The Healthy Bodies Study: 2015 Data Report

Education and Literacy;Health;Nonprofits and Philanthropy

The Healthy Bodies Study: 2015 Data Report

Disordered eating and body image dissatisfaction are common in undergraduate and graduate student populations. Previous campus mental health research has focused primarily on depression, anxiety, suicidality, and substance use. Considerably less is known about eating disorders relative to other mental health problems common in student populations. This is particularly true when considering that eating disorders, like other mental health problems, exist along a continuum of severity. Where much attention has been paid to subclinical depression and anxiety in national epidemiological campus-based research, measures of disordered eating have typically been reduced to but a handful of questions about specific behaviors, often described in clinical terms. While important studies have addressed eating disorders in specifically defined student sub-groups (e.g., sorority women, female athletes, students from certain academic departments), these are usually single-site studies with limited generalizability. HBS takes a public health approach by assessing a range of eating and body image measures at the population-level.

An annual web-based survey, HBS aims to understand students' relationships with eating, dieting, exercising, and body image, and how these relationships, in turn, fit into a larger picture of student health and well-being. HBS seeks to explore the prevalence and correlates of disordered eating and body image dissatisfaction, and the extent to which students with apparent need are utilizing mental health resources. Through close collaborations with campus practitioners and national mental health organizations, HBS researchers strive to inform policy and practice on college and university campuses.

HBS is administered to a randomly selected sample of undergraduate and graduate students at participating institutions. An important contribution to the field of college student mental health, HBS addresses the diversity of disordered eating behaviors and attitudes among the diversity of students on college and university campuses today.

December 2015

Geographic Focus: North America / United States

2015 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments

Education and Literacy;Nonprofits and Philanthropy

2015 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments

Data gathered from 812 U.S. colleges and universities for the 2015 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments® (NCSE) show that participating institutions' endowments returned an average of 2.4 percent (net of fees) for the 2015 fiscal year (July 1, 2014 -- June 30, 2015) compared with 15.5 percent for the 2014 fiscal year. This year's return was the lowest since the -0.3 percent reported for FY2012 and contributed to a decline in long-term 10-year average annual returns, to 6.3 percent from last year's 7.1 percent. This year's long-term return figure is well below the median 7.5 percent that most endowments report they need to earn in order to maintain their purchasing power after spending, inflation and investment management costs.

Despite the decline in investment gains, 78 percent of Study respondents reported spending more in dollars from their endowments this year. Among institutions increasing their dollar spending, the median increase was a substantial 8.8 percent, well above inflation.

The 812 institutions in this year's Study represented $529.0 billion in endowment assets. While the average endowment was about $651.5 million, more than half the Study participants had endowments that were below $115 million.

January 2016

Geographic Focus: North America / United States

Connecting Teachers and Ed-Tech Developers: Lessons from NYC's Gap App Program

Computers and Technology;Education and Literacy

Connecting Teachers and Ed-Tech Developers: Lessons from NYC's Gap App Program

In 2011, with support from a federal Investing in Innovation grant, the NYC Department of Education launched Innovate NYC Schools. The initiative was designed to address two related challenges to effectively integrating education technology (ed-tech) into classrooms: First, procurement of ed-tech tools is often hampered by a disconnect between teaching and learning demands on one hand, and developers' supply of tools and services on the other. Educators are not always informed about the tools and interventions that are available, while developers may not fully understand students' and teachers' needs. Second, because the DOE's traditional procurement process via formal Requests for Proposals is lengthy, it may be prevent some developers from bidding, and technology that was brand new when an RFP was released may be outdated by the time it reaches schools.

This report focuses on Innovate NYC's Gap App challenge and pilot program, which invited developers to submit an app aimed at solving a specific learning challenge. A number of the apps were then piloted in NYC public schools. During the pilot period, the apps were used in classrooms, and teachers had opportunities to provide feedback directly to developers, in an effort to help make the apps more useful.

The report describes the design of the Gap App challenge and the implementation of the pilot program in schools. It then considers whether using a Gap App influenced the way participating teachers and students approached technology in the classroom and provides a set of lessons that may inform future Innovate NYC Schools projects or similar initiatives in other districts.

January 2016

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-New York County-New York City

Don't Quit On Me: What Young People Who Left School Say About The Power Of Relationships

Children and Youth;Education and Literacy

Don't Quit On Me: What Young People Who Left School Say About The Power Of Relationships

This report examines, from the perspective of young people themselves, the roles that relationships with adults and peers play in decisions about staying in, leaving and returning to high school. Building on previous studies, including last year's "Don't Call Them Dropouts," this report offers new insights about how support from adults and peers can help to close the remaining gaps between those who graduate from high school on time and those who don't.

September 2015

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Supporting Development in Ghana: The Role of Foundations

Community and Economic Development;Education and Literacy;Energy and Environment

Supporting Development in Ghana: The Role of Foundations

Foundation funding focused on Ghana over the past decade has encompassed all aspects of the global development agenda and beyond. Among foundations whose grants are tracked by Foundation Center, their giving focused on Ghana totaled $499 million between 2002 and 2012. While few foundations intentionally aligned their grantmaking priorities with the MDGs, over half of grants (54 percent) made by the 151 foundations included in this analysis and most of their grant dollars (79 percent or $394 million) supported activities consistent with at least one of the eight MDGs.

September 2015

Geographic Focus: Africa (Western)-Ghana

Major Malfunction: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in What Students Study

Education and Literacy;Employment and Labor;Race and Ethnicity

Major Malfunction: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in What Students Study

This analysis explores bachelor's degrees earned by race and ethnicity, broken down by area of study. The report identifies the majors and programs that produce the highest and lowest median incomes (both at the start of one's career and in the middle of one's career) and probes for uneven distributions of African American and Latino students. The report finds that these students disproportionately earn more degrees in low-paying majors, and fewer degrees in the highest paying majors.

September 2015

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Mirage: Confronting the Hard Truth About Our Quest for Teacher Development, The

Education and Literacy

Mirage: Confronting the Hard Truth About Our Quest for Teacher Development, The

Two years ago, we embarked on an ambitious effort to identify what works in fostering widespread teacher improvement. Our research spanned three large public school districts and one midsize charter school network. We surveyed more than 10,000 teachers and 500 school leaders and interviewed more than 100 staff members involved in teacher development.

Rather than test specific strategies to see if they produced results, we used multiple measures of performance to identify teachers who improved substantially, then looked for any experiences or attributes they had in common -- from the kind and amount of development activities in which they participated to the qualities of their schools and their mindset about growth -- that might distinguish them from teachers who did not improve. We used a broad definition of "professional development" to include efforts carried out by districts, schools and teachers themselves.

In the three districts we studied, which we believe are representative of large public school systems nationwide, we expected to find concentrations of schools where teachers were improving at every stage of their careers, or evidence that particular supports were especially helpful in boosting teachers' growth. After an exhaustive search, we were disappointed not to find what we hoped we would. Instead, what we found challenged our assumptions.

July 2015

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Staying Relevant In A Changing Neighborhood: How Fleisher Art Memorial Is Adapting To Shifting Community Demographics

Arts and Culture;Education and Literacy

Staying Relevant In A Changing Neighborhood: How Fleisher Art Memorial Is Adapting To Shifting Community Demographics

This case study describes Fleisher Art Memorial's initiative to bring residents of the surrounding ethnically diverse neighborhood to its on-site programs. The report is part of a larger set of 10 case studies commissioned by The Wallace Foundation to explore arts organizations' efforts to reach new audiences and deepen relationships with their existing audiences. These in-depth reports lay out how the efforts were created and run, describe the results in detail, identify what helped them become successful, and show what got in the way of success. They add to a growing body of field-based research, providing specific examples of individual organizations' responses to unique circumstances. At the same time, each aspires to capture more broadly applicable lessons about what works and what does not -- and why -- in building arts audiences.

August 2015

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia

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