Penn AHEAD advances critical conversations about the roles and purposes of higher education through its engagement with public policymakers, college and university administrators, and researchers. Through presentations, seminars, and other events at Penn and around the world, we seek to promote ongoing public dialogue about critical issues facing higher education, and identify and disseminate information about innovative and productive solutions to these issues.

Expert Advice for Policymakers

Testimony Before Congress

Dr. Laura Perna testified in front of the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training on April 30, 2015, on efforts to improve higher education access and completion for low-income and first-generation students. Dr. Perna's testimony specifically focused on the role of college access and success programsClick here to view the press release and click here to watch Dr. Perna's testimony. 

Last summer, Dr. Perna testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on states' role in higher education. Click here to view the video of her testimony.  

Featured Events

AHEAD @ Penn
Friday, May 6, 2016 -
12:00pm to 2:00pm
Graduate School of Education, 3700 Walnut Street, Room 200

Join Penn AHEAD and The Netter Center for the fifth and final session on the role of higher educational and anchor institutions in promoting college and career readiness of high school students in Philadelphia.

AHEAD @ Penn
Thursday, April 7, 2016 -
9:00am to 12:00pm
Graduate Student Center, Room 305 3615 Locust Walk

The Transition to Higher Education in France: Differences between secondary schools in the framing and support of students' choice. Join PennAHEAD and visiting scholar Agnés van Zanten for a discussion on the political, economic and social pressures, the rapid transformation of the landscape of higher education and the growing diversification of incoming students' profiles and expectations. Using data from an ongoing study, the talk will focus on general trends in access to higher education as well as specific institutions. 

 Agnés van Zanten is a sociologist and senior research professor working for the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique at OSC at Sciences Po, Paris. She is also the director of the series "Education et Société at Presses Universitaires de France. 

Coffee and donuts will be served.

  • To view the presentation from this discussion please click here.
AHEAD on the Road
Thursday, March 31, 2016 -
11:00am to 12:00pm
University of Louisville, University Club, Mary Bingham Room

AHEAD Executive Director Laura Perna travels to the University of Louisville to speak about the need for a comprehensive approach to improving higher education attainment. This event is part of the University of Louisville's Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development's speaker series.

Click here to view event flyer.