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Las Vegas, Nevada (January 27, 2015) – The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) is pleased to announce it has received a $24,998 grant from the William T. Grant Foundation. These funds will support research and collaborations at the 2015 ASHE Conference. Dr. Laura Perna, James S. Riepe Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and President of ASHE, is the Primary Investigator for the grant project. Dr. Kim Nehls, Executive Director of ASHE, serves as co-PI.

Too often researchers are conducting studies that have little relevance to policymakers and practitioners, and policymakers and practitioners are too often unaware of the relevant research that does exist. The funded initiative seeks to improve research-and-practice connections by encouraging collaborations between members of our higher education research association (ASHE) and members of each of five intermediary organizations that seek to help higher education policymakers and/or practitioners identify, understand, and apply research-based evidence. Intermediary organizations can play an important role in connecting research and practice, but frequently these intermediary organizations have limited capacity to effectively play this role. The project seeks to remedy this situation with groups that will work together throughout the year and present their findings at the 2015 ASHE Conference in Denver, Colorado, November 4-7, 2015.

The five partner organizations are the Council of Independent Colleges, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the Pell Institute of the Council for Opportunity in Education, and the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education.

“A key premise of this project is that, in order to identify a shared agenda for future policy-relevant research, members of these different organizations must have the opportunity to talk with, and learn from, each other,” says Laura Perna. “Through this grant, the William T. Grant Foundation is signaling the importance of developing better connections between researchers and intermediary organizations, and providing funds to encourage the face-to-face interactions that are required for productive, collaborative, cross-organizational relationships.”

The William T. Grant Foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process.

The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) was incorporated in 1976 as a 501c3 nonprofit
scholarly organization. Today, ASHE has 2,200 individual members interested in higher education
research. Members work at colleges, universities, state and federal agencies, and policy centers. The
Association is considered the premier organization for scholars of higher education. ASHE is
headquartered in the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.