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SKILLS 2 COMPETE – March 2017

March 23, 2017

AGENDA:

Introductions and Announcements……………………………………………………………All

Support Services Committee

                Community Organization Survey ( see attachment)……………………….Jesus Laoyza and Kris Grant

                Survey of Workforce Center Directors…………………………………………….Laura Ware

                Next Steps……………………………………………………………………………………….Committee Members et al.

Epiphanies from the field:  Best Practice and Recommendations………………….Laura Ware

                From  work on the Butler Family Fund grant.

                 This year-long project grant focused on people experiencing homelessness and workforce programs, but has broader implications  since people from overlapping populations have similar challenges.

              extreme poverty  not  a special splinter group that falls under the jurisdiction of  Trauma Care  –  HOUSING  first response   –   1 billion dollars for housing for all populations that exist in the metro region.

 

                   Implications for Skills2Compete Work………………………………………………………Discussion

                    

Other Workforce Development Related Legislation

                   Not a big year for new workforce development legislation.  See attached list.              

 

Child Care for Skills Training

                    Update

                    Job Readiness Training & CCCAP rules

Any WIOA Implementation Updates………………………………………………………………………………………………anyone

 

SKILLS TO COMPETE     MARCH  2017

Two additions- or maybe this is part of “WIOA Updates” from National Skills- which will require a vote for the end of our agenda:

 

  1. Whether to sign on as an organization to the letter urging the Federal Department of Education to keep the College Scorecard.  After our work on consumer information on outcomes data related to private occupational schools, we really appreciate the consumer information tools we do have. This federal website provides outcome data on earning and student debt for Title IV (Pell eligible ) institutes.
  2. Review of draft S2C letter to Colorado House Delegation on a “Dear Colleague” letter to ask for adequate funding of WIOA and workforce issues.

 

I have pasted the original emails below my signature , in case your own organizations would also be interested in signing on to the College Scorecard letter, or sending letters to US representative from Colorado on WIOA funding budget request.

 

See many of you tomorrow. Agenda and call in number at the very bottom on this email.

 

Chaer Robert

Manager

Family Economic Security Program

Colorado Center on Law and Policy

789 Sherman St #300

Denver, CO  80203

303-573-5669 x307

www.cclponline.org

————————————————————–

Hi Chaer,

 

Could I add another short item to the Skills2Compete agenda for tomorrow? I received the below email (and attachment) from the National Skills Coalition/Workforce Data Quality Campaign as a member of their Postsecondary Education National Advisory Panel. They are asking for organizations and coalitions to sign on to a letter they and other DC-based groups will be sending to Secretary Betsy DeVos emphasizing the importance of the College Scorecard data and database, and urging the USDOE to continue producing it. There are concerns that it may be in jeopardy. The deadline for signing on is this Friday, 3/24.

 

The Bell Policy Center is signing on to the letter. It would be great if the Skills2Compete Colorado coalition agreed to sign on, too, along with any other individual member organizations that are able. Please see Rachel Zinn’s letter below for details. In the meantime, if you want to forward this to the S2C coalition members, that would be great. Thanks!

 

Frank

 

Frank Waterous, Ph.D.  | Senior Policy Analyst  | The Bell Policy Center

Driving public policy change to help Colorado families get ahead and stay ahead.

1905 Sherman Street, Suite 900 | Denver, CO  80203  | 303.297.0456, x223

waterous@bellpolicy.org | www.bellpolicy.org | Combined Federal Campaign #48615

 

Donate today to help us expand opportunity for all Coloradans.

Join our email list for policy updates, analysis, Bell news and more!

