California’s higher education system is not keeping up with the state’s changing economy. Population and education trends suggest that California will face a shortfall of 1.1 million college graduates by 2030. To close this gap and meet future workforce demand, the state needs to act now.
The good news is that higher education policy has gained new prominence in Sacramento. Concerns about affordability and efficiency have opened the way for wide-ranging change in higher education. Identifying policies and resources that improve both student success and institutional effectiveness are essential.
And that is where PPIC comes in.
Today, we are pleased to announce the establishment of the PPIC Higher Education Center. It is dedicated to advancing practical, evidence-based solutions that enhance educational opportunities for all of California’s students—improving lives and expanding economic growth across the state. The center expands on the model of independent, nonpartisan research and constructive engagement that defines all of PPIC’s work.
PPIC laid the groundwork for the center over the past decade with high-quality research on major higher education issues and productive conversations about solutions. The PPIC Higher Education Center represents a significant ramping up of investment in this critical area, and we thank the Sutton Family Fund for its core support of this effort.
The center will focus on three critical issues:
- Expanding access. Identifying policies that increase and strengthen pathways to higher education, ensuring that all Californians have the opportunity to earn a college degree.
- Managing finances. Helping to determine the most effective funding approaches, to keep college affordable and broaden the impact of the state’s higher education investments.
- Improving outcomes. Promoting strategies that produce more college graduates and prepare Californians—and the state’s economy—to be successful in a changing world.
In conjunction with the launch of center, PPIC is releasing Higher Education in California, a set of seven policy briefs on the state’s most critical challenges in higher education. This briefing kit is designed to inform state leaders and to raise awareness more broadly about the important higher education issues facing California.
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