Planning for Higher Education Journal

Social Mobility and the Graduation Rate Paradox

Can You Advance One and Avoid the Other?
Journal Cover

Social mobility is an emerging area of focus for higher education institutions. In recent years, we have seen a proliferation of measures related to social mobility produced by publishers, scholars, think tanks, and foundations. However, it is still unclear which social mobility measures to advance, or when to intervene to improve social mobility outcomes. We rely on a century of literature from economics, sociology, and policy analysis to identify an appropriate framework to understand higher education’s contribution to social mobility. Using the metric-based planning framework, we identify areas for institutional intervention to enhance social mobility outcomes.

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