With with an unemployment rate still hovering around seven percent, Ohio continues to focus on job growth and attracting new industry by creating a highly skilled workforce. One recently introduced method to foster success significantly changed funding for higher education.
Money Tied to Performance
Enacted a year ago, Ohio colleges and universities no longer receive state funds based on the number of students enrolled at their school; instead, it is about completion. Ohio Gov. John Kasich emphasized the change during his state of State address in February.
“Today I’m proud to announce that 100 percent of state funding for undergraduate students will be based on how well our colleges and universities do in guiding them to complete their courses and get their degrees.” he said.
Ohio Skill Gap
By placing highly skilled graduates into the marketplace, Ohio hopes to solve industry-wide needs for more high-tech workers. According to the National Skills Coalition, within four years Ohio will create 1.7 million job openings and more than half — 57 percent — will require some form of postsecondary training. However, the Coalition says, currently only about 50 percent of adults have any formal education beyond high school.
New Enrollment Standards
Although not part of the higher education initiative, one of the byproducts of the new policy is some colleges are reviewing which students to admit. For one Akron university, the data revealed that in the past they admitted students who had less than a 10 percent chance of graduating — despite costing the college 5 to 6 times more per credit hour than the average student.
Besides changing how colleges are funded, Kasich also mentioned in his address an ‘innovative system’ is in the works to help Ohioans without a high school diploma obtain their degree by working with two-year colleges.