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Author(s):National Governor's Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices
Title:Using community colleges to build a STEM-skilled workforce
Organization:National Governor's Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices
Short Description:Community colleges can play an important role in governor-led statewide STEM initiatives. These institutions provide affordable, accessible postsecondary options. They also are often less bureaucratic, which allows them to respond to rapidly changing economic and workforce needs and meet the demands of the local labor market.
Annotation:Education and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are important in a global economy increasingly focused on high-growth, technology-driven occupations. Yet, many states face a shortage of STEM-skilled students and workers. A number of states have built powerful and productive STEM education and skills strategies to address these shortages. As highlighted in this Issue Brief, community colleges can play an important role in governor-led statewide STEM initiatives. These institutions provide affordable, accessible postsecondary options. They also are often less bureaucratic, which allows them to respond to rapidly changing economic and workforce needs and meet the demands of the local labor market.
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Associated Keywords:
Community Colleges
Educational Attainment/College Degree Completion
Employment and Workforce Development
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Initiatives

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Strong students, strong workers: Models for student success through workforce development and community college partnerships
NAEP Mathematics 2009 state snapshot reports
Are student employment and academic success linked?
Work less, study more, & succeed: How financial supports can improve postsecondary success
Assets and liabilities, educational expectations, and children's college degree attainment
Higher education budgets and the global recession
Toward reduced poverty across generations: Early findings from New York City's conditional cash transfer program
Bridging the gaps to success: Promising practices for promoting transfer among low-income and first generation students: An in-depth study of six exemplary community colleges in Texas
Chasing the same dream, climbing different ladders: Economic mobility in the United States and Canada
American Diploma Project (ADP) end-of-course exams: 2009 Annual report
Achieve Standards Alignment Tool
The quality imperative: Match ambitious goals for college attainment with an ambitious vision for learning
Using assessment results: Promising practices of institutions that do it well
The effects of learning communities for students in developmental education
Employment by summary education and training assignment, 2010 and projected 2020
NAEP Science 2011 State Snapshot Reports
Using dual enrollment policy to improve college & career readiness: A web tool for decision makers
The condition of education 2012 (Report)
Using state policies to ensure effective assessment and placement in postsecondary education
Labor market returns to sub-baccalaureate credentials: How much does a community college degree or certificate pay?
Close, but no degree: Removing barriers to degree-completion and economic advancement in New Jersey
Increasing college and career readiness through dual enrollment: Research, policies, and effective practices
Weighing the evidence: A conversation with community college presidents on using research to support student success outcomes
Regardless of the cost, college still matters
Transfer: An indispensable part of the community college mission
Common measures for college access and success
Business resources for a college- and career-ready America
Balancing passion and practicality: The role of debt and major on students' financial outcomes: Executive Summary
Lifting Latinos up by their 'rootstraps': Moving beyond trauma through a healing-informed framework for Latino boys and men
2012: Closing the expectations gap: 50-state progress report on the alignment of K-12 policies and practice with the demands of college and careers
Left out. Forgotten? Recent high school graduates and the Great Recession
The American middle class, income inequality, and the strength of our economy: New evidence in economics
Getting ready for success: Bridging the gap between high school and college in Tacoma, Washington
The economic benefits of postsecondary degrees: A state and national level analysis
The earning power of recent graduates from Virginia's colleges and universities: How are graduates from different degree programs doing in the labor market?
The earning power of graduates from Tennessee's colleges and universities: How are graduates from different degree programs doing in the labor market?
