Historically, rising educational attainment has gone hand-in-hand with rising prosperity. However, even as more Americans are attending college, the United States has slipped from second in college degree attainment among 25-34 year olds to 12th as other nations have caught up. Many groups—including people of color, returning veterans, women and rural Americans—think the American Dream just doesn't work for them anymore.
Kauffman Foundation Vice President for Research and Policy Dane Stangler and Ross Baird, founder and executive director of Village Capital, examine if these higher education issues are the reason Americans are so angry in a new opinion piece for Real Clear Education. In it, they look at college access and degree attainment data and the reasons we might need to rethink the orientation of our higher education system.
Read an excerpt below:
No wonder Americans are angry: many have realized that college access is not the same thing as college success. Fortunately, the conversation may be changing. Organizations such as the Lumina and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundations have adjusted their mission from college access to college completion. The Kauffman Foundation, through its Kauffman Scholars program, is intensively focused on college success for lower-income students. Virginia-based startup Vemo Education has partnered with Purdue University to provide financing to students contingent on future income.
Vocational education is moving from a negative signal to a solution: the Pathways to Prosperity Network is leading a movement to resuscitate vocational education to get more students career ready, and the incipient credentialing movement is gaining momentum.
Finally, some organizations are trying to strengthen the pipeline of employee recruitment. Rather than reliance on conventional methods, startups such as Shortlist and Blendoor seek to end the "CV + interview" model of recruitment. This, ideally, will expand the scope of candidates that employers consider for jobs.
Read the rest of the post on Real Clear Education.