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ERIC Number: ED522237
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Modeling the Success of Metropolitan College. The Business-Higher Education Forum's Simulation Series
Sturtevant, Daniel
Business-Higher Education Forum (NJ1)
"Learn and Earn" programs offer one channel for ameliorating some of the workforce challenges that are of concern. Learn and Earn programs involve partnerships between postsecondary education institutions and employers to provide opportunities for adults to attend college while maintaining their employment. One such example is Metropolitan College, an educational partnership founded in 1998 among United Parcel Services (UPS), the University of Louisville, and Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC). This report summarizes a project undertaken by the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) that used a system dynamics modeling approach to understand the factors and describe the results that led to the success of Metropolitan College. The findings show that after Metropolitan College was introduced, employee demographics at UPS changed to reflect a better educated and more experienced workforce. In effect, Metropolitan College appeared to serve as a tool for attracting and retaining employees at UPS. The changing employee demographics resulted in financial benefits to UPS and the program saw a 600 percent return on investment. Given that it effectively pinpointed vital reasons for Metropolitan College's success, this relatively simple model can be a valuable tool for policymakers and other stakeholders interested in implementing new Learn and Earn programs. Specifically, for example, the model's ability to sort more important factors from less important ones can help others who seek to adapt and scale the successful Metropolitan College model. The tool can help policymakers understand "why" prior successes occurred. Importantly, for those who would seek to replicate Metropolitan College's success in their own community, system dynamics-based modeling can simulate the effect of important contextual differences "prior" to implementation. A generic Learn and Earn decision-aid tool could be built that incorporates collective wisdom about how these programs can be successful. Metropolitan College system dynamics model structure is appended. (Contains 7 figures and 22 endnotes.)
Business-Higher Education Forum. 2025 M Street NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-367-1189; Fax: 202-367-2269; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Business-Higher Education Forum
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky