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Increasing Higher Education STEM Completion through Untapped Transfer Degrees October 3, 2011 STEMtech. Carol Adukaitis, EdD Director, Pathways for Career Success PA State System of Higher Education. Agenda. 1. Degree-completion does matter 2. Barriers to non-degree completion

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carol adukaitis edd director pathways for career success pa state system of higher education

Increasing Higher Education STEM Completion through Untapped Transfer Degrees

October 3, 2011 STEMtech

Carol Adukaitis, EdDDirector, Pathways for Career SuccessPA State System of Higher Education


1. Degree-completion does matter

2. Barriers to non-degree completion

3. Strategies for improving degree completion

4. Successful initiatives that increase higher education STEM degrees

5. Discussion / Questions


Why College Completion Matters

    • January 25, 2011

President Barack Obama

  • State of the Union Address

“ We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and

out-build the rest of the world….America will

once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”

why college completion matters
Why College Completion Matters

Lumina Foundation Report (Sept. 2011):

“The consequences of failing to reach the middle class are increasingly severe, and access to middle class jobs is now mostly dependent on completing some form of postsecondary education… College-attainment rates are rising in almost every industrialized or post-industrial country in the world, except for the U.S.”*

By the year 2025, Lumina’s goal is 60 percent of Americans to hold high-quality college degrees and credentials. Nationally, degree-attainment rate is about 38 percent.

why college completion matters1
Why College Completion Matters

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018 (June 2010):

“by 2018, 63 percent of all jobs will require at least some postsecondary education. Employers will need 22 million new workers with postsecondary degrees… we will fall short by three million workers without a dramatic change. This translates into a deficit of 300,000 college graduates every year between now and 2018.

why college completion matters2
Why College Completion Matters

Since 1973, jobs that require at least some college have exploded while opportunities for those with just a high school education have shrunk dramatically

By 2018, 60% of jobs will require college education and more than half of these positions will only require a certificate or A.A. degree.

Source: March CPS data, various years, Center on Education and the Workforce, Harvard Study 2011

why college completion matters in pa
Why College Completion Matters in PA

Available Jobs, But Not Enough Educated Workers

  • Aging workforce facing retirement
  • Traditional high school population drops by 3 percent from 2007 through 2020
  • Baby boomers not entering STEM fields
  • Rapid technological advances in companies require employees with post-secondary skills

why degree completion matters in pa
Why Degree Completion Matters in PA

why degree completion matters in pa1
Why Degree Completion Matters in PA

Almost 16% of Community college students completed a certificate or 2-year degree within 3 years.

why college completion matters in pa1
Why College Completion Matters in PA
  • For a strong PA economy, the skills gap must be closed:

60% By 2020, jobs requiring a skills certificate or college degree

43% PA adults who currently have associate degree or higher

17% skills gap; 2011, ‘Time is the Enemy’.

causes of non degree completion
Causes of Non-Degree Completion

Group discussion

What are your top challenges for reaching and retaining non-degree completers at two-year and four-year institutions?

causes of non degree completion1
Causes of Non-Degree Completion

Inadequate secondary academic preparation for STEM careers

Poorly designed and/or delivered remediation courses that do not count toward degree and do not qualify for student financial aid; almost two-thirds of community college students need at least one remedial course

3. Swirling – nearly half of college seniors attending classes from multiple institutions toward degree*

4. Inconsistent or broken credit transfer policies

5. Confusing financial aid programs

6.A culture that encourages college access not completion

7. A systemtoo often out of touch with the needs of today’s student (P/T, F/T employment, commuters, have family) and the needs of society (need for STEM trained employees)

additional causes of pa non degree completion
Additional causes of PA Non-Degree Completion

PA size, rural geography and unfinished community college system leave residents in rural areas great distances from low cost campuses.

strategy identify transfer populations
Strategy: Identify Transfer Populations
  • First Generation
  • Non-traditional

Boomers, Gen X, Millennials

  • Minority*
  • Under-represented
  • Female

Many of the above populations enter post-secondary institutions with a high school diploma and significant work experience

strategy identify transfer populations1
Strategy: Identify Transfer Populations
  • Racially
  • Ethnically
  • Socially
  • Economically
  • High School grad to displaced homemaker
  • Part time distance learner to full-time resident student
  • GED completer to certificate seeker to evening MBA student

…..we need a student centered system

The 21st century student is represented

strategy college ready preparedness
Strategy: College-Ready Preparedness
  • 59% of community college enrollees must first take remedial courses to bring them up to the necessary level to begin their course of study
  • Only 3-4 out of every 10 community college students referred to remediation actually finish the sequence.

