The Conundrum of Profit-Making Institutions in Higher Education


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From the Penn IUR and Penn GSE sponsored conference:

“Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs in Metropolitan America: The Policy, Practice and Research Issues"

May 25-26, 2011

Organized by Laura Perna, a professor in Penn GSE, and Susan Wachter, a professor in Penn’s Wharton School, “Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs” explores the most effective institutional and public-policy strategies to be sure high school and college students and adult learners have the knowledge and skills required for future employment.

“The conference addresses such critical questions as: How do we define success with regard to the role of education in preparing students for work?” Perna said. “How well are different educational providers preparing future workers? What is the role of public policy in improving connections between education and work?

“It seeks to improve our understanding of several fundamental dimensions of this issue through insights from federal, state and local policy leaders, college administrators and researchers.”

Guest speakers include Eduardo Ochoa, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Education; former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell; Lori Shorr, chief education officer to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; Charles Kolb from the Committee for Economic Development in Washington, D.C.; Claudia Neuhauser from the University of Minnesota; Bethany Krom from the Mayo Clinic; and Harry Holzer from Georgetown University.

“Much recent attention focuses on the need to improve high school graduation and college degree completion. But, relatively less attention has focused on whether graduates and degree recipients have the skills and education required by employers,” Perna said.

The event is sponsored by the Penn’s Pre-Doctoral Training Program in Interdisciplinary Methods for Field-Based Research in Education, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences in collaboration with Penn’s Institute for Urban Research.

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The Conundrum of Profit-Making Institutions in Higher Education

  1. 1. The Conundrum of Profit-Making Institutions in Higher Education Dr. William G. Tierney Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis University of Southern California http:/
  2. 2. Philosophical Objections:    The Nature of a Public Good
  3. 3. What We Know What We Think We Know What We Need to Know
  4. 4. Assumption:   To Big to Fail (if we want to reach our goals)
  5. 5. Setting the Stage: 2020/2025
  6. 6. <ul><li>Access </li></ul><ul><li>Completion </li></ul><ul><li>Attainment </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Profitability of a Postsecondary Credential
  8. 8.   Marx v.
  9. 9. The Case of California
  10. 11. <ul><li>Shortfalls in Educated Workers in California </li></ul>Source Out-year Basis for the goal Degree mix Age group Target goal Gap in above current production levels PPIC 2025 Labor force and CA rank relative to other US states BA and above only 25-64 41% 1 million Georgetown Center for Workforce and Economy 2018 Labor force Some postsecondary, all credentials and degrees 25-64 61% 1,327,000 Lumina Foundation “Big Goal” 2025 International leadership Some postsecondary, all credentials and degrees 25-34 60% 3.4 million Obama Administration 2020 International leadership Some postsecondary, all credentials and degrees 25-34 California’s share of a national goal to get to 60%, adjusted to reflect state variations in attainment 1.13 million Workforce Advisory Board 2016 CA Workforce/ skill needs All skill areas, Including on-the Job/Certificate/ Degree 24-64 Not expressed as a target, good source for occupation-specific areas, Notes CA needs for replacement workers will be as great as new job growth. Workforce Advisory Board
  11. 12. Source: The Public Policy Institute of California. 2010
  12. 13. What We Know about For-profits
  13. 14. Fastest growing  postsecondary sector Degree-granting mega-institutions (U of Phoenix) 7% of sector Non-degree granting certificate granting (Marie’s School of Beauty) 5% of sector
  14. 15. <ul><li>Admissions </li></ul><ul><li>Focused Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse Student  Body </li></ul><ul><li>Part-time Faculty – No Tenure or Shared Governance </li></ul>
  15. 16. The Holy Grail: Accreditation
  16. 17. Federal Aid – State Aid
  17. 18. What We Think We Know
  18. 19. Admissions
  19. 20. Debt Burden
  20. 21. Gainful Employment
  21. 22. What We Need to Know
  22. 23. Ethical and innovative admissions practices Access and program completion Student remediation
  23. 24. Student default rates Gainful employment Useful regulatory standards
  24. 25. “ More research is needed”
  25. 26. Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis www.21 st Century