This year, partially induced by the post-pandemic economic environment, we continue to explore the transformation of globalization.
With increased regionalization, including shorter more localized supply chains, in an effort at more national self-sufficiency, globalization will suffer from the same binary fractures tendencies discussed in the OODA Almanac 2023: individuals and institutions will be presented with choosing between different polarities instead of being able to align along a median – which will create more frequent pockets of instability and increase economic, health, and food disparities.
For example, in a previous post, we framed the war in Ukraine as a binary fracture, which has induced further food insecurity by way of the weaponization of the wheat crop from Ukraine, long considered the “Breadbasket of Europe.”
Ongoing conversations and strings we are pulling here at OODA Loop include:
- Innovation in and the restructuring of regional economic systems and signs we are seeing of the innovative localization and/or decentralization of many systems (economic, cultural, military, etc.)
- The emergence of regional tech clusters as a catalyst for the creation of new distributed innovation networks, regional tech training, and an innovative educational ecosystem with a focus on teaching critical thinking and civics. (i.e. national cognitive infrastructure protection);
- The rise of “reglobalization” is a pattern we recognized only recently in the form of a two-day Bloomberg event: The Rise of ‘Reglobalization’ Around the World – which was chock full of insights and top-tier thought leaders and practitioners who really effectively drove the argument home that global regions, partners, and alliances are realigning and recommitting to the positive aspects of globalization – including the fact Putin and the binary fracture that is the conflict in Ukraine has single-handedly strengthened and unified the EU on a variety of fronts (economic, security, etc.); and
- OODA CEO Matt Devost’s recent OODAcast conversation with Michael Gibson – Michael Gibson Wants to Light the Paper Belt on Fire – has also influenced the direction of our research efforts.
The Center for American Progress is on the U.S. regional and local innovation beat – with brilliant work on the future of the American Community College System and the Chips Act which explores many of the aforementioned aspects of globalization transformed.
Cashing in Our CHIPS: Community Colleges and the CHIPS and Science Act
Last year, President Joe Biden signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act—legislation that will strengthen America’s manufacturing, supply chain, national security, and research and development capabilities. Community colleges are an integral part of that expansion.
The Center for American Progress recently held an event exploring how the United States can leverage the CHIPS and Science Act to invest in community colleges in order to meet the workforce and educational needs generated by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Jesse O’Connell – Senior Vice President, Education, Center for American Progress
Adrienne Elrod – Director of External and Government Affairs, CHIPS Program Office, U.S. Department of Commerce
Dr. Anne M. Kress – President, Northern Virginia Community College
Allen Thompson – Vice President, U.S.-Canada Government Affairs, Intel Corp.
Jared C. Bass – Senior Director, Higher Education Policy, Center for American Progress
Re-imagining Community Colleges in the 21st Century – Center for American Progress
A Student-Centered Approach to Higher Education
Contemporary community colleges are on the brink of crisis, facing both praise and criticism on so many dimensions that it is difficult to make an overall assessment of their legitimacy. Each of the primary missions of community colleges faces a broad spectrum of challenges, made more complex by misapprehensions about the various roles of community colleges, lack of clear and consistent data on outcomes, and the relative weakness of the institutions and their students in state and federal political and policymaking processes. And the diversity of inputs and outputs in community colleges defies easy categorization. Their identity in the media, in the policy community, and in the institutions themselves is problematic, contingent upon perspectives and contexts.
Suggested specific institutional, state, and federal policies that will facilitate that transformative change
- New approaches to training and credentialing. Rapidly shifting demand for skills in state and national labor markets calls for new approaches to sub-baccalaureate training and credentialing. States and federal legislation should support innovative, credit-based training programs that respond to student and industry needs, while allowing students to build credit-based platforms for future training and degree attainment. Legislation should also support data collection and assessment of student credit and noncredit course-taking patterns to assist institutional adaptations in this area.
- Funding for colleges and financial support for students. Community colleges suffer from a lack of the financial resources needed to serve their students and other constituents. This problem is brought into focus when comparing community colleges’ per student allocations to similar programs in four-year institutions. The increase in the maximum Pell grant available under Section 101 of H.R. 3221 is a welcome addition to the pool of financial aid available to eligible community college students. But students in community colleges need new and more comprehensive forms of aid if national goals for degree attainment are to be realized. This section of the bill could be strengthened through the creation of an additional financial support program modeled after the “Post 9/11 G.I. Bill.” The additional aid would include student stipends for full-time or parttime community college attendance and allowances for books and supplies. This form of aid would be a bold step for legislators, but in order to improve our position in global rankings of degree production, we will need to do more to approach the amount and forms of aid offered by those nations we are measured against.
- Policies to promote developmental education. States have for too long failed to develop clear policies on responsibility for developmental education. States must institute clear policies that support innovative uses of data, as they require collaboration between their elementary-secondary and postsecondary systems to improve K-12 preparation and to align standards for high school graduation with college readiness. The goal should be to significantly reduce the need for postsecondary remediation through early assessment, intervention, and continuous accountability at all levels of state educational systems.
- Higher transfer rates to four-year colleges. Despite considerable effort already generated in legislatures, the policy community, and institutions, levels of transfer from community colleges to four-year institutions can be improved. Legislation that has focused on articulation, outreach, and finance should be augmented with policies covering more sophisticated data collection, common course numbering, institutional policy alignment across segments, joint-baccalaureate programming, and technology-mediated information systems for students seeking transfer and baccalaureate attainment.
