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Employers are Raising the Bar: What the 21 st Century Global Economy Needs from Higher Education…and from College Graduates New England Employer-Educator.

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Presentation on theme: "Employers are Raising the Bar: What the 21 st Century Global Economy Needs from Higher Education…and from College Graduates New England Employer-Educator."— Presentation transcript:

1 Employers are Raising the Bar: What the 21 st Century Global Economy Needs from Higher Education…and from College Graduates New England Employer-Educator Forum October 28, 2013 Boston, MA

2 AAC&Us LEAP InitiativeLiberal Education and Americas Promise It Takes More than a Major (Hart Research Associates, 2013) – Employers Views on College Learning and the Economy Making Quality a Shared Priority: The LEAP Employer-Educator Compact Overview

3 About AAC&U AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality of student learning in college 1,300 institutional membersincluding accredited public and private colleges, universities, and community colleges; half public, half private A meeting ground for all parts of higher education – about our shared responsibilities to students and society A network of more than 30,000 faculty members, academic leaders, presidents, and others working for educational reform

4 About LEAP Launched in 2005, Liberal Education and Americas Promise (LEAP) is AAC&Us signature national initiative to champion the importance of a twenty-first-century liberal educationfor individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality.

5 LEAP Promotes Essential Learning Outcomes A Guiding Vision and National Benchmarks for College Learning and Liberal Education in the 21 st Century High Impact Practices Helping Students Achieve the Essential Learning Outcomes Authentic Assessments of Student Learning Probing Whether Students Can APPLY Their Learning – to Complex Problems and Real-World Challenges Inclusive Excellence Diversity, Equity, Quality of Learning for All Groups of Students

6 LEAP Areas of Work Public Advocacy leadership through National Leadership Council, Presidents Trust and Employer Partners, and work in selected LEAP states to make the case for liberal education and importance of essential learning outcomes Campus Action networking and active support for campus efforts to increase all students achievement of essential learning outcomes and to communicate more effectively about liberal education; leadership through the Campus Action Network (CAN) of institutions committed to advancing liberal education for all students Authentic Evidence reports on public opinion, high-impact practices that lead to essential learning outcomes, assessment approaches that deepen student learning,and periodic reports of national data on student achievement

7 Employers Views on College Learning and the Economy

8 National Surveys of Employers on College Learning and Graduates Work Readiness AAC&U commissioned Hart Research Associates (in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2013) to interview employers (C-level suite executives and, in 2009 additional human resource professionals) whose companies report that hiring relatively large numbers of college graduates How Should Colleges Prepare Students to Succeed in Todays Global Economy? (AAC&U, 2007) How Should Colleges Assess and Improve Student Learning? Employers Views on the Accountability Challenge (AAC&U, 2008) Raising the Bar: Employers Views on College Learning in the Wake of the Economic Downturn (AAC&U, 2010) It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success (AAC&U, 2013) See:

9 HART RESEARCH ASSOTESCIA It Takes More Than A Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success Key findings from survey among 318 employers Conducted January 9 – 13, 2013 for

10 Employers Are Raising the Bar 92% of employers say that innovation is essential to our companys continued success. 93% of employers say that they are asking employees to take on more responsibilities and to use a broader set of skills than in the past. 91% of employers say that the challenges their employees face are more complex than they were in the past. Source: It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success (AAC&U and Hart Research Associates, 2013)

11 Employers Say Innovation, Critical Thinking, and a Broad Skill Set are Key for Meeting Challenges in the Workplace 95% of employers agree that their companies put a priority on hiring people with the intellectual and interpersonal skills to help them contribute to innovation in the workplace 93% of employers say that candidates demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major 91% of employers say that, whatever their major, all students should have experiences in solving problems with colleagues whose views are different from their own Source: It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success (AAC&U and Hart Research Associates, 2013)

12 Employers Value Cross-Cutting Capacities When Hiring Very important/fairly important that our employees have this quality/skill Ethical judgment and integrity – 96% Comfortable working with colleagues, customers, and/or clients from diverse cultural backgrounds – 96% Demonstrated capacity for professional development and continued new learning – 94% Interest in giving back to the communities in which their companies are located or those that they serve – 71% Source: It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success (AAC&U and Hart Research Associates, 2013)