Higher education, merit-based scholarships and post-baccalaureate migration
Completing college: A national view of student attainment rates
Learning at a distance: Undergraduate enrollment in distance education courses and degree programs
The relevance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the college completion agenda
Learn and earn: Modeling the success of Metropolitan College: The Business-Higher Education Forum's simulation series
Crossing the finish line: A national effort to address near completion
The state of young America: Economic barriers to the American dream
Operation College Promise
Postsecondary education student outcomes vary at for-profit, non-profit, and public schools
Good policy, good practice II: Improving outcomes and productivity in higher education: A guide for policymakers
Men of color: Ensuring the academic success of Latinos in higher education
What can we learn from law school? Legal education reflects issues found in all of higher education
The impacts of state performance funding systems on higher education institutions: Research literature review and policy implications
American Association of Community Colleges 2011 Advocacy Toolkit Factsheet
Clearing the path: Creating innovation space for serving over-age, under-credited students in competency-based pathways
Bringing business analytics to the college campus: Using fiscal metrics to steer innovation in postsecondary educations
Single mothers and college success: Charting paths out of poverty
Women Employed
Driving innovation from the middle: Middle-skill jobs in the American South's economy
Top ten higher education policy issues for 2011
Preparing for change: A national perspective on common core state standards implementation planning
A crucible moment: College learning & democracy's future
Predicting success in college: The importance of placement tests and high school transcripts
Student success courses and educational outcomes at Virginia community colleges
Get with the program: Accelerating community college students' entry into and completion of programs of study (2012)
Education and the economy: The economic benefits of helping high school dropouts earn both high school diplomas and college degrees
Pathways to success: Integrating learning with life and work to increase national college completion
Building pathways to transfer: Community colleges that break the chain of failure for students of color
The role of Pell Grants in access, persistence and completion
Why access matters: The community college student body
The Adult Education and Economic Growth Act: Toward a modern adult education system and a more educated workforce
Can applying to more colleges increase enrollment rates?
Ensuring America's Future - Sector briefs
Finding your workforce: The top 25 institutions graduating Latinos in health professions and related programs by academic level
Valuable learning or "spinning their wheels"?: Understanding excess credits earned by community college associate degree completers
Washington state student achivement initiative: Achievement points analysis for academic years 2007-2011
Reforming the state's transfer progress on senate bill 1440
Solutions for America: Recommendations for the President and Congress from: Taking action for America: A CEO plan for jobs and economic growth
Taking action for America: A CEO plan for jobs and economic growth
Action plan for improving measures of postsecondary student success
Does more money matter? An introduction to the performance-based scholarship demonstration in California
Calculating the economic value of increasing college credentials by 2025: United States
An undeveloped national resource: The unrealized potential of the nation's career/technical centers
Driving K-12 reform through a college-access and success agenda
Latino college completion in 50 states: Executive summary
Rethinking higher education business models: Steps toward a disruptive innovation approach to understanding and improving higher education outcomes
Hard choices ahead: Performance and policy in Texas higher education
Vendor product review: A consumer's guide to real-time labor market information
Easing the transition from combat to classroom: Preserving America's investment in higher education for military veterans through institutional assessment
Sending veterans to school: Fast facts on the post-9/11 GI Bill
Keeping students on course: An impact study of a student success course at Guilford Technical Community College
Documenting uncertain times: Post-graduate transitions of the Academically Adrift cohort
Money, politics, and the rise of for-profit higher education in the US: A story of supply, demand and the brazilian effect
Transfer & mobility: A national view of pre-degree student movement in postsecondary institutions
On the road to success
Statewide aid policies to improve college access and success
The role of minority-serving institutions in redefining and improving developmental education
Black male student success in higher education: A report from the national black male college achievement study
A stronger nation through higher education: A detailed look at college attainment-nationally, by state and by metro area
Enrollment in postsecondary institutions, Fall 2010; Financial statistics, fiscal year 2010; and graduation rates, selected cohorts, 2002-07
Charter-school management organizations: Diverse strategies and diverse student impacts
The long-term impacts of teachers: Teacher value-added and student outcomes in adulthood
The roll of Pell grants in access, persistence and completion
Unbundling youth, family, and community involvement in college access: On the ground in Austin, Texas
No DREAMers left behind: The economic potential of DREAM Act beneficiaries
Most Americans see college as essential to getting a good job
Charting pathways to completion for low-income community college students
Women see value and benefits of college; Men lag on both fronts, survey finds
Education at a glance 2011: OECD indicators
Scaling up Breaking Through: 2010 evaluation
Community college access and affordability for occupational and nontraditional students
Focus on education for the formerly incarcerated
Time is the enemy: The surprising truth about why today's college students aren't graduating... And what needs to change
The college completion agenda: 2011 Progress report: Latino edition
The high cost of low graduation rates: Taxpayers lose millions
Estimating the return to college selectivity over the career using administrative earnings data
Scaling community college interventions
Unlocking doors and expanding opportunity: Moving beyond the limiting reality of college and career readiness in California high schools
The common core state standards: Implications for higher education in the west
National postsecondary enrollment trends: Before, during, and after the great recession
Equity scorecard: A process for building institutional capacity to educate young men of color
Gains and gaps: Changing inequality in U.S. college entry and completion
Challenging success: Can college degree completion be increased as states cut budgets?
