• Benjamin Raphael_Policy Paper



  • “Student Involved in Greek Life Show Low GPA, Higher Retention” by Spencer Harsh. College Heights […]

  • Benjamin and Profile picture of MiriamMiriam are now friends 6 months ago


    Big Idea Update (if you would care to skip to lightning round it is bolded below): 

    To preface this week’s lightning round I’d like to offer a brief refinement of my project’s thesis and general in […]

  • It was not until I had already been out of university for several months that I sought out the small, and isolated, career services building-positioned slightly off campus, down the end of a tree-lined street that […]

    • interpersonal skills — where do we learn those? thinking also of Sa-Rawla’s interest in EQ

  • Article:

    Ivy Tech, a community college located in Indiana, has recently garnered some […]

  • My project will examine the importance of fostering “educational citizenship” amongst a low-income, and nontraditional, undergraduate studentship as a means of increasing retention rates across the board. In doi […]

    • can’t wait to hear how you define educational citizenship, a worthy goal in and of itself!

    • Hey Ben,
      Before your time ended, I was going to ask if you’d thought about student governance or a student caucus as an access point for this citizenship-intention you want to inspire. It’s probably too radical, but what if, for example, you found a representative from each group at your high school to advocate certain needs of that community… My thinking is that if students have a chance to use their voices and become part of the overall conversation, you might see this citizenry and democratic spirit develop and ultimately retain students until graduation. My point is that sometimes we actually already have the foundation (like student government) but sadly we do not use the resource well or effectively.

      • Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve definitely thought about the role of student governance as an access point or potential generator for “educational citizenship” or citizenry. I agree that it would help to develop a democratic spirit through worry over matters pertaining to inclusion or the lack thereof. For now, I’d like to find a program-based means of implementing the same spirit housed within student governance, though in such a way as to avoid barriers of entry, access, and prior knowledge. I think that cogenerative mentorship can serve this end if heavily frontloaded (let’s say, as an initial Freshman requirement of sorts). Again, thanks for sharing. I’d love to chat more about this-if possible.

    • Here is a bit of an outline to clarify the content of my summary. The more I think about the deliverable, the more I am convinced that it will take the form of a policy paper that surveys relevant research/ draws from participant interview(S) and from this defines educational citizenship/suggests how to foster this sort of citizenry and its important role in regard to student retention… before finally offering a potential framework for implementation centered on early-college high schools.

      Proposal, Summary, Research Plan, & Planned Outcome

      Restatement of Proposal through Questioning:
      What is educational citizenship in both intent and purpose?
      What is the scope of educational citizenship?

      Understanding Cogenerative Behavior:
      How to establish sustainable practices that allow for student distribution and receipt of benefit in equal measure?
      Cogenerative behavior is a necessary condition for the creation of “educational citizenship.”
      Programs in support of student growth, in any front facing way, are sufficient.

      Finding the Crux:
      Is there a single set of irreducible factors which account for positive retention rates, generally speaking?
      Can such a set of factors be replicated across demographic and regional lines?
      Is looking into the ways in which social media platforms operate a reasonable means of finding clues as to how sustainable cogenerative behavior is fostered?

      Determining Feasibility:
      Will the result of given action plan be of any pragmatic use?
      Will C.C. be able to afford the instatement of a new program?
      Will an investment reduce cost over time?

      Research Plan:
      Survey of relevant qualitative and, to some degree, quantitative research on topic, particularly focused on current university/college action plans for increasing retention rates.
      Is there a socioemotional/sociobehavioral component attached? Is it purely academic (tutor, finance, etc)?
      Interview: student, teacher, professor
      What makes you feel most connected to school?
      Paraphernalia (i.e. school gear and memorabilia), rate of response, direct attention, etc?

      Implementation plan for early-college high schools and their community college partners for increasing “educational citizenship” amongst their shared studentship by means of best pragmatic methods (of course, stemming out of relevant theory).
      Addendum to the piece: focused on online/absent campus possibilities.

      Potential Concerns:
      That this work will be an exercise in hypothetical universes alone.

  • Source:

    In this edTech article, posted on a startup-focused blog with the rather unusual name of “Nibletz”,  an author by the name of KYLE (I suppose the st […]

    • Joe replied 7 months ago

      You may be interested in the book Nudge by Thales and Sunstein. It sounds like the tech piece of that software could be involved in predicted when a student may start to lose motivation and/or feel discouraged and overchallenged.

      Take out the tech aspect and this sounds a lot like CUNY’s ASAP program. One on one consistent coaching and an advisor who is familiar with your goals and plans. This company is just making that based on tech rather than in-person interactions which arguably needs more attention than in-person tactics.

