Bank of America Jobs Initiative College Employer Learning Hub
February 26, Session #1 – Advancing a vision for equitable talent development centered on high-quality programs aligned to regional workforce needs
Josh Wyner – Vice President, Aspen Institute & Executive Director, Aspen College Excellence Program
Daniel Trujillo – Senior Program Manager at the College Excellence Program, Aspen Institute
Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, Founder & President of the National Center for Inquiry & Improvement (NCII)
Bank of America Speaker: Kerry Sullivan, SVP, President Bank of America Charitable Foundation
KERRY SULLIVAN: This Learning Hub is to support our jobs initiative in concert with colleges and employer partners and we're really excited about today. This marks the first session in the series of presentations to really help guide your respective project plans. And these sessions are designed to be additive to the hard work you're engaged in with all of your partner colleges and universities, and employer partners. In fact, the overall goal of the Learning Hub is to enhance your work on the jobs initiative, and over time we hope to bring the voices of additional experts from Bank of America to this forum.
While we all recognize that each college is in a different stage of this work, we hope that the Learning Hub will give you all the opportunities to reflect on best practices and to think about deepening, expanding and in some cases, creating new career pathways for Latino Hispanic and Black students with a real goal of meeting employer needs. But before introducing the speaker, I'll note the presentation part of this session will be recorded and we will share the replay and get that information to you after this session. We are not recording the discussion or the Q&A session, and we did this purposely so you can have an opportunity to ask any question and share whatever you want, or regarding some of your progress, as well as some of your concerns.
So, let me introduce our speakers and moderators for today’s discussion. So I'm going to start first with Josh Wyner, and he is, Josh is the Founder and Executive Director of the College Excellence Program at Aspen Institute, where he also serves as the Vice President and his program really aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve outcomes for students. And I have to say I had the pleasure of working with Josh, many years ago with the Community College Prize because Bank of America was one of the founding funders of that initiative so it's great to be working with them again. And we're also joined by Daniel Trujillo, Senior Manager at the College Excellence program also at Aspen where he leads the project that promotes excellence in equities halfway through the labor market. Something we're all striving to do through this program. And lastly, Rob Johnstone, who many of you know. Rob is a national leader in the higher-ed reform movement and founder and president of NCII and he created NCII in 2013 really to help two and four year colleges improve equitable pathways. So we're really pleased to be working with the jobs initiative with Rob and I know all of you are as well. So with that, I'll turn the floor to Rob to get the conversation started on this very important topic of advancing a vision for equitable talent development. So with that, I'll turn it to you Rob.
ROBERT JOHNSTONE: Alright, thanks so much Kerry and it is great to be here with all of you it has been a lot of work quite a lot of people to come to this stage of this learning webinar series great friends of ours a Bank of America our good friends Daniel and Josh and their team at Aspen. I am just going to talk for a couple of minutes here and hand it over to my friend from Aspen for the presentation portion and today I'm going to be your moderator slash emcee for these events and you'll mostly see me at the start and during the discussion section but I just first of all I want to welcome you all.
This is the first webinar in this webinar series. We at NCII are excited to be part of this journey with all of you as you work towards increasing your impact and achieving equity for our students and communities of color. Many of you are not new to this work you are already experts in your own ways of doing this and we're looking to be able to catalyze and help you improve on those great foundations you've already built.
There are some amazing professionals as part of this project not only from our side which is really BofA’s market leadership team, BofA’s Environmental, Social and Governance, ESG group, our great friends at the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program, and my colleagues NCII team of professionals in the project, but you, an amazing group of professionals from these 21 colleges that could not be more diverse, as you serve 19 Metropolitan service areas across the country, and I actually just want to take one minute. This is the first time you've all been together. The first of many such events we will host, both in the webinar series and also as we move later on to having more joint problem solving sessions and learning from your peers, but just so we know who's in attendance here today we have four year public Historically Black Colleges and Universities, there are six of them, Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware; Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida; Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas outside Houston; Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland; North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina; Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. Welcome to our four year HBCU friends.
We have four, four-year public Hispanic Serving Institutions, Arizona State University Downtown, in Phoenix, Arizona; Baruch College at the City University of New York in New York City; Florida International University in Miami, Florida; and the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Welcome to our colleagues in the four year HSI section.
And there were 11 community colleges and technical colleges, Atlanta technical in Atlanta, Georgia; Central Piedmont in Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas College's El Centro campus in Dallas, Texas; Florida State College, Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida; Harold Washington at the City College in Chicago in Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles trade Technical College in Los Angeles, California; Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida; Northern Virginia Community College in the greater DC area, mainly in Annandale, Virginia; Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona; Riverside City College, Riverside, California; and St. Louis Community College and St. Louis, Missouri.
I think it's important for you all to know who your peers are as an amazing group of institutions, I and my team members had the wonderful opportunity of working with you already. And look forward to doing further work with you and learning from you as well as with our colleagues from Aspen and others. Kerry mentioned this a little bit. This webinar is really designed to provide a foundation for the work that you're doing. During this analysis phase where you're considering what are the pathways you're going to build or evolve? What are the support structures you are going to put around them? How do we interact more intentionally and deeper with employers to reach the goals? The audacious goals of this project of getting more students of color through the living wage careers and also diversifying the workforce new communities and strengthening those communities. As we together continue to address not only historical but current institutional and systemic racism that exists and I think our fans and Bank of America for the initial investment they made so quickly after the racist killings of last spring, spurred many of us to action, who were already working on this but it added an additional set of energy to and we think our Bank of America friends for so quickly, joining that movement.
You're all going to have different lenses into this work, you're from different colleges, you're from different sectors, you have a unique institutional history. And you also have an individual lens with your relationship with your college university we encourage you as you listen to what you're going to hear today on the rest of the webinar series, to look at it through your lens. Not everything is going to be perfectly relevant to you and your job and your workplace, some of these things are going to resonate more than others but we encourage you to think about how; like what we're talking about in this webinar series this learning can be applied and customized and built into your approach.
We also want to hear from you, many of you are, as we mentioned are not new to this you have wisdom and expertise and experience and that will occur after the presentations in these webinars sessions and also in some of those class colleagues included do as the project unfolds.
We mentioned the format, there's going to be 35 to 40 minutes of a presentation, it'll be followed by direct Q&A where you'll have the opportunity to ask questions of Daniel and of Josh, and then we'll move into more of an open discussion of some of the issues that were raised today in your unique perspectives on them.
After the webinars we would suggest that your Aspen, NCII, and BofA Market and support team explore the issues and the thought capital from these webinars during the team calls. What do you see as particularly important? Should you and if so how might you think about integrating some of the thought into your planning design and implementation process. These topics are not exhaustive, we could do what we are we have nine topics in the spring; we're gonna have many more coming in the fall where we this is not meant to be an exhaustive. It is also not a checklist of everything that you actually need to work on this project. Again it's meant to stimulate thinking and prioritization, and we'll talk a lot more later on in this series, and some guys specific webinar on this and how we think about design and implementation and versioning so that you're not trying to take on the whole world that you can chunk this into parts which is one of the key tenants of improvement science. And so, we will, as I mentioned we will be building across college venues probably starting more in the summer, so you can learn from your peers and potentially problem solve together. So with that, without any further ado, I want to turn it over to my good friends Josh Wyner and Daniel Trujillo, with the Aspen Institute, and I'll be back after the presentation to help moderate some of the discussion that comes in. So thank you all for being here; Thank you to those of you who are viewing the recording we couldn't be more excited to be working with you. And with that, I'm handing it I think to Josh.
JOSH WYNER: That's fantastic. Well thank you, Rob. Can you all hear me? Great. Thank you. Well, first thanks to, Bank of America for making all of this work possible it's really important work, and it comes at a time that is both urgent and difficult. I want to acknowledge that each of you are dealing with the pandemic in your communities on your campuses, trying to figure out how to keep your communities safe your faculty and staff and students. You have a digital challenges that your students are facing financial challenges as well as locked income for many of them. And so, really appreciate you taking the time to engage in this critical work, you know, at the same time it's difficult it is really difficult for students as well and, and we are at a moment of national reckoning with race and a recognition that the labor market is changing, and will change during the current recession.
And the question for us today is really what the vision for equitable talent development is at college so briefly I lead the college excellence program at Aspen and, and we have for the decade we've been in existence, looked at Student Success and Equity, and we define student success as both what happens with students while in college, are they learning and completing their credentials, and whether that sets them up for success after they leave, then transfer for community college students, and for all students into a four year colleges, whether they're set up for success in the labor markets are they getting good jobs. Those aren't the only things that matter, Civic Engagement democratic engagement, many other things matter but we know that the primary reason students are coming for to us is for a better life and a big part of that is having a career that enables you to put food on the table and a roof over your head. And I know for many of you you've been working hard at this. So today we're really going to talk about our research into the connections between colleges and employers.
We've done some research in the community college space, particularly about colleges that achieve the strongest outcomes both in completion and labor markets, and then asked what is it that they've done to enable that. We're going to present a framework today in our workforce playbook a four part framework, and really dive deeply into the notion of vision which is the first of those four parts. I will mention that while his research is grounded in community college practice at Aspen about a third of our work is in the area of four year practice and transfer. So we do a lot of work with colleges across the spectrum in those areas as well. And we'll bring some examples from those sectors into our discussion here today.
So I want to start today by talking about why this matters. So, a vision for what you're going to do needs to be rooted, as we look at it in colleges that are really successful. It's rooted in a WHY. And, as, as I go through these next slides in, why we do the work at the College Excellence program, I would ask you about whether this kind of story is one that you're telling on your campuses. Why the student graduation and employment outcomes matters so much for our communities for the nation and for the students that you're working on behalf of through this project, which is Black, Latinx indigenous lower income students, students who, for far too long have been left behind in higher education.
So, why does this matter so much for the country. Here, here's the story that we tell at Aspen Institute. We see reflected in many colleges around the country.
