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New report urges consistency from higher ed on job placement rates

December 20, 2018

A new report from The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) released last week describes the misleading perceptions resulting from employment rates used by the three entities tasked with oversight of the U.S. higher education system and proposes two specific measurements that could better inform student choices.

In Of Metrics and Markets: Measuring Post-College Employment Success, TICAS examines accrediting agencies, state governments and the federal government and found an uncoordinated and differing sets of regulations that “makes meaningful comparison across programs and colleges nearly impossible and leaves major questions about the accuracy and reliability of the available information.”

Noting that most students rank finding a good job as one of the most important factors in choosing a college, they sought a way that would better inform student choices. To ensure that job-placement rates are consistent, accurate and transparent enough to inform decision making TICAS makes specific policy recommendations. First, TICAS recommends that federal, state and accrediting agencies standardize the job placement rate and that states collect the data needed to calculate verifiable rates at low cost. Second, it also recommends that the federal government calculate and publish a threshold earnings rate for all programs using a federal data match and improve on that metric by calculating and publishing threshold earnings rates at the program level, in addition to the school level.

TICAS, an independent nonprofit organization working to make higher education more available and affordable for people of all backgrounds, received support for the report from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Lumina Foundation and the Century Foundation.

higher ed, jobs