Competitiveness Priorities

  • Support strong, meaningful partnerships between state and local education agencies and institutions of higher education to support teacher education; standards, curricula and assessment alignment; and accountability.

  • Support the strengthening and funding of high-quality clinical experiences in all traditional teacher preparation programs and require that all federally funded alternative teacher preparation programs include high-quality clinical experiences. Clinical experiences are essential components in preparation programs, especially when preparing teacher candidates to teach diverse students in high-needs rural and urban schools.

  • Secure a dedicated funding stream to support reform in university-based teacher preparation.

  • Ensure that any federally funded grant program supporting reform in teacher preparation programs requires a meaningful and sustained partnership with a high-needs P-12 school district and a strong emphasis on clinical training.

  • Provide appropriations for the Rural Development Grants for Rural Colleges and Universities program. These grants encourage partnerships between rural colleges and universities and local entities that: promote greater access to college for rural high school students, increase the number of adults in rural communities with a bachelor’s degree or higher, enhance training opportunities and stimulate technological innovation.

  • Support efforts to reauthorize, authorize and fund programs that encourage research and partnerships between urban and metropolitan anchor institutions and their communities. These efforts are designed to promote economic and workforce development, community revitalization, teacher recruitment and greater access to college for urban high school students.

  • Advocate for reauthorization of the WIA to more fully include and recognize the role of public four-year colleges and universities in workforce education and include state college and university leaders in planning and decisionmaking processes for state utilization of federal WIA funds.



Public colleges and universities play a central role in expanding the nation’s human capital and boosting our competitive advantage in today’s global marketplace. This is accomplished, in part, by providing quality preparation for the majority of the nation’s P-12 teachers. It is also accomplished by producing graduates in a variety of fields who have the knowledge and skills needed to meet the needs of business, nonprofit and public sector employers. This includes health care workers, scientists and engineers, business leaders and others essential to the nation’s economy.

AASCU believes that the federal government must play an essential role in supporting institutional efforts to meet national, state and local workforce needs. The federal government can provide incentives for individuals to enter highdemand fields and to work in hard-to-staff areas, support scientific research and education, and streamline efforts to attract international talent. State and local governments, as well, can support institutional efforts to educate teachers, health care workers, scientists and engineers and others. The nation’s economic competitiveness, security and prosperity depend, in large measure, on how well the nation’s colleges prepare citizens for a knowledge-based economy.

In the coming debate on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, AASCU will advocate for strategies to improve teacher quality efforts and strengthen the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs begun in the last reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. With regard to Workforce Investment Act debates, AASCU will be looking to improve the standing of AASCU institutions as integral players in key state and local economic development initiatives. This includes strengthening programs around rural and urban programs. In order to be successful in today’s economy, an understanding of how one fits into a world economy is essential. AASCU will look to improve programs that provide a more contextual awareness of our role in the world, including stewardship of the environment.