Our scholarly philosophy embraces four mutually-reinforcing tenets, including collegiality, expansion, equity, and innovation. To this end, CoIL currently houses five major research projects.

HCAS CoverHow College Affects Students (Volume 3):
21st Century Evidence that Higher Education Works
This book expands on the work of Ernest Pascarella and Patrick Terenzini by bringing together the next generation of impact scholars to respond to criticisms concerning college and its place in society.
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IDEALS_upper_right2Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS)

Entering year four of a five-year grant, this project is a partnership between Dr. Mayhew (OSU), Dr. Alyssa Rockenbach (North Carolina State University) and the Interfaith Youth Core (a.k.a. IFYC, Chicago IL). This project is aimed at studying the impact of college environments and experiences on educational outcomes including pluralism orientation, self-authored worldview commitment, and appreciative attitudes toward individuals of other worldviews.
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Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 4.42.24 PMProject Innovation Cultivation

The purpose of this project is to understand the influence of higher education experiences on the development of students’ innovation capacities. This project has completed its cross-sectional and longitudinal data collection and is moving into the reporting and analysis phase.
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Assessment of Collegiate Residential Environments and Outcomes

The Study of Integrated Living Learning Programs (SILLP) has rebranded as the Assessment of Collegiate Residential Environments and Outcomes (ACREO).  This project seeks to understand how students perceive their residential environments as well as how these environments influence students’ intellectual, academic, and social development.  ACREO works with residential partners at colleges and universities across the United States in an effort to inform the conversation about effective student affairs practices in higher education for years to come. ACREO is an ongoing project which surveys students on different campuses every spring.
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Innovative Leadership Capacity and Financial Literacy

The purpose of this research is to determine the effectiveness of a targeted curriculum on the development of undergraduate students’ innovative leadership capacities – defined as a set of personal awareness, skills and abilities associated with generating and executing, through responsible leadership, contextually beneficial new ideas. An adjusted random control trial design, the overarching hypothesis motivating this study is that students who receive greater levels of direct education connected to innovative leadership will evidence higher scores on reliable and valid metrics


The EmPOWERment Project is funded by a five-year multi-million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation. Now entering its first year, this project will use mixed methods to evaluate the experiences and learning outcomes of graduate students enrolled in a novel trans-disciplinary STEM program. This STEM program leverages cutting-edge pedagogies and practices in order to prepare graduates for the difficult work of effectively de-carbonizing commercial electricity production in the United States.