Moving to the next slide.
Well, first, there are a lot of adults who are stranded in low wage work. What do we mean by that? This has been used to mean those who are working full time but still below 200% of the federal poverty line. And if you look in 2017 of these data. That's about $25,000 a year. This is people who are working full time, and you see the huge disparities between white students, Asian students on the one hand, and we do understand that <inaudible> students we really need to tease that out to Southeast Asia versus others, but, but if you just look at Black and Latino as “stranded” workers as we call them it's a really high number. We have a lot of people working full time who need higher education to pull themselves out of very difficult circumstances for themselves and their family.
We also know, moving to the next slide, that many young adults can't make ends meet. This is again from 2017, there are 4.6 million youth between the ages of 18 to 24 young adults, who were disconnected from work and school and again here, it is the majority of Latinx and Black students in our country, who are at or below the 200% of the federal poverty level. And then if you look at the number who are disconnected from higher education, a key way to move them out of poverty. These data are incredibly troubling and persistent for a number of years. This is not new to the pandemic, that's not…
Moving to the next slide
We know, the hope here is that if we can provide education to folks in our communities, that at each level of education they are more likely to pull out of poverty; they're more likely to be employed. These data are really interesting. While it is true that among bachelor's degree holders for example, Black and Latinx students are not earning the same amount as white, white graduates are. It is also true that for every, people of every race and ethnicity in our country, this stepwise function is true. In other words, if you are a Black student, the chances that you will be unemployed, go down at each level of education and similarly for Hispanics, and your, your, your weekly earnings, your annual earnings will go up.
So we know that higher education is the path out of poverty, it is a path to a fulfilling career; it is a path to. It's why so many of us do the work and why we're here today, it’s for the populations that were working hard on behalf of. We know the promise of higher education and moving forward.
Moving to the next slide
That does not, however, tell the whole story. I think a lot of you are wondering, well what does that mean during COVID? And, as in the last recession, while many people have lost jobs, it is true today that during COVID, you are more likely to remain employed if you have a college degree. And this is where there's some college no degree, looks a lot like high school or less. A third of people who don't have a college degree were laid off in the first month of COVID. If you have a college degree; if you're a college graduate of any kind that goes down to about a quarter and if you have an advance degree, the numbers go down to 17%.
So, while we're hearing stories of college graduates who are unemployed during COVID that is true across the board for, for people. It is also true that it's the best protection in difficult times against unemployment.
Moving to the next slide.
I think one of the things that we don't celebrate enough is that higher education institutions have dramatically expanded access over the past 60 years and we need to celebrate that. By the way, we're seeing a lot of students not coming back now. And the numbers for the spring don't look great. I think all of us are going to have to engage in recognizing that our work in this front and our access is not done yet. I'm delighted to hear about some of the plans to expand Pell and to expand free college for students so that they can continue to come to our institutions.
And all of us are going to have to– the data I have seen, shows that during COVID it's not just new students not coming but as you all know, is that it is students not returning. Again in, in every sector, and really engage in reenrollment campaigns for the fall, and hopefully things will be back to some semblance of normal, normalcy and people can see their way back onto our campuses. But, but access is really critical. Right. This is kind of astonishing slide, when you look at the mountain that we've accomplished in higher education, a quadrupling of access in this country and the population size is grown but United States has not grown quadrupled in size in the last 50 or 60 years. And this is something we really lead the world in is college access and again I think we should celebrate that.
On to the next slide.
However, we know that that while college, colleges and universities have expanded access for students of color, it's not yet equal. If you actually look at the percentages – these are actually the percentages of folks in degree granting institutions by race and ethnicity, it is still quite not matching what it is that we see nationally, particularly for Latinx students were 20% of students on college campuses are Latinx and the population is significantly higher than that. Black and white representation is, is reflective of that population as a whole by a large Black representation is.
Moving to the next slide.
I think some of the data I'm about to show are about the work that we need to do. And some of it is how students are coming to us the work that needs to happen at the policy level. But we all need to own these data, which is that colleges and universities have to work on advancing equitable attainment. This shows you by race and ethnicity, who has, which, who has a college degree in our society. The dark blue part of this the top part of this that is a bachelor's degree or higher. We've combined some college or an Associate's degree. And again we're doing that so to show what these startling differences look like. It should not be in our society that you are twice as likely, if you are white, than if you are a Latinx, to have a bachelor's degree. It should not be in our society, that, that you are 15% chance more likely of having a degree if you're white than if you are Black. And that's really what this is about, it's about moving the grade forward, but that's not the whole picture.
Moving to the next slide.
We also have to really ask ourselves the question about whether students are sticking around long enough to get those degrees in order to move onto degree completion. What we see here is 50% of students stopped out if Black students stopped out of 39% of Hispanic students stopped out. So it's not just about completion it's whether we can hold on to students and make sure that they're retained which is the orange slice. We've got disparities in those numbers as well compared to their white counterparts.
Moving to the next slide.
