Transcript for #CollegeChat with Public Agenda on “Hiring and Higher Education”

Last night Allison Rizzolo, a communications professional for Public Agenda, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that helps communities and the nation solve tough public problems, discussed findings from a recent report “Hiring and Higher Education” conducted in conjunction with Committee for Economic Development (CED), during #CollegeChat.  Allison provided us with detailed background from the research on why U.S. Business Leaders worry that skyrocketing tuition and a growing skills gap could have serious consequences for the nation’s economic future. Our discussion centered on the following questions:

  • Business leaders cite cost of higher education as one of the major weaknesses.  Why is this a weakness and what do they say causes these high costs?
  • Executives also cited a shortage of graduates in STEM fields and their inability to fill many of these positions. Why is this a potential challenge for the nation’s economy?
  • Some business leaders expressed concern that we over-emphasize 4-year degrees. What are their specific concerns and why is this a weakness?
  • Executives reported unease about workers’ interpersonal skills.  Why is this finding significant?
  • Business leaders worried that higher education is too slow to recognize and implement needed changes, and not as accountable as it needs to be. What recommendations did they have to effect change? Q5
  • What are the opinions regarding online education? Why is it significant that their attitudes are changing in respect to online education?
  • How will the Public Agenda use these findings moving forward? What are the next steps?
  • How did business leaders conceptualize they can be more involved in higher education?

You can read the entire transcript PublicAgendattranscript.

 

#CollegeChat: Public Agenda to Discuss U.S. Business Leaders Concern that Higher Ed’s Resistance to Change is Widening Skills Gap

New Research finds that U.S. Business Leaders worry that skyrocketing tuition and a growing skills gap could have serious consequences for the nation’s economic future

Royce HallAllison Rizzolo, a communications professional for Public Agenda, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that helps communities and the nation solve tough public problems, will discuss findings from a recent report “Hiring and Higher Education” conducted in conjunction with Committee for Economic Development (CED), during #CollegeChat on Twitter, April 17, 2012 at 9 p.m. Eastern.

THE CED and Public Agenda undertook this research “to explore the attitudes of business leaders toward higher education.”  Rizzolo, https://twitter.com/#!/publicagenda , will discuss key findings from the report with #CollegeChat participants including:

  • Cost of higher education is a major concern. The business leaders interviewed described the escalating cost as one of the major weaknesses of higher education.
  • Shortage of graduates in STEM fields. The report found that business leaders cited a serious shortage in science, technology, engineering and math.
  • Unease about workers’ interpersonal skills. Business leaders were uneasy about graduates’ lack of basic interpersonal skills. Executives complained about the character, interpersonal skills and comportment of young people they encountered.
  • Resistance to change. Business leaders worried that higher education is too slow to recognize and implement needed changes, and not as accountable as it needs to be.

About Public Agenda

Public Agenda is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that helps communities and the nation solve tough public problems. It does this by illuminating people’s views and values, getting them working together on solutions, and building momentum for change. Public Agenda is fostering progress on a wide variety of critical issues, including K-12 and higher education, climate change and health care. Its goal is to contribute to a democracy in which problem solving triumphs over gridlock and inertia, and where public policy reflects the deliberations and values of the citizenry.

About #CollegeChat

#CollegeChat is a live bi-monthly conversation intended for teens, college students, parents, and higher education experts on Twitter. #CollegeChat takes place on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. PT/ 9 p.m. ET. Questions for each #CollegeChat edition can be sent to Theresa Smith, the moderator of #CollegeChat via http://Twitter.com/collegechat , by entering questions online on the CollegeChat Facebook page at http://ht.ly/1XIqV , or by email. More detailed information about signing up for Twitter and participating in #Collegechat can be found at http://pathwaypr.com/how-to-participate-in-a-twitter-chat .