Close, but No Degree

 Even in New Jersey’s highly educated workforce, with 44 percent of adults possessing at least a two‐year degree, almost a fifth of adults age 25‐64 have started college but never finished.

Inexpensive policy changes can enable the state’s agencies and colleges to improve college completion rates in the state and simultaneously meet workforce goals, according to a new report,Close, but No Degree, by the Center for Women and Work (CWW) at the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University.

“An educated workforce is important to New Jersey’s economic viability,” says Heather McKay, co-author of the report and director of CWW’s Innovative Training and Workforce Development Research and Programs. “With an associate’s degree and every additional credential after, workers are given the opportunity to earn more and improve their career prospects. Yet, despite benefits to workers and the overall economy, graduation rates are not growing fast enough to meet expected demand.”

Close, but No Degree advocates better integration of higher education opportunities into the state workforce development system, which could expand options for the 18 percent of New Jersey workers who have some college credits but never obtained a degree. For example, the report recommends expanding an existing policy that helps workers receiving unemployment insurance gain college credit.

(From the news release)