President Obama has used his bully pulpit to focus attention on the "college completion" agenda like no one else can. But if the United States is actually going to make meaningful progress on increasing the number of Americans with college credentials, it's going to be up to the states -- whose public institutions enroll roughly four of every five students -- to get the job done. And systemic change in the states will occur only if their chief executives -- governors -- get with the program.
MINNEAPOLIS -- If the United States is to have even an outside chance of reaching the goal that President Obama has set for college completion -- and heck, many people are still talking as though that's feasible, despite what seem like impossibly long odds -- it will take enormous work, and it's not entirely clear who will lead.
MINNEAPOLIS -- For years, educators and policy makers have been talking about the need to better align K-12 and higher education, so that students coming out of high school have the skills and knowledge they need to do college-level work (and, not unimportantly, to reduce the need for remediation once students are in college).
College completion has quickly become a national problem and a federal priority. But the solutions and answers are likely to lie largely with the states, and two new reports lay out the scope of the challenge in individual states and offer guidance for state leaders on how best to bolster postsecondary attainment.
With state budget shortfalls likely to hit $180 billion in 2011, the incoming governors -- a potentially record-size pool of brand-new state chiefs -- will have a lot to take on when they take office in January. Jobs and the economy have dwarfed all other campaign issues, and higher education -- despite its link to economic development -- is unlikely to be a focal point in this year’s elections.
WASHINGTON -- With state revenues stagnating and unemployment stuck at high levels in most states, the budget outlook for public higher education in the 2011 fiscal year remains rather bleak. But college leaders in most states are poised to get a gift from the nation's capital this week, in the form, oddly enough, of $16 billion in Medicaid funds.
Regents of Georgia university system individually asked 35 campus leaders how they planned to improve retention and graduation rates. The meetings were occasionally uncomfortable; the answers sometimes unsatisfactory.