Strada collaborates with students, policymakers, educators, and employers across the U.S. to strengthen the link between education and opportunity.
We prioritize policies, practices, and programs that help ensure postsecondary education provides equitable pathways to opportunity.
We advance our mission through research, grantmaking, social impact investments, public policy solutions, Strada-supported nonprofit organizations, and strategic initiatives.
The consumers of higher education have spoken. Workforce outcomes are, far and away, the driving motivation for pursuing post-secondary education across all ages, races, and degree types.
According to a new Strada-Gallup poll, which surveyed 86,000 students at over 3,000 post-secondary institutions, 58 percent say work outcomes — such as finding a good job with good pay and opportunities for career advancement — are their primary motivation for attending. This is true across all higher education pathways and demographic subgroups.
Not surprisingly, even more Americans (72 percent) with postgraduate education experiences identify career goals as their top motivation, as do 60 percent of those on a technical or vocational pathway. The second most common motivation for Americans with postgraduate education eperiences, “general learning and knowledge,” trails at just 23 percent.
Of course, most students who pursue post-secondary education want a good job when they graduate. And, it turns out, this clarity of purpose is important. This new data tells us not only that many students go to school in order to get a job, but that clearly defined career goals play an important role in determining if those students actually complete their chosen course of study.
Students who do not complete their degree are relatively likely to report general aspirations for learning and knowledge as their top motivation (31 percent). Those who did complete their degrees tended to place these goals lower on their list: vocational/technical training (14 percent), post-graduate work/degrees (18 percent), two-year degrees (25 percent), or four-year degrees (20 percent). In an earlier Strada-Gallup report, students who did not complete their education were also the most likely to say they would study a different major if they could do it all over again.
Institutions should take care to identify these students and work to ensure their path to completion is purposeful. Helping applicants and students to articulate work-related motivations when choosing an institution or major may make a difference in boosting persistence and completion rates. Strong career advising and transparency about the workforce paths that stem from each major can help to ensure that students enter and leave college with a clear idea of where they are trying to go and how to get there.
Perhaps most importantly, the data affirms that the majority of education consumers believe enabling career readiness falls well within the mission and responsibility of our nation’s colleges and universities. It is the undisputed reason why most are going and why those who enroll with that purpose tend to finish at a higher rate.
Enrollment is declining, schools are struggling financially, and surveys revealincreasing distrust of higher education among the general public. At such a time, higher education must reorient itself around student motivations and better connect on-campus experience with the job market. Where else but the perceptions of education consumers themselves should we look for solutions to strengthen our institutions?
Misplaced investments in postsecondary education are preventable, as long as we understand the factors that lead to student success. Strada Education Network, for example, is empowering consumers by creating the nation’s largest data set of consumer perspectives on pathways from education to employment. Since June 2016, we’ve partnered with Gallup to interview more than a quarter million American students about their education experiences, decisions, and outcomes. The insights are representative of consumers from all educational attainment levels, socioeconomic backgrounds, races/ethnicities, and ages.
Consumers are telling us in their own words what they want and need most from higher education. And the solutions are becoming loud and clear, if we are willing to listen.
Carol D’Amico is Executive Vice President with Strada Education Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving lives by strengthening the pathways between education and employment. Prior to Strada, she served in the U.S. Department of Education as assistant secretary for adult and vocational education, and as executive vice president and chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.
To create a PDF of the webpage, choose in opened window 'Save as PDF' option in 'Destination' select or something like that and click to save or print button.
The letter was delivered in response to the department’s request for information regarding the disclosure of confidential wage records under the department’s regulations governing the confidentiality and disclosure of state unemployment compensation data. Strada also included specific recommendations for regulatory amendments.
Report indicates both success and need for improvement in meeting students’ varied goals
A new and improved Free Application for Federal Student Aid expected late this year should provide opportunities for more students and their families to access money to pay for college. Yet the transition to this new form presents unprecedented challenges for those who work to help students complete it.
According to new Strada Education Foundation research, community college attendees who complete an associate degree or successfully transfer to a four-year institution value their education at rates comparable to or higher than recent bachelor’s degree completers. However, researchers found first-generation students rated the value of their community college education about 20 percentage points lower than those who are not first-generation students.
