The world has undergone remarkable changes over a relatively short time period. Not all of the changes have been beneficial for the state of California. Beyond global transitions, California is experiencing declining financial status, dramatically changing demographics, and an accelerated need for increased human capacity development. Although these conditions contain significant repercussions, the resulting impacts have not been acknowledged. Of particular concern is that the state will change from a work force comprised of the most highly educated majority to a working-age majority that will be substantially less educated. These conditions cause analysts to predict a major economic disjuncture and a decline in the quality of life for California's citizens unless intervening strategies are adopted.
There is urgency to increase the education level of a much higher percentage of the state's population than current paradigms are prepared to support. Under current plans the number of highly skilled workers needed far exceed the number that will be available. This study translates the need into the number of degrees that will be required and estimates that the optimal path will involve increasing public higher education enrollment growth rates to approximately 6% annually rather than the 2.5% supported by current policy.
With the enormity of need for increased enrollment capacity, it is highly unlikely that the state will be capable of providing the access necessary to maintain the historic ratios between the state- and non-state-supported degrees conferred. As a result, it is concluded the 1960 California Master Plan for higher education is broken and will not be capable of supporting future needs. Therefore, the state must reinvent and expand the Master Plan "promise" to enhance California's competitiveness. A future task will be to design new state/non-state alignments to provide access opportunities and new educational delivery mechanisms. This will require leadership from many entities, from state-level policymakers to the voters and taxpayers. This study recommends that a new strategic plan be developed to ensure that planning paradigms are adapted to meet future needs by redefining future higher education strategies for the state.
|Commitee:||Armstrong, Lloyd, Myers, Dowell, Weber, Stephen L.|
|School:||University of Southern California|
|Department:||Planning and Development Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education finance, Economics, Higher education|
|Keywords:||California, College-educated, Economics, Enrollment capacity, Future workforce, Higher education, Market-state-based planning, Planning, Workforce preparation|
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