Link Diversity to Workforce Needs - Higher Education: Despite the evolving interpretation offered by state and federal courts, American higher education as a community remains committed in its support to increase diversity among students.
At the same time, however, our colleges and universities largely fail to link diversity initiatives to specific workforce needs. This tendency often applies philosophically to all students enrolled, fueled in part by a belief that the responsibility for higher education institutions writ large is to educate broadly.
There are wonderful programs and support groups to promote and support diversity, of course, measured by gender, race, sexual preference, and socioeconomic income. The report of the Ford Foundation-funded Century Foundation released this week speaks compellingly to the role and problems facing American community colleges in these areas. It cites outstanding programs from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and the Edvance Foundation, where I serve as CEO and a director, to illustrate efforts under way that demonstrate fresh thinking.