Condition of Higher Education in Pennsylvania

The Education Policy and Leadership Center has initiated and will provide overall management for a short-term project that will develop a report on “The Current Condition of Higher Education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

The report will summarize the current conditions and circumstances of higher education across the Commonwealth, and frame the key questions public policymakers need to ask as they review the Commonwealth’s system of higher education.

Key Questions:
The report will respond to five key questions.

  1. Who is currently being served by institutions of higher education across the Commonwealth?
  2. Are there academically qualified students who want to go to college but cannot find or gain admission to an affordable institution?
  3. How much do the Commonwealth-funded colleges and universities currently spend on remediation for college students who enroll without the necessary academic qualifications?
  4. Will Commonwealth institutions have the capacity to supply the kind of educated and trained graduates in the appropriate fields that are required to meet the needs of the Commonwealth’s emerging economy?
  5. How do Pennsylvania institutions currently earn and spend their public and non-public funds?

Project Outline:
The Project will commence in early summer 2005. Early steps include the collection of basic statistical data and a survey of high school graduates. Those survey results will by analyzed and combined with the analyses of IPEDS, PHEAA, and College Board data.

The project’s focus will then shift to analyzing the match between the Commonwealth’s changing economy and the likely supply of college-educated workers. During this same time period, the project team will analyze the spending patterns reflected in the financial data that Commonwealth colleges and universities supply to IPEDS and the data that institutions receiving public appropriations from the Commonwealth supply to the legislature and other state agencies.

A report will be issued by December 31, 2005.

The Team:
The Education Policy and Leadership Center will partner with The Learning Alliance for Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania. The Learning Alliance is chaired by Dr. Robert Zemsky.

The Project also will be informed by an Analytic Work Team, comprised of nationally-recognized researchers, and guided by a Project Advisory Panel. The Advisory Panel will include a group of distinguished public policy, education, business and civic leaders.

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