State Strategies Provide Lower-Skilled Individuals with Postsecondary Options

More than half of jobs created by 2018 are projected to require some form of postsecondary education. For lower-skilled individuals with basic skills deficiencies, maintaining employment may become a challenge. Forty-five percent of adults have a high school diploma or less. Those hoping to earn a family-sustaining wage may need to attain a postsecondary credential or certificate to increase their job prospects.

A recent report from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) explains that, while federal programs can increase lower-skilled individuals’ access to postsecondary education, state and local policy decisions influence student success and completion in higher education.

CLASP’s report, Beyond Basic Skills: State Strategies to Connect Low-Skilled Students to an Employer-Valued Postsecondary Education, suggests that states implement these strategies to help lower-skilled individuals attain postsecondary credentials:

  • Instructional strategies – to provide low-skilled individuals with occupational skills
  • Acceleration strategies – to help students complete programs and degrees at a faster pace
  • Funding formulas
  • Assessment policies
  • Other administrative policies

By using the above strategies, states can connect basic skills education with postsecondary education to meet the needs of lower-skilled individuals and the state’s labor market demands.

For more information on the suggested strategies, related challenges, and program examples, please read CLASP’s full report here.

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