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Regaining the Edge in American Higher Education

By Joyce Jones

Can American higher education regain its edge? A group of advocates, policymakers and scholars attempted to answer this question during a daylong forum hosted by the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute on Tuesday. Indeed, educators, employers and lawmaker have been in a bit of a panic since it’s been widely publicized that the U.S. has fallen behind many other OECD countries in producing college graduates. President Obama issued a challenge to dramatically increase the number of graduates by the end of the decade.

The first panel focused on where the nation stands and how to improve attainment rates. In a research paper titled “Increasing Higher Education Attainment in the United States: Challenges and Opportunities,” Arthur M. Hauptman, an independent public policy consultant, said that the nation needs to reassess recent efforts to increase college attainment and outlined some rules for doing so. They include setting more realistic goals for increasing the number of degrees and certificates, with a special emphasis on improving the quality of elementary and secondary education received by low-income and minority students and prioritizing certain fields of study. He also warned that too much focus on increasing the number and rate of degrees attained could inadvertently weaken the quality of credentials provided.

Continued at: http://diverseeducation.com/article/14768/regaining-the-edge-in-american-higher-education.html

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