High school dual enrollment programs: Are we fast-tracking students too fast?
The middle class is key to a better-educated nation: A stronger middle class is associated with better educational outcomes
Middle-class societies invest more in public education: A stronger middle class is associated with higher levels of spending on education
American Association of Community Colleges: Report on the 21st century initiative listening tour
Completing the mission: A pilot study of veteran students' progress toward degree attainment in the post 9/11 era
Strong support, low awareness: Public perception of the common core state standards
Cheap for whom? How much education costs taxpayers
Performance-based scholarships: Emerging findings from a national demonstration
Whether and how to use state tests to measure student achievement in a multi-state randomized experiment: An empirical assessment based on four recent evaluations
The common core state standards: Caution and opportunity for early childhood education
Cornerstones of completion: State policy support for accelerated, structured pathways to college credentials and transfer
Forging new pathways: The impact of the breaking through initiative in michigan
Learning from the past: Drawing on California's CLAS experience to inform assessment of the Common Core
Critical perspectives on race and equity in review of higher education
Highlights from PIRLS 2011: Reading achievement of U.S. fourth grade students in an international context
National and regional accreditation information
For this place, for these people: An exploration of best practices among charter schools serving native students
Higher education: Gaps in access and persistence study
Development, discouragement, or diversion? New evidence on the effects of college remediation
Hispanic student enrollments reach new high in 2011
Innovations in labor market information and their application
2012 National survey of school counselors: True north: Charting the course to college and career readiness
College 101 courses for applied learning and student success
Progress of education reform: Producing quality credentials: Why data and analytics matter
Competency-based degree programs in the US: Postsecondary credentials for measurable student learning and performance
Aid and innovation: How federal financial aid policy impacts student success and how states can respond
Teaching and learning in the era of the Common Core: The Students at the Center series ebook
The completion arch: Measuring community college student success
The condition of education 2012 (Website)
Student voices on the higher education pathway: Preliminary insights & stakeholder engagement concerns
College rewired: Innovative approaches help higher education connect to productivity
Pursuing the American Dream: Economic mobility across generations
Examining economic mobility and the American Dream across demographics
Does America promote mobility as well as other nations?
