White House Announces Education Research Initiatives at College Opportunity Summit
December 2014

New federal education research initiatives were among the 600 government and university actions announced by President Obama and college and university presidents during a December 4 White House summit on college opportunity.

Among the education research initiatives:

  • President Obama announced that his administration will commit a minimum of $10 million to research on college completion over five years. Beginning in 2015, the Institute of Education Sciences will sponsor research on the steps states and postsecondary institutions can take to increase college completion rates, inviting research on a range of interventions spanning curricular reforms, student service enhancements, financial aid interventions, and education technology tools.

  • The Department of Education will publish a literature review of postsecondary studies reviewed by the Institute of Education Sciences’ What Works Clearinghouse. In addition, the department will offer larger grants through First in the World—an initiative to promote innovation in higher education—to projects with more supporting evidence, allowing successful strategies to be implemented at a greater scale, tested, and replicated.

  • In conjunction with the White House summit, the National Science Foundation released an open letter calling for proposals to pilot innovations for helping students learn the mathematics taught in the first two years of college, including planning and executing workshops in 2015 on using research to improve student success in mathematics in the first two years. Programs supporting this work in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources include Improving Undergraduate STEM Education, Advanced Technological Education, Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program, Tribal Colleges and Universities Program, Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers, and Discovery Research K–12.

For more information on the summit and the various initiatives announced, see the related White House news release