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Knowledge From the Field

Close, but No Degree: Removing Barriers to Degree-Completion and Economic Advancement in New Jersey

Published: March 2012

Publisher(s): Center for Women and Work

Author(s): McKay, Heather A.; Elizabeth Nisbet

Funder(s): Annie E. Casey Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Ford Foundation, Joyce Foundation

Related Organization(s): Working Poor Families Project

View Report (18 pages; 341KB; PDF)

Area of Focus: College and Career Preparation


Over half of adults in New Jersey lack a postsecondary degree; meanwhile, the state ranks second in projected growth of jobs requiring a bachelorís degree. The brief examines policies, programs, and initiatives designed to facilitate degree completion in New Jersey and makes recommendations.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

=Through stronger collaboration between the stateís workforce development and higher education systems, New Jersey can identify disengaged adult students poised to complete college (specifically those who lack 0-12 credits to obtain an Associate or Bachelorís degree) as they enter the workforce development system and direct them to higher education services and resources.

=Policy recommendations include: aligning systems and setting goals; funding tuition; providing student supports; recruiting students for completion; providing flexible delivery; and giving credit for alternative activities.

Focus: New Jersey

Subjects/Keywords: College; Completion; Degree; Higher Education; Postsecondary; Workforce Development

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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