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February 2013
What's Happening

Assembly Higher Education Committee Hearing – IHELP Director Nancy Shulock was invited to present testimony to the Assembly Committee on Higher Education on The State of Higher Education in California – An Overview of Major Issues at a legislative oversight hearing on February 19 in the State Capitol. Also providing testimony were Dennis Jones, president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Michelle Cooper, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, Julie Bell with the National Conference of State Legislatures and representatives from the three California higher education segments and the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Click here to view her presentation.

Presentation to Washington State Board – IHELP Faculty Associate Mary Kirlin gave a presentation to the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges on February 6, 2013. Mary discussed the findings of IHELP’s July 2012 report, On Balance: Lessons in Effective Coordination from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges – An Organizational Perspective. Click here to view the presentation.

Policy Analysis for California Education Conference – IHELP Faculty Associate Su Jin Jez participated in the PACE Research Panel Seminar on February 8 in Sacramento. The conference program highlighted improving accountability in schools.

Texas Legislative Black Caucus Summit – IHELP Faculty Associate Su Jin Jez presented on a panel before the Texas Legislative Black Caucus on February 25. Su Jin spoke on the topic of Local Control and Community-Based Accountability. Click here to view her presentation.

City Year Civic Leadership Conference – IHELP Faculty Associate Su Jin Jez was invited to speak at Sacramento City Year’s Civic Leadership Conference on February 22. Su Jin participated on a panel focused on civic engagement and education.

New IHELP Research Specialist –IHELP is pleased to welcome Dr. Connie Tan as its newest research specialist. Connie recently completed a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research at UCLA focused on the educational experiences of low-income, minority, and immigrant students. She has also taught undergraduate students at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

New IHELP Associate Director – Dr. Andrea Venezia started her new position this month as IHELP’s new Associate Director and as associate professor of Public Policy and Administration at California State University, Sacramento. Andrea has extensive experience in education policy research, including serving as Senior Research Associate at WestEd and Senior Policy Analyst at the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.


Features This Month

State and System Policies Related to Career Technical Education (Two New Working Papers)

IHELP has been engaged in a four-part research project on Career and Technical Education (CTE) in the California Community Colleges. The project is aimed at identifying ways that state and system policy can best support the CTE mission so that colleges can be more effective in helping students earn credentials of value in the workplace and helping employers and industries in their regions obtain a skilled workforce. As part of this project, we have identified a number of problems that we believe could be addressed with selective changes to state laws and regulations, with several discussed in the two new working papers. We will draw on these and other working papers to produce a final report next month summarizing our findings and offering a range of possible policy changes. Visit www.csus.edu/ihelp to view all five working papers.

Faculty Issues

This IHELP working paper examines policies that relate to CTE faculty issues in the California Community Colleges. There are numerous state policies and regulations that govern employment of faculty and the use of faculty resources in the community colleges, including those related to minimum qualifications, the rights of faculty employees, professional development, and calculation and compensation of faculty workload. Generally, these policies apply across the board to faculty in CTE and in the liberal arts and sciences. The question raised in this paper is whether CTE faculty roles, responsibilities, and circumstances differ sufficiently from those of liberal arts and sciences faculty to warrant different policies.

View the working paper

Program Structure and Delivery

This IHELP working paper examines policies that affect how well degree and certificate programs offered by the colleges are designed to provide students the skills and competencies necessary for them to succeed in the workplace. This paper examines policies related to (1) systemwide skill and competency standards, (2) basic skills proficiency for CTE and (3) program scheduling and delivery.

View the working paper

In Case You Missed it: Washington State Student Achievement Initiative Policy Study: Final Report

This report, jointly produced by IHELP and the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University, analyzes the impact of the Washington State Student Achievement Initiative (SAI) on college efforts to improve student outcomes and on student outcomes. The SAI, a policy adopted by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, uses intermediate measures of student progress to reward colleges for improvements in student achievement. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this three-year evaluation includes both data analysis and extensive interviewing of faculty and staff and is intended in part to draw lessons for leaders in other states who are considering adopting performance incentive policies for community colleges.

View the report

NOTE: A policy brief on this project, suggesting principles for designing postsecondary performance funding policies, will be published next month.

Spotlight On

Community-college grads out-earn bachelor’s degree holders – The underestimated economic value of a technical associate degree is the topic of discussion in a new story published by The Hechinger Report out of Columbia University. The story states that a significant number of community college graduates are getting better jobs and earning more at the start of their careers than bachelor degree holders. Associate degree earners are also better meeting the needs of regional labor markets in demand for people with “middle-skills,” according to the article. While arguing the increasing importance of associate degrees, the article does state that, on average, bachelor’s degrees end up paying off with recipients catching up in earnings by mid-career. Findings reported in this article included research from the American Institutes for Research and Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. This article is part of a series about workforce development and higher education. Click the links below to view the article and for further reading on the topic.

The Hechinger Report – Workforce Development and Higher Education series

Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce – Career and Technical Education: Five Ways That Pay Along the Way to the B.A.

Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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