Here are three reports you should know about this month.
- For single mother families, college attainment is a “game changer for improving family well-being and meeting the demands of a changing economy,” say the authors of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s newest report. “For every dollar a single mother graduate spends on an associate degree, her family gets back $16.45 in increased earnings; for a bachelor’s degree, each dollar invested brings her family a return of $8.50.” they add. But greater investments in supportive services are needed in order to help single mothers earn college degrees, and those investments will bring substantial economic returns to those single mothers, their children and society as a whole. The report outlines some of the ways federal and state governments, communities and higher education institutions can better support single mothers.
- STEMconnector’s State of STEM looks at the current STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) landscape including the organizations, systems and influences that comprise and shape it. STEMconnector interviewed over 100 subject matter experts and practitioners from employers, research institutions, government, K-12 education, postsecondary education, and other sectors to capture the varying perspectives of these stakeholders across the STEM ecosystem. Those interviews uncovered five gaps in the STEM workforce: the fundamental skills gap, a belief gap, a postsecondary education gap, a geographic gap and a demographic gap. According to the report’s authors, “Organizations need to think systematically, act in coordination and alignment, and adopt a human-centered design approach.” The report includes recommendations to enhance professional and organizational practice and to create an enabling environment.
- The nearly 100,000 international students attending U.S. community colleges contributed $2.4 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 14,000 jobs during the 2016-2017 academic year, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The NAFSA analysis reveals that five states exceeded $100 million in contributions from international students at community colleges, with California nearing the $1 billion mark. Additionally, the data show that for every six international students enrolled at U.S. community colleges, one U.S. job is created and supported by spending occurring in the higher education, accommodation, dining, retail, transportation, telecommunications and health insurance sectors.
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