New Report: Policies to Support Adult Californians Back to College

California’s Leaders Should Support Adults Back to College with Targeted Policy Changes

Proposed Policies Could Simultaneously Fuel the State's Economy and Open Pathways to Prosperity for Millions of Californians 

Today California Competes released the second report in the Back to College series, outlining immediate solutions the state can adopt to empower millions of Californians to re-enroll and complete their degrees. 

Back to College, Part One: California's Imperative to Re-Engage Adults uncovered that four million adults aged 25-64 stopped out before completing college in California and consequently face a host of social and economic burdens. While going back to college would benefit these adults and the state’s economy, they face systemic roadblocks if they choose to return.   

In Back to College, Part Two: A Policy Prescription to Support Adults Returning to CollegeCalifornia Competes proposes five straightforward strategies to help these adults to return to college, graduate, and thrive in California’s innovation economy. The recommendations address ageism, encourage innovation, cut red tape, and reimagine workplace training models.

One in five adults aged 25-64 in California attempted college but did not complete a degree. More than three-quarters of these adults are working, primarily full-time and in low-paying occupations. Forty percent of them are parents with real-world responsibilities. All Californians would benefit if these adults move across the finish line.

For California to maximize the earning capacity of its workforce and truly own its reputation as the state where anything is possible, policymakers must act on the economic and equity imperative to better serve adults with some college but no degree.

Dr. Lande Ajose, Executive Director, California Competes

California currently faces a looming gap of more than two million degrees and credentials by 2025 with little hope of closing it by only focusing on traditional college-age students. The state’s persistently low college completion rates continue to contribute to the alarming size of the population of adults with some college but no degree. Change is overdue, and 2019 is the year to make change happen.

Read the new report.

Read the Executive Summary.

Read Back to College, Part One: California's Imperative to Re-Engage Adults.

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