    

 

From: Rachel Zinn [mailto:RachelZ@workforcedqc.org]
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 7:55 AM
To: Kermit Kaleba <KermitK@nationalskillscoalition.org>; Anne Bacon <bacona@nccommunitycolleges.edu>; John Brauer <JBrauer@calaborfed.org>; Elisabeth Buck <ebuck@UNITEDWAYDM.org>; Brenda Dann-Messier <b.dannmessier@gmail.com>; Jessica Fraser <jfraser@incap.org>; pradeep.kotamraju@iowa.gov; Rebecca Kusner <rkusner@newgrowthgroup.com>; Girard Melancon <melancong@mybrcc.edu>; Darlene Miller <executivedirector@ncwe.org>; Holly Moore <holly.moore@seattlecolleges.edu>; Joe Mulford <MulfordJ@pine.edu>; Cheryl Hay <hay@jobs-ohio.com>; Head, Linda L <Linda.L.Head@lonestar.edu>; Steven Jurch <sjurch@ccbcmd.edu>;clopez@cet2000.org; Long, Stephen M. <SLong@stlcc.edu>; Rory O’sullivan <rory.osullivan@younginvincibles.org>; ‘sovel@kirkwood.edu‘ <sovel@kirkwood.edu>; Parisi, Mimmo <MParisi@nsparc.msstate.edu>; Pritchard, Alice M <APritchard@commnet.edu>; Alma Salazar <asalazar@lachamber.com>; Randall Stamper <rstamper@vccs.edu>; Reid Setzer <reid.setzer@younginvincibles.org>; Ton-Quinlivan, Van <vtquinlivan@CCCCO.edu>; Frank Waterous <waterous@bellpolicy.org>; Dr Guthrie (louguthrie@jccc.edu) <louguthrie@jccc.edu>
Cc: Kermit Kaleba <KermitK@nationalskillscoalition.org>; Christina Lindborg Pena <ChristinaP@workforcedqc.org>; Jenna Leventoff <JennaL@workforcedqc.org>; Jessie Hogg Leslie <jessiehl@nationalskillscoalition.org>
Subject: Request for Help: Advocate for Transparency

 

Dear Postsecondary NAP members:

 

I’m reaching out to highlight an opportunity for advocacy, which you may have seen in yesterday’s WDQC e-news. We’re working with several organizations in DC to send an open letter (attached) to Education Secretary DeVos about the importance of the federal College Scorecard, which shows graduation rates, repayment rates, and employment outcomes for colleges around the country.

 

There are warning signs that the Education Department may stop producing College Scorecard data, so it’s important to have a strong show of support right now. We know states are doing their own great initiatives on postsecondary transparency, but right now the federal data is the most comprehensive and is lifting up the need to align higher ed with labor market demand.

 

Please help us by having your organization sign on the letter, and distributing to your networks for other organizational sign-ons. Please email me (rachelz@workforcedqc.org) by end of the day on Friday 3/24 if you would like to sign on.

 

Feel free to call me at 202-223-8355, ext 113 with any questions. Thank you for being a champion of better information for students, educators, and employers!

 

Best,

Rachel

 

Rachel Zinn, Director

Workforce Data Quality Campaign

1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Ste. 712

Washington, DC 20036

rachelz@workforcedqc.org

202-223-8355, ext. 113

 

 

 

Dear Laurie, Sarah, Chaer, Paula, Karen & Frank,

 

Just last week the administration released their 2018 budget blueprint.  Though light on details, it does propose steep cuts to programs critical to the skilling of our current and future workforce.  Including $2.5 billion in cuts to the Department of Labor and $9 billion in cuts to the Department of Education, likely impacting programs aimed at working adults and low-income students.

 

Last month at the Skills Summit, many of you began a conversation on the federal budget with your members of Congress.  Now is the time to resume that budget conversation. Ask your congressperson (you can search-by-ziphere) to call on appropriators to invest in the workforce and education programs that our workers, businesses, and communities desperately need.  I’ve pasted below a draft letter, and attached a list of contact information for the appropriations staff of all of the House members in your state. If your district has more than one staffer listed, please include both on your email. If none are listed, reach back out to me. We anticipate a parallel letter to be sent out for the Senate soon.

 

 

TEMPLATE EMAIL: Cut and paste into an email, and send to the appropriations staff of your House member.

