Serving Underserved Student Populations
The twin challenges of increasing demand for postsecondary graduates and declining numbers of the traditional postsecondary student population (first-time, full-time, residential students) are putting more and more pressure on higher education institutions to tap into new marketplaces. The more difficult part of the equation is determining which groups institutions should be focusing on, and understanding what changes institutions need to make to better-serve these students.
The Long-Term Unemployed
Though level of education is typically not a barrier for long-term unemployed individuals to re-enter the workforce, higher education institutions can support this segment by certifying their skills and competencies.
Higher education institutions must focus services and assessments around the distinct needs of non-traditional students to ensure their long-term unemployed learners gain the confidence necessary to persist through a degree program.
Rural students may face a number of roadblocks when it comes to accessing and succeeding in higher education, but colleges and universities can make small adjustments that would help them overcome these challenges.
Universities should explore partnerships with rural-based colleges to maximize accessibility for rural students.
Older Career Changers
Colleges and universities have a fantastic opportunity to capitalize on the growing and largely untapped marketplace of older adults pursuing career changes.
By going the extra mile, higher education institutions can make a huge difference in the lives of older adults looking to complete a credential.
Higher education institutions can take massive strides toward creating accessibility for older career changers by making some small changes.
Toward a Two-Generation Approach: Innovative Strategies to Improve Education and Training for Parents
By creating clear career pathways and introducing more comprehensive postsecondary financial support systems, low-income parents can get the support they need to move into stable careers and set their children on the pathway to success.
It’s critical for higher education institutions to adapt their operations to better serve the growing population of parents looking to earn a degree.
In order for higher education institutions to be truly welcoming to first-generation students, they must look internally to find the accessibility and retention gaps that impede success of these learners.
Low-income inner city students often find themselves underserved by the majority of higher education institutions, but some very simple changes can make a very significant difference for this population.