Last week, prominent business and community leaders from all parts of the Commonwealth convened in Richmond where they discussed solutions to problems of affordability and workforce readiness in Virginia higher education.
The Virginia College Affordability Policy Council, an initiative led by Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust, expanded to include two new members – the presidents of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association and NVR Mortgage. The council membership already included CEOs from various industries, senior executives in finance, technology and energy sectors, nonprofit executives representing small businesses, bankers and other public interests, former college presidents, trustees, senior administrators, and current college students.
Council co-chairs Mr. Brett A. Vassey and Dr. James V. Koch opened the meeting presenting baseline data on public colleges and universities as well as non-credit certifications in Virginia. “Clearly, there’s something broken in higher education today,” said Tanner Hirschfeld, a student at the University of Virginia and one of two student representatives serving on the council. Following the presentations, council members engaged in an in-depth round table discussion on topics such as stronger pipelines to college and workforce readiness, better consumer information, operational efficiency and cost containment at institutions, affordable online degree programs, and reduced time-to-completion.
“We established a clear baseline of information about the costs, outcomes and debt in higher education," Vassey said. "The next step is to evaluate solutions that will maintain Virginia's competitiveness while producing the right talent at the right time for the right price."
The council's next meeting will take place in mid-November. To view the presentations and materials from the October 3rd meeting, please see below.
Virginia College Affordability Policy Council