Top stories in higher ed for Friday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
August 23, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
In a Changing Career Landscape, Employers and Workers Need a New Social Contract for Retraining
Sean Gallagher, EdSurge
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Today’s economy is increasingly defined by the need for continuous learning. What hasn’t been worked out is who should bear the responsibility for this ongoing re-training—the employee or the employer, or some mix of the two? And what role should higher education play?

The reality in the tech sector is that skills have a short shelf-life. Software engineers must re-develop their skills every 12 to 18 months. In the finance and transportation industries, workers are likewise experiencing greater skills instability—or the need for more continuous retraining to keep up in the increasingly digital economy

This changed landscape demands more attention, dialogue, and new solutions. 

Jamie Merisotis
Student Debt Rises Among the Oldest Borrowers
Steven Johnson, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Over two recent decades, older students drastically increased the rates at which they borrowed for college. They also are racking up higher debts.

The data, gathered through the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study from the 1995-96 to 2015-16 academic years, showed higher borrowing rates among undergraduates 30 and older who completed or expected to complete their college program.

The report showed other phenomena at work: Besides financing their own education, older Americans were taking out or cosigning loans for family members. When the family members defaulted, it left the older borrowers on the hook for student debt, endangering their retirement plans.

Jamie Merisotis
Photo: Sebastien Thibault 
The United States Needs Career-Connected Learning to Help High School Graduates Get Jobs
Gov. Jay Inslee and Abigail Smith, Stanford Social Innovation Review
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At a time when unemployment is close to generational lows, it’s easy to forget that dramatic advances in technology are rapidly transforming the labor market.

Preparing young people for this massive transition is among the biggest challenges the U.S education system faces. 

The state of Washington is tackling the challenge through career-connected learning (CCL) pathways. In this approach, educators and employers work together to combine classroom instruction with relevant real-world experience to give students an array of attractive, academically connected pathways toward fulfilling, high-paying careers. Career-connected learning doesn’t replace college; it’s another pathway to college-level learning.

Jamie Merisotis
Hardship Score for College Admission Gets Mixed Reaction in California
Larry Gordon, EdSource
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A College Board-sponsored index that measures hardships students face at their high schools and in their neighborhoods is being tested as a college admissions tool on a small-scale nationwide. It is expected to be available to all colleges in 2020.

The index is receiving a mixed reception in California’s higher education world—and it appears unlikely that it will be widely adopted soon in the state, particularly at the large public university systems. Meanwhile, some small, private liberal arts colleges say the index helped to identify promising candidates who might have otherwise gone unnoticed.

States Can Foster Job Growth If Lifelong Learning Is at Play
Jamie Merisotis, Inside INdiana Business
Employers Try New Language to Lure Job Seekers
Chip Cutter, The Wall Street Journal
Universities Working to Fill High Cybersecurity Job Demand
Sarah Wood, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Advocates Want More Education Spending to Reduce Inequality
David Jacobs, New Orleans CityBusiness
Economic Antidote for a Shrinking America: Immigrants
Patricia Cohen, The New York Times
Moving Competency-Based Education Forward
Capella University/Whiteboard Advisors
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