Employment projections show that the majority of job growth will occur in occupations that require a postsecondary vocational certificate or academic degree. Yet despite the need for skills upgrading and postsecondary credentials in a globalized economy, low-income adults are generally underrepresented in community colleges and other higher education programs within states. Moreover, many who do attend classes often fail to complete the program and earn a certificate or degree.

Governors recognize the need to adapt workforce and education policies to the reality of economic change in their states and communities. Access to postsecondary education, and the completion of degrees and certificates, gives individuals a wider array of basic skills including reading and writing, oral communications, mathematical reasoning, critical thinking and reasoning, problem solving, teamwork, interpersonal skills and an ability to learn continuously.

Resources

  • Measuring Student Achievement at Postsecondary Institutions: Existing measures of student achievement exclude far too many students and track too few student milestones. These exclusions can penalize institutions for serving disadvantaged students by understating these students’ performance. This Issue Brief offers state leaders a formula for measuring system-wide student achievement at postsecondary institutions.
  • State Actions to Increase Postsecondary Credential Attainment for Adult Workers:  Better serving adult students is an essential part of increasing college attainment.  More than half the states will not be able to meet future workforce needs without raising degree attainment levels for working adults.