Pathways to Prosperity: Kinetic Seeds teams up with Jeff Selingo to rethink education to career transitions

Life after collegeHave you checked out Jeff Selingo’s new book There Is Life After College yet? We did. His book comes at a critical time. Helping students make sense of career options and connecting what they learn and do on campus with what they will do after graduation can be a daunting task for both student and institution alike. And let’s face it, the return on investment of a college degree is far from equal across states and institutions.

We see this situation directly tied to the massive demographic makeover underway in America. Today there are more than 20 million students enrolled in two and four-year institutions. Yet of these 20 million, only about 7 million fit the image of the “traditional” college student –those who graduate from high school and go on to a campus-based college, graduating in four to six years. Further still, currently only about 40% of Americans hold at least a two-year college degree. Most economists and other experts believe attainment figures must rise to 60% by 2025 if the US is to remain globally competitive. Demographic trends in the country make it clear that many – if not most – of these new credential holders must come from low-income, first-generation, ethnic and racial minority and adult populations. Yet today, African American attainment rates are at 27% and Native American and Latino Americans are even lower at 23 percent and 20 percent respectively.

American higher education is really at a critical juncture – existing in an environment where the conditions on the ground are quite different from even a few years ago. New pathways must be opened up that allow for more students to succeed – pathways that both increase the percentage of students who finish what they start in college or other postsecondary programs, and ensure a smoother transition from education to genuine employment. (And by employment, we don’t mean underemployed!)

To that end, I’m delighted to announce a new Kinetic Seeds partnership with higher-education expert and best-selling author Jeff Selingo. We’re joining Jeff on a four-city tour that kicks off in October at the University of Denver with a gathering that will bring a group of local, state, and regional education leaders, key business executives, and top policymakers to consider and design new pathways for a 21st Century education system and workforce.

More details and insights will emerge in the coming months but in the meantime, I highly recommend you grab copy of Jeff’s book. It profiles many new and emerging technologies, programs and policies taking place across the country which are squarely aimed at increasing access to and success in postsecondary education.

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