Getting students to a degree is one piece of the puzzle, but the other is what degree they get to. Here's some data that really showed disparities in community colleges, between those different degrees. And one thing I want to be really clear at the front end here. During the presidential debate, a couple of cycles ago, one of the candidates that one of the Republican candidates said we need more and more, we need more welders and fewer philosophers. I don't know, I haven't seen a job description for a philosopher in a long time. But it was a real misunderstanding of what it was that philosophy degrees offer. Lots of these bachelor's degrees offer good labor market outcomes. So just to be really clear what we're not talking about here, because these are community college degrees is just looking at who has access to workforce credential. But who gets access to the pathway to a bachelor's degree who's completing degrees that have value. And one of the things that we see is real disparities in the outcomes of different degrees. And the question really is that…
Moving to the next slide
Who has access to which type of degree? Here's what we know, that in STEM fields which tend to lead to higher paying jobs, that 9% of STEM workers in our country and 7% of the STEM workers in our country respectively are Black and Latinx. And yet, in the US population and in the workforce, those numbers are much higher for Black and Latinx individuals. In other words, there are systemic challenges and inequities and which programs, and what kind of training people have access to. And we need to own that it's not all. What's happening in colleges but we can do something about it. We'll talk about that later on.
Next, we know if we move to the next slide.
We know that the population is going to continue to diversify. And so we're not going to it's not just about equalizing access and success of students in STEM fields and others that lead to good jobs, bachelor's degree completers. It's also about making sure we have the talent to drive our country forward. As the population continues to diversify particularly in Latinx populations, we got to do a better job with Latinx students. We will not have the talent we need for the economy; we will not have the talent we need to drive our democracy forward unless we increase completion, and focus on equalizing access to high quality credentials.
Moving to the next slide.
It's important to realize that there are good jobs available for students with all kinds of college degrees and graduates, all kinds of college degrees. But it's important to recognize where the growth is, the growth is in bachelors and beyond. What this shows is that good jobs which. This is from Tony Carnavale, the Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce. What this shows is that the number of good jobs meaning about $40,000 a year or more, that require a bachelor's and beyond is is around 37 million in 2017, will grow to 46, 47 million in 2027. For associate's degree holders these middle skilled jobs, what are called middle skilled jobs and Tony's parlance, is going to stay steady at around 17 million. And if you have a high school diploma it will continue to shrink. So this shows that we need to get more and more students, to, to any degree, but it also shows the importance of the bachelors growing importance with a bachelor's degree in those areas that offer family sustaining wages and those jobs that offer family sustaining wages.
Moving to the next slide.
We know that this in fact can be done and I'm going to turn it to my colleague Daniel now to talk a little bit about what this, what, what it looks like on the ground, to create equitable opportunity in these kinds of programs that lead to high value, jobs, lead to family sustaining wage jobs. Daniel you want to tell us a little bit about some of what we've seen in our research.
DANIEL TRUJILLO: Yes, thank you Josh, so I'd like to share a few examples of colleges and universities that have enabled students to move into different high value programs and pathways, and also that have achieved good outcomes with equity in mind. So for example, Broward College is succeeding in getting diverse students into nursing and allied health professions, through intentional design and supports. Broward has a strong admissions process they conduct outreach, not just to high schools, but also to urban leads, NGOs and other places where there are potential students they're trying to reach. 78% of students come from underrepresented minority groups in the 2015 cohort and 63% came from low income backgrounds.
Students who are interested in nursing, choose the general health science pathway at Broward, and they express interest in the ASN program. This is so that students can get a taste for health science pathways before committing to the ASN. Every student in the Health Science pathway has a mandatory ASN orientation to ensure they understand early on what it takes to do nursing. Broward works with ASN hopefuls to create educational plans, and they monitor these plans along the way. During the first term, every student takes a life skills course and has the opportunity to attain a scientific workplace Technical Certificate. This certificate delivered to jumpstart technical skills, provides students with a stackable credential that has free standing labor market value. Broward also provides a variety of continuous supports, including nursing club tutoring and advising. These intentional pathway designs and supports at Broward have helped them increase completion rates by 15% and reach a retention rate of 97%.
Next slide please.
There are also examples of universities that have achieved strong equity outcomes, particularly in high demand high and wage sectors of the economy like STEM. For example at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The Meyerhoff Scholars Program has successfully increased the number of students from underrepresented groups that attained PhDs. 78% of students in the program in 2019 2020 were from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Students who participate in this program are 5.3 times more likely to graduate from or be currently attending a STEM PhD or MD, Ph D program. This is compared to students who are invited to join, but declined and attended another university.
There were several components to the Meyerhoff Scholars Program that has contributed to success. These include supports early on, such as the mandatory six week residential summer bridge program, which provides a mix of credit and non-credit coursework focused on academics, study skills and time management. Student admission for this program is selective at Meyerhoff scholars receiving a merit based 4 year financial award. There is also a strong community component and a culture of high expectations and rigor. Students are required to live on campus and participate in what are called family meetings, and they're encouraged to form study groups. Students are also expected to participate in activities such as research conferences, paid internships and study abroad experiences. Finally, students receive ongoing support from faculty, staff, and professionals in the field. Faculty are involved in every aspect of the program including recruitment and special events and activities at the program and its students receive support and involvement from all levels of the university.