13 Majorities of Employers Want Colleges to Place More Emphasis on Broad, Cross- Cutting Skills, and Application – that is: Strong Majorities Endorse What LEAP calls The Essential Learning Outcomes (See Handout with LEAP ELOs and Employer Priorities for College Learning)

14 It Takes More Than A Major – January 2013 – Hart Research for Critical thinking/ analytical reasoning Ability to analyze/solve complex problems Effective oral communication Effective written communication Apply knowledge/skills to real-world settings Locate, organize, evaluate info from multiple sources Innovation/creativity Teamwork/collaboration in diverse group settings Ethical decision-making More emphasis than they do todayLess emphasisThe same emphasis Majorities of employers want colleges to place more emphasis on broad, cross-cutting skills and application

15 It Takes More Than A Major – January 2013 – Hart Research for Research and Evidence-Based Analysis83% Expecting students to develop the skills to research questions in their field and develop evidence-based analyses Senior Projects79% Students complete significant project before graduation, demonstrating knowledge in major & analytical, problem-solving, communication skills Internships and Community-Based Work78% Students complete internship or community-based field project to connect classroom learning with real-world experiences Collaborative Research74% Expecting students to develop the skills to conduct research collaboratively with their peers Employers endorse some high-impact practices with potential to help graduates succeed. Percentage of Employers Who Say Practice Will Help Students A Lot or A Fair Amount to Succeed in the Workplace

16 It Takes More Than A Major – January 2013 – Hart Research for Having both field-specific knowledge and skills AND a broad range of skills and knowledge Having a range of skills and knowledge that apply to a range of fields or positions Having knowledge and skills that apply to a specific field or position Quality = A Both/And Vision Long-term career success requires broad knowledge and specific skills Which is more important for recent college graduates who want to pursue advancement and long-term career success at your company?

17 It Takes More Than A Major – January 2013 – Hart Research for If you were advising your child or a young person you know about the type of college education they should seek to achieve in order to achieve professional and career success in today's global economy, would you recommend they pursue an education like the one described below? I would advise a young person to pursue [a liberal education] Would not Depends Three in four employers would recommend the concept of a liberal education to their own child or a young person they know This approach to a college education provides both broad knowledge in a variety of areas of study and knowledge in a specific major or field of interest. It also helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as intellectual and practical skills that span all areas of study, such as communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings."

18 Employer Views Reflect Economic Trends Source: Dancing with Robots: Human Skills for Computerized Work, by Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane. Third Way, 2013.

19 What Economists Say Human work will increasingly shift toward two kinds of tasks: solving problems for which standard operating procedures do not currently exist, and working with new informationacquiring it, making sense of it, communicating it to others….today, work that consists of following clearly specified directions is increasingly being carried out by computers and workers in lower-wage countries. The remaining jobs that pay enough to support families require a deeper level of knowledge and the skills to apply it. Frank Levy and Richard Murnane, Dancing with Robots (2013)

20 BUT, As We Know from Earlier Hart Research Surveys and Myriad Other Studies, Many Employers Report that Too Many Graduates Fall Short on Key Learning Outcomes, such as… Critical Thinking Writing Teamwork and Collaboration Global Knowledge STEM Knowledge

21 In Other Words, Employers Seek and Reward the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes – But Often Find Them in Short Supply

22 This Forum Seeks Ways to Strengthen the Connections Between the Curriculum and Workplace Success

23 Making Quality a Shared Priority The Employer-Educator Compact – Over 270 Signatories and Counting…

24 The Employer-Educator Compact Employers are Invited to Sign…and to Discuss Widely…With Colleagues Within and Beyond Their Organizations Presidents Also Are Invited to Sign – and to Enlist Additional Employer Partners

25 Our Shared Goal is Wider Understanding that Increasing Access and Completion are Necessary, but Far From Sufficient

26 The Ultimate Goal is World-Class College Learning – for All Students, for a Flourishing Economy, and for Our Globally Engaged Democracy


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