Report roundup

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

A monthly roundup of reports of interest to the community college sector.

Here are three reports you should know about this month.

  1. We need new rules to help us understand the connection between college and careers,” say the authors of Career Pathways: Five Ways to Connect College and Careers, a report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce. The report calls for states to help students, their families and employers unpack the meaning of postsecondary credentials and assess their value in the labor market. Integrating education and workforce data will go a long way in removing the guesswork for individuals navigating the college and career maze, according to the report’s authors.
  2. While a majority of the public (55 percent) continues to say that colleges and universities have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country these days, Republicans express increasingly negative views. That’s according to an annual survey by the Pew Research Center on Americans’ views of national institutions. A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58 percent) surveyed say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country. That’s up from 45 percent last year. Most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72 percent) surveyed say postsecondary institutions have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years. The survey also looked at views of churches and religious organizations, banks and financial institutions, labor unions and the national news media.
  3. According to a survey by the Urban Institute, high school students don’t seem to be swayed by labor market outcomes when choosing a college and career path. The Urban Institute developed an informational website, GradpathVA, that displays academic major-level earnings and other key data points and piloted it at a set of Virginia high schools. The data had little effect on high school students’ college-going behavior. “These results indicate that simply publishing and marketing earnings data on a website is unlikely to change the behavior of prospective college students,” and, in fact, publishing the data on a website may be part of the problem. Students in focus groups said the web tool was too similar to other online resources.
AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.