Meyerhoff program staff have regular touchpoints with students to provide academic advising and counseling, and to support them and completing applications to graduate and professional school. Every student in the program also has a mentor, who is a professional in STEM. Since 1993, the program has graduated 1,200 students and alumni from the program have earned 319 PhDs.
Next slide please.
So, universities and community colleges can also work together to improve outcomes through workforce aligned partnerships. Northern Virginia Community College, for example, has partnered with George Mason University to create a dual admissions program called ADVANCE. They flipped the default in this program, rather than being admitted, if you meet certain requirements after graduation, students are admitted to both institutions at the same time. Through this program, this partnership Nova and George Mason have collaborated to create over 100 program maps. These maps focus primarily on science, health related and education programs areas with the greatest demand and the Washington Metropolitan Area labor market.
Next slide please.
These pathways have a strong focus on internships and the development of workplace competencies, and these institutions began by asking where are the good jobs? in order to develop these pathways. They work closely with employers in the region and they collaborate to work backwards from employer expectations into George Mason and back to Nova. Students are already thinking about their careers beyond George Mason while at NOVA. This helps students meet George Mason's expectations for pre-majors students, and it has enabled George Mason to diversify its enrollment and student population. It's also helped both institutions build equity into Transfer Pathways. The partnership was able to develop, to deliver value to both students and employers and has positioned both institutions as important players in workforce and economic development in their region.
Next slide please.
While many students look to transfer programs to access more advanced credentials for economic mobility, transfer outcomes, often don't meet student aspirations, and as we saw earlier, much of the growth in the availability of good jobs, will be in jobs that require a bachelor's degree. 80% of new community college's new community college students, excuse me, aim to earn a bachelor's degree. Yet only 33% of these students transfer to a four year college within six years, and 14%, earn a bachelor's within six years of starting college. There is an equity imperative to ensuring a diverse set of students has access to credentials needed for good jobs.
Next slide please.
What we've seen based on our research on excellent colleges across the country is that colleges need to make equitable post-graduation success, a priority. Better, more equitable post-graduation outcomes are within reach for all colleges and universities. And while there is no single solution for all contexts, we've seen that better outcomes are possible no matter the geographical context.
Next slide please.
So what can colleges do? What have others done it, and what can we learn from excellent colleges across the country. Through our synthesis of research for the workforce playbook, we found that colleges that achieve high and improving levels of student success, both in graduation and in workforce outcomes, engage in practices related to these four strategies.
First, they advance a vision for talent development and economic mobility. They consider who are the students they want to serve? And what jobs are they connecting to?
Second, they deliver high quality programs alliance to regional routes.
Third, they support students’ pathways decisions and success, including helping them make informed decisions and providing needed students supports through post-graduation.
Finally, excellent colleges build responsive mutually beneficial employer partnerships, helping employers meet their needs while meeting their own institutional goals and priorities.
A through line in these four areas is equity, what can colleges and universities do to increase equity and outcomes in access to high value credentials, and post-graduation success.
Will not turn over to Josh, to take us deeper into the first of these strategies and the theme of our session today, which is advancing your vision, Josh.
JOSH WYNER: Thanks so much, Daniel. When we think about advancing a vision. The vision is really rooted I'm going to talk a little bit about these three elements. The first two elements and then hand it to Daniel to talk about what it really means to align your program offerings to the needs of employers and the population you are aiming to serve.
What we see at colleges is that there's a strong effort to really define the labor market outcomes as a central component of student success. So I think really the first dynamic here is a cultural dynamic, which is that I think on our college campuses, labor market outcomes post-graduation success outcomes are just not proximate to what it is that we do. Right. We teach students we graduate students and we get them through programs of study, but become somewhat invisible to us. What's happening after they graduate? There are some incentives in place for community college there are Perkins grants and for many four year colleges you…. You’re really reporting on what the post-graduation outcomes are. And for those of you that have graduate programs that is something that's often required by a creditors. But, I think, the first dynamic we see in advancing the vision is to basically define what we mean by the labor market outcomes and to acculturate the campus to this idea that we need to align our activities to post graduation success. But…
Let's move to the next slide
And see what that looks like, and places where we've been. Our friends at the community college research have found a way for community colleges to start to bucket all students into one of these six categories that you see here. And I know it's a little hard to read this slide, but slides will be made available through Rob as well.
(Slide 22) But one of the things that you see, let’s take the gray here which is undecided, undeclared students. We know that the longer you're undecided, the less likely you are to complete; the more likely you are to complete a general education credential, whether that's at the two or four year level, and the less likely you are to be in a good job. Connecting to a discipline, which you see in the light green area is strongly correlated, a structured transfer credential and community colleges in this case. Ah.., I’m sorry -- the dark, the dark green here is a structured transfer credential, increases your chances of succeeding and end up gaining junior year standing in a major at a four year school.
So I think the point here is that, comparatively, you're better off being in that dark green area to students, than you are in the gray areas as students. And what do we see in terms of who does which. Right? If we actually look at who is in which category, we see that if you were Hispanic or Black, Latinx or Black, you're much more likely to be undecided. That is a signal that you're less likely to have good post-graduation outcomes. And so what collecting these data on campus, do, is that they allow you to ask the question by race and ethnicity, using the pathways. You can imagine creating this for STEM versus non STEM pathways, you can imagine creating this for lots of other things. On the right side we see here in workforce credentials who's in the high value workforce credentials. We've got the darker blue ones here again, we see disparities that exist there. But this is the kind of data you can collect to really ask the question, who participates in what and how is it that we are advancing our students to color, relative to other students into those credentials, and those pathways that have stronger labor market value or more aligned, or more correlated to strong labor market value.
Moving to the next slide.
I think San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas. They ensure that pathways have guardrails. They don't want to offer pathways that in fact don't lead to strong outcomes. And so for them, guardrails are that new programs are only approved, if those proposed programs can answer the following questions with a strong Yes:
Is there employer demand for graduates? The job market is changing. We know that there is relatively less demand for certain kinds of degrees than others.
Are the jobs this program prepares students for located in this region? I know some of you are more at national, serving institutions and so for you I think that would be less relevant but most of those in this, [in this cohort] or have substantial or all of your students are really thinking about remaining in the region.
Do the jobs provide a living wage? And we'll talk about what that means in a moment, and most students have this training and credential in order to get these jobs? Can they get that through another pathway?
And so these set of questions you can ask as a community college or the program approval process that's one moment. But what about existing programs? San Jacinto really looked at in terms of wages and career ladders when they're reviewing programs. So program review, is another place you can start to think about whether we're asking these questions. These kinds of guardrails to ensure that we're looking at these things, overall, and then disaggregating by race and ethnicity are critical to the work.
Moving to the next slide.
One of the really important underpinnings for all this work is to decide what a living wage really is. And one of the questions I would have for each of the colleges engaged here is have you decided what a living wage is for your graduates? That's not the only thing that matters; debt matters as, as well. Folks have to be earning enough money to repay their debt. But just as a baseline, do you have a metric for what a living wages are for students? It's very hard to look at what the outcomes are for programs and assess those unless you've decided on some things line level. It's also important to keep us from thinking that being a stockbroker or a lawyer is better than being a teacher, right? That's not what we're saying here. Setting a standard and you see Georgetown and MIT have different ways of doing that. I refer you to the MIT living wage calculator and Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, to think about how they're doing that. I'm not going to go into detail on these. But setting a standard, above which is a living wage and below which is not, you can start to assess who has access to which credentials and who's succeeding after they graduate, and who doesn't.
Move to the next slide.
This is the way it was done for a particular program at Monroe Community College. I think there's a particularly thing about it. So the dotted lines are the living wage for people in smaller and larger families. And what they looked at a program over a period of time. So this is the kind of nuanced data that once you've established the living wage, you can start to collect to figure out what are students’ earning a living wage; how long will it take? This is important also for students who may leave the college and not be earning a lot of money, so they can see when that wage will be emerging as they leave the college.
Moving to the next slide.
Guided Pathways, a lot of colleges are engaged in guided pathways. And I think that the idea of homeschool reform is really taking hold and a lot of you are engaged in this. The message here is that no matter what your reform strategy is, and Guided Pathways is one of those reform strategies that is holistic and thinks about getting students all the way from the time they enter into completion, no matter what it is that aligning those pathways to post graduation success is key.
Moving to the next slide.
Second part of advancing a vision is if you define labor market outcomes as a central component of student success and really engage in those conversations that are college on, what does that mean? What is that level and creating those guardrails to try to make sure that all students are reading/meeting at that level, and creating the information needed to gather the information, that sort of background knowledge but that's not the vision. The vision is really understanding the regional labor market and the population and how they're changing. The question is how to bring that information regularly into the colleges’ consideration, and to incorporate it into a vision. So what are the kinds of questions you might ask along that front?
Next slide. We can move to the next slide, thanks.
So first is understanding your population. The one of the challenges that that colleges often have is that demographics are changing. And the student body may or may not be keeping pace. The question is how do you actually understand that? What are the demographics of your service area? How are they changing? What are the economic challenges in your region? Who's unemployed? Who is at twice poverty? Who are those stranded workers? Are they Black students, Latinx students? Within those populations men or women? What is the educational attainment level of your population generally and we're just disparities exist? These are the key questions that we see colleges, asking themselves so that they know who it is they're trying to serve; is just not serving those who are on campus; is serving those needed by the college.
Moving to the next slide.
