Skip to Main Content

tag: Degree attainment

Blog Post
September 14, 2021

As War Ends, Let’s Ensure Veterans Have Access to Higher Education

The similarities between the helicopters that left Saigon and the scenes last month at the Kabul airport are painful. For whatever reasons, we have not learned to retreat safely for our citizens and allies. We have failed in our obligations and commitments to those Afghans who most importantly assisted and protected our young men and women who we sent in harm’s way.  There is another lesson from Vietnam that I hope we have learned, even if…
Blog Post
February 13, 2020

New Report and Forecasting Tool Shows States’ Progress towards Postsecondary Attainment Goals

A postsecondary credential has become a crucial qualification for individuals to pursue a meaningful career with a livable wage. As technology continues to reshape the nature of work, the core competencies gained through postsecondary education and strategic up-skilling by adult workers will be ever more important. States have a critical role to play in supporting their residents’ education and training, and a vested interest in seeing educational attainment increase. Recognizing this, and driven by initiatives of the Lumina Foundation and…
Research Report
February 13, 2020

Raising the Bar

What States Need to Do to Hit Their Ambitious Higher Education Attainment Goals

Over the past decade, there has been considerable attention placed on the role that state higher education systems play in preparing residents for a rapidly changing labor market. Given the increasing importance of a postsecondary degree in this market—both due to disproportionate growth in high skilled jobs and an influx of credentialization—educational attainment has become a focal point in discussions amongst researchers, policy advocates, and institutional actors. The attainment rate, calculated as the share of adults possessing a postsecondary credential,…
Past Event
October 8, 2019

James Dean Ward at the National Council for Workforce Education Conference

Meeting the Challenge of Achieving Educational Attainment Goals

On Tuesday, October 8, James Ward is presenting on “Meeting the Challenge of Achieving Educational Attainment Goals,” as part of a panel discussion at the National Council for Workforce Education Conference in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, please see the conference website. About the session Based on Anthony P. Carnevale’s research and educational attainment goals recommended by the Lumina Foundation, 42 states have established attainment goals. To achieve these goals, new policies and practices are required to recruit…
Blog Post
October 3, 2018

Assessing the Impact of State Policies on Higher Education Attainment

Ithaka S+R Launches New Research Project in Partnership with the Joyce Foundation

While aspirations to attend college are now more common among high school students, the opportunity to pursue higher education and complete a degree in order to enjoy the lifelong benefits of a college education varies widely by students’ race and socioeconomic background. Through financial support of public institutions, tax benefits for private institutions, student financial aid, and regulation of the higher education marketplace, state governments have the potential to mitigate these inequities for their residents. Yet with wide…
Blog Post
October 20, 2016

Four Strategic Essentials for Institution-Wide Improvement in Student Success

Over the past decade, colleges and universities have faced increasing pressure to improve degree completion rates and demonstrate their value to students. At the same time, evidence has accumulated about efficacy of a number of structural and pedagogical changes institutions can make to help students succeed. Tactics including remedial course redesign, proactive advising and coaching, active learning pedagogies incorporating technology, and guided pathways now have a solid research base. Yet despite this great motivation and the availability of evidence-supported practices,…
Blog Post
May 24, 2016

Higher Creducation

Do Students Go to College to Get Educated or to Get a Degree?

It is that time of year when higher education recognizes accomplishment through the awarding of degrees and commencement celebrations. That has me thinking about what it means to be educated and/or to earn a credential. Earlier this year, Ithaka S+R released a report entitled Higher Ed Insights: Results of the Fall 2015 Survey. That report highlighted a potential tension between two approaches to improving rates of degree completion: 1) guided pathways; and 2) unbundling college credits and services. The…
Blog Post
July 13, 2015

The Student Swirl Becoming More of a Norm in Higher Ed

The concept of the “student swirl” was conceived in the 1980s to describe undergraduates who moved among institutions before earning a bachelor’s degree. Students who transferred often did so because they made a poor initial match with an institution, or encountered academic or financial problems along the way. But now there is a growing body of evidence that students might be making a deliberate choice to transfer institutions as part of their pathway to a bachelor’s degree. First there is…
Blog Post
July 8, 2015

How Can We Replicate the Positive Effects of Siblings on College Choices?

A recent study by Joshua Goodman, Michael Hurwitz, Jonathan Smith, and Julia Fox explores the relationship between siblings’ college choices. Using data from 1.6 million pairs of siblings who took the SAT between 2004 and 2011 they find that 31% of younger siblings apply to and 19% enroll in the same college as their older sibling. They also find that younger siblings are 16 percentage points more likely than their high school peers to enroll in four-year colleges if…
Blog Post
July 1, 2015

Promising Directions for K-12 and Community College Partnerships

My colleague Derek Wu recently wrote about dual enrollment programs and the promise they hold for improving outcomes, especially for underserved students. These programs, which allow students to earn college credits while still enrolled in high school, are just one of many forms that partnerships between K-12 systems and postsecondary institutions can take. Two and four-year postsecondary institutions across the nation have created partnerships with local K-12 districts, sharing resources, aligning curricula, and coordinating support services in order to…
Blog Post
June 17, 2015

Earning College Credit Before College

A Worthwhile Investment

As college costs rise and student success rates stagnate, states and institutions of higher education have grappled with creative ways to improve student outcomes – particularly for those who are traditionally underserved. Recently, policymakers have increasingly turned to programs that target students even before they enroll full time in college, by implementing and expanding dual enrollment options that allow students to earn college credit while in high school. In theory, dual enrollment programs (along with programs like Advanced Placement…
Blog Post
May 14, 2015

How is Income Related to the Community College to Bachelor’s Degree Pathway?

Last week, we explored what the data behind “The Effects of Rising Student Costs in Higher Education: Evidence from Public Institutions in Virginia” tell us about degree-attainment rates at community colleges. We noted that eight years after students started at a community college, only 20% of those on track to earn a bachelor’s degree had earned one, and only 14% of students in the lowest income quintile had earned one. (See the blog post from May 7,…
Blog Post
May 7, 2015

Community College as a Pathway to a Bachelor’s Degree

What the Numbers Say

Community colleges serve an important role in educating people from a variety of backgrounds and providing affordable access to higher education for people with a variety of educational goals. In recent years the missions of community colleges have grown, as has the number of students attending these institutions. Many community colleges serve some or all of their missions very well; others less so.  All operate with very limited resources. One important role of community colleges is to prepare students to…