Recommendation: Offer computer-based/self-paced remedial instruction option; embed skills in and throughout coursework

strategy affordability through articulation
Strategy: Affordability through Articulation
  • PA is a major center for higher education in the U.S. with one of the largest systems of higher education and the 4th largest student enrollment in the nation.
  • PA public colleges and universities rank as the 6th most expensive state in the nation.

Recommendation: Recognize articulated credits from secondary and post-secondary institutions, dual enrollment courses, credit for Prior Learning Assessments (PLA), military experience that permit students to move from course to course, toward program to program, or one educational level to the next without loss of time or resources.

Source: PA Governor’s Conference on Higher Education, March 2009


Strategy: Promote Certificate Programs

The greater Allentown, Lehigh Valley PA region’s manufacturing employs about 36,000 people at an average wage of $58,432 and added 800 jobs in the last year. Many jobs now require training in high-tech fields such as electromechanical mechatronics and precision machining.

Lehigh Career Technical Institute partnered with

Lehigh Carbon Community College to open a Center

for Advance Manufacturing Technology,0,6681427.story

strategy develop statewide pa transfer
Strategy: Develop Statewide PA Transfer
  • In July 2006, PDE began implementation of Article XX-C of the Public School Code of 1949 which requires PA’s 14 community colleges and the 14 state-owned universities in the PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) to develop and implement equivalency standards for at least 30 hours of foundation courses, not including developmental or remedial courses or career, technical or applied courses, and to accept for transfer up to 30 credits of foundation courses and universities and count toward graduation.

Recommendation: Promote Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Center (PA TRAC), a one-stop online portal for transfer students, administrators and advisors/faculty.

strategy networking stem transfer students
Strategy: Networking STEM Transfer Students

PA one of 6 states to receive NGA funding in 2007 to dramatically increase P-20 students (especially females, minorities, and underrepresented) for careers in STEM

PA STEM Initiative is a collaborative public/private partnership committed to improving and aligning the Commonwealth workforce, education and economic development systems to realize the PA STEM Initiative vision by 2018

strategy develop 2 2 2 stem pathways
Strategy: Develop 2+2+2 STEM Pathways

To support regional emerging industries compete globally, in 2002, PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) provided funding to develop integrated and seamless educational programs across secondary, two-year and four-year post-secondary programs as a means to create a pipeline of highly-skilled technical STEM workers.

strategy industry driven articulated courses
Strategy: Industry Driven, Articulated Courses

Articulate secondary to post-secondary 2-year and 4-year career paths in emerging technologies that includes a

Guarantee/Warranty*; PSSA proficiency*

2 years high school/ career & technical centers


2 years of community college


2 years at baccalaureate level

Develop agile, flexible and responsive training programs

for incumbent and transitional workers that lead to a certificate and/or degree

strategy regional industry support
Strategy: Regional Industry Support

The cornerstone of each regional 2+2+2 Project is an activeinvolvement of economic development agencies:

  • Workforce Investment Boards (WIB),
  • Industrial Resource Centers (IRC),
  • Private industries, manufacturers associations
strategy emerging stem sectors funded
Strategy: Emerging STEM Sectors Funded
  • Advanced Manufacturing & Materials

Plastics Technology, Electro-optics, Robotics,

Mechatronics, Nanofabrication Technology, Applied Engineering Technology

  • Biotechnology

Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology,

  • Energy

Natural Gas/ Marcellus Shale Technology

  • Information Technology

Computer Security, Computer Forensics

2 2 2 model multiple entry exit points
2+2+2 Model= Multiple Entry/ Exit Points

Career & Technology Center


Community College

Certificate of Specialization



Community College

AAS Degree

College or UniversityBS Degree


strategy recruit t ransitional t ransfer s tudent s
Strategy: Recruit Transitional/Transfer Students
  • Did not graduate High School
  • Graduated High School without skills
  • Graduated High School, employed, needing retraining
  • Graduated Career & Technical School, needing retooling /upskilling*
  • Attended some college, no degree
  • Graduated college, no skills for new economy (4 + 2)
strategy college avings for prior learning
Strategy: College $avingsfor prior Learning
  • Minimum 15 credits articulate from secondary to post-secondary*
  • Requires ‘Proficient’ or ‘Advanced’ on PSSA Math & Reading to reduce post-secondary remediation coursework
  • Program encourages community college completion as middle ‘2’ to reduce college costs*
  • Career guidance integrated at each level to provide students with information about career and technical options and sequencing
strategy industry education partnership
Strategy: Industry/ Education Partnership