 

Dear Representative [Rep. last name]:

I am writing you today to urge you to add your name to the Dear Colleague letter being circulated by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Lisa Blunt Rochester urging adequate investments in our country’s workforce development and education systems. FY 2018 reflects a critical point in our nation’s workforce investment strategy. Even as unemployment rates decline, businesses continue to need skilled workers—particularly those with middle skills (those requiring more than a high school diploma, but not a four-year degree).  Workforce funding is key to ensuring job training programs have the capacity to keep our U.S. economy competitive by meeting the needs of our workers and employers. [Sentence or two about how your organization, your community, and/or the population you work with will be affected by the cuts proposed in the administration’s 2018 budget blueprint].

 

The Dear Colleague letter calls for adequate investments in our country’s workforce development and education systems, including:

  • Funding WIOA Title I employment and training programs, Title II adult education and literacy programs, Tittle III Wagner/Peyser Employment Services, and Title IV vocational rehabilitation programs and services for adults and students with disabilities;
  • Expanding apprenticeships by increasing Congressional investment to $100 million for FY 2018;
  • Continuing to provide $1 million for the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations program to help employers and labor unions recruit, train, and retain women for nontraditional employment opportunities; and
  • Reinvesting current levels in the Workforce Data Quality Initiative Grants to enable states to provide useful information about skills, employment, and earning outcomes to help businesses fill skilled positions.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Name

Title

Organization

Address

City, State Zip

Phone Number

 

 

We encourage you to make these letters as personal to your work as you can. The deadline for the letter to reach appropriations staffers is Monday, March 27th.  Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jessica

 

 

Jessica Cardott, National Network Associate

National Skills Coalition

1730 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Suite 712, Washington DC 20036

202-223-8991 ext. 111

 

Visit our website at www.nationalskillscoalition.org, or follow us on:

 

From: Chaer Robert
Sent: Friday, March 17, 2017 5:20 PM
To: Aaron Moore; Abigail Hull – CDLE; Adam Nettleton; Adam Nettleton; Aguilar, Noemi; ‘aj@jensenpublicaffairs.com‘; Alison Friedman; ‘andileo@earthlink.net‘; Andrea Stiles Pullas; Ashley Shaw; ‘ben.nesbitt@cccs.edu‘; Beth.Bean@dhe.state.co.us; ‘Bethany@ps-s.org‘; Brian Wilhelm; ‘BrookeD@nationalskillscoalition.org‘; ‘bryanw@nationalskillscoalition.org‘; Cedric Lindsay; Chaer Robert; ‘chaerrobert@hotmail.com‘; Charlene Shelton; Christina Postolowski; ‘Christine.Alonzo@cllaro.org‘; Claire Levy; Cody Belzley; Daniel Zeitlin; David Ortiz; Davis, Megan; Dawn Howard; ‘director@wrainc.org‘; ‘dwestlund@fresc.org‘; ‘eholguin@rcfdenver.org‘; ‘emily.lesh@state.co.us‘; Eric Mergens; Erica Skolasinski; Gallegos – CDHS, Jon; ‘gifforer@co.larimer.co.us‘; ‘gurule.dusti@dol.gov‘; ‘info@womenslobbyofcolorado.org‘; ‘jbarela@arapahoegov.com‘; Jenna Leventoff; Jesse Jensen; Jessie Hawthorn; ‘jessiehl@nationalskillscoalition.org‘; Jesus Loayza; ‘jfritsch@kennethkingfoundation.org‘; Jirous, Jennifer; Jodi Stacey; ‘jodistacey33@gmail.com‘; ‘jones@thebell.org‘; ‘Josh@thelearningsource.org‘; Julie Kuklinski; Karen Stran; Katie Hester; ‘katpbennett@gmail.com‘; Kelly Folks; Kesi Relyea; kfox@micasaresourcecenter.org; King – CDHS, Steven; ‘KNugent@weifieldgroup.com‘; Kristopher Grant; Laura Gabbay; Laura Ware; ‘Lauren.Victor@dhe.state.co.us‘; ‘Ledy.Garcia-Eckstein@denvergov.org‘; Lee Wheeler-Berliner; ‘lharvey@cwee.org‘; ‘Lisa.Martinez-Templeton@denvergov.org‘; Liu, Michelle; Lorena Zimmer; Luis Duarte; Luke straka; ‘lynnannleonard@gmail.com‘; M Barry; ‘mallory.elizabeth86@gmail.com‘; Margaret Kirkpatrick; Mary Russell; ‘mgifford@agccolorado.org‘; Michael Smith; Michelle Bueno; Michelle Medina; Michelle Webster; Molly Bashay; Monica Guardiola; Paula Schriefer; ‘pecaut@bellpolicy.org‘; Petti, Anne; pmatthews@responsecapture.com; ‘randleloeb@gmail.com‘;randrews@denverworks.org; Renee Ferrufino; ‘reppettersen@gmail.com‘; Rory O’sullivan; ‘roweena.naidoo@unitedwaydenver.org‘; Rudy, Maureen; Sarah Steffes; sarah.heath@cccs.edu; ‘Schultz8101@gmail.com‘; ‘scott.stump@cccs.edu‘; Senator Fields; ‘senatorrachelz@gmail.com‘; Sheri Michael; ‘ShirleyPenn29@msn.com‘; Stephanie Donner; ‘stephanie.steffens@state.co.us‘; Stephen Moore; ‘steven.allen@state.co.us‘; Tim Gaudette; Tracey Stewart; uvclegliaison@gmail.com; ‘waterous@bellpolicy.org
Subject: Skills2Compete Meeting March 23- We meet the 4th Thursday of each month

