Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)

The Center for Studies in Higher Education publishes online research papers and essays that reflect multidisciplinary fields, contribute to influencing and expanding the body of research on higher education, and enhance dialogue among educators, policy makers, and the public. The CSHE Research and Occasional Paper Series (ROPS) includes working papers, original research studies, reflective essays by authors affiliated with CSHE, and major reports generated by CSHE related research projects. Contribution are reviewed by CSHE affiliated scholars. Authors are responsible for the content, and the views and interpretations expressed are not necessarily those of CSHE's research staff and other affiliated researchers. Questions regarding the content of individual ROPS contributions and CSHE research reports should be directed to the authors. 

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Amal Kumar (California State University, Sacramento)



John A. Douglass (UC Berkeley)

Editor Emeritus


Recently Published ROPS

Special Issue: Opportunities and Challenges for California Higher Education

Public University Systems and the Benefits of Scale by James R. Johnsen. CSHE 2. 2024 (February 2024)

James Johnsen

Multi-campus public higher education governance systems exist in 44 of the 50 U.S. states. They include all the largest and most influential public colleges and universities in the United States, educating fully 75 percent of the nation’s public sector students. Their impact is enormous. And yet, they are largely neglected and as a tool for improvement are underutilized. Meanwhile, many states continue to struggle achieving their goals for higher education attainment, social and economic mobility, workforce development, equitable access and affordability, technological innovation,...

How Helpful Are Average Wage-By-Major Statistics In Choosing A Field Of Study? by Zachary Bleemer, CSHE.1.24 (January 2024)

Zachary Bleemer

Average-wage-by-major statistics have become widely available to students interested in the economic ramifications of their college major choice. However, earning a major with higher average wages does not necessarily lead individual students to higher-paying careers. This essay combines literature review with novel analysis of longitudinal student outcomes to discuss how students use average-wage-by-major statistics and document seven reasons that they may differ, sharply in some cases, from the causal wage effects of major choice. I focus on the ramifications of two-sided non-random...