Top stories in higher ed for Wednesday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
December 11, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
Employee Development Through a ‘Pay for Skills’ Program
Elizabeth Mann Levesque, Brookings Institution
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Batesville Tool and Die Inc. is a global supplier of precision metal stampings located in Batesville, Indiana, and employs approximately 450 people. The company has four other locations, more than 1,100 employees worldwide, and like many employers, it is creating innovative solutions to meet the challenge of developing a robust workforce.

For example, Batesville's new, internal skill-building system provides straightforward incentives—pay raises—for mastering new skills. 

The company also partners with Indiana’s community college system, Ivy Tech, to create opportunities for employees to earn credentials and degrees. Earning a credential or degree pays off for employees, literally: Those who complete a program earn a raise as another part of Batesville's "Pay for Skills" program.

Jamie Merisotis
Blackboard Behind Bars
Lilah Burke, Inside Higher Ed
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The United States incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation. About 2.3 million Americans are in prison or jail, more than half of them in state prison.

For some reform advocates, bringing higher education to prison is, though short of an antidote to mass incarceration, a salve on its wounds. That education increasingly includes online models.

Jamie Merisotis
Want a White-Collar Career Without College Debt? Become an Apprentice
Farah Stockman, The New York Times
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The offer of a new life arrived in the mail for the son of a laid-off steelworker: a scholarship to St. Louis University.

Tyler Holdener’s excitement quickly dimmed after learning he would have to borrow nearly $14,000 a year, even with the school’s aid package. He decided instead to take an apprenticeship at Centene, a health care company.

Apprenticeship programs are expanding beyond skilled trades—everything from social work, to software development, and even practicing law—and launching people into in-demand careers without college debt.

Jamie Merisotis
In a Tiny Vermont Town, a College Closes and the Local Economy Slips
Kirk Carapezza, WGBH News
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December marks the end of the semester on most college campuses, but for the first time in 185 years there was no fall semester at Green Mountain College in southwestern Vermont. The closing of the liberal arts college last spring has hurt the local economy in the tiny town of Poultney—population 3,339.

On this episode of WGBH News, Lumina Foundation's Brad Kelsheimer talks about the economic and cultural consequences for small towns like Poultney when a school closes.

Analysis of Local Skills Gaps
Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed
Two North Carolinas: Cities Grow at Record Pace While Rural Counties Fall Behind
Bruce Henderson and Danielle Chemtob, Charlotte Observer
Designing Life: How College Courses in Coping Are Booming
Stephanie Hanes, The Christian Science Monitor
New Community Colleges Catering to Needs of Next Generation of Students
Sara Weissman, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Rutgers Food Pantries Help Fill Grocery Gaps
Carolyn Sampson, Bridgewater Courier News
Blog: Accreditation and Excellence
Matt Reed, Confessions of a Community College Dean
The New Geography of Skills
Strada Institute for the Future of Work and Emsi
Completing College: 2019 National Report
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center
Oregon’s Educational Attainment Goals
Higher Education Coordinating Commission
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