BOTSIQ & Robobots =


Collaboration and Support

- PA Labor & Industry


- 35 Companies: funding & mentors

- >75 Organizations & contributors


Strategy: Marketing STEM Pathways

Hershey Foods needed high tech industrial maintenance technicians for food packaging. Reading Area Community College and Lancaster CTC along with the Lehigh, Berks and Lancaster WIB developed the AMIST curriculum.

RACC’s AAS Program articulates with PA PASSHE institutions and Purdue@Calumet.

  • Workforce Investment Board
  • Businesses
  • Schools
  • ~1,800 Participants
  • Students & Parents
strategy recruiting underserved groups
Strategy: Recruiting Underserved Groups

Program offers continuous opportunities that recruit females-only, first generation, and underrepresented students to learn about STEM careers. Professional SME/ SWE serve as mentors. University students serving as near-peer mentors.

Kelly Reid, DCCC AET, President, SME Student Chapter, now enrolled at Drexel



Strategy: Industry Grows Their Workforce

Companies like Sunoco, Inc, offer students ‘earn and learn’ opportunities; provide mentoring with professional organizations (SME/SWE), job shadowing, and apprenticeship programs. Companies also provide ‘educator in the workplace’ opportunities to produce STEM-capable teachers.


Employer Surveys of Program Graduates

Are They Really Ready to Work, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills


Employer Surveys of Program Graduates

Are They Really Ready to Work, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills

statewide career pathways impact
Statewide Career Pathways Impact
  • Graduated over 7,000 students*
  • Network Involves

40Career & Technology Centers, 39high schools

7community colleges, 2two-year colleges

29four-year colleges / universities

  • Salaries reported:
    • AAS Degree of $33,500+
    • BS Degree Technician of $65,000+
statewide program impact
Statewide Program Impact

Statewide Collaboration = Leveraged Funds

Project funds Leveraged:

partial listing of supporters

2003 - 2011


  • US DOL Grants, AET, Biotechnology
  • NSF-ATE,Advanced Manufacturing, Plastics, Biomanufacturing
  • Community Based Job Training
  • Department of Defense
  • Carnegie Mellon University Robo Corridor
  • National Tool and Machining Foundation
  • R. K. Mellon Foundation
  • Heinz Foundation
  • Westmoreland Foundation
  • Whitaker Foundation
  • Society of Photonics Engineers
  • Society of Manufacturing Engineers-Education Foundation
  • US Congressman Paul Kanjorski & US Senator Robert Casey
  • US Senator Arlen Specter
  • Collegiate Consortium for Workforce & Economic Development
  • Exelon
  • Many others……
what we have learned
What We Have Learned
  • Curriculum is industry-driven and has academic integrity.
  • Articulation course to course is successful
  • Program to program alignment is in progress (Perkins Programs of Study)*
  • Dual enrollment courses offer portability of credits for students choosing institutions other than those in the partnership
  • Assessment is on-going
  • 2+2+2 supports national & state CompleteCollege America goal
what we have learned1
What We Have Learned
  • Increase Career guidance & counseling for recruiting young adults and transfers
  • Improving perceptions CTE and CC
  • Offer more on-line courses
  • STEM awareness must begin K-6 with students and professional development with faculty
  • PASSHE undertaking a comprehensive review of transfer system-wide task force for policies, business practices and culture.
harvard study pathways to prosperity 2011 suggests
Harvard Study: Pathways to Prosperity 2011 suggests…
  • Current educational system places to much emphasis on ‘one-size-fits-all’ 4-year degree
  • Multiple pathways to middle skill occupations include industry certificate or associate degree
  • Provide contextual & applied learning
  • Improve Math and Literacy skills
  • Expand the role of Employers
    • Multiple pathways to middle skill occupations include industry certificate or associate degree
  • Provide more aid & assistance to students to complete college
  • http://dailyitem.com0100_news/Harvard-Study-Students-need-more-paths-to-career-success
for more information contact
For more information contact:

Carol Adukaitis, EdD

Director, Pathways for Career Success

PA State System of Higher Education

Dixon University Center

2986 North 2nd Street

Harrisburg, PA 17110

Phone: 717-720-4019