Moving the Needle: Data, Success, and Accountability for Workforce Programs  

By Kathy Booth

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What’s a community college education worth?

The value of a community college education will always be understated if success is only measured when students complete the required coursework at a single college. Value needs to be measured at the individual level, such as whether students successfully master skills that allow them to secure employment and a living wage.

This paper, written by WestEd’s Kathy Booth, was prepared for the California Community Colleges Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy. The paper provides background information on how career and technical education success is captured and documented in the California community college system.

The paper covers:

  • Why success looks different in career technical education compared to four-year colleges
  • Why community college completion should not be the only measure of success
  • Establishing expanded success measures
  • Data challenges
  • Recommendations for action

This information is intended to support the development of recommendations by the Task Force.