College Enrollment Readiness and Completion Rates Social/Economic Dimensions

Workforce Preparedness Indicators: College Enrollment

The region’s population growth taxes institutional capacity. While home to one of the youngest, fastest growing and most diverse populations in the country, it also faces profound challenges. To meet its education and workforce needs, the region is supported by a number of public and private universities as well as by nine community colleges, including two of the country’s largest community college systems.

Postsecondary enrollment growth in the region has predominantly taken place within community colleges, whereas enrollment at the region’s four year colleges has remained relatively stagnant. More below…

As the region moves solidly into the 21st Century knowledge-based economy, more and more employers will require highly skilled and educated workers. Thus, it is critical that a much higher percentage of the population procure a two- or four-year college degree. According to a 2011 report from The Brookings Institution, what employers want today and what local students are now trained to do simply do not match. The Baytown-Houston-Sugarland MSA ranks 94th among the largest 100 MSAs in matching jobs currently needed to degrees granted.

Civic, education, community and business leaders recognize the critical need to close the gaps between the demands of industry and a suitable labor force able to meet those needs.