Higher and post-secondary education professionals face intense scrutiny on several fronts. In these roles, we must have a working knowledge of college impact. And so, we need to understand the metrics that prove effectiveness. The newest volume of How College Affects Students builds on decades of research and incorporates findings from 2002 to 2013. It serves as an important resource for educators, administrators, researchers, and policymakers. The book reveals how colleges affect undergraduates economic, career, and quality of life outcomes. It provides evidence-based insights on the value of higher education.

Join Student Affairs Live co-host Heather Shea on Wednesday, April 4. She’ll speak with the authors of How College Affects Students. Hear how they distilled research for use in and beyond higher education. Heather talks with Drs. Matthew Mayhew, Alyssa Rockenbach, Nicholas Bowman, Tricia Seifert, and Gregory Wolniak.

Tune in on Wednesday, April 4 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time at watch.higheredlive.com. Return at any point afterward to view a free recording. Have questions for the authors? Email heather@higheredlive.com in advance of the broadcast. Or, contribute to the backchannel on Twitter at #HigherEdLive.


Episode Host

Heather Shea

Heather Shea

Heather Shea's career in student affairs spans nearly two decades and five different campuses, and involves experience in many different functional areas including residence life, multicultural affairs, women’s centers, student activities, leadership development, and commuter/nontraditional student services–she identifies as a student affairs generalist. Heather is currently serving as the director of Women*s Student Services in the Division of Student Affairs at Michigan State University having just completed her Ph.D. in MSU's HALE (Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education) Program. She completed her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Colorado State University in 2000. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heather_shea_


Matthew J. Mayhew

Matthew J. Mayhew is the William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor of Educational Administration with a focus on Higher Education and Student Affairs at The Ohio State University. He received his BA from Wheaton College, Illinois; his master’s degree from Brandeis University; and his PhD from the University of Michigan. Before coming to OSU, he served as an associate professor at New York University and an administrator at Fisher College and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

He has focused his research on examining the relationship between college and its influence on student learning and democratic outcomes. To support the study of college and its impact on student development and learning, he has been awarded over $14 million dollars in funding from sources including the United States Department of Education; the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; the Merrifield Family Trust; and an anonymous non-religiously affiliated organization with interests in social cooperation. He has been on the editorial boards of the Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and the Journal of College Student Development. He recently received the American Educational Research Association Religion and Education SIG Emerging Scholar Award.


Alyssa N. Rockenbach

Alyssa N. Rockenbach is Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University. She is an interdisciplinary scholar with an interest in the effects of college environments and experiences on student learning; religious and worldview diversity issues in higher education; intergroup dynamics, cooperation, and attitudes; young adult psychosocial development; and equity issues in education and society. Dr. Rockenbach has authored or co-authored more than 80 publications, including peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters, reports and monographs, and other scholarly works, and she has delivered more than ninety refereed and invited presentations at national conferences and other professional gatherings. Her work has also been featured in media outlets such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Huffington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor. She is co-author of the 2016 book, How College Affects Students: 21st Century Evidence that Higher Education Works, a synthesis of over 1,800 research studies of college impact conducted from 2002 to 2013, and she co-edited the 2012 volume, Spirituality in College Students’ Lives: Translating Research Into Practice. She received her B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Nicholas A. Bowman

Nicholas A. Bowman is a professor of higher education and student affairs as well as the director of the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education at the University of Iowa.  His research uses a social psychological lens to explore various issues in higher education, including college diversity, student success, research methodology, college rankings, and college admissions.  This work has appeared in more than 100 publications (including over 60 journal articles) and more than 100 peer-reviewed conference presentations. These studies have been cited over 3,000 times.


Tricia A. Seifert

Tricia Seifert is department head of Education and associate professor in the Adult & Higher Education program at Montana State University. She also maintains a faculty appointment at the University of Toronto. Her research examines organizational cultures and conditions as well as student experiences associated with postsecondary learning and success. She recently co-authored How College Affects Students, vol. 3, published by Wiley. She received the Award of Honour from the Canadian Association for College and University Student Services in 2015, the Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation in 2012, and the 2010 Emerging Scholar Award from ACPA, College Student Educators International. She is Associate Editor for International Research & Scholarship for the Journal of College Student Development and has published in Research in Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, and Journal of Higher Education.


Gregory C. Wolniak

Gregory C. Wolniak is Director of the Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes and Associate Clinical Professor of Higher Education at New York University. Before coming to NYU, he was a senior research scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago, and in August 2018 will be joining the faculty at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education.

His writing, research, and funding center on improving understanding of the socioeconomic effects of college. He has published extensively on the career and economic impacts of higher education and recently launched the Affordability and Transparency Initiative aimed at improving the ways institutions communicate tuition and cost information to students and families; this work has been featured in recent articles appearing in The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and MarketWatch. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Sociology of Education, Teachers College Record, Journal of Higher Education, and Research in Higher Education.