Breakout Sessions

Do Students Invest Wisely?

1A: Returns to Community College: More of the Big Picture (Pan American)

There are many ways in which labor market returns to college can vary. Using large-scale statewide administrative datasets and national surveys, this session will report on how returns vary across programs, enrollment patterns, and states.


Scott Carlson, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Jeffrey Fletcher, Community College Research Center and CAPSEE

Jessica Scheld, Lynchburg College

Mark Wiederspan, Arizona State University

1B: Returns to Short-Term Stays in College (Statler AB)

The labor market returns to short-term stays in college—either to get a certificate or other sub-degree award, or simply to get credits—are typically weaker than the returns to degrees. This session will look at how robust the labor market returns are across the range of short-term stays in community colleges.


Allen Ruby, Institute of Education Sciences

Clive Belfield, Queens College, City University of New York, and CAPSEE

Madeline Joy Trimble, Community College Research Center and CAPSEE

Peter Riley Bahr, University of Michigan and CAPSEE

1C: Returns to Technical and Vocational Programs (Federal AB)

Labor market returns to vocational courses are typically higher than those for academic courses. This session will look at patterns in returns across different technical and occupational programs.


James Benson, Institute of Education Sciences

Michal Kurlaender, University of California, Davis, and CAPSEE

Michel Grosz, University of California, Davis

Adela Soliz, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University

Does Society Invest Wisely?

2A: Financial Aid: More of the Big Picture (Pan American)

Financial aid is a multifaceted policy for improving educational and economic outcomes. This session will provide an overview of key trends in financial aid policy.


Liz Willen, The Hechinger Report

Kevin Dougherty, Community College Research Center

Eric Bettinger, Stanford University and CAPSEE

Qiao Wen, Community College Research Center

2B: Pell Grants and College Outcomes (Federal AB)

Pell grants are critical to helping many students complete their college education. This session will consider how effective and efficient the Pell grant system is at maximizing educational and economic outcomes.


Kevin Carey, New America Foundation

Lesley Turner, University of Maryland

Rina Seung Eun Park, Community College Research Center and CAPSEE

Lauren Schudde, The University of Texas at Austin and CAPSEE

2C: Working While Enrolled in College (Statler AB)

Many students combine work—often full-time work—with their college studies. This session examines what are the optimal conditions for combining employment and college enrollment.


Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Judith Scott-Clayton, Community College Research Center and CAPSEE

Adela Soliz, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University

Veronica Minaya, Community College Research Center and CAPSEE

How Can We Help Students Make Better Investments?

3A: Helping Community College Students Invest in a Bachelor’s Degree (Pan American)

A high proportion of students lack the information or guidance to progress successfully through college. This session describes how these obstacles impede college completion, leading students to underinvest in college-level skills.


Karin Fischer, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Di Xu, University of California, Irvine, and CAPSEE

Davis Jenkins, Community College Research Center and CAPSEE

Shanna Smith Jaggars, The Ohio State University and CAPSEE

3B: Which College to Attend (Federal AB)

Students can choose from a vast array of colleges and universities. This session will report on which institutional features are associated with superior economic outcomes.


Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, The Washington Post

Stephanie Riegg Cellini, George Washington University

Rajashri Chakrabarti, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Arne Kalleberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and CAPSEE

3C: Barriers to Investing (Statler AB)

Even for students who are academically prepared, there are still many barriers to making the most of college. This session will look at some of these barriers and what approaches students can use to get over these barriers.


David Wessel, Brookings Institution

Bridget Long, Harvard Graduate School of Education and CAPSEE

Vivian Liu, Community College Research Center and CAPSEE

Nikki Edgecombe, Community College Research Center and CAPSEE, and Jasmine Sanders, Community College Research Center