Dr. Peter Riley Bahr joins Lumina Foundation-funded national study of community college workforce education
The University of Michigan is collaborating with Opportunity America on a multipronged study of community college workforce education. The Michigan team will conduct a study of noncredit community college programs, using administrative data from several states to illuminate the role that noncredit programs play in workforce development and other critical community college missions. This research will investigate the labor market returns to noncredit coursework and credentials. It also will examine who is enrolling in noncredit programs and the extent to which students cross over between noncredit and for-credit postsecondary programs. The result will be a detailed portrait of what has been described as the "hidden college" (Voorhees & Milam, 2005) with actionable recommendations for state and federal policymakers about how to maximize the economic impact of community colleges. The two other arms of the Opportunity America project are a national survey of community college educators inquiring about their credit and noncredit workforce programs and a series of case studies of exemplary partnerships between community colleges and employers.