Monday, March 24, 2014

Peter Bahr's Pattishall lecture to be held on March 24

Tags: bahr, deans updates, lectures and talks, peurach

Peter Riley Bahr, associate professor, and Donald J. Peurach, assistant professor, are the 2013 winners of the Pattishall Award. Endowed in the School of Education in 1993 by Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall, this award is to encourage early career faculty with the pursuit of their research. Don gave his Pattishall lecture on March 19, and Peter’s will take place on Monday, March 24, 2014, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. in the Prechter Laboratory (room 2202). Lunch will be served.

Dr. Bahr’s talk, "The Labor Market Return in Earnings to Community College Credits and Credentials in California," will draw on data from California to estimate the labor market return in earnings to a community college education, including the returns to credentials in 23 fields of study and the returns to course credits in 181 subfields. Peter finds that the return to credits in many career and technical education (CTE) subfields is significant, positive, and oftentimes strong, while the reverse is true of credits in many non-CTE subfields. Furthermore, he finds that much of the labor market return to community college credentials is a result of the underlying coursework, which arguably is a reasonable proxy for human capital accumulation. In other words, the return to students who are not awarded credentials can be as large as, or larger than, the return to students who are awarded credentials, depending upon the coursework that students complete. Given that the majority of community college students do not complete a postsecondary credential, the results of this study demonstrate the importance of accounting for the human capital acquired by “non-completing” students as we seek a thorough understanding of the economic benefits of a community college education. These results may be contrasted with contemporary discourse on community colleges, which, framed by the "college completion agenda", focuses primarily on the value of credentials and minimizes the value of non-completing pathways.

I hope you can attend what promises to be another interesting Pattishall lecture.

Donald J. Peurach is Associate Professor

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