  • Article:

    Generally speaking, I am focused on researching best means and methods of increasing retention rates for […]

    • Hi Ben.
      I find the notion of educational citizenship appealing, and I have a comment I didn’t have the time to make in class today…. Considering that one of the often mentioned purposes of higher education is to prepare students for living in a democracy (i.e., advocating for democratic values, participating in political life, etc.), how do you feel about giving students’ organizations real decision-making power in the daily operations of colleges and universities? If we want them to practice democracy, shouldn’t we start by democratizing even more our institutions, by distributing power also to students?
      I say this because I was deeply involved in my student union during my undergrad time in Chile, and there the organization of students is -I feel- much more powerful than in the US. Representatives of students participate in all collegiate bodies of the university, they have vote on curricular and budgetary matters, and student union leaders are a voice that is seek by media and heard even outside higher ed. institutions. For me, the student union was the place where I perhaps learned the most during my college time, and I think every student can benefit for that kind of experience that goes well beyond subject matters and formal classes.

      • Alvaro.

        Thanks so much for sharing. Unfortunately, your undergraduate experience does not come close to mirroring my own. I attended a rather large state university and found myself so closed off to the daily operations of the institution that it didn’t seem possible to even ask my way into a decision-making role. Luckily, I was able to scale down my experience to a manageable level, becoming part of a smaller, student-driven, organization that wasn’t explicitly tied to the university. As with your experience, I think that it was here that I truly gained that “intangible” and “immeasurable” university education that so many speak of.

        To your point, I imagine that by opening the more strangely bureaucratic operations of a campus up to the student population, clearly providing both points of entry and power from within, the result would be dramatically increased rates of retention and success- across the board.

        From this I wonder as to the possibility of creating student union type programs within completely online universities? and if such programs would indeed impact retention as dramatically as I expect?

        If I had the resources this would be a project I’d follow after.

    • Ben,
      Building educational citizens reminds me of being brand ambassadors for certain products. A person feels connected to a brand because, typically, they have provided above and beyond service that was personalized.

      Would a student become an educational citizen if they felt that the institution went above and beyond in their effort to show personalized care, would that student then feel more of an affinity and a sense of the need to pay-it-forward to their institution?

      Really interested in your topic, nice work.


      • Joe,


        The brand ambassador idea is fascinating, particularly if we take into consideration the potential for higher education to trend in the direction of privatization (or perhaps better said: ‘googli-zation’). I fear that this sort of ambassadorship, if first fostered in the public sphere, may potentially be used to an insidious, profit-bearing, end.

        To your question, I’m certain that if provided with a display of personalized care then yes a sharper affinity would be developed (as in the case of Georgia Tech’s online BA program and its increased rate of response to student inquiry leading to higher rates of connection/connectivity among the student population). Still, I’m unsure as to whether or not this affinity, in and of itself, warrants educational citizenship.

        Educational citizenship seems to be less of an incentive-based idea and more of an initiative based one, allowing for students to transition from receiving educational services to, on some level, providing them (a cycle of cogeneration). To return to the example of brand ambassadorship, it would be as if the student moves from ambassador to ambassador trainer and/or product developer. This would allow for a student’s ability to critique and change the system of which they have, over time, become a part of (a crucial element of any ideal representational democracy…and, perhaps, the one that fosters ‘citizenship’ in the first place).

        Ps: the above was typed hurriedly between class periods. Clearly, more thought and time is required!

    • After reading all the responses, An interesting study would be to look at the student governance models across universities. Every school has a student government, right? And students have seats on institutional committees, rights? So, why don’t more students participate? I know this sounds conspiracy theory-ish, but I’d be curious to see how institutions deter students from participating in governance (in thinking of weak PR, seniority, small student body representation). Student governance can methodological contribute to “job training” and network building-administrators and faculty are great for the resume.

      Does anyone know what the graduation rates are for online colleges? Is that the format we want to support or needs the support?

      • I can’t seem to find a reliable source, off-hand, to your question regarding online colleges but Google claims its around 42% (which seems ludicrously high).

  • Article: Tinto, Vincent (1999, October 08). Taking Retention Seriously: Rethinking the First Year of College. NACADA Journal, […]

    • I read this article a long time ago and remember agreeing with Tinto’s very practical ideas and finding that, while Higher Ed seems to have begun to implement many of these practices (even if efficacy is minimal and structure flawed), retention is clearly still a major issue. What I find most problematic is the quick adoption of research proven strategies, similar to the ones Tinto proposes, but executed poorly. I find a lot of “yeah, let’s try that.” And then a quick abandonment of the essential components needed to help them work.

      Does he talk about mentoring too? I’d love to know more about how mentoring Factulty-student and student-student has worked thus far on retention rates.