 

11:30 – 1:00.

789 Sherman St

A light lunch will be available for those who attend in person.

 

 

Free parking may be available across the street in the Yellow lot. Enter from 8th Ave between Grant and Sherman. Or there may be metered parking along Sherman. There are new angled on street parking slots along 7th Ave between Lincoln and Grant.

 

Call in number:

 

712-775-7300

126862#

 

IF YOU HAVE ANY DIFFICULTY JOINING THE CALL, PLEASE INDICATE BY RESPONDING TO THIS EMAIL AT THE TIME. 

 

AGENDA:

 

Introductions and Announcements……………………………………………………………All

 

Support Services Committee

 

                Community Organization Survey ( see attachment)……………………….Jesus Laoyza and Kris Grant

                Survey of Workforce Center Directors…………………………………………….Laura Ware

                Next Steps……………………………………………………………………………………….Committee Members et al.

 

 

Epiphanies from the field:  Best Practice and Recommendations………………….Laura Ware

                From  work on the Butler Family Fund grant.

 

                 This year-long project grant focused on people experiencing homelessness and workforce programs, but has broader implications  since people from overlapping populations have similar challenges.

              

                   Implications for Skills2Compete Work………………………………………………………Discussion

 

                    

Other Workforce Development Related Legislation

                   Not a big year for new workforce development legislation.  See attached list.              

 

 

Child Care for Skills Training

                    Update

                    Job Readiness Training & CCCAP rules

 

Any WIOA Implementation Updates………………………………………………………………………………………………anyone

 

