CCRC Awarded Federal Grant to Establish a Research and Development Center on Postsecondary Education and Employment

NEW YORK, August 2, 2011 — The Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University, in collaboration with the University of Michigan, CNA, and scholars at Harvard, Stanford, the City University of New York, and the University of North Carolina, has been awarded a five-year grant of $9,951,362 from the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education for a new national research and development center to advance knowledge regarding the link between postsecondary education and the labor market.

The Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, or CAPSEE, aims to clarify this link with attention to four key topics: (1) relatively short-term occupational degrees (occupational associate degrees and certificates or diplomas) that are designed to improve labor market outcomes; (2) non-credit workforce programs that now enroll millions of students and play an important (but under-investigated) workforce development role; (3) the burgeoning for-profit sector; and (4) the trajectory of earnings growth after college (or even occurring simultaneously with college).

Led by Director Thomas Bailey (who also serves as director of CCRC), researchers at the new center will focus on 12 studies examining relations between postsecondary education, including education and training prior to the bachelor's degree level, and employment outcomes.

CAPSEE will conduct research using data from five partner states—North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and Florida—in two broad areas: (1) labor market returns and (2) institutional and public policies. Regarding labor market returns, researchers will analyze a broad range of educational pathways in two- and four-year colleges. Regarding policy issues, researchers will evaluate a series of initiatives designed to improve student outcomes, focusing on policies that combine work and study, that help students choose among educational pathways, and that provide incentives to choose specific occupational programs.

In addition, CAPSEE will conduct supplementary studies and engage in national leadership activities relevant to postsecondary education and employment. These activities will include workshops for scholars on the implications of findings as well as on how to conduct research using longitudinal statewide data linked to institutional data.

For more information on particular studies, visit