If you understand who the population is that you're trying to service and you can target that. Then it is about where the good jobs are, right? If your job is to help individuals get ahead and to connect them to good jobs, you need to understand where the jobs are. So what are the major industry sectors in the service area, your students will graduate into? Is your region's overall economy growing or declining and in what sectors? Where are the good jobs in your region and are they growing? But even if they're not growing, are there replacement jobs? Education? As Daniel mentioned, Northern Virginia was growing a lot, and there were good jobs for teachers. So a lot of their Transfer Pathways were aligned to those. So, one of the things that people talk about growing jobs all the time look at replacement jobs they often are much bigger than the number of jobs that are growing.
And then finally, what skills and education and credentials are needed for those jobs? And there's often not a direct line, particularly for four year college English and philosophy majors, history majors will go into a number of different fields, but there are good jobs available for them. Do you even know where the good jobs are, that will accept students who have a bachelor's degree in history? What can you gather from, from the labor market data to look at that? We can use some data points and sources that you could look at what kinds of information, and with that, I would like to turn it to Daniel and talk a little bit about what it means now with understanding to align your programs to, and understanding of your regional labor market needs and, understanding of the population that you are going to serve.
DANIEL TRUJILLO: Thanks, Josh. And actually, next slide please. The next one please. Thank you.
So the third key action we identified for advancing your vision is to align offerings to the needs of employers and the population. Excellent colleges regularly use information about the labor market, and regional population, to assess the efficacy of their efforts. For example, in strategic planning process season annual analyses, they ask whether program offerings are aligned to regional economic and demographic needs, and whether they are equitably meeting the needs of their community and student populations.
Next slide please.
Colleges seeking to build stronger pathways into the labor market for their students, align program and economic needs. For example, they look at current and projected demand for graduates by type of credential for industries and occupations within their labor sheds. They also look at the number of graduates they're supplying, as well as the numbers being supplied by other education and training providers in their area. They understand how these demand and supply dynamics have changed over time and they access multiple data sources to understand how they might change in the future. They also take into account the earnings expectations for available jobs and the costs of living in their region. One key question excellent colleges ask themselves is, do these programs lead to jobs with living wages?
Next slide, please.
Excellent and equitable colleges also carefully monitor who is benefiting from their program offerings, and who is being left out. They understand demographic changes in their regions and adapt to ensure they are equitably serving those in their service area. They identify inequities and who is enrolled by population. And what populations are enrolled in high value programs. One key question excellent colleges ask themselves is, is they're equitable access to programs that lead to high value credentials and the best paying jobs in the region?
Next slide please.
Some colleges, after looking at their labor market information, realize there are not enough jobs or not, or not enough good jobs to match the employment needs of students and graduates. We have seen colleges engage in a variety of strategies to mitigate these circumstances and create opportunity for students. These strategies include rethinking the service area. One example of this is programs that prepare students for jobs that can be done remotely, such as certain jobs in the IT sector. Other strategies include working with employment sectors to open new programs, in order to recruit new businesses, as well as working with businesses to anticipate future needs and build programs and curricula for future opportunities.
Next slide please.
One strong example of colleges working with industry and taking a regional, sectoral approach to adapt to a changing economy comes from Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY. In the mid-1990 to mid-2000s many workers were laid off when the regional economy moved from reliance on major employers such as Kodak and Xerox, to small businesses. Today 97% of employers have fewer than 100 employees but most fall within a few major fields. These include healthcare, advanced manufacturing, applied technologies and information technology.
Monroe looked at the data on industry clusters, and convene employers and they worked with economic development organizations to better understand the changing the labor market. To meet the needs of employers, MCC leaders used data to investigate talent needs common among small businesses and they invested in customer relationship management technology and staff to manage this more complex array of partnerships. Monroe also convene sectors and other community players to pull resources and share insights.
One outcome of this process was that they identified and convened 11 companies with similar skill needs. They realized that they could provide training to workers at those companies all at once which is more efficient than customizing programming at several sites. This led to developing Ladders Up which has a dedicated facility with space that can accommodate a wide range of just in time training needs. Today, Ladders Up is a selling point to recruit companies to Rochester.
Will now turn it back to Josh to close out the presentation.
JOSH WYNER: Thank you Daniel. Trying to get my video back on here. Thank you so much. So, what, what, what do we want you to leave this presentation with? Well, first is that advancing a vision for talent development and economic mobility, that there needs to be a why for that. And the question really is for leadership and throughout the institution, that if you're really going to connect students in the population equitably, to good jobs, you need to tell the story of why. Why does it matter that what it is we're offering leads to post graduation success.
I think being what the background levels are for Black and Latinx students in our communities for Indigenous students as well, makes that case incredibly well. But only you can decide what the why is going to be in your context and that needs that why needs to be expressed to faculty staff, at the leadership level with the board. Think a little bit about why you are engaged in this work and whether everybody understands that and is this consistently being communicated.
