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. Racial workforce diversity is a key driver of America’s economic growth as it is one of the most important predictors of business sales revenue, customer numbers, and profitability, say the authors of a new National Skills Coalition report. However, as more jobs require education beyond high school, training remains inaccessible for many workers. The report’s authors make the case for advancing equity in education and in the workforce. “Disparities in educational attainment, wage, and employment by race and ethnicity carry heavy costs. In 2015, the economy would have been $2.5 trillion larger had there been no racial gaps in income,” they say. One recommendation offered is for states and localities to “endorse racially equitable postsecondary policy by expanding career pathways and stackable credentials of value, job-driven and need-based financial aid, and tuition equity for immigrants.”
      2. Students participating in Early College High Schools (ECHS) are nearly three times as likely to earn an associate degree or certificate than non-ECHS peers, according to an American Institutes for Research (AIR) study. Within six years of their expected high school graduation, about 84 percent of ECHS students had enrolled in postsecondary education, compared to 77 percent of control-group students, AIR said. Two-thirds had enrolled in two-year colleges, compared to 47 percent of students in the control group. Also within six years of high school graduation, more than 45 percent of ECHS students earned a postsecondary degree, compared to about 34 percent of control students. About 29 percent of ECHS students earned an associate degree or certificate, compared to 11 percent of control students.
      3. The American public has strong, positive attitudes about the benefits of a community college education, according to the 2019 edition of the “Varying Degrees” study by New America. Overall, 85 percent of Americans think public community colleges are worth the cost, and 78 percent are comfortable contributing their tax dollars to them. Sixty-two percent believe community colleges are run efficiently and spend money wisely, and 86 percent believe community colleges contribute to a strong American workforce. With regard to attitudes about supporting community colleges with tax dollars, Americans with graduate degrees (89 percent) and associate degrees (80 percent) were most comfortable contributing tax dollars to community colleges.
AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.