campus partner(s)

Reed College

Lewis & Clark College

and Whitman College






Outcomes and Assessment

award date


project director

Jeffrey Parker

Reed College

Grant Summary

$292,218 over 30 months. These three colleges will conduct a study of classroom peer effects in required courses for first-year students with the aim of gaining a fuller understanding of the degree to which students are helped—or hindered—by the composition of their classes. Beginning with a quantitative regression analysis of student data (from 1990 to 2000, the most recent cohorts for which students will have completed their undergraduate careers), the collaborative will identify student characteristics linked—in a statistically significant way—with better or worse academic outcomes. These results will be combined—and contextualized—with qualitative evidence gathered from interviews with course instructors. Following two years of analysis, Reed will host a symposium to detail project findings and to spur discussion about the degree to which colleges may improve student performance by adjusting class enrollments.