Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Maike Philipsen


This qualitative research study determined the effectiveness of Measuring Up, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education's national state based higher education report card, as a tool for state leaders in developing postsecondary educational policy. The researcher interviewed state postsecondary leaders in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia, including state government leaders and administrative officials. Interviews were conducted with nine participants.The participants in this study collectively identified the most pressing issues impacting higher education access. Affordability was identified as the predominant factor impacting access to postsecondary education; the preparation of secondary students was also identified as an issue of concern for policymakers and leaders. In addition, the participants cited policies and initiatives undertaken to address these as well as other areas of concern.Measuring Up was identified as helpful as a data resource in developing policy; however, participants expressed concerns over the methodology used in report development. The methodology used in developing affordability measures was of particular concern and interviewees felt the metrics did not accurately reflect state attempts to address the issue.Recommendations include implications for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (NCPPHE) and state governing/coordinating bodies. The NCPPHE should conduct conversations with state higher education leaders or representatives prior to the issuance of subsequent reports to enhance effectiveness and utilization by policymakers. State coordinating bodies need to be assertive in addressing the interests of its student constituents and aggressive in developing state data through assessments and research.


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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

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