Leaders & Laggards: A State-by State Report Card on Public Postsecondary Education
In mid-June, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for a Competitive Workforce, together with the American Enterprise Institute, released Leaders & Laggards: A State-by State Report Card on Public Postsecondary Education. This report is the third in a successful series of education analyses, but the first to examine postsecondary education. The study was limited to four and two year public colleges and universities.
Leaders & Laggards provides an in-depth evaluation of data and a careful analysis of postsecondary and policy across states to better inform the business community as well as state policymakers and to advance the debate in important ways. The report evaluated states in six crucial areas: student access and success, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, meeting labor market demand, transparency and accountability, policy environment, and innovation. While there are some promising practices to speak of, they are few and far between. The conclusion is that a lot of work needs to be done if the U.S. is to remain a competitive economic force.
Visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for a Competitive Workforce report web site, http://icw.uschamber.com/reportcard/, for the full report, the state-by-state reports and an interactive map. Here is what the Illinois snapshot looks like:
Student Access & Success: Illinois' four-year institutions rank in the top 10 in credentials produced per 100 full-time equivalent undergraduates and completion rate (A). Illinois' two-year institutions are slightly above the national median in retention rate but below in credentials produced per 100 full-time equivalent undergraduates, completion rate, and the percentage of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants (D).
Efficiency & Cost-Effectiveness: Illinois' four-year institutions receive an above average mark with cost per completion of $59,325. Illinois' two-year institutions, however, receive an average grade, with state and local funding per completion ($38,495) slightly above the national median of $35,476. (B for 4yr, C for 2yr institutions)
Meeting Labor Market Demand: The median wage of an Illinois bachelor's degree holder is $22,000 (or 67%1 more than the median wage of a high school graduate; the overall unemployment rate for a bachelor's degree holder is about 5 points lower. The median wage of an associate's degree holder is $9,000 (or 27%) more than the median wage of a high school graduate; the overall unemployment rate is about 4 points lower. (C for 4yr & 2yr institutions)
Transparency & Accountability: Overall, Illinois gets low marks in this area. The state receives an average score for its consumer information and public accountability resources but does not measure student learning or track student labor market outcomes at the four-year level. The Illinois Community College Board does have a series of reports on the percentage of system graduates who are employed, along with their job retention rate. (D for 4yr & 2yr institutions)
Policy Environment: Illinois' strategic plan compares the state's current status with other states and has a goal for student learning outcomes. The state is also moving forward on outcomes based funding via a recently passed law; however, the funding system won't go into effect until 2013.The Illinois Articulation Initiative permits students to transfer a package of general education classes and search for individual courses. (B for 4yr & 2yr institutions)
Innovation: The Illinois Virtual Campus portal includes individual classes and degree programs at public and private colleges across the state, though it lacks clarity about the transferability of online credits. Regarding new providers, Illinois has a highly restrictive regulatory environment, resulting in a very low grade. (F for 4yr & 2yr institutions)
Last Updated on 2012-07-05 16:32:05.583