Preparing high school students for college: An exploratory study of college readiness programs in Texas
From soft skills to hard data: Measuring youth program outcomes
New Americans in postsecondary education: A profile of immigrant and second-generation American undergraduates
Latinos and the culture of college: How to build a commitment-to-college curriculum
Engaging faculty in the Achieving the Dream initiative: Principles and practices of student success
Strengthening institutional research and information technology capacity through Achieving the Dream: Principles and practices of student success
Best practices in statewide articulation and transfer systems
Insuring college failure risk
The economic benefits from halving the dropout rate: A boom to businesses in the nation's largest metropolitan areas
Scaling up learning communities: The experience of six community colleges
Digest of Education Statistics, 2009
Open-access colleges responsible for greatest gains in graduation rates
Promising practices: What works in the midwest: A report from the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE)
College InSight
Common Standards: The Time Is Now
Moving success from the shadows: Data systems that link education and workforce outcomes
Making connections: Dimensions of student engagement (2009 CCSSE Findings)
Success at every step: How 23 programs support youth on the path to college and beyond
Changing course: Improving Aboriginal access to post-secondary education in Canada
Aboriginal peoples and post-secondary education: What educators have learned
LE,NONET pilot project: Interim evaluation report
Inequalities at the outset: Identifying factors that affect parents' perceptions of paying for college
Building student success from the ground up: A case study of an Achieving the Dream college
Baccalaureate success of transfers and rising four-year college juniors
Linking secondary and postsecondary systems: Lessons from Indiana
Four steps to finishing first in higher education: A guide for state policymakers
Benchmarks: WICHE Region 2009
The promise of proficiency: How college proficiency information can help high schools drive student success
Improving education and employment for disadvantaged young men: Proven and promising strategies
Interview with Anthony P. Carnevale
Center on Education and the Workforce
The economic benefits of reducing the dropout rate in the nations largest metropolitan areas
Educational attainment in the United States: 2009
National Center for Academic Transformation
Effective college access, persistence and completion programs and strategies for underrepresented student populations: Opportunities for scaling up
Funding career pathways and career pathway bridges: A federal policy toolkit for states
The case to adopt common college- and career-ready standards (state cards)
Minorities and the recession era college enrollment boom
Child poverty and intergenerational mobility
Enrollment in postsecondary institutions Fall 2008; graduation rates, 2002 and 2005 cohorts; and financial statistics, 2008
Special report on the transfer admission process: National Association for College Admission Counseling
Pathway to the baccalaureate: How one community college is helping underprepared students succeed
State of metropolitan America: On the front lines of demographic transformation
SREB State Data Exchange: 40 years and still counting: 2008-2009 highlights
Increasing baccalaureate attainment in Louisville: A proposed blueprint for community action
Status and trends in the education of minority groups
Effectiveness of fully online courses for college students: Response to a department of education meta-analysis
New approaches to improving college access, persistence, and success: Three exemplary postsecondary opportunity programs
Collaborating to create change: How El Paso Community College improved the readiness of its incoming students through Achieving the Dream
Are you gainfully employed? Setting standards for for-profit degrees
Strong foundations: The state of postsecondary data systems
Ensuring America's future: Benchmarking Latino college completion to meet national goals: 2010 to 2020
Big gaps, small gaps: Some colleges and universities do better than others in graduating Hispanic students
Ensuring youth transitioning from foster care are connected by 25: Lessons learned from the foster care work group
The college completion agenda: State policy guide
A smart move in tough times: How SREB states can strengthen adult learning and the work force
Setting statewide college- and career-ready goals
Academic preparation for college in the high school senior class of 2003-04
The impact of Pell grants on academic outcomes for low-income California community college students
Finishing the first lap: The cost of first-year student attrition in America's four-year colleges and universities
College graduation rates: Behind the numbers
The progress of education reform: Investing in college completion
Doing more with less: The inequitable funding of community colleges
Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success (C-PES)
Insulating the education pipeline to increase postsecondary success
Understanding the working college student
Unexpected pathways: Transfer patterns of California community college students
Course-taking patterns, policies, and practices in developmental education in the California community colleges
Rewarding progress, reducing debt: Early results from Ohio's performance-based scholarship demonstration for low-income parents
Confronting the STEM challenge: A new modeling tool for US education policymakers
College choice process of Latino undocumented students: Implications for recruitment and retention
Factors contributing to the upward transfer of baccalaureate aspirants beginning at community colleges
Subprime opportunity: The unfulfilled promise of for-profit colleges and universities
Persistence and attainment of 2003–04 beginning postsecondary students: After six years
