skip to Main Content


CONTACT: Shouping Hu, FSU College of Education

(850) 644-6721;


January 31, 2018




TALLAHASSE, Fla. – Florida State’s Center for Postsecondary Success (CPS) recently conducted a survey of higher education research centers with the goal of exploring their general characteristics and understanding the research center leaders’ perceptions of the direction of higher education research and funding patterns. Leaders from 15 research centers responded to the survey. Findings addressed funding issues, current and prospective research topics, research center goals, and perceived challenges and opportunities in the next five years.

Generally, participants felt research funding would be less available in the next five years. The majority of participants anticipated foundation contracts would be equally available in the coming years, while federal funding would be less available.

Higher education research center leaders most frequently reported student success and student persistence and/or completion as their current research topics, followed by state policy, student access or opportunity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and college outcomes. The following were identified as very important research topics in the next five years: state policy, federal policy, and equity, inclusion, and social justice. All participants believed student success research would be very important or important. Financial issues such as college affordability, financial aid, and funding also rated highly.

Participants described important research objectives to their units. Among the most important were contributing to the knowledge base, informing policymaking, and informing educational practice. All participants rated “to inform policymaking” as an important or very important goal for research centers in the next five years. This was followed closely by “informing educational practice” and “contributing to the knowledge base.”

Funding was a central future challenge identified by all participants. They discussed funding problems both within and external to the university and believed that the changing national and state political landscapes are the root of prospective funding difficulties.

Despite the potential funding challenges, higher education research centers look forward to future opportunities to partner and build relationships with other higher education organizations. Growing international partnerships and global focus was an area many believed would continue in the next five years. In addition, building collaborative relationships with faculty within their home institutions but beyond their center was identified as an exciting opportunity.

Click here to access the full report.

The Center for Postsecondary Success (CPS) is a research center at Florida State University dedicated to identifying and evaluating institutional, state, and federal policies and programs that may improve student success.


Back To Top