by KYW’s Dr. Marciene Mattleman
Excelsior College is in Albany, New York—not a place one thinks of in terms of workforce needs. However, the college is doing the academic community a service with an ad in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
John Ebersole, president, begins by pointing out that America does not have the workforce necessary for the economy we have and need. If trends continue and are not reversed, US per capita income would decrease over the next 15 years.
While we once led the world in the percentage of adults 24-64 with a college degree, we now rank 17th among the major industrialized nations. The text underlines the need to pay attention to the 54 million adults who have some college, but no degree. College completion means jobs. Only 4.7% of those with bachelor’s degrees are unemployed today.
Suggesting giving credit for prior experiential learning, transferring credits from other institutions, community college programs and online degree options, Excelsior is not recruiting students in its own self interest, but providing a wake-up call to action to the nation of the risks we face.