- More modern infrastructure and technology. Section 351 of H.R. 3221 the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act offers considerable federal assistance for the construction, renovation, and modernization of community college facilities, including information technology facilities. The language in the bill that supports the expansion of computer labs and instructional technology training facilities should be broadened to include building institutional information technology systems such as student record data management centers, information portals for student outreach, and course and credit articulation. Extending support to institutional information management systems would be consistent with Section 503 of the bill, which calls for increasing students’ electronic access to information on transfer credit, and Section 505, which calls for developing improved data systems and data-sharing protocols as well as increasing states’ abilities to collect and analyze institutional level data.
- Better data collection. Section 504 of H.R. 3221 includes language requiring states that seek eligibility for funding to have “a statewide longitudinal data system that includes data with respect to community colleges.” Community college data collection could be significantly enhanced if the bill specifically called for data on student enrollments in credit and noncredit courses as well as developmental education programs. These data could be used for improved outcomes in community college developmental education programs, and would also have considerable utility for collaborative efforts with elementary-secondary systems designed to reduce the need for remediation at the postsecondary level.
- Common standards for assessing student learning and institutional effectiveness. Given the significance of developmental education in community colleges and the increasing mobility of students, federal legislation providing funding and guidelines for states to develop common standards for assessing students’ developmental needs would enhance student progress and increase institutional effectiveness. Such legislation should also provide incentives for collaboration between elementary-secondary and postsecondary systems in the development of common assessment standards.
The rapid pace of change in the education arena requires innovative approaches to institutional practices at every level. New competition and new opportunities demand that community colleges re-imagine their goals and practices to better serve student needs. That process will require that policies specific to the various domains of the community college—transfer, occupational, and developmental activities—place students first. Institutional policies should also focus on new forms of collaboration with four-year institutions, community-based organizations, and business and industrial partners. (1)
Tapping Local Support To Strengthen Community Colleges – Center for American Progress
Community colleges are inherently more local in mission and impact than most four-year colleges. They respond to local labor market needs, and their graduates tend to stay close by, contributing to their region as workers, civic leaders, and parents raising the next generation.(a) This vital local role filled by community colleges, though often taken for granted, could point to part of the solution for the chronic underfunding of these institutions.
About 4 in 10 undergraduates in the United States attend community colleges—including many of the students of color and low-income students who face the steepest uphill climb to economic security in this country.(b) These two-year public colleges are credited with helping half of the people in the United States who eventually earn a bachelor’s degree.(c) Yet they receive little more than half as much revenue as public four-year colleges, depriving their students of $78 billion in support each year compared with their university peers.
If community colleges are to combat rising inequality and build strong local workforces that will help this country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, all levels of government must fund them better. States and federal leaders alike need to accept more responsibility for supporting community colleges. But there is a third layer of government—the local level—that should be recognized more widely as part of a healthy diversity of funding sources for public higher education, particularly community colleges.
In 24 states, $11.5 billion in local tax appropriations, mostly from property taxes, contributes to supporting community colleges. In those states, these appropriations provide an average of $2,725 per student—a significant amount considering that community colleges bring in only about $8,600 per student from all sources. Thirteen states lack local funding for any type of public colleges. In the remaining 13 states, most community colleges do not receive local appropriations, but either a few do receive them or four-year colleges or nondegree granting entities such as technology institutes and career centers have local revenue.
Tackling the pressing gaps in postsecondary education outcomes in the United States will require addressing the resource disparity faced by community colleges. A crucial on-ramp to higher education will continue to end short of a degree for too many students if more is not done to ensure these institutions have the revenue they need to fully support everyone who walks in their doors, whether that means hiring more full-time faculty, expanding advising and tutoring, or helping students with basic needs such as food and housing. (d) Achieving resource equity will require strategies to boost spending on community colleges from the federal, state, and local levels.
This report focuses on the potential that local appropriations have to help close resource gaps for community colleges. To do this, the Center for American Progress compared the resource equity gap—the shortfall in revenue that community colleges face compared with public four-year colleges—in each state to what local governments in those states already collect in property, individual income, and corporate income taxes. Overall, CAP found that 24 states could entirely close the resource gap with an increase in local tax collections of these types of 10 percent or less. These states include 14 that currently lack widespread local appropriations for their community colleges, as well as 10 additional states that already have local appropriations. (2)
What Next? Dr. Melissa Flagg and Dr. Jennifer Buss on the Chips and Science Act of 2022 (Part 1 of 2)
(a) Rob Sentz and others, “How Your School Affects Where You Live,” Emsi, available at https://www.economicmodeling.com/how-your-school-affects-where-you-live/ (last accessed September 2020).
(b) National Center for Education Statistics, “Digest of Education Statistics: Table 303.70,” available at https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d19/tables/dt19_303.70.asp?current=yes (last accessed September 2020); National Center for Education Statistics, “DataLab: National Postsecondary Student Aid Study: 2016 Undergraduates data, Table cghcap58,” available at https://nces.ed.gov/datalab/index.aspx?ps_x=cghcap58 (last accessed September 2020); Sara Garcia, “Gaps in College Spending Shortchange Students of Color” (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2018), available at https://americanprogress.org/issues/education-postsecondary/reports/2018/04/05/448761/gaps-college-spending-shortchange-students-color/.
(c) National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, “Two-Year Contributions to Four-Year Completions – 2017” (Herndon, VA: 2017), available at https://nscresearchcenter.org/snapshotreport-twoyearcontributionfouryearcompletions26/.
(d) For discussion on the impact of spending on degree completion, see David J. Deming and Christopher R. Walters, “The Impact of Price Caps and Spending Cuts on U.S. Postsecondary Attainment” (Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017), available at https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/ddeming/files/DW_Aug2017.pdf.