Will Pandemic-Disrupted Learners Return to School?
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Strada is a national social impact organization devoted to research, philanthropy, and solutions that align education and careers.
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In challenging times, the need to forge pathways to opportunity is greater than ever. We’ve created the Strada Resource Center to inform and empower educators, employers, policymakers, and others seeking to respond to COVID-19.
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The high school classes of 2020 and 2021 have endured massive disruption to their education experiences. As enrollment trends show, many of these learners are choosing not to continue their education journeys beyond high school. Of vital interest to Strada Education Network and stakeholders across the country is the sharp decline in postsecondary education enrollment from students attending high-poverty high schools.
Join the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Higher Education Foundation during this virtual summit to learn more about their ongoing efforts to refresh the state’s strategic plan for higher education.
The updated plan, which is being developed in partnership with higher education institutions, business leaders, employers, policymakers, and other stakeholders across the state, will build upon the focus of the original plan to increase postsecondary attainment by developing clear goals that expand the educated workforce and drive economic prosperity.
From its onset in early 2020, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has upended life across the world, leading to uncertainty around health, work, finances, education, and a host of other issues.
Although community colleges have experienced sharp enrollment declines, millions of Americans still say they intend to enroll within the next two years. Demand is strong at the national, state, and regional levels.
Strada Education Network’s latest survey finds that 32 percent of adults whose education plans were disrupted by COVID-19 are no longer enrolled or planning to enroll, up from 10 percent last spring
When the pandemic struck last year, education and work were disrupted for millions. How are those individuals doing now? Have they reconnected with education and training, or do they plan to in the near future? What education options most appeal to them? Are those who lost jobs or income back to work? Strada Education Network’s latest Public Viewpoint research turns its attention to those whose education plans and work lives were upended by the pandemic. Join us at 2 p.m. EDT May 19 for the latest findings and a webinar conversation.
Insights from National Experts
Recruiting, hiring, and training improvements are here to stay, employer survey says
This career exploration and readiness program’s formula for learner success combines social capital, self-discovery to launch career pathways for first-gen grads
Just half of college alumni feel it was worth it to take out loans to attend college, with even lower levels of satisfaction from Black and Latino alumni about their loans.
Over the past 15 years, the number of student loan recipients has increased by 51 percent and the debt associated with those loans has more than doubled. More Americans are borrowing more money to go to college.
Strada Education Network’s latest Public Viewpoint research finds that fewer than 4 in 10 Black alumni and less than half of Latino alumni feel that it was worth taking out their student loans—but strong career support boosts their assessment.
We asked alumni nationwide who had borrowed money to go to school if their loans were worth it.
Growing up in San Francisco, Ebony Beckwith attended an academically selective high school where most of her classmates were university-bound. She opted for a different path, heading directly into the workforce while winding through several community colleges before realizing she needed that four-year degree to reach her career goals.
When do people believe their student loans were worth it? The amount of the loan, how much money someone makes and how much education they completed doesn’t tell the whole story.
Talent Path’s Learn-and-Earn Model Bridges Skills Gap Between College and Career
Learn about results of UpSkill America’s survey of over 340 business leaders and hear directly from leading employers in food service, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. Panelists will share how their businesses have responded to events in 2020, including ways they have responded to technological change and racial inequities in employment.
Gerald Chertavian believes every young adult has potential and deserves a clear pathway to a great career, whether through college or directly into the workforce. And as founder and CEO of Year Up, he’s proving that with the appropriate training and employer support, it can take as little as one year for “opportunity youth” — 16- to 24-year-olds who are neither working nor in school — to move from poverty to a well-paid, in-demand career, often with a Fortune 500 company.
Can the pandemic induce higher education to jump-start the future of learning?
Amid a pandemic crisis characterized by stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions, the leader of the career center at Stony Brook University describes its fallout with an unexpected word: freedom.
Bill Hansen to Step Down After Eight Years Leading Nonprofit Social Impact Organization
Expert panelists discuss the value of short-term programs, employer investments, and skills-based hiring
In the recovering economy, employers will play a central role as Americans look to reskill, upskill, and compete in the workforce. But what do people want and expect from employers’ hiring, advancement, and training practices? In this research we explore the public’s perceptions on skills-based hiring, preferences for employer-provided education and training benefits, and beliefs about who should fund education and training.
