Talent Dividend News

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U.S. Census Bureau: It pays to get a college degree

It pays to get a college degree, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. 

On average, over the course of a career, college graduates with a bachelor's degree can expect to earn about $2.4 million, about $1 million more than those with just a high school diploma and about $600,000 more than those with a two-year associate's degree. And the more education you attain, the better your lifetime earnings tend to be: $2.8 million for those with a master's, $3.5 million for doctorate degree holders and $4.1 million for those with professional degrees.

Read the full story here.

New tool kit for adult college completion

Nationwide, about two-thirds of adults over 25 years old do not complete a college degree or certificate. Even more never enroll in college in the first place. This is a large part of the skills gap we face in our workforce: unemployment is high, yet many companies feel they cannot find the talent they need to fill available jobs. 

So the U.S. Department of Education has released a new Adult College Completion Tool Kit, designed to connect state administrators and local practitioners to the strategies, resources, and technical assistance tools resulting from the Department's work in this crucial area. States can use this information to identify and implement state adult education leadership priorities, supported by federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) funds, which encourage and support adult learners transitioning to college.

The tool kit focuses on strategies for improving access, quality of services, and completion. Download it here.

Why college success should be a national priority

Education equals opportunity, says Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation, in a commentary for Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity.

Merisotis calls for restructuring the way higher education works to meet the needs of minority, first-generation, low-income, and adult students, and to position our nation for success in the global economy.
He writes: 

"The consequences of unequal opportunity are more dire than ever. Since the beginning of the recent recession and through the last two years of the weak recovery, the number of jobs for high school graduates has plummeted. Nearly four out of five jobs destroyed by the recession were held by workers with a high school diploma or less -- and those workers have continued to lose jobs during the slow recovery. Almost all of the job growth has been for those with college credentials.
The drive to increase college attainment isn’t important solely because it empowers individuals. A more educated population produces a more productive economy that generates jobs. It is also a populace that is more engaged in supporting a vital democracy -- more voting and volunteering, a greater appreciation for diversity and global awareness, and a higher quality of life."

Read the full commentary here.

How to help single mothers succeed in school

Community College Times profiles single mother of four Catherine Clarke and the programs at Harper College in Palatine, IL that supported her as she earned her degree.

Single moms are an overlooked population, and they face tremendous barriers to success, but they tend to be highly motivated to complete their degrees, and colleges can help them in a number of ways, according to a recent report by Women Employed:

"Making services available at accessible hours and places can help single mothers who, like Clarke, are trying to juggle multiple demands on their time.
Reducing time to degree also is a must, according to the report. A review of credit requirements can ensure that 'prerequisites and the number of credits required for graduation are relevant to student educational and career paths.' Creating program maps that include part-time options can help students stay on the path to a good-paying career. And for those students who don't know what path to take, connecting them to career exploration resources early can help them avoid taking unnecessary classes."

Read the full story here.

Success in college starts in high school, report says

A new report released by the National School Boards Association indicates that a student's high school experience can have an impact on success and persistence in college. 

More demanding math classes, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes, and frequent academic advising in high school are all linked to the likelihood of a student earning a degree in college.

Reports the Chicago Tribune: 

The findings were applauded by many area educators and confirm what they see in their own students, they said.

"I'm really excited about these findings," said Elizabeth Dozier, principal of Fenger High School in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood, which has added counselors and a more challenging curriculum. "Many of our kids get a college acceptance letter, but they never make it. This means that, with the steps we're taking now, we're definitely on the right track."
Read the full story here.

Collaboration across competing MSAs

When $1 million is at stake, you might expect grandstanding and one-upmanship between neighboring MSAs competing for the Talent Dividend Prize. But in Florida's Tampa Bay region, where three metro areas are in the running -- Bradenton, Lakeland, and Tampa -- that's just not the case. 

Community colleges use innovative strategies to improve completion

Community colleges face unique challenges in improving attainment rates, but schools across the country are developing strategies that change the way we think about how to retain, graduate, and measure success.

Latino students key to nation's 2020 goals

President Obama has set an ambitious goal to graduate more students than any country in the world by 2020. But we can't do it without increasing the graduation rate for Latino students, which represent the highest minority population currently on campus. 

Four things colleges can do to improve graduation rates

At a panel discussion in Florida last month hosted by the Lumina Foundation, the importance of increasing college graduation rates came down to some practical, ground-level points of improvement. 

Why college isn't a bubble

Tuition isn't rising as quickly as people think it is, and college graduates are doing much better in today's economy than people without a postsecondary degree, writes Jordan Weissman in an argument against fears that the college "bubble" is about to burst. 

Bradenton: Educational attainment is key to job creation

Florida was recently ranked No. 1 for talent pipeline by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Chamber Foundation. Part of Florida's success has been investing in workforce development strategies such as Workforce Florida, Inc., writes Mary Helen Kress, CEO of Suncoast Workforce, in an opinion piece for the Brandenton Herald.

Dual enrollment benefits at-risk high school students

A focus group of low-income high school students who participated in a dual enrollment program with local community colleges were more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to transition to a four-year college, and more likely to persist through college when compared to other students in their districts. 

The program provided financial support and technical assistance to dual enrollment partnerships between high schools, school districts, community colleges and community programs in California. Sixty percent of participants were students of color, and 40 percent came from non-English speaking homes.

Read the full report, and its insightful recommendations for sucessful dual enrollment programs, here.

Source: Community College Times
Writer: Amy Elliott Bragg

Op-ed: Communities must come together to boost college degrees

In an op-ed for the Louisville Courier-Journal, Mary Gwen Wheeler, Executive Director of 55,000 Degrees, asks the entire community of Louisville -- citizens, businesses, civic groups and everyone else -- to pitch in and help the effort to boost college attainment. 

Wheeler writes: 

"Few college graduates can say they earned their degree without the help and support of others. Perhaps it is a third-grade teacher who sets high expectations and inspires a love of learning. Maybe it's a grandparent who starts a college savings account or a mentor who tutors at an after-school program. It might be an employer who encourages workers to go back to school part-time to finish their degree or a retired volunteer who helps young people fill out financial-aid forms for college.
And it could be you."

You may be inspired to find ways to say "Count me in!" in your own community. Read more here.

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal 
Writer: Amy Elliott Bragg


Milwaukee receives state grant for career pathways program

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has approved a grant for My Life! My Plan!, a career pathway program that is central to Milwaukee's Talent Dividend efforts. The program helps high school students and parents explore available careers and guides them through every step of the educational process to get the jobs they want. 

The grant will pay for Milwaukee Talent Dividend to expand the program, which launched in January, to more public schools. My Life! My Plan! will serve 3,000 high school students by 2013. 

Read the full story here, or learn more about Milwaukee's Talent Dividend Initiative

Source: Business Journal of Milwaukee
Writer: Amy Elliott Bragg

A better road map for remediation

Remediation is higher ed's "Bridge to Nowhere," according to a new report from Complete College America: Too many college freshmen need remediation programs, and too few students who start in remediation ever graduate. 

Instead, the report advises, students need to be better prepared in high school with a Common Core Curriculum. They need to start with credit-bearing college-level classes that include built-in academic support. And they need structured pathways that allow them to complete a few courses in their chosen program during their first academic year.

The report includes extensive data on remedial students from all 50 states. Download the PDF here

Source: Complete College America
Writer: Amy Elliott Bragg

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