Aaron Moore <aamoore@linkedin.com>,
Abigail Hull – CDLE <abigail.hull@state.co.us>,
Adam Nettleton <nettletonadam@yahoo.com>,
Adam Nettleton <adam.nettleton@unitedwaydenver.org>,
“Aguilar, Noemi” <aguilar_n@cde.state.co.us>,
“aj@jensenpublicaffairs.com” <aj@jensenpublicaffairs.com>,
Alison Friedman <AlisonF@wfco.org>,
“andileo@earthlink.net” <andileo@earthlink.net>,
Andrea Stiles Pullas <astiles@micasaresourcecenter.onmicrosoft.com>,
Ashley Shaw <ashleys@nationalskillscoalition.org>,
“ben.nesbitt@cccs.edu” <ben.nesbitt@cccs.edu>,
“Beth.Bean@dhe.state.co.us” <Beth.Bean@dhe.state.co.us>,
“Bethany@ps-s.org” <Bethany@ps-s.org>,
Brian Wilhelm <briwilhelm@aol.com>,
“BrookeD@nationalskillscoalition.org” <BrookeD@nationalskillscoalition.org>,
“bryanw@nationalskillscoalition.org” <bryanw@nationalskillscoalition.org>,
Cedric Lindsay <clindsay@adams14.org>,
“chaerrobert@hotmail.com” <chaerrobert@hotmail.com>,
Charlene Shelton <charlene@growinghome.org>,
Christina Postolowski <christina.postolowski@younginvincibles.org>,
“Christine.Alonzo@cllaro.org” <Christine.Alonzo@cllaro.org>,
Claire Levy <clevy@cclponline.org>,
Cody Belzley <cody@commongoodconsultingllc.com>,
Daniel Zeitlin <zeitlindaniel@gmail.com>,
David Ortiz <david.d.ortiz525@hotmail.com>,
“Davis, Megan” <mdavis@bouldercounty.org>,
Dawn Howard <dhoward@ccdconline.org>,
“director@wrainc.org” <director@wrainc.org>,
“dwestlund@fresc.org” <dwestlund@fresc.org>,
“eholguin@rcfdenver.org” <eholguin@rcfdenver.org>,
“emily.lesh@state.co.us” <emily.lesh@state.co.us>,
Eric Mergens <eric.mergens@state.co.us>,
Erica Skolasinski <EricaSkolasinski@elpasoco.com>,
“Gallegos – CDHS, Jon” <jonl.gallegos@state.co.us>,
“gifforer@co.larimer.co.us” <gifforer@co.larimer.co.us>,
“gurule.dusti@dol.gov” <gurule.dusti@dol.gov>,
“info@womenslobbyofcolorado.org” <info@womenslobbyofcolorado.org>,
“jbarela@arapahoegov.com” <jbarela@arapahoegov.com>,
Jenna Leventoff <JennaL@workforcedqc.org>,
Jesse Jensen <jesse@jensenpublicaffairs.com>,
Jessie Hawthorn <jhawthorn@springinstitute.org>,
“jessiehl@nationalskillscoalition.org” <jessiehl@nationalskillscoalition.org>,
Jesus Loayza <jloayza@cclponline.org>,
“jfritsch@kennethkingfoundation.org” <jfritsch@kennethkingfoundation.org>,
“Jirous, Jennifer” <Jirous_J@cde.state.co.us>,
Jodi Stacey <jodistacey33@arapahoe.edu>,
“jodistacey33@gmail.com” <jodistacey33@gmail.com>,
“jones@thebell.org” <jones@thebell.org>,
“Josh@thelearningsource.org” <Josh@thelearningsource.org>,
Julie Kuklinski <julie.womeninconstruction@gmail.com>,
Karen Stran <kstran@cwee.org>,
Katie Hester <katie.hester@ccidenver.org>,
“katpbennett@gmail.com” <katpbennett@gmail.com>,
Kelly Folks <kfolks@arapahoegov.com>,
Kesi Relyea <krelyea@cclponline.org>,
“kfox@micasaresourcecenter.org” <kfox@micasaresourcecenter.org>,
“King – CDHS, Steven” <steven.king@state.co.us>,
“KNugent@weifieldgroup.com” <KNugent@weifieldgroup.com>,
Kristopher Grant <kgrant@cclponline.org>,
Laura Gabbay <lgabbay@ccdconline.org>,
Laura Ware <lauraware985@gmail.com>,
“Lauren.Victor@dhe.state.co.us” <Lauren.Victor@dhe.state.co.us>,
“Ledy.Garcia-Eckstein@denvergov.org” <Ledy.Garcia-Eckstein@denvergov.org>,
Lee Wheeler-Berliner <lee.wheeler-berliner@state.co.us>,
“lharvey@cwee.org” <lharvey@cwee.org>,
“Lisa.Martinez-Templeton@denvergov.org” <Lisa.Martinez-Templeton@denvergov.org>,
“Liu, Michelle” <Liu_M@cde.state.co.us>,
Lorena Zimmer <lorena.zimmer@denverchamber.org>,
Luis Duarte <lduarte@garycommunity.org>,
Luke straka <Luke.straka@cllaro.org>,
“lynnannleonard@gmail.com” <lynnannleonard@gmail.com>,
M Barry <mbarry@garycommunity.org>,
“mallory.elizabeth86@gmail.com” <mallory.elizabeth86@gmail.com>,
Margaret Kirkpatrick <makirk@earthlink.net>,
Mary Russell <mrussell@worklifecolorado.org>,
“mgifford@agccolorado.org” <mgifford@agccolorado.org>,
Michael Smith <Michael.Smith@ccidenver.org>,
Michelle Bueno <mbueno@denverworks.org>,
Michelle Medina <michelle.medina-ET@state.co.us>,
Michelle Webster <mwebster@cclponline.org>,
Molly Bashay <molly.bashay@hope-ec.org>,
Monica Guardiola <monica.guard11@gmail.com>,
Paula Schriefer <pschriefer@springinstitute.org>,
“pecaut@bellpolicy.org” <pecaut@bellpolicy.org>,
“Petti, Anne” <Anne.Petti@ccaurora.edu>,
“pmatthews@responsecapture.com” <pmatthews@responsecapture.com>,
“randleloeb@gmail.com” <randleloeb@gmail.com>,
“randrews@denverworks.org” <randrews@denverworks.org>,
Renee Ferrufino <ReneeF@wfco.org>,
“reppettersen@gmail.com” <reppettersen@gmail.com>,
Rory O’sullivan <rory.osullivan@younginvincibles.org>,
“roweena.naidoo@unitedwaydenver.org” <roweena.naidoo@unitedwaydenver.org>,
“Rudy, Maureen” <mrudy2@msudenver.edu>,
Sarah Steffes <sarah.e.steffes@gmail.com>,
“sarah.heath@cccs.edu” <sarah.heath@cccs.edu>,
“Schultz8101@gmail.com” <Schultz8101@gmail.com>,
“scott.stump@cccs.edu” <scott.stump@cccs.edu>,
Senator Fields <rhonda.fields.senate@state.co.us>,
“senatorrachelz@gmail.com” <senatorrachelz@gmail.com>,
Sheri Michael <sherimichael@gmail.com>,
“ShirleyPenn29@msn.com” <ShirleyPenn29@msn.com>,
Stephanie Donner <stephanie.donner@galvanize.com>,
“stephanie.steffens@state.co.us” <stephanie.steffens@state.co.us>,
Stephen Moore <smoore@fresc.org>,
“steven.allen@state.co.us” <steven.allen@state.co.us>,
Tim Gaudette <tgaudette@smallbusinessmajority.org>,
Tracey Stewart <tstewart@garycommunity.org>,
“uvclegliaison@gmail.com” <uvclegliaison@gmail.com>,
“waterous@bellpolicy.org” <waterous@bellpolicy.org>

 

 

 

Dear Representative [Rep. last name]:

I am writing you today to urge you to add your name to the Dear Colleague letter being circulated by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Lisa Blunt Rochester urging adequate investments in our country’s workforce development and education systems.

Skills2Compete Colorado is a multi-sector policy advocacy coalition focused on greater access to education and training opportunities which ultimately lead to middle skilled jobs. Colorado has a healthy economy.  Even so, many are left behind due to a variety of challenges such as low literacy and numeracy levels, fewer marketable skills, needs for support services, lack of work history, housing instability, etc. In Colorado, for example, 9.4% of Colorado adults –394,471 people – lack a high school diploma. Those who lack a high school diploma qualify for far fewer jobs, and are even ineligible for many skills training programs. Even those with a high school degree often lack the job skills that are in greatest demand.  

The Dear Colleague letter calls for adequate investments in the 2018 budget for building our country’s workforce development and education systems, including:

  • Funding WIOA Title I employment and training programs, Title II adult education and literacy programs, Tittle III Wagner/Peyser Employment Services, and Title IV vocational rehabilitation programs and services for adults and students with disabilities;
  • Expanding apprenticeships by increasing Congressional investment to $100 million for FY 2018;  Continuing to provide $1 million for the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations program
  • Reinvesting current levels in the Workforce Data Quality Initiative Grants to enable states to provide useful information about skills, employment, and earning outcomes to help businesses fill skilled positions. It is more important than ever for policy makers and consumers to know which education and training opportunities result in increased employment and earnings, rather than just increased student debt.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Let us know if you have any questions.