There’s no shortage of big, ambitious ideas for creating an education-workforce system that improves upward mobility for more people. Harvard education economist David Deming uses hard data to stress test those ideas and see what might work, and what probably won’t. We talk to him about what he’s learning and what he recommends we do right now to improve the value of education for an increasingly diverse workforce.
Strada Education Network’s latest Public Viewpoint research highlights widespread belief that when it comes to career, skills and experience should take precedence over formal credentials—and that Americans highly value employers who will support their education and career development.
Could the dislocations brought on by COVID-19 lead to a long-term upside? For this webinar, Strada’s Ben Wildavsky leads a discussion about the hybrid campus concept with expert panelists Cole Clark, managing director — higher education at Deloitte; Maurie McInnis, president, Stony Brook University; Jeff Selingo, higher education author; and Marni Baker Stein, provost, Western Governors University. The conversation was inspired by a new Deloitte report developed in partnership with Strada Education Network.
In her early 20s, Kiabeth Santos was well on her way to achieving her goal of becoming a nurse. She wanted to work in health care, and she loves working with people. But then life — as it often does — got in the way.
As the economy recovers, Americans with less education are most likely to be left behind. Employers will play a central role in helping these individuals reskill, upskill, and get back to work. How do Americans feel about hiring practices and the education and training opportunities employers provide? What are employers’ perceptions of their role in the recovery? What barriers are Americans facing that educators and employers can tackle together?
Join us as Ben Wildavsky, Strada senior vice president for national engagement, leads panelists in a discussion about the hybrid campus concept, blending the physical and digital words in everything from academic advising to courses to career services. Inspired by a new Deloitte report developed in partnership with Strada Education Network, this conversation — “The Hybrid Campus: A Postpandemic Vision of Higher Education” – will consider whether this upheaval can lead to a more student-focused university.
XULA President Reynold Verret on How His HBCU Helps Students Succeed
During COVID-19, many higher education institutions adopted a mix of face-to-face and online delivery of courses and services—creating an opportunity for a more permanent shift to a hybrid university.
Historically, the path to a college degree and upward mobility for Black students usually led through a Black college or university. Even today, with mainstream institutions welcoming many more racially diverse students, HBCUs remain a driving force in launching Black leaders, including Vice President Kamala Harris, a graduate of Howard University. To find out what HBCUs can teach the rest of higher ed about student success, we sit down with Reynold Verret, the child of Haitian political refugees who grew up to become president of Xavier University of Louisiana, a small HBCU that is the nation’s No. 1 producer of future Black doctors.
Examining Enrollment, Completion, Purpose, and Value
Preparing the Education-Workforce System for the 100-Year Career
University of Utah leader will drive Strada Education Network’s research, philanthropy, policy, and thought leadership on national stage.
In the not-so-distant future, workers will make dozens of career changes over a working life of 75 or even 100 years. Michelle Weise, an expert on the future of work and author of “Long Life Learning,” says human skills like communication, creativity, and teamwork will remain critical in an era when robots and automation take over routine jobs. What’s more, workers increasingly will need to learn new skills rather than assuming a degree early in life will carry them through.
In the earliest days of the pandemic, researchers at Strada Center for Education Consumer Insights realized leaders across our nation would need a real-time understanding of how people were experiencing, thinking about, and feeling about work and education. The research team launched a regular survey, Public Viewpoint, to make these insights widely available — ultimately including more than 25,000 survey participants over the course of 2020.
‘Lessons Earned’ Podcast Talks With JFF’s Michael Collins
Long before JFF’s Michael Collins became an education-workforce policy expert, he was a Black kid living in Hartford, Connecticut, bussed to school in the white suburbs. The experience, followed years later by a stint teaching low-income Latino students in Texas, drove home the racial and economic disparities he’s been working to solve ever since. In the midst of a pandemic disrupting education and work — especially for low-income people of color — we talk to Michael about how to equip people for jobs today without closing off opportunities to advance in jobs of the future.
The story of one learner’s journey through education and employment is told across several data sets. Enrollment and graduation outcomes tell one part of the story, with labor market information and employer data filling in the blanks. Brighthive, led by CEO and founder Matt Gee, is connecting siloed data systems so learners, employers, and educators alike can make better informed decisions about preparing tomorrow’s workforce.
Workers can’t rely on promises alone to advance. They need clearer paths from training to career opportunities.
