COE News

Date Published

New Report: Equity Gaps in Priority Jobs and Programs

While community colleges excel in offering affordable degrees that can lead to high-wage jobs, gaps in equity may prevent students from completing programs or entering promising careers.

To better understand where equity gaps in community college programs and occupations may exist, the San Diego/Imperial Center of Excellence (COE) has issued a study that includes analysis of postsecondary education and labor market data in defined priority areas

For this study, a priority job is defined as a job that requires at least a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree, has at least 50 annual openings, pays above the living wage of $18.43 per hour for a single adult, and typically requires fewer than five years of work experience. A priority program is defined as a community college program that trains for a priority job. 

Utilizing data to identify equity gaps based on age, gender, and race/ethnicity, this study also provides recommendations on how community colleges can work with employers to develop targeted outreach and retention strategies for underrepresented groups.The COE presented the report to the region’s community colleges and career education (CE) deans and held a session at the California Community College Association for Occupational Education (CCCAOE) Spring 2023 Conference in Sacramento last month. The presentation provided an opportunity to learn about key insights, including how the priority jobs and programs were identified, and how to replicate this report in different regions.