About the Research Institute for College & Career Readiness
The Research Institute for College & Career Readiness advances innovative, scalable solutions to improve postsecondary outcomes for all students – especially among underserved populations and to enhance the performance of K-12 schools and districts with respect to preparing all students to be college and career ready. The Research Institute for College & Career Readiness is a division of the NAPCA Foundation, one of the world’s premier centers for college and career readiness, whose mission is to “close the college and career aspirations – attainment gap” by empowering students with the tools and mindsets to define their life’s purpose/career path, break through their barriers, and complete a postsecondary education degree or career training certificate or licensure program, specifically to enter careers that provide a sense of purpose and meaning to their lives.
The Data Driving Our Work
According to the Center on Education and the Workforce at the University of Georgetown, there will be 55 million job openings in the economy through 2020: 24 million openings from newly created jobs and 31 million openings due to Baby Boomer retirements. Of these job openings, 65% will need to be filled by someone who has completed at least some type of post secondary education (Carnevale, 2014). This makes college degree attainment more important than ever. However, college achievement is skewed: Students who have been systemically locked out of higher education (e.g., students of color, first-generation, low-income) face significant barriers enrolling in, attending, and graduating from college. As a result, while 78% of high school graduates from high-income families enroll in some form of postsecondary education or training, only 46% of high school graduates who grew up in low-income families manage to do the same (Cahalan et al, 2018; Mortenson, 2018). In fact, only 11% of low-income students earn a bachelor’s degree by the age of 24 compared to roughly 80% of students from high-income families (Cahalan et al, 2018; Mortenson, 2018). Overwhelmingly, most low-income students begin their postsecondary education at community colleges. Yet, nationally of all students who begin at a community college, only 14% transfer and complete a bachelor’s degree within six years.
In addition, nearly two-thirds of all students who enroll in community college test below college-ready standards in Math and/or English Language Arts (NCPPHE & SREB, 2010; Center for Community College Student Engagement, 2016; U.S. Department of Education, 2019). Of these students, 50% place two or more levels below college-ready in at least one subject area. Each of these women and men enroll in college with the intent of attaining a degree, yet 72% of them will not graduate, even after eight years (U.S. Department of Education, 2019). Furthermore, this research shows that 7 out of 10 low-income students will have a hard road ahead. They are twice as likely to be unemployed, earn half as much as college graduates, and more likely to end up in poverty (Pell Institute, 2019). America’s future rests on our ability to develop the talent of all students regardless of their background.
Founded in 2020 with a generous gift from several donors that believe in our mission and vision.