Earning a degree should help you advance in the work you love — not get in the way of it. Learner-centered programs fit learning into the rest of life.
Life’s curveballs can make our plans go awry. Better options can help us finish what we started.
Committing to education, alongside all of life’s other commitments, takes coordination, determination, and dedication. Financial support and a flexible work schedule can make it all come together.
All the planning in the world can’t guarantee success. Learners need opportunity and support to put their plans into action.
Application requirements favoring families who can apply and commit early without comparing financial aid packages. A preference for legacy students and star athletes. A tendency to recruit from the same high schools year after year.
What if, instead of adding work on top of education, the work you did advanced your education? Integrated earning and learning makes the most of learners’ time and talent.
How Intermediaries Can Connect Education and Work in a Postpandemic World
It’s college application season, and anxious students and parents throughout the country are strategizing on how to get into the elite colleges of their choice. Journalist and author Jeff Selingo just spent a year inside college admissions offices at three higher education institutions to write his latest book, “Who Gets In and Why.”
What Adult Learners Tell Us About Building a Brighter Future for Education
After spending a year inside admissions offices, journalist and author Jeff Selingo reminds parents and students that admission into college is not just about grades and hard work, and it never was. We talk to Selingo about his latest book, “Who Gets In and Why,” to explore how colleges can improve admissions and increase opportunities for disadvantaged students and how students can maximize their college experience — wherever they go to school.
Long Life Learning offers readers a glimpse into a future where the average working life has no beginning, middle, or end. Contemplating a shift from the educational all-you-can-eat-buffet of college and university to an “as-you-need-it” approach to delivering education, author Michelle Weise explains why and how worker education is overdue for momentous changes.
Breaux, Jenkins and Olinger Join Governing Board; Coulis Selected as Board Chair for National Social Impact Organization Focused on Strengthening Education-to-Employment Pathways
Strada’s “Lessons Earned” podcast, featuring conversations with innovative thinkers and doers seeking to improve the education-workforce system, returns soon as host Ben Wildavsky welcomes a new co-host for Season 3, Braven founder and CEO Aimée Eubanks Davis.
How can we better equip learners with the skills they need for today’s jobs? What roles should educators, employers, and policymakers play in transforming education after high school? And how do we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with new insights about what’s working and what’s not? In Lessons Earned, Strada Education Network’s Ben Wildavsky and co-host Aimée Eubanks Davis of Braven sit down with bold thinkers who are challenging the status quo and exploring ideas to help all Americans navigate between learning and earning. Learn more.
Americans cited an unfair system for hiring and advancement, a lack of employer support for education or training, and insufficient skills or credentials as the top barriers to good jobs
Techtonic Academy’s apprenticeship program is building a more diverse talent pipeline for the tech industry
Nearly two million college students (13 percent) at four-year institutions expect to delay their graduation because of COVID-19, and another 15 percent aren’t sure if they will.
When the COVID-19 pandemic upended our economy, sending millions of Americans to the unemployment lines, it was natural to anticipate an influx of displaced workers as newly enrolled students. That is the historical pattern: when economic downturns threaten the stability of workers’ lives, they turn to higher education’s promise of advancing careers and increasing wages.
This week, the National Student Clearinghouse reported a 7.5 percent decline in enrollment in community colleges. This surprised many in higher education, as times of economic downturn typically drive enrollment increases in community colleges as people have more time to engage in education and are more motivated to prepare for more stable careers in a down economy. This doesn’t appear to be the case with the economic downturn caused by Covid-19 — at least, not yet.
Strada grant brings the number of JRF/Strada Scholars to 42; provides vital program support
In this 38-minute episode, host Rick Maher is joined by Dr. Holly Ann Custard, Strada Education Network’s Deputy Director of Institute Partnerships and Outreach
Millions of American adults who don’t have a college degree but are interested in acquiring more education are facing three dilemmas that undercut their efforts to resume their education. That’s a main takeaway from the latest results of Strada Education’s Center for Consumer Insight’s Public Viewpoint survey, a poll based on a nationally representative sample of more than 17,000 responses that have been tallied between March 25 and Sept. 3, 2020.
Compared to a year ago, adults without degrees are 18 percentage points less likely to believe education and training will be worth the cost, and 25 percentage points less likely to believe it will get them a good job