The world has changed dramatically in recent decades. Diplomas and credentials aren’t essential for every person to be able to contribute their unique gifts and talents for the good of others and society.
Stand Together Trust believes it’s time to stop romanticizing the bachelor’s degree and perpetuating a policy environment that does the same. Individuals should be encouraged and enabled to access an array of postsecondary education options aligned with their preferences and goals that equip them with the skills needed to pursue their unique pathway in life.
For example, an individualized path might include a liberal arts degree, career and technical programs, competency- and skills-based education, experiential learning, civic education, or community engagement. The key is that education must be tailored to the individual, not a one-size-fits-all model that is too general to serve the unique needs and interests of a diverse student population.
To achieve this transformation in postsecondary education, we need to reframe the policy discussion away from “us versus them” solutions. Policy reforms have recently focused on helping borrowers manage loan repayment. Still, the system has not changed, and the financial incentives are stacked in favor of colleges and universities rather than students.
Stand Together Trust Postsecondary Education (PSE) Toolkit provides research and suggestions for policymakers at the federal and state level to find common ground for a postsecondary education transformation that would empower students to follow their interests, achieve their potential, and contribute meaningfully in community. It also includes suggestions for education providers to implement in their work helping individuals discover, develop, and apply their unique gifts in society. This policy toolkit advances reforms to outdated, one-size-fits-all policies that prevent people from accessing the individualized education options they deserve.