A Look at Five Key Outcomes in Early Adulthood for Associate Degree Earners
Turk, Jonathan M.
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Research continues to show that college graduates earn more over their lifetimes, contribute more in taxes, are more engaged with their local communities, and live healthier lives than individuals without a college education (Ma, Pender, and Welch 2016). However, far too often the public discourse around the benefits of college is focused predominantly on bachelor’s degree earners, overlooking the value that associate degrees can provide. In light of the findings, the author makes two overarching recommendations for practitioners at both the K-12 and postsecondary levels: Emphasize the economic benefits of associate degrees to students and their families, beginning in high school, and implement new academic and student support models to increase completion rates at community colleges.