Thursday, April 6, 2023

Nicole Tennessen's research explores how institutional data is used to support student success. She decided to pursue her doctorate at Iowa, thanks to the renowned and nationally ranked Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program.

Tennessen, a doctoral candidate in the HESA program, is one almost 80 University of Iowa College of Education graduate students and faculty members who are presenting research at the American Education Research Association (AERA) or the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) annual meetings– two of the largest gatherings of researchers and scholars in higher education in the world - April 13-16 in Chicago and May 4-5 virtually.

Tennessen joins an estimated 15,000 scholars from across the nation and globe, to present cutting-edge research, exchange ideas, engage and network with colleagues, and pursue professional advancement.

Each year, the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting is the world's largest gathering of education researchers and a showcase for groundbreaking, innovative studies in an array of areas. The 2023 annual meeting is a dual-component conference. The place-based component will be held in Chicago, Illinois, April 13-16. The virtual component will be held online May 4-5. 

NCME is a community of measurement scientists and practitioners who work together to advance theory and applications of educational measurement to benefit society. The NCME annual meeting is held in conjunction with AERA's Annual Meeting.

Learn more about Tennessen's research and the internationally-recognized HESA program in the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies at the UI College of Education.

Name: Nicole Tennessen

Major: PhD candidate in Higher Education and Student Affairs, University of Iowa College of Education Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies

Hometown: Appleton, Wisconsin

AERA Research Presentation Topics and Presentation Times:

Thursday, April 13th: 

9:50 a.m. to 11:20 a.m., Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Floor: B2 Level, Imperial Ballroom

Fairmont Roundtable

  • U.S. News Rankings and the Undergraduate Enrollment of International and Domestic Students – Shinji Katsumoto, Nicholas A. Bowman, and Nicole Tennessen

Friday, April 14th:

9:50 a.m. to 11:20 a.m., Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk, Level 4, Sheraton Ballroom IV and V

  • A Dollar Today, A Dollar Tomorrow: Investigating the Effect of Timing on Pell Recipient Graduation – Nicole Tennessen, Katharine Broton
  • Student Grant Aid by Institutional Characteristics: A Longitudinal Trend Analysis – Megan Ann Hoff, Nicole Tennessen, Mary Kate Blake, Tong Li, Carrie Klein

Sunday, April 16th:

11:40 a.m. to 1:10 p.m., Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk, Floor: Level 4, Chicago Ballroom VIII

Assets and Challenges of Groups Not Often Discussed

  • Toward an Understanding of Homelessness Across Higher Education – A True College Experience – Katharine Broton, Nicole Tennessen

Area of research interest and expertise:

Understanding how colleges and universities use institutional data to support decision-making that promotes student success.

What motivated you to pursue this research? Where does your inspiration come from?

This research paper represents the intersection of my interest in institutional decision-making around student success and Katharine Broton’s expertise and interest in housing insecurity in higher education. Our hope is to illuminate how homelessness is situated at institutions across the United States and what institutions can — and cannot — predict about their students.

What drew you to the HESA program and the University of Iowa? Why Iowa?

The expertise of the HESA faculty and the opportunity to collaborate on research projects like this paper. Additionally, the flexibility of the program curriculum allows me to dive deep into important topics that I care about.

What is the best part of the program? 

Undoubtedly, the community within the HESA program. My student colleagues and the faculty are deeply invested in my academic, professional, and personal success.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from Iowa? Who or what were your biggest influences?

Assistant Professor Katharine Broton is one of the greatest influences on my development as a scholar. I’ve taken many of her courses and worked with her on several research projects. In each instance, I’ve been challenged to think deeply and critically about concepts and encouraged to develop my own ideas.

What are your future plans?

I hope to become a faculty member, conducting research and teaching courses about methods and institutional research.