Smart Postsecondary Policies that Work for Students and the Economy

At a Glance

Focusing on the crucial role of two-year community and technical colleges, the goal of this policy agenda is to make pursuit of postsecondary credentials simpler, faster, and more affordable. We call on states to strengthen alignment with K-12 education, higher education, employers, workforce development systems, and human services as they pursue strategies emphasizing talent development, efficient pathways, and student potential.

Notes / Takeaways
  1. Focus on the talent development needs of regional and state economies.
  2. Create efficient pathways to postsecondary credentials.
  3. Help all students fulfill their potential.
Published jan. 30, 2019

Talent Development

  • The state has a clear and ambitious postsecondary attainment goal that includes targets for historically underserved populations.

  • The state has a data system that enables policymakers to understand how students are progressing through public education and into the workforce.

  • The state makes labor market information available to track and report employment outcomes of college graduates.

  • The state sets expectations for community colleges to use regional labor market information and employer input to align their programs to workforce needs.

  • The state supports regional alignment among education and workforce development providers toward in-demand careers.

  • The state supports work-based learning opportunities for postsecondary students as part of their program of study.

Efficient Pathways

  • The state expands access to high-quality dual enrollment pathways designed to save students time and money in completing a postsecondary credential.

  • The state supports college readiness approaches that accelerate entry into college-level courses as quickly as appropriate.

  • The state supports efficient pathways toward the attainment of a two-year degree.

  • The state supports efficient pathways to a four-year degree from community colleges.

  • The state has community college finance policies designed to ensure funding is sufficient and aligned to support broader state education goals.

Student Potential

  • The state supports college and career advising to help students and families make well-informed educational choices.
  • The state promotes college affordability.

  • State financial aid is flexible, accessible to different types of students, and incentivizes completion.

  • The state supports the financial stability of community college students and helps them complete a postsecondary credential.