Eloy Ortiz Oakley, president and CEO of College Futures Foundation and former chancellor of the California Community Colleges, will join a Strada Education Foundation webinar Sept. 7, when he and other panelists will explore Strada’s latest report, “The Value of Community Colleges: Recent Students' Motivations and Outcomes,” which captures several factors that motivated recent alumni to enroll in community college.
Major changes in the form, combined with an expected delay in its release, are combining to intensify the work of spreading the word about the updated FAFSA.
This article by Madeline St. Amour originally appeared in Inside Higher Ed.
Virginia’s largest community college and a prominent public research university have co-partnered with an educational management and student support service provider to improve academic outcomes for transfer students.
Edtech integration can cause headaches if technology solutions aren't "getting along"--but a new free tool could help alleviate that pain
New building will house over 500 employees
DXtera Institute, a nonprofit consortium of higher ed institutions, ed tech companies and other postsecondary education professionals, has released a free Next Generation Integration Scorecard (NGIS) aimed at improving technology integration in higher education.
Massachusetts will be the recipient of financial and technical help to build “data-driven approaches” to linking residents to jobs in growing industries, thanks to a partnership between the National Governors Association and the Strada Education Network.
This article by Carol D’Amico originally appeared on RealClear Education.
This article by Jeffrey J. Selingo originally appeared on the Washington Post.
The letter alerting Cal State Northridge students that they were being put on academic probation was pretty blunt and scary: shape up or risk getting kicked out.
Michigan State University has long worked with and competed against other colleges and universities in the United States.
One of the students leaving today on “Roadtrip Indiana” says she expects an “awakening” of what Indiana is about. Purdue University senior Shannon Newerth is joining two other Indiana students on a two-week RV trip throughout the state to take part in career exploration and work-based learning opportunities. The trip, organized in part by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and several private partners, will be the subject of an upcoming public television documentary.
As a lifelong baseball fan, former high school baseball player, and coach for 20 years, I have always been struck by how deeply intertwined baseball and learning really are. An education advocate for most of my career, I have seen firsthand how a passion for sports can shift mindsets and create sustainable pathways to college, meaningful careers, and inspired lives.
More than half of adults in the U.S. would change at least one aspect of their higher education experience, according to a new survey from Gallup and the Strada Education Network. Common regrets were choice of institution and major or field of study. Comparatively, relatively few regretted their degree type.
A majority of Americans who attended college say they received a quality education. But half would change at least one of these three decisions if they could do it all over again: the type of degree they pursued or their choice of major or institution.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Half of college graduates regret their choice of school or major, according to a national survey.
Approximately half of all U.S. adults who pursued or completed a postsecondary degree would change at least one aspect of their education experience if they could do it all over again, including their major or field of study, the institution they attended, or the type of degree they obtained.
Regrets, I’ve had a few…and so have most Americans — at least when it comes to decisions they’ve made regarding their education. A new Gallup poll out today finds that 51 percent of Americans would change at least one of their education decisions if they had to do it all over again. Thirty-six percent said they’d choose a different major, 28 percent would attend a different school and 12 percent would pursue a different type of degree, according to the poll.
On May 2, the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus in conjunction with the Alliance for Excellent Education hosted “College and Career Pathways: Stories of Innovation.” The Alliance is a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization focusing on high school redesign for underrepresented students. The briefing revolved around “highlighting innovative approaches across the country to college and career pathways that have led to positive outcomes for traditionally underserved students.”
Data analytics has proven to be a powerful tool in a number of industries, and in higher ed, it has significant potential to help institutions streamline operations and improve experiences for students. But in using that data, colleges and universities must also be careful to also consider the underlying causes behind some of those numbers.
This is important news for admissions officers, who may feel that low-income students pose more of a risk at a four-year college or university. These students are just as capable of thriving as those from more affluent households, but institutions and policymakers must also consider that they may need more resources.
In a Monday morning session at the ASU+GSV Summit in Salt Lake City, a panel of thought leaders discussed how to expand access and success, particularly among low-income, first-generation and underrepresented student populations.
INDIANAPOLIS — Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers recently announced a new initiative, “Roadtrip Indiana,” that aims to help Hoosier students make more informed decisions about their futures through intentional career exploration and direct engagement with employers across the state.