New study warns state economy to suffer unless college graduation improves

Education researchers warn that California’s technology industries are likely to relocate if the state doesn’t boost the number of graduates from its public colleges. KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has more on the story.

Education researchers warn that California’s technology industries are likely to relocate if the state doesn’t boost the number of graduates from its public colleges. KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has more on the story.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: In 15 years, predicts Public Policy Institute of California researcher Hans Johnson, the state will be short 1 million college educated workers. Johnson says policymakers should pay a lot more attention to community colleges.

Hans Johnson: Only about 20 to 30 percent of community college students who intend to transfer end up transferring. Well, there’s a huge number of students in the community college system. Even only slight improvements in transfer rates could lead to a dramatic gain in the number of college graduates.

Guzman-Lopez: Jim Blackburn monitors enrollment management for the 23-campus Cal State system. He says CSU is already taking steps to improve community college transfer rates and help guide students to graduation day. Blackburn says state budget cuts have hurt those efforts.

Jim Blackburn: If we were more funded we would first enroll more students in the first place and at the same time we would provide more classes for those who are and will become enrolled.

Guzman-Lopez: Aware of the need for more graduates, a growing number of public school and community college administrators have begun to concentrate on ensuring that more students earn degrees.

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