Welcome to FCAN’s Research Roundup! This monthly feature seeks to highlight reports and projects related to student access and success that we think are worth sharing. You will also be able to find a link to this page in FCAN’s monthly newsletter. Happy reading!
1. According to a new report by Jobs For the Future (JFF), Registered Apprenticeships on average earn a starting salary of $77,000. Beyond strong economic outcomes, the report makes the case for expanding apprenticeship systems in the United States. Importantly, about 2 in 3 youth apprentices are White, and more than 90% are men, suggesting that one place to start is expanding apprenticeship opportunities to women and youth of color.
2. Other forms of career-connected learning offer additional benefits. A New America report that looked at internship programs at five community colleges found that paid internships enhance college retention and can help address basic needs insecurity. In particular, recruiting underrepresented students to paid internships at state colleges may be a fruitful way to broaden workforce pathways.
3. While work-based learning can lead to strong earnings outcomes, so too do college degrees. A report on teen parents from Generation Hope found that average annual earnings for teen parents more than doubled after earning a college degree. This means that affordable college experiences can help lift both young parents and their children out of poverty. However, the report also noted that many young parents continue to struggle: even among graduates working full time, half are accessing some form of public assistance, suggesting hurdles like debt continue to be a systemic barrier to accessing wealth.
4. The National Student Clearinghouse released some disappointing news this month when it showed that transfer pathways continue to be impacted years after the start of the pandemic. Across transfer into two-year institutions and transfers from two to four-year institutions, there were steep declines. Further, retention rates of students who successfully transferred also declined. Combined with massive enrollment losses at community colleges over the past two years, this decline represents significant disruptions in the upward transfer pipeline — a critical path for access to a bachelor’s degree for low-income and adult students. One exception: four-year HBCUs saw an influx of students, and particularly men, transferring in.