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.
Last month, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act, guaranteeing community college students who earn certain associate degrees meant for transfer acceptance into a California State University baccalaureate program with junior status.