U.S. Department of Education Community Colleges A Key Driver in Education and Workforce Systems Joan I. Athen Special Assistant for Community College Southeastern Association of Community College Research August 2005
No Child Left BehindKey Principles • Increase accountability for student performance • Focus on what works • Reduce bureaucracy and increase flexibility • Choices for students and parents
Economic Change • Changing nature of the workforce. • Fastest growing jobs require some education beyond high school. • Employers express concern about the lack of essential skills among students.
Skill Level Changes Skilled 20% Unskilled 15% Unskilled 60% Professional 20% Skilled 65% Professional 20% 1950 1997 National Summit on 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs
Losing Our Edge? • NAEP 2002 Math Assessment • 12th Graders Scoring “Below Basic” • 35 percent of all students • 56 percent of Hispanic students • 69 percent of African-American students • 60 percent of low-income students
Losing Our Edge? • NAEP 2002 Reading Assessment • 12th Graders Scoring “Below Basic” • 26 percent of all students • 39 percent of Hispanic students • 46 percent of African-American students • 40 percent of low-income students • 18 percent of students with college-educated • parents SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2002
Losing Our Edge? Students Enrolled in Postsecondary (in millions) UNESCO, 2003
LosingOur Edge? • New Participants in the World Economy • China, India and Russia = 3 billion people • 10% highly educated = 300 million people • USA = 300 million people • 25% highly educated = 75 million • Competition for jobs = 375 million people • USA students/adults will face greater competition in the future than anytime in history UNESCO, 2003
Preparation Matters • Strongest predictor of college completion -- a rigorous and challenging high school course of study. • Strongest predictor is mathematics. • Second strongest predictor is lab science Answers in the Tool Box by Clifford Adelman, June 1999
Advanced Math & Science Increases At-Risk Students’ Postsecondary Enrollment Source: NCES, The Condition of Education, p. 51.
21st Century Strategies • Integrate academic mission of No Child Left Behind with high-value technical education programs • Help students make a smooth transition into postsecondary education • Prepare youth and career-changing adults with academic and technical skills needed in today’s workforce • Strengthen the Nation’s economic competitiveness
Shortages of Workers . . .”community colleges are well adapted to meeting the needs of local employers. They’re flexible, they’re able to say to an employer, what do you need, and we’ll educate the people for the kind of workers you need.” President George Bush South Arkansas Community College April 6, 2004
Community College Initiatives The U.S. Department of Education funds seven initiatives that support community and technical colleges to fulfill their potential as engines of education, career preparation, economic development.
Community College Initiatives Accelerating Student Success Through Credit-Based Options Explores how programs that allow high school students to take college courses are structured, the practices implemented, and their impact on student outcomes.www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/
Community College Initiatives Adult Education to Community College TransitionsExplores how programs, practices, and policies facilitate the transition from adult basic education to community college certificate and degree completion.www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/
Strengthening Mathematicsexplores strategies and practices in developmental mathematics instruction that have been designed by community colleges, the military, business, and organized labor.www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/ Community College Initiatives
High Skills for High Growth Careersexplores the delivery methods for postsecondary education to better satisfy the complex occupational education needs and skill demands of the 21st century knowledge economy.www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/ Community College Initiatives
Community College Initiatives Increasing the Capacity of Community Colleges to Address Workforce Shortages Explores innovative strategies and methods to meet the growing demand for courses and degrees, as well as to meet local and national workforce needs.
College and Career Transitions Initiative explores how community colleges can develop career pathway programs that align a series of academic and technical courses from high school through the community college and into the workforce.www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/ Community College Initiatives
Community College Labor-Market Responsiveness explores how community colleges design programs that are aligned with the economic growth sectors of their communities.www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/ Community College Initiatives
Questions and Comments OVAE@ed.gov www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/cclo Joan Athen Special Assistant for Community Colleges