Study Group

Postsecondary Schooling

This research program examines postsecondary schooling outcomes and the implications such outcomes have for labor market rewards (i.e., earnings). It relies primarily on longitudinal individual-level administrative data from Washington State and national longitudinal survey data to follow students into and through their postsecondary experiences. CEDR’s research will address a broad set of questions, such as: To what extent do different kinds of financial aid packages, academic remediation and other support services at colleges successfully improve postsecondary attainments and for whom (i.e., which groups of students)? More broadly, what characteristics of colleges improve the chances of obtaining certification and for whom? How do experiences and outcomes from secondary school—including curricula, courses taken and performance—interact with postsecondary experiences to affect postsecondary attainments and for whom? How do “dual enrollments” and other combinations of secondary and postsecondary experiences during the high school years ultimately affect postsecondary outcomes and for whom? How do different kinds of work experience—either during high school or beyond—interact with postsecondary academic experiences to determine postsecondary attainments and for whom? How do certificate programs in different fields affect broader degree attainment and for whom? Who ultimately succeeds with certificate programs as the final outcome as opposed to the obtaining of associates and bachelors’ degrees in different fields? How does the labor market reward various kinds of certificates and degrees, in combination with different kinds of earlier work experience and for whom? To what extent do short-run and long-run returns vary, especially as individuals change jobs – which credentials provide transferable and portable skills?


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