Postsecondary Value Commission—which AASCU President Mildred García
a report that proposes a new approach for measuring the value of education after high school and recommends actions college and university leaders, state and federal policymakers, and students and families can take to improve those returns and make them more equitable. AASCU produced a
quotes from García on the importance of the new research.
Formed in 2019, the commission gathered a national panel of leaders from inside and outside higher education to explore the value of post-high school certificates and degrees. The Institute for Higher Education Policy served as the managing partner, and The Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation supported the work of the commission.
Here are some of the report’s major findings, as summarized in
Eliminating admissions requirements that could disadvantage certain students and improving credit recognition and transfer policies could help eliminate these equity gaps, the report stated in recommendations for campus leaders and state and federal policymakers.
AASCU President Mildred García (left), co-chair of the Postsecondary Value Commission, and Luis Talavera (right), a commission member while a student at Arkansas State University, met at a commission meeting in May 2019.
“There are things we can do—right now—that will help improve the return on the investment that students and their families and we as taxpayers make. Things like creating clearer academic pathways for our students, something my organization and our members are working very hard on,” García said in a media briefing on the report. “It’s also making sure that the
students who are most financially vulnerable are prioritized when it comes to allocating aid dollars at the institutional, state, and federal levels.”
Two students served on the commission, including Luis Talavera, who recently graduated from AASCU member Arkansas State University. He and other recent graduates are wondering if they will be better off in five or 10 years and if they can give back, he said.
“That’s what’s behind a lot of what’s in this report, especially what’s in the action agenda,” he said in the briefing. “Questions like what do graduates of my program earn, can they pay back their debt, are they on the path to a better living—these are all questions I’m asking, a lot of students
are asking. And we should be able to get answers to these questions.”
Watch these videos produced by the Foundation to learn more about this work:
The following news articles quote or mention Dr. García:
AASCU institutions educate 3.3 million undergraduates, and a large share of them are the “new majority”—the first-generation, low-income, and/or students of color pursuing postsecondary education. Therefore, we are uniquely positioned to further the work of the Postsecondary Value Commission.
Chuck Welch, AASCU Board of Directors chair and president of the Arkansas State University System, has issued a call to action for AASCU institutions following the release of the Postsecondary Value Report in May 2021.
President Welch is calling for AASCU’s nearly 400 member presidents and chancellors to:
To answer this call, presidents and chancellors can email José Cabrales, vice president and chief of staff, at
firstname.lastname@example.org if they are interested in participating.
In the words of the late Congressman John Lewis, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”
AASCU presidents and chancellors can view a
recording of a webinar about the report and its implication for higher education institutions. (Login required)