The Postsecondary Success team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation helps educational institutions create, identify, and implement strategies to improve students’ educational experiences. Student outcomes are influenced at the micro-level, where significant variation among advisors, teachers, students, and methods leads to a process which is systemically difficult to map in detail. Faculty members are especially important, as potential drivers of innovation, and as the direct, front-line drivers of student success.
A Robust Research Program: FTI Consulting was approached by the Gates Foundation to develop an extensive and unique research program, including:
Understanding Faculty Drivers: Among key results, the data revealed that faculty are generally goal-oriented with a high student focus, and are actively transforming practices to benefit their students. Ultimately we found that the key to adoption lies in the hearts, minds, and networks of faculty. Using the data we gathered, we were able to understand the drivers of adoption much more clearly.
Impact and Real-World Application: This work is the first comprehensive and representative view of faculty in a decade, and consequently adds substantial and important insights for policy makers, higher-education administrators, and educators. Internally, the work assists the Gates Foundation in better understanding how to engage faculty and improve student-outcomes. Equally important, the Gates Foundation has contributed elements of this work to the public domain, including a dissemination document.
Learn more in our report: U.S. Postsecondary Faculty in 2015: Diversity In People, Goals And Methods, But Focused On Students