Program Design and Student Outcomes in Graduate Education

36 Pages Posted: 9 May 2006  

Jeffrey Groen

Bureau of Labor Statistics

George H. Jakubson

ILR-Cornell University

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

ILR-Cornell University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Scott Condie

Brigham Young University - Department of Economics

Albert Yung-Hsu Liu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

Doctoral programs in the humanities and related social sciences are characterized by high attrition and long times-to-degree. In response to these problems, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation launched the Graduate Education Initiative (GEI) to improve the quality of graduate programs and in turn reduce attrition and shorten times-to-degree. Over a 10-year period starting in 1991, the Foundation provided a total of over $80 million to 51 departments at 10 major research universities. We estimate the impact of the GEI on attrition rates and times-to-degree using competing risk duration models and student-level data. The data span the start of the GEI and include information for students at a set of control departments. We estimate that the GEI had modest impacts on student outcomes in the expected directions: reducing attrition rates, reducing times-to-degree and increasing completion rates. The impacts of the GEI appear to have been driven in part by reductions in entering cohort size, improvements in financial support and increases in student quality.

Suggested Citation

Groen, Jeffrey and Jakubson, George H. and Ehrenberg, Ronald G. and Condie, Scott and Liu, Albert Yung-Hsu, Program Design and Student Outcomes in Graduate Education (March 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w12064. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=888266

Jeffrey A. Groen

Bureau of Labor Statistics ( email )

2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20212
United States

George H. Jakubson

ILR-Cornell University ( email )

Higher Education Research Institute
Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States

Ronald G. Ehrenberg (Contact Author)

ILR-Cornell University ( email )

Higher Education Research Institute
Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States
607-255-3026 (Phone)
607-255-4496 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Scott Condie

Brigham Young University - Department of Economics ( email )

130 Faculty Office Bldg.
Provo, UT 84602-2363
United States

Albert Yung-Hsu Liu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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