And the second takeaway is that a vision for talent development and economic mobility is necessary across the entire education sectors that better outcomes for students can be achieved, both by improving graduation AND by consistently asking the question at the cabinet level and at the program level and at the board level at every level of the institution, are we connecting our Black Latinx and indigenous students to the opportunities for good jobs in our community? That's the key. Where are the structures to do that and if you look at the rest of our workforce playbook we talk about program review program approval; we talked about strong employer partnerships where you're getting honest feedback; how do you foster that? There’s a lot of how here, but the message from today is that everybody needs to connect to a why. And then you really need to have a vision for how it is you're moving things forward, but rooted in clarity around what a good job is; rooted into clarity about where students currently are; where the population is; where's the Black population is in our community; where are Latinx students, and where the good jobs are. I think with that vision, a lot else demand for a lot of these other elements will be created without that centralized vision, and that common vision, you're gonna have some good programs that are aligned and others that aren't. And we know what happens when some good programs exist, and by good programs I mean some programs that are aligned to workforce needs and some that aren't, which is that Black and Latinx students are kept out of the former, and they're concentrated in the latter. So this is both about that alignment and monitoring who gets access to what. So with that I'm going to turn it back to my colleague Rob to lead us in a conversation for questions and then a conversation about what you've heard and its relevancy to your work. Thank you.
ROB JOHNSTONE: Thanks so much, Josh and Daniel you're getting silent applause from the crowd here. Thank you so much for kicking us off and sharing with us. I'm going to give a minute or two of response so you guys can breathe before we dive into a formal Q&A session.
First of all, just thank you to the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program that Josh and Daniel represent. I mean if you look at the last decade, that this College Excellence Program has been around, I don't think anyone has shone the light more on post-graduation outcomes and centered the work of higher education on post-graduation outcomes more than College Excellence Program, so thanks to our colleagues for doing that. It clearly what you've heard today is a step at a significant step in that direction. I was thinking that I've listed in the presentation from Josh and Daniel about some of the key takeaways and certainly the focus on this notion of a vision for Talent Development. I was also thinking through a lot of the examples that Daniel gave what's similar between those very different colleges Broward, UNBC, NOVA, George Mason, Monroe, I'm struck by the intentionality of their approaches. Right? These are not things that were cobbled together they were, they were designed in response to a specific set of challenges that they had identified.
By the way, one of the key tenants of improvement science is you have to be incredibly clear about the specific problems you are trying to solve for. And then they're highly intentional; there are structures built in; there are supports built in; they are managing the student lifecycle, as from entry all the way through and past completion. And they're also applying an equity lens to that during the -- I also think about a lot of the data -- there's this tendency when you look at data. It's disaggregated that either subtly or directly we start thinking about what's wrong with the students that end up being in those buckets. Right? Why is it 33% of Latinx students are undecided. I think obviously we have to flip the script on that and look at that, not from a deficit mindset about the students, as Josh and his colleagues share. This is about structure, it's about us, right? About what we do, and I always think of the Deming quote, whenever I forget, -- I'm a data guy; my doctorates in social psychology and statistics. I think about structures and situations and guess what? Deming, of course, is everything, every system is perfectly designed to get the outcomes it has, right? These outcomes aren’t there because of the students, they're there because of the system and that system, as Josh mentioned, it's not just us in higher education, it's a much broader system.
But that brings up another point, is that we have to have agency in this work; we have to have a fundamental belief that we CAN improve data. And not only can we, we should and we will. AND I feel that in all our conversations with you at the college level, with that agency, a corresponding sense of urgency are a critical piece of this equity. The sets of equity approaches that we're layering on so I think that, you know, when you look at it, we often disaggregate data, and that is, data don't make decisions, people make decisions, right? We have to look at the data, to get a sense of what's going on, and then start strategizing, what do we do at scale to move the needle on these outcomes? That is the work that you're all engaged in right now during this kind planning year and this analysis phase.
So again, thanks so much to Josh and to Daniel for putting us kind of a structure around the overall. By the way, there is a cognitive dissonance structural tension issue that we're not, unless you guys want to raise it today we're going to raise in a later webinar, which is around this classic tension between post-graduation, outcomes, and what happens in higher education. My colleagues in social science and humanities are often famous for not focusing as strongly on what happens after higher education outcomes and we can have that discussion, another time because the irony there of course, is the very liberal arts education in general education outcomes. My colleagues hold so dear, are the very things that are going to take our graduates, and help them move through their careers and be successful pass the set of skills, they get their disciplines so that conversation is coming, Diego Navarro will help us with that a little later webinar but that structural tension is there and as Josh and Daniel said we have to pay more attention to what happens to our graduates, noting again that this system of higher education Sandy Shugart from Valencia is very fond of saying this is about 800 years old. It was actually designed to produce the next group of people who had studied deeply what you were interested in. It wasn't actually designed to give gifts to people with skill sets to move into careers and 98% of students at the 21 colleges on this call are not going into academia. So, this is almost a requirement, that we think more about this and the ways that is emphasized.
So, with that we gave Daniel and Josh a chance to get a break and I think George is asking that you raise your hand if you want to ask a question directly of our presenters and we will engage a number of those questions first. And then when you, when you get off mute and George will ask you to please give us your name, your college and your position at the college and then direct the question towards Josh and Daniel. So thank you so much.