The advanced placement program benefits mainly well-prepared students who pass AP exams
Improving undergraduate learning: Findings and policy recommendations from the SSRC-CLA longitudinal project
Introduction to the Community College Research Center (CCRC) assessment of evidence series
Adults with college degrees in the United States, by county
Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the challenge of preparing young Americans for the 21st century
Enrollment in postsecondary institutions, fall 2009; Graduation rates, 2003 & 2006 cohorts; and financial statistics, Fiscal Year 2009
Which students to serve? Universal or targeted eligibility for postsecondary opportunity programs
The degree qualifications profile
Everybody ready for college
PISA 2009 results: What students know and can do: Student performance in reading, mathematics and science
A detection model of college withdrawal
Community college student survey
Turning the tide: Five years of Achieving the Dream in community colleges
National Youth Employment Coalition
Service members in school: Military veterans' experiences using the post-9/11 GI Bill and pursuing postsecondary education
Roadmap for ensuring America's future
Data tools for accelerating Latino student success (ALASS)
The effects of student coaching in college: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student mentoring
An analysis of inquiry, nonstart and drop reasons in nontraditional university student populations
Projections of education statistics to 2019
Minority male student success programs at community colleges
Opening doors to student success: A synthesis of findings from an evaluation at six community colleges
Get with the program: Accelerating community college students' entry into and completion of programs of study
Digest of education statistics 2010, and mini-digest of education statistics 2010
K-12 education reform: Implications and opportunities for public colleges and universities
The effects of in-state tuition for non-citizens: A systematic review of the evidence
America's Promise Alliance dropout prevention summits
Promising practices supporting low-income, first-generation students at DeVry University
Institutional variation in credential completion: Evidence from Washington State Community and Technical colleges
How four-year colleges and universities organize themselves to promote student persistence: The emerging national picture
Teacher voices: Immigration, language and culture
On our way: Educational toolkit for families (A program instructional guide)
Profile of degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students, by control and level of institution
Family literacy: A valuable gateway to postsecondary education
The educational experience of young men of color (website)
Ten facts about the recovery
Affordability and transfer: Critical to increasing Baccalaureate degree completion
Not just kid stuff anymore: The economic imperative for more adults to complete college
Career development interventions and academic self-efficacy: A pilot study
New Technology High School postsecondary student success study
Fair test: Schools that do not use SAT or ACT scores for admitting substantial numbers of students into Bachelor's degree program
A test of leadership: Charting the future of U.S. higher education
Whatever it takes: How twelve communities are reconnecting out-of-school youth
The effects of students' middle-school and high school experiences on completion of the bachelor's degree: How can school counselors make a difference
Does implementing a research based school counseling curriculum enhance student achievement
Science and engineering indicators 2006
As America becomes more diverse: The impact of state higher education inequality
Participation in adult education and lifelong learning: 2000-01
The size and characteristics of the unauthorized migrant population in the U.S.
Working their way through college: Student employment and its impact on the college experience
Appropriate use of high stakes testing in our schools: How should student learning and achievement be measured
Indiana baccalaureate graduation data
Effects of students’ middle school and high school experiences on completion of the bachelor’s degree: How can school counselors make a difference?
How curriculum influences college persistence in Indiana and the nation
Educational needs index state report: Indiana
Standards for what? The economic roots of K-16 reform
An action agenda for improving America's high schools
Powerful pathways: Framing options and opportunities for vulnerable youth
Bridging the gap: Academic preparation and postsecondary success of first generation students
Act on fact: Using data to improve student success
College learning for the new global century
Pacific Islanders lagging behind in higher educational attainment
Moving on: State policies to address academic brain drain in the South
Working together: Aligning state systems and policies for individual and regional prosperity
States that raise their high school graduation rates could generate millions more in higher wages
Returning to learning: Adults' success in college is key to America's future
Collegiate learning assessement project
Profile of undergraduates in U.S. postsecondary education institutions: 2003-04, With a special analysis of community college students
Keeping America's promise: A report on the future of the community college
Career and technical education's role in American competitiveness
Helping students make good decisions and act on them: The real meaning of guidance and advisement
Measuring up internationally: Developing skills and knowledge for the global economy
Financing lifelong learning: Potential of and problems with individual learning accounts in three countries
The alternative pathways project: A framework for dropout reduction and recovery
Literacy in everyday life: Results from the 2003 national assessment of adult literacy`
Building rainbow coalitions
It's all about who you know...
