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New report: “Brighter Futures: Tackling the College Completion Challenge” By Allan Ludgate, Frances Messano , and Owen Stearns / January 2013 / 2 Comments

The United States’ single greatest collective investment in human capital—and in its future generations—is public education. Yet today that investment is generating very poor returns for low-income students.

Members of the lowest-income U.S. families are 10 times less likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than members of the highest-income families. This situation would be troubling in any environment, but with income inequality only increasing and global job  competitiveness intensifying every year, it is downright dangerous—not just for low-income students but for society at large. While a field-level conversation about the college access, persistence, and completion challenges that face low-income students has been slow in coming, we believe that conversation is now imperative.

Our new report Brighter Futures outlines the problem, the state of the field, and how to collectively intensify the ways we address these pressing challenges:

  1. Improve coordination between key actors: between high schools and colleges, within the college community, among nonprofit organizations, and between actors in the field and parents/communities
  2. Create clarity around metrics—and what drives successful outcomes
  3. Look beyond the traditional definition of “student”

To find out more, read Brighter Futures: Tackling the College Completion Challenge.

2 Comments to New report: “Brighter Futures: Tackling the College Completion Challenge”

Marjorie McGuirk
January 17, 2013

I read your report with interest. In my opinion, the section on “Ability to Navigate College Systems” would benefit from noting that all families, not only disadvantaged families, have difficulty navigating. Even highly capable students from families with college experience are thwarted in attempts to navigate through the system of class credits so that they can reach their college degree destination in a four year travel time. Most students are not graduated in four years.

Calculate the cost of extra time in college. Calculate the cost of deferring what would be the potential earnings of students had they graduated within four years. Great sums are spent wandering through the wasted corridors of advisors, beaching on changed administration rules, running aground on alterations of class schedules, changed degree requirements, and running afoul of professor availability. Better steering by Dean and Chancellors to set the sails of students on a proper course would do much to improve the voyage of university students.

Teresa Rai Knight
February 11, 2013

What’s trending regarding intergenerational stakeholders’ commitment to accepting stewardship of the planet, via innovation in economic, environmental and entrepreneurial education?

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