This episode features a conversation with Julie Lammers and Rahul Choudaha. Julie is Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Corporate Social Responsibility for American Student Assistance, or ASA, an organization that invests in and advocates for greater career exposure and exploration for youth as early as the middle grades. Rahul is Managing Director, Higher Education at Morning Consult, a firm specializing in survey research and business intelligence. The conversation centers around a soon-to-be-released survey of employers and adolescents around alternative, non-traditional, or non-degree postsecondary education opportunities.
Julie, Rahul and Jason talk about how the survey came about, how it was designed to capture both employer and youth perspectives, the partners involved in the effort, what we mean by multiple pathways in the postsecondary space, the perceptions of those pathways that the survey showed, and some of the delicate communication challenges that highlight the value of multiple pathways without setting different expectations for youth driven by certain biases. They then look further into the findings of the survey, specifically addressing the motivations for pursuing alternate pathways, such as the avoidance of debt and accelerating a path to employment, how to change the narrative to better legitimate multiple pathways such that they are not viewed by both employers and youth as riskier than traditional college, and what some of the structural changes that may be necessary are in the K-12 education system, federal policy around postsecondary education financing, and employer hiring practices in order to make multiple pathways more viable and perceived by both employers and youth as more valuable.
Additional Readings and Resources