Dr. Laura W. Perna is James S. Riepe Professor and Executive Director of the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (AHEAD) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). She has served as President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Vice President of the Postsecondary Division of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and chair of Penn’s Faculty Senate. Her research uses a range of methodological approaches to identify how social structures, educational practices, and public policies can promote college access and success, particularly for groups that continue to be underrepresented in higher education. Recent books include The Attainment Agenda: State policy leadership for higher education (with Joni Finney, 2014, Johns Hopkins University Press). Her research has been funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, Lumina Foundation, and other sources, and has been featured by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, and other outlets. She has provided invited testimony to the U.S. Senate’s Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee and U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. She is a Fellow of AERA and Penn, and recipient of ASHE’s Early Career Achievement Award, Penn’s Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, and National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award.
Improving College Attainment for All Students
Higher education is increasingly important to the economic and social well-being of individuals and our society. But, despite its importance, rates of college enrollment and completion vary dramatically across groups. This presentation discusses the forces that continue to limit college access and completion for students from underserved groups, and the roles of public policy and institutional practice in addressing the systemic barriers to college attainment. The presentation draws from two recent books: The State of College access and Completion: Improving college success for students from underrepresented groups (2013, co-edited with Anthony Jones), and The Attainment Agenda: State Policy Leadership in Higher Education (2014, co-authored with Joni Finney).
We hope you can make it!
Transfer Admissions & Advising Committee (TAAC)