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ERIC Number: ED574485
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jan
Pages: 41
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Average Won't Do: Performance Trends in California Higher Education as a Foundation for Action
Moore, Colleen; Tan, Connie; Shulock, Nancy
Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy
California's public colleges and universities are benefitting from the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012, which provides for temporary tax increases through 2018 to help preserve education funding, and will likely benefit from increasing state revenues. While additional funding will allow the three public postsecondary systems (University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges) to increase class offerings and expand programs and services, more than additional money is needed to meet the immense challenges facing California postsecondary education. Repeated calls have been issued for California policymakers and educators to take action to enroll and graduate substantially more Californians to meet the needs for an educated citizenry and competitive workforce. The latest two of these calls were in October and November, 2013. Both of these new reports stress the urgency of improving postsecondary attainment in California and the sad fact that California is lagging in innovation to address its educational challenges. Yet California postsecondary education continues to operate without effective state-level planning and coordination to heed those calls. Now lack of data on which to base state-level planning and coordination can be added to that list. With the de-funding of the California Postsecondary Education Commission in 2011, there is no longer publicly available data on current patterns of student enrollment and progression from high schools to and across colleges and universities that would help families, educators, policymakers, and other interested stakeholders determine how best to improve postsecondary student success. This report is part of a larger effort to begin to move into an action phase now that the case for change is so well documented. In this report, the authors provide an update of California's trends in six performance categories that have become standard measures of a state's postsecondary performance. Over the ten years that the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy (IHELP) has been tracking these measures, there has been improvement in only one area--the preparation of high school students for college--and California is still worse than most states in that category. Using this report as a baseline, the authors will develop a model public agenda for California postsecondary education, drawing on lessons from the many states that have developed goals, plans, and strategies to meet their needs. If the model public agenda is effective in engaging public stakeholders to reach consensus about how public postsecondary education can best meet the needs of Californians, the remaining missing pieces will be the leadership and the infrastructure to implement and sustain new initiatives. To that end, the authors will produce case studies of effective state-level policy leadership for postsecondary education in other states that are applicable to the kinds of state-level actions needed in California. The following are appended: (1) Methods for Calculating California's Performance Relative to Other States; (2) List of Counties by Region; and (3) Methods for Calculating Measures by Region and by Race/Ethnicity. [For accompanying reports, see "State Policy Leadership in Higher Education: Six Case Studies" (ED574483) and "A New Vision for California Higher Education: A Model Public Agenda (ED574486.)]
Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy. 6000 J Street, Tahoe Hall 3063, Sacramento, CA 95819. Tel: 916-278-3888; Fax: 916-278-3907; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Campaign for College Opportunity
Authoring Institution: California State University, Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy
Identifiers - Location: California