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Better Data, Better College Workforce Programs

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Lauren Walizer
Type of Research: 
External Research
Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success at CLASP
Cradle to Career Step: 


"The federal government’s ultimate goals for investing in large-scale job training initiatives are to help educate more students and support them in attaining successful outcomes, such as finding a job that pays a family-supporting wage. These programs should be accountable for achieving their desired completion and employment outcomes, particularly for non-traditional students and those living in poverty. . . . Too often, however, these programs are measured based on such inputs as the number of students enrolled, rather than on outcomes. . . .

"How do we get the data to show the value of these training programs? And how can these data be used to improve student outcomes and refine the programs’ design?

"To answer these questions, our discussions with community colleges, evaluators, and federal officials identified two potential areas of inquiry: efforts to build employer and institutional connections to reach low-skilled individuals; and program innovations institutions have undertaken with data that is available to them, along with suggestions for reform to meet institutional data needs that go beyond the limit of what currently accessible data can do."

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