Texas Community College Funding Should Account for Student Career Outcomes
Texas’s rapidly-changing workforce has a skills gap.
Over sixty percent of jobs in the state are “middle-skill” jobs, requiring some postsecondary training, but not a four year degree. Many of these jobs are in high demand and pay accordingly. But only a third of Texans have the correct training for these positions. Fortunately, the Texas Commission on Community College Finance’s (TCCCF) recent recommendations for a new funding model may be a step toward closing this skills gap.
The TCCCF recommendations reflect a welcome shift towards performance-based funding, which ties state funding for colleges to measurable student outcomes. The recommendations include performance measures like “credentials of value” completed, “credentials of value” completed in high-demand fields, and successful student transfers to four-year degree programs. They also recognize the higher costs of educating low-income students.
However, the recommendations miss one critical performance metric for community colleges: how much alumni earn.
Read the full commentary in Dallas Morning News.