There is no time to waste. The skills gap continues to worsen while government policies to improve employer responsiveness through accreditation reform continue to fall short. More employers and business and industry associations now see the need and opportunity to explore an employer-led solution during a time of growing debate on the role of government in higher education, career and technical education, and workforce development.
For too long the debate over how we define and recognize quality in our education and workforce system has been narrowly framed around the 6,000 or so colleges and universities eligible to receive Title IV funding under the existing accreditation system.
If we are to truly unlock the value that employers have to offer, we need to challenge how the debate has been framed and open ourselves up to new solutions. Lessons learned from supply chain management offer a new way of thinking and invite employers to play a new leadership role from their unique position. This paper has argued for an employer-driven talent supplier recognition and certification system that can complement the existing accreditation system and be used to improve government-supported quality assurance over time. Such an approach can address employer requirements in today’s economy as well as improve outcomes for students and workers in postsecondary education and training.
Presented here is an approach as well as a roadmap for bringing about such a system. We hope it invites a dialogue—but more importantly spurs us to action.
While the challenges for building a new system are sizable, the benefits are also numerous, including a more responsive marketplace of providers who can help close the skills gap and improve outcomes for students and workers. Such an initiative would not only galvanize employer collaboration but also help reframe the public policy debate for years to come.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Changing the Debate on Quality Assurance in Higher Education (DRAFT) | U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation