Center for American Progress

: Improving Degree Completion for 21st Century Students
Past Event

Improving Degree Completion for 21st Century Students

A Federal Role in Credit Transfer and Metro Region Policy

9:00 - 11:00 AM EDT

The Obama administration has set an aggressive goal for the United States to retake global leadership in postsecondary degree attainment by 2020. The president’s goals will require the highly decentralized system of 4,600 colleges and universities to increase productivity dramatically. Productivity, as measured by the number of degrees produced, can be improved by ensuring that students who transfer, an increasingly common phenomenon, retain as much college credit as possible as well as better aligning postsecondary policy with key cross-state metropolitan areas that drive regional and national economic growth.

The concentration of population and economic resources in metropolitan regions makes them engines of America’s competitiveness, but many metros cross state boundaries, creating inefficiencies in terms of increased tuition costs, difficulty of transfer and even duplication of fixed costs as states compete for higher education supremacy. Policies that help ease the college-going of metro residents can also help reduce the costs and increase effectiveness of postsecondary education.

Introductory Remarks:
Louis Soares, Director Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress

Keynote Speaker:
Martha Kanter, Under Secretary of Education

Paper Presentation:
Easy Come, EZ-GO: A Federal Role in Removing Jurisdictional Impediments to College Education
Brian Sponsler, Co-author; Research Analyst, Institute for Higher Education Policy

Paper Presentation:
Degree Completion Beyond Institutional Borders: Responding to the New Reality of Mobile and Nontraditional Learners
Rebecca Klein-Collins, Co-author; Director of Research for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning

Featured Panelists:
Alan Berube, Senior Fellow and Research Director, Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program
Peter Smith, Senior Vice President of Academic Strategies and Development, Kaplan Higher Education
Julie Carnahan, Senior Associate, State Higher Education Executive Officers

Moderated by:
Louis Soares, Director Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress