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The higher education system is a major force in economic, racial, and gender inequality that serves the pockets of corporations and the ultra-wealthy. This report delves into the principles, membership, and strategies of Student Action, a group devoted to utilizing direct action, electoral work, and narrative building to fight for fully funded and free higher education, accessible to all students, including undocumented and formerly incarcerated students. Student Action has three goals for how they want their campaign to transform society: they want to shift the balance of power from corporations and the 1% to ordinary communities, radicalize a generation of young people, and make education in the U.S. into a human right, and not a commodity.
Incomes, job security, and economic growth increasingly depend on postsecondary credentials with value in the labor market. While a vast number of adults in the labor market engage in noncredit occupational education and training, without common metrics or quality assurance mechanisms, they cannot translate their education and training into postsecondary credit and the value of their credentials is not clear to employers, educators, or students. Instead, this report urges for a system that assesses competency to measure learning, rather than relying on the credit four as the metric for learning. Furthermore, this report examines federal, state, and institutional efforts to better assure the quality of credentials and to bridge noncredit and credit-bearing instruction, and provides recommendations that can be taken to create a competency-based system for measuring learning.
Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of America’s population, though many lack the necessary skills and education to meet the demands of industry and earn family sustaining wages. This report provides recommendations that can be taken in order to bridge the skills gap. These recommendations are guided by the idea that investment in the educating and advancing of Latino workers is necessary for economic recovery and sustainability, employment is an asset to higher education and career advancement (not a barrier), and that the skilled jobs of today require additional education beyond a diploma.
Business and education communities share an understanding of the type, level, and quantity of skills and credentials needed by the workforce. However, community colleges often struggle to engage employers effectively. This report outlines strategies community colleges can take to partake in effective engagement with employers, in order to build deep, sustainable relationships that ensure their curriculum design and credentials meet the needs of industry sectors/clusters important to the region, and that students exit institutions able to demonstrate that they have the skills and credentials needed by business.
Maryland is taking bold steps to increase the number of workers who possess a post-secondary education credential. In particular, Skills2Compete Maryland (S2C Maryland) is a campaign aimed at increasing post-secondary success to strengthen the skills of Maryland’s workforce. This report offers a summary of S2C’s history, including its strategies and processes, and provides further recommendations and actions needed to reach their goal of increasing the number of Marylanders who attain post-secondary credentials by 20 percent.
No Worker Left Behind (NWLB) was an offer by the State of Michigan from 2007-2010 of free tuition to low income and unemployed workers willing to go back to school and earn a market-relevant degree or credential. This study explored the experiences of those who enrolled in NWLB, seeking insight into how NWLB affected participants and their families. Results show that most respondents found NWLB valuable, program retention and completion rates were very high, most respondents who completed trainin
In spite of overwhelming odds, some immigrants with minimal academic credentials are finding their way to college, entering post-secondary programs and earning credentials that provide them with the skills required to get and keep good jobs. They are doing so with the assistance of new and innovative partnerships among employers, community colleges, and community organizations that expand access to higher education for immigrants. Upon examining these partnerships, with a focus on the Hispanic immigrant adult population, this report outlines emerging lessons about successful partnerships and the recommendations for the field.
Michigan has shifted a total of $4.5 billion intended for K-12 public schools to universities and community colleges since 2010. This cut to K-12 education was not done for the benefit of postsecondary education, but to balance the state budget and compensate for General Fund dollars that are increasingly stretched thin due to tax cuts for businesses. Until K-12 schools and programs are financed at levels recommended by experts and that fulfill statutory requirements, the government should commit to using School Aid Fund dollars only to fund Michigan’s K-12 public schools and programs at adequate levels, funding universities and community colleges at adequate levels using General Fund dollars and other existing appropriate sources, and addressing General Fund shortfalls responsibly by increasing revenue sources rather than shifting educational funds away from their intended purposes