By 2020, two-thirds of the jobs available in Vermont will require education and training beyond a high school diploma (certificate, apprenticeship, college degree, etc.) according to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce. Yet only 51 percent of Vermonters currently hold a postsecondary credential.
To close this education and training gap, Act 80 of 2019 set a goal that not less than 70 percent of working age Vermonters will hold a credential of value, as defined by the State Workforce Development Board, by the year 2025.
The State established four policy priorities critical to meeting Vermont’s attainment goal. Expand each priority to see what Advance Vermont has identified as critical supporting actions.
Promote awareness of career pathways and the value of postsecondary education and training.
a. Reinforce postsecondary education as a public good, particularly its importance to meeting state education, workforce development, and economic development goals, by codifying the goal that 70 percent of Vermonters possess a degree or credential
b. Grow awareness of the value of non-degree credentials and the opportunities to pursue those credentials in state.
c. Bring public visibility to career and education pathways to showcase the number of education and training options, the variety of in-demand professions, and erase stigmas associated degree and non-degree pathways.
Expand access to postsecondary education and training to students of all ages.
a. Take action to make postsecondary education and training more affordable. This may include funding for education and training institutions and financial aid programs, and creation or expansion of loan forgiveness and repayment programs.
b. Expand targeted services for students requiring support, such as students who are people of color, low income, first generation, disabled, military members or veterans, incarcerated, recovering from addiction, and single parents
c. Expand and incentivize programs leading to credentials of value, including registered apprenticeships, educational certificates, occupational licenses and industry recognized credentials.
d. Develop and expand program and advising models that match the needs of adult students.
e. Support state education and workforce development policies that increase postsecondary readiness, including equitable implementation of personalized learning plans, dual enrollment, early college, and proficiency-based learning.
f. Improve access to career and technical education for students of all ages and increase participation.
g. Remove barriers to postsecondary education by increasing FAFSA completion rates, increasing equity in access to postsecondary admissions exams, and providing financial literacy education.
h. Support professional development for Pk-12 educators to expand effective postsecondary career counseling.
Increase completion of postsecondary education and training programs by ensuring Vermonters have the supports they need to succeed.
a. Promote the development and implementation of programs that accelerate the time to complete a degree or credential program, such as assessments of prior learning or credit for non-degree training.
b. Support innovative financing strategies that support completion, including micro grants and flexible emergency aid.
c. Remove institutional barriers to completion, such as inflexible course progressions and transfer restrictions.
d. Increase student support services tailored to populations with significant barriers to postsecondary attainment, including first generation students, low income individuals, minorities, rural residents, veterans, working-age adults, and those who are disabled or learn differently.
Maximize partnerships across and within sectors to achieve State workforce development and education goals.
a. Deepen collaboration between education and training providers, human services agencies, employers, and state government to ensure coordination of services.
b. Foster multi-sector partnerships to develop education and training programs for in-demand, high-growth jobs.
c. Ensure access to high-quality work-based learning and out of school day educational experiences (such as afterschool programs) at the secondary and postsecondary level.
d. Incentivize and promote employer-sponsored education and training for employees.
e. Support efforts to create a formal system to endorse and track credentials of value offered within the state.
Vermont State SenateRebecca Balint
Windham FoundationLiz Bankowski
Vermont Adult LearningHal Cohen
Agency of EducationDan French
City of St. AlbansLiz Gamache
Vermont Student Assistance CorporationScott Giles
North Country Career CenterEileen Illuzzi
Community Colleges of VermontJoyce Judy
Center for New Leadership
at Marlboro College
Vermont State Employees Credit UnionRob Miller
Chroma Technology CorporationPaul Millman
New England Association of
Middlebury CollegeLaurie Patton
Let’s Grow KidsAly Richards
Agency of Commerce &
Vermont Community FoundationDan Smith
Smugglers’ Notch ResortBill Stritzler
University of Vermont, College of Education & Social ServicesScott Thomas
Vermont Business RoundtableLisa Ventriss
Wakefield GlobalAl Wakefield
Adult Working Group
Identify and eliminate barriers for Vermont adults with some or no postsecondary education so that they may obtain the education and training needed to achieve their work and life goals.
Former Chancellor, Vermont State Colleges & Board Member, McClure FoundationTIM DONOVAN
- Pam ChisholmCommunity College of Vermont
- Maureen HerbertVermont Technical College
- Steve LookNorwhich University
- Melissa MarcelloChamplain College
- Heather NewcombVermont Works for Women
- Len SchmidtP.A. Hannaford Career Center
- Bill SugarmanVocRehab
- Merrilyn Tatarczuch-KoffVSAC
Communications Working Group
Build a statewide understanding of the importance of postsecondary education/training in order for Vermonters to achieve financial and workplace stability and for Vermont to stay economically and civically vibrant.
Associate Vice President for Marketing & Creative Services, Middlebury CollegeROBIN GRONLUND
- Greg BrandBlue House Group
- Amanda ChaulkVermont Technical College
- Pat CoxBeacon Associates
- Maryanne DePrescoVSAC
- Karen FlemingGreen Mountain College
- Samantha HaimesUniversity of Vermont
- Alana ReddenAdvanced Vermont Fellow
- Liz SchlegelAlchemist Foundation
- Elaine SopchakAgency of Commerce & Community Development
- Carolyn WeirVermont Community Foundation
Data & Analysis Working Group
Coordinate, rigorously and objectively analyze, and present data to inform strategy development and review, and to measure success in moving toward achieving the attainment goal.
Dean, University of Vermont College of Education & Social ServicesScott Thomas
- Mat BarewiczVermont Department of Labor
- Paul CilloPublic Assets Institute
- Wendy GellerVermont Agency of Education
- Laura MassellCommunity College of Vermont
- Anna PrescottVSAC
- Krysta SadowskiGallagher, Flynn & Co
- Catherin WelchSaint Michael’s College
- Alex YinUniversity of Vermont
Youth Working Group
Identify and eliminate barriers to or gaps in current efforts to address college and career readiness, postsecondary aspirations, continuation, and graduation for Vermont youth.
Chief Academic Officer, Vermont State Colleges SystemYasmine Ziesler
Executive Director, New England Association of School SuperintendentsMary Moran
- Matt BourgaultVSAC
- Melissa ConnerStafford Technical Center
- Jess DeCarolisAgency of Education
- Paul GambleCommunity Engagement Lab
- Marie JohnsonUniversity of Vermont
- Emilie KnisleyBlue Mountain Union School
- Samantha MillsStudent, Champlain College
- Holly MorehouseVermont Afterschool
- Jay NicholsVermont Principals’ Association
- Natalie SearleCommunity College of Vermont
- Rich TulikangasDivision of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Debbie WarnockBennington College
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