Estela Mara Bensimon

Professor of Higher Education

University of Southern California Rossier School of Education

Estela Mara Bensimon

Professor of Higher Education

University of Southern California Rossier School of Education

Dr. Estela Mara Bensimon is a professor of Higher Education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education and director of the Center for Urban Education(CUE), which she founded in 1999. Most notably, she is the creator of the Equity Scorecard, a tool which is designed to drive changes in institutional practice and culture to increase equity in higher ed outcomes for students of color. Dr. Bensimon was named an American Education Research Association fellow in 2011 and received the Association for the Study of Higher Education Research Achievement Award in 2013. She is also a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education. She was associate dean of the USC Rossier School of Education from 1996-2000 and was a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico in 2002. She earned her doctorate in Higher Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She’s held the highest leadership positions in the Association for the Study of Higher Education (President) and in the American Education Research Association Division on Postsecondary Education (Vice President). She has also served on the boards of the American Association for Higher Education and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

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15 to Finish

Boost the number of students who are on track for on-time graduation by encouraging enrollment in 15 credits each semester (30 credits per year, including summers). Financial aid dollars, as well as institutional process and practice, should support that standard.

Math Pathways

Ensure all students enroll in and complete gateway math in their first year by designing math courses that are aligned with the skills students need for their chosen program of study.

Corequisite Support

Increase gateway course completion within the first year by enrolling entering students into the college-level math and English courses, providing those who need additional help a concurrent course or lab that offers just-in-time academic support.

Momentum Year

Build momentum so students meet first-year benchmarks: informed choice of meta major or major, enrollment in 30 credits with nine in the program of study and completion of gateway courses. Provide early support and guidance for decision making, using interest assessments and labor-market data.

Academic Maps with Proactive Advising

Default students onto highly-structured academic maps that include 15 credits per semester (or 30 per year), indicate milestone and pre-requisite courses, and empower advisors to effectively monitor progress and provide intervention as needed.

A Better Deal for Returning Adults

Increase degree attainment by inviting adult learners back to complete their education, providing a redesigned system that offers accelerated courses, year-round enrollment and predictable schedules. Give credit for prior learning and experience and additional support to help students navigate the system.

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