Degree Attainment

One of the first sentences in a recently enacted Kansas law explains the rationale for the state’s new, targeted investment in higher education: “Engineering intensive industries represent approximately one-third of the statewide payroll and tax base.”

Higher education across the country continues to struggle with state funding cuts, aging facilities, increasing tuition rates and a rapidly increasing student population. An annual survey of community college directors conducted by the Education Policy Center shows  educators are worried if these trends continue, higher education may be out of reach for many Americans.

Late last year, higher-education officials in Indiana got word that they would have to find $150 million in cuts in order to help balance the state’s biennial budget.  What they did — and didn’t do — tells a lot about the commitment in that state to fund higher education in a different way.  As Teresa Lubbers explains, the state’s performance-based funding formula — a relatively small, but not insignificant, portion of the larger formula for postsecondary institutions — was kept intact.

A newly released report from The Lumina Foundation for Education concludes that more people understand our higher education system must increase its capacity to serve more students, and that improving higher education productivity is essential to accomplishing this.

Only one-third of students leave high school minimally prepared for college. Consequently, developmental education courses are an important component of student retention efforts. This brief addresses policy implications of retention programs.