The Bell Policy Center advocates to transform postsecondary education so that all students have the opportunity for academic and workforce success. Education is a key gateway to the American dream. By 2020, almost 75 percent of jobs in Colorado will require some postsecondary credential, and that is driving more adult, nontraditional and first-generation students to seek new education and training opportunities. Barriers to access to education and training include:
- Limited change. Many Colorado institutions are adjusting too slowly to the evolving student demographic.
- Shrinking public funding. Per-student public funding for postsecondary education has been cut in half, leaving students and families to shoulder more of the costs.
Without a renewed commitment to postsecondary education as a public good, many more Coloradans will find this key gateway closed to them. It is critical to the state economy and business environment, as well as to potential students and their families, that Colorado find a more sustainable and affordable approach.
- Policies that meet varied needs. Develop tuition, aid, credit and scheduling policies that better meet the needs of a diverse student body.
- Increased access. Expand access to education and skills training for adults that lead to family-sustaining wages.