 

Dear Secretary DeVos:

We urge you to help students make more informed decisions about where to attend college by

supporting greater transparency in higher education.

The U.S. Department of Education, under the leadership of both Republican and Democratic

administrations, has worked for decades to increase the availability and utility of postsecondary

education data. The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), College Navigator, the

Federal Student Aid (FSA) Data Center, and other resources provide students, families, and

policymakers with important insights into thousands of colleges and universities. For its College

Scorecard, the Department generates data on federal student loan debt, repayment rates, and post-
college earnings. This information, which can only be reliably calculated using federal data sources, is

provided through a public-facing tool and through an API and spreadsheet format so that private

companies can develop their own resources for students.

College Scorecard data is essential to aid in student choice and make the higher education market

function effectively. The evidence is clear: College is worth the cost for most students, but some schools

(and programs) are better than others. The right college can provide students with tremendous

opportunities to reach their full potential, while a wrong choice can saddle students with crippling debt

and limited job prospects. Students need good information to help them choose, and it’s especially

important for first-generation and low-income students, who often lack knowledgeable family, friends,

or counselors to guide them on college decisions.

Surveys show that students planning to attend college overwhelmingly identify better post-college

earnings and employment as the most important reasons to seek postsecondary education. However,

accurate information on average post-college earnings and debt repayment has not typically been

available for specific colleges. College Scorecard data fills this gap. The Department has a unique ability

to calculate comparable post-college earnings, by cooperating with the Treasury Department to utilize

tax data. This collaboration allows prospective students, guidance counselors, and educators to view

average post-college earnings, while keeping sensitive individual data private and secure.

Here are just a few ways that College Scorecard data is making a difference. (More information is

available in the attached documents.)

● High school counselors in Minnesota report that data about post-college earnings are sparking

discussions with students and families about college occupational programs. Employers in

fields like healthcare and manufacturing too often can’t find skilled workers, and these

postsecondary programs can lead to good jobs.

● Students say that information like the College Scorecard would have helped them make better

choices about colleges and debt. In just one example, Bridget Little, a college graduate who is

still struggling to get a stable full-time job, said, “Transparency and accountability provided

through higher education data would arm students with information to help them make the

informed decision that I could not.”

● Through a partnership with Google, the College Scorecard data now appears in the search

results for any Title IV-eligible college. Students and parents looking online for information

about colleges have easy access to information about acceptance rates and tuition fees. By

collaborating with the private sector, the Department of Education is increasing transparency

and making the college choice process easier for families.

● The College Scorecard is changing the way that states and higher education leaders are

thinking about using data to improve student outcomes. At Miami Dade College, the nation’s

largest community college, leaders regularly monitor key performance indicators similar to

those in College Scorecard data, including graduation rates and median post-college earnings.

Without question, there is room for improvement. Last year, the Education Department announced it

had discovered and corrected an error in the repayment rate metric that inflated rates for most

institutions. But students still have a right to know whether the colleges they are considering offer them

an affordable education that will help launch their careers. Taxpayers deserve information about

whether the institutions they support through grants and loans deliver a quality education.

The Department should continue to provide and improve key information like the data offered through

the College Scorecard. The most significant improvement would be publishing more information by

program of study, rather than only by institution. Even at the same school, outcomes can vary

considerably for different programs. Many students (including low-income students and working

adults) are choosing from among programs at their local college rather than comparing schools around

the country. Viewing employment outcomes by program can help institutions and area employers

understand whether curricula are aligned with labor market demand. Other improvements that would

make the College Scorecard more useful for students and families include incorporating the tool into

the FAFSA process, and developing side-by-side comparison features.

We hope you will lead the Department in working with institutions to improve data quality and ensure

information continues to be available to students and families in a timely, clear, and understandable

format. Your dedication to providing more and better information would make a tremendous

difference in the lives of millions of college students as they make choices that will help them to pursue

their dreams and careers.

 

 

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