The Clearinghouse: Your Partner to Close the Education and Skills Gap Now and in the Future
In this concluding story of a two-part series, learn more about the power of the Clearinghouse’s data to make a transformational difference for the education community.
Even though the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center indicates that college and community college enrollments are on the decline, enrollments are growing online. According to the Research Center’s April Stay Informed report (tab 7), at primarily online institutions, where more than 90% of students enrolled exclusively online prior to the pandemic, both undergraduate and graduate enrollments increased more than the pre-pandemic rate of growth.
New Research Challenges Long-Held Perspectives
Between October 2019 and September 2020, the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America analyzed the online engagement of DataCamp users to evaluate the status of online learning prompted by the pandemic. They sought to determine whether an uptake in online learning could serve to close skills gaps sustainably and equitably. What they discovered decries commonly held beliefs that minorities and those with lower incomes are disproportionately disadvantaged by online learning.
The researchers’ report stated: “We find that these increases are proportional across higher- and lower-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods with a high or low share of Black residents. This demonstrates the potential for online platforms to democratize access to knowledge and skills that are in high demand, which supports job security and facilitates social mobility.”
And according to a recent Zenger article, technology is now more of an equalizer than a barrier. As we all know, students without ready access to technology have long been at a disadvantage when compared to their more affluent peers.
EdTech Adoption Offsetting College Enrollment Decline
Zenger reports that “the sharp climb in online learning shows the technology is increasingly attractive to nontraditional, younger and minority students.” Recent evidence, they say, “is starting to suggest that EdTech can improve access to learning solutions by reducing barriers.”
Clearinghouse Data Delivers Great Value
“As our research demonstrates, the Clearinghouse’s data influences and improves learner opportunities, education outcomes, and business practices,” said Pepe Carreras, the Clearinghouse’s Vice President of Education Solutions. “The Clearinghouse also provides access to data that empowers registrars, administrators and others to make more informed decisions about their students to close the education and skills gap now and in the future.”
The Clearinghouse, a nonprofit created by the education community in 1993, serves as education’s partner for the collection and timely exchange of accurate and comprehensive enrollment, degree, and certificate records. The organization provides these services on behalf of its more than 3,600 participating higher education institutions, which represent 98% of all students in public and private U.S. institutions, and thousands of high schools and districts.
To help the education community go further, the Clearinghouse provides innovative solutions at minimal or no charge that meet reporting, research, verification, transcript, and data exchange demands across the K-20 to workforce continuum today and for the future. These efforts benefit students, high schools, colleges, education institutions, and employers.
As Pepe said in the first blog of this series, “Whatever we do going forward will dictate our ability as a country to not only come out of this pandemic on the other side but also to provide lifelines to all different communities across the country to better themselves and help rebuild.”
“As our research demonstrates, the Clearinghouse’s data influences and improves learner opportunities, education outcomes, and business practices.”
Clearinghouse Vice President of Education Solutions