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Massachusetts Public Higher Education: A Shrewd Investment with Significant Returns Stephen P. Coelen Joseph B. Berger Rebecca L. Forest University of.

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Presentation on theme: "Massachusetts Public Higher Education: A Shrewd Investment with Significant Returns Stephen P. Coelen Joseph B. Berger Rebecca L. Forest University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Massachusetts Public Higher Education: A Shrewd Investment with Significant Returns Stephen P. Coelen Joseph B. Berger Rebecca L. Forest University of Massachusetts Amherst and Elaine Smith Massachusetts Board of Higher Education January 2002

2  Raising Consciousness: Public Higher Education - Massachusetts’ Vital Resource Postsecondary education and training in a knowledge-based economy – whether in a boom or bust – are essential for economic growth, prosperity, and competitiveness. Postsecondary education and training in a knowledge-based economy – whether in a boom or bust – are essential for economic growth, prosperity, and competitiveness. Public universities and colleges in Florida, California, Texas and Illinois are valued and supported as key pivotal players in economic and workforce development. Public universities and colleges in Florida, California, Texas and Illinois are valued and supported as key pivotal players in economic and workforce development. Now more than ever, there is a need for a seamless K-16 education system that is accessible and affordable to all Massachusetts residents and responsive to the regional economy. Now more than ever, there is a need for a seamless K-16 education system that is accessible and affordable to all Massachusetts residents and responsive to the regional economy. A high-performing Massachusetts economy depends fully on a strong, high-performing public higher education system. A high-performing Massachusetts economy depends fully on a strong, high-performing public higher education system.

3 Educational attainment through college degrees is a significant key to providing individuals with opportunity for a high quality of life in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Basic Truth 1: Higher Education = Higher Earnings = Higher Standard of Living and Quality of Life for the Commonwealth

4 There are high premiums for earning a college degree in our increasingly technological workplace. The cost-of-living adjustments over this period negated the nominal 10.3% increases earned by those without a college degree, leaving them with a 1.09% real loss. ● ●

5 ● Though Massachusetts has many high-quality private colleges, most private college seats have been reserved for out-of-state students.  Basic Truth 2: Reality Vs. Perception—Public Universities and Colleges, Not Privates, Are the Primary Providers of Higher Education for Massachusetts Residents

6  Basic Truth 3: Massachusetts Has the Fastest Growing Public Higher Education System in the Nation In Massachusetts, public higher education’s share of post-secondary enrollments grew by 7.5% between 1992 and Massachusetts was followed closely by Idaho, where public higher education’s share grew by 6.1%. Meanwhile, the U.S. public higher education system’s share of total enrollments has declined by 1.3% for this same period. The balance of enrollment in Massachusetts is shifting from four-year to two-year institutions. Increasing financial uncertainty influences students’ college choices, with larger numbers selecting public over private and an increasing number selecting two-year over four-year institutions. ♦ Growth ♦U.S. Decline ♦ Shifts ♦ Costs

7 The Massachusetts public higher educational sector is and has long been doing the job that the state should expect from it: educating nearly two-thirds of those Massachusetts students who have grown up in the Commonwealth. ●

8 ● Given recent downturns in the state and national economies, public higher education must remain well supported and affordable for the citizens of the Commonwealth. Two- and Four-Year Institutions

9 ● When it comes to continuing toward four-year degrees or to transferring, state transfer compacts support the absorption of two-year transfers into four-year public institutions.

10  Basic Truth 4: Enrollments in Public Universities and Colleges Will Rise as an Increasing Proportion of Minority Students Attend the Public Sector

11 ● As the population of minorities grows and becomes a larger share of tomorrow’s workforce, the Commonwealth must enhance its role in addressing the educational needs of minorities from Massachusetts.

12  Basic Truth 5: Public Higher Education Contributes Significantly to State Workforce Development Needs ● Tracked by the Placement Accountability System at MISER. The Massachusetts public higher education system is growing tomorrow’s computer technicians, teachers, nurses, police officers, managers and other professionals.

13 Consider for a moment all the diplomas issued in 1999 from Massachusetts public colleges

14 ● The Massachusetts public higher education system only delivers relevant programs and, as shown in Figure 13, supplies a significant number of workers for Massachusetts’ businesses and industries.

15 Many employers benefit each year from employing graduates of the Massachusetts public higher education system. ●

16  Public higher education has served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts extremely well throughout its long and proud history.  “Mind power” is the strength upon which Massachusetts has and will continue to sustain prosperity.  A strong, cohesive system of public higher education is fundamental to the Commonwealth’s continued economic viability.  Now more than ever, public higher education must be recognized as a priority investment with real and indisputable returns – a wise investment with a distinguishable “bang for the buck.” Conclusion: Invest


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