Latino student success at Hispanic serving institutions
Addressing America's dropout challenge: State efforts to boost graduation rates require federal support
Persistence and attainment of 2003-04 beginning postsecondary students: After three years
Financing workforce development programs for youth transitioning out of foster care
The STEM graduate school experience: Reflections from minority post docs
A report on the status of Hispanics in education: Overcoming a history of neglect
Opening Doors project publications
Post-secondary education options for low-income students
Return on investment: Educational choices and demographic change in California's future
Breaking the cycle of poverty starts with learning
Is student success labeled institutional failure? Student goals and graduation rates in the accountability debate at community colleges
Community college student success: What institutional characteristics make a difference
Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG.org)
American Indian and Alaska Native students in U.S. high schools
School Redesign Network
National Council of La Raza
A framework and recommendations for federal action on secondary school reform
College access in Indiana and the United States 2007: Improving college access and success for Indiana adults 25 and over
Workers need training, not tough talk
Businesses to advocate for two-year colleges
What works in remediation: Lessons from 30 years of research
High school dropout: A quick stats fact sheet
Setting the '08 education agenda for the nation: Education as an engine for regional economic and workforce development
Projections of education statistics to 2016
Do student success courses actually help community college students succeed?
Promising practices for community college developmental education
Lumina Foundation Focus: No more kid stuff: Colleges and universities take a mature approach to serving adult students
The work-based learning self assessment tool
How much are college students borrowing?
National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
National studies find TRIO programs effective at increasing college enrollment and graduation
Promoting economic mobility by increasing postsecondary education
Outcomes of high impact practices for underserved students: A review of the literature
Diplomas and dropouts: Which colleges actually graduate their students (and which don't)
A plan for success: Communities of color define policy priorities for high school reform
The economic impact of the achievement gap in America's schools
Community college transfer and articulation policies: Looking beneath the surface
Educational Attainment in the United States: 2007
Imagine success: Engaging entering students
State education activities to support mission growth
Investing in lasting change: Productivity and U.S. higher education
Education at a glance 2008: OECD indicators
Noncredit enrollment in workforce education: State policies and community college practices
Community colleges under stress
Making the transition to four-year institutions: Academic preparation and transfer
The contribution of adult learning to health and social capital
From No Child Left Behind to Every Child a Graduate
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Facts, not fiction: Setting the record straight
Mapping new directions: Higher education for older adults
Apply to succeed: Ensuring community college students benefit from need-based financial aid
Aligning multiple campus initiatives: A practice brief based on BEAMS project outcomes
Cultivating generative connections, commitment, and engagement among campus constituencies: A practice brief based on BEAMS project outcomes
Lumina Foundation Lessons: Students aren't just data points, but numbers do count
Overlooked gems: A national perspective on low-income promising learners
Recent participation in formal learning among working-age adults with different levels of education
The costs and benefits of an excellent education for all of America's children
Economic mobility project
Economic mobility of black and white families
Cramming: The effects of school accountability on college-bound students
Beating the odds: The real challenges behind the math achievement gap - and what high-achieving schools can teach us about how to close it
Early intervention programs: Opening the doors to higher education
The state of American manhood
Reaching higher with accountability (working paper)
Good policy, good practice: Improving outcomes and productivity in higher education, a guide for policymakers
Adult learning in focus: National and state-by-state data
Adult learning in focus: Individual state profiles and downloadable data
National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) Scholarships
Do community colleges provide a viable pathway to a Baccalaureate degree?
STEM Education Coalition
A matter of trust: Ten key insights from recent public opinion research on attitudes about education among Hispanic parents
The connection strategy: Preparing young people to succeed in college and beyond
Implications of educational inequality for the future workforce
Back to basics: Improving college readiness of community college students
Beyond access: Explaining socioeconomic differences in college transfer
The fiscal impacts of college attainment
ETS Policy Notes: Adult education in America
Science and mathematics education indicators
Rethinking high school: Supporting all students to be college-ready in math
The Workforce Alliance
America's forgotten middle-skill jobs: Education and training requirements in the next decade and beyond
National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy
Institute for a Competitive Workforce
Strengthening state adult education policies for low-skilled workers
Passing the torch: Strategies for innovation in community college ESL