Community Colleges and Pathways to the Labor Market
CALDER Policy Brief No. 17-0519
• Many community college students do not complete any credentials, or earn credentials with low labor market value, which leads to significant default rates despite quite moderate debts.
• Many students at community colleges, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are plagued by weak academic preparation and financial pressures to work full time, as well as too little information about their own academic skills and what the labor market rewards.
• Outcomes among community college students are also limited by too few institutional resources, and likely by too few incentives to respond to the labor market and too little guidance for students as well.
• More resources for community colleges in general, as well as a limited number of specific community college support or job training programs, have strong positive impacts on student and worker outcomes, although many others remain untested or unproven.