board of Regents, this survey research identified the extent to which course material costs present barriers to academic achievement and progress toward graduation for Tennessee community college students.

This qualitative research examines how land-grant institutions serve low- and middle-income students by interviewing seven leaders at three institutions with differing graduation rates and percentages of Pell-eligible students.

This review of state-level Open Educational Resource policies examines and weighs three policy alternatives geared toward resolving issues related to barriers experienced by students due to the high cost of course materials.

A Snapshot of Tennessee Promise: Pellissippi State Community College, 2015-2018
Publication Date: 2019
Author: Driscoll, L. G., & Benitez-Ramirez
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Trends in full-time, first-time freshmen access, retention, and completion relevant to earning an associate degree or certificate for Tennessee Promise students at Pellissippi State Community College.

Findings from Cumberland University’s successes in providing access, retention, and completion opportunities to students enrolled in TN Promise between fall 2015-2018.

Results from statewide scholarship and mentoring program designed to increase the number of Tennessee high school students who enroll in state community colleges, colleges of applied technology, and other eligible institutions.

This longitudinal qualitative study captures the experiences of TN Reconnect participants to inform practice and policy-based interventions that support recruitment, retention, and degree attainment.

Summary research on TN Promise program, indicating improved access to college with a 40% enrollment increase of full-time, first-time freshman enrolled at Pellissippi State Community from fall 2014 through fall 2018.

Benchmarking review of financial wellness initiatives across 39 institutions to identify best practices for financial wellness education.

Research project examining how The University of Tennessee’s peer and aspirational institutions administer micro or emergency grants to promote student persistence and retention.

Growing the four-year graduation rate
Publication Date: 2017
Author: McMillan, S. J., Matsunaga, S., & Cheek, J. G.
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Summary of and implications for four targeted strategies focused on growing the four-year graduation rate: the 15-in-4 tuition model, the Strategic Instruction Fund, uTrack, and consistent institutional messaging.