Meeting California’s Need for College Graduates: A Regional Perspective

A new report from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) addresses “Meeting California’s Need for College Graduates: A Regional Perspective.” Here’s an excerpt from the June 2017 report:

California needs 1.1 million more workers with bachelor’s degrees by 2030 to keep up with economic demand. More college graduates would mean higher incomes, greater economic mobility, more tax revenue, and less demand for social services. In addressing this projected shortfall, three regions will play an especially critical role: Los Angeles County, the Inland Empire, and the San Joaquin Valley. Indeed, improving college outcomes in these regions could help close more than half of the statewide skills gap.

The report offers recommendations:

Despite the challenges ahead, considerable progress has already occurred. Student preparation for college is up in all three regions, as are college enrollment and graduation rates. Our research highlights several opportunities to build on this progress:

  • Increase capacity at four-year universities by continuing to focus on four-year graduation rates and encouraging satellite campuses.
  • Streamline the transfer pathway by aligning student success initiatives among community colleges, public universities, and private nonprofit colleges in the same region.
  • Develop regional promise programs with common standards to reduce inequities and expand reach beyond what local programs can offer.
  • Support regional data-sharing partnerships, such as the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and Growing Inland Achievement, to promote the coordination and evaluation of regional efforts.

Read the report and summary on the PPIC website.