OLYMPIA – At its January meeting, the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) will hear a presentation on a new joint report that analyzes and projects the state’s future workforce needs, especially in areas of high employer demand, and on fields in which the need for specific skill sets is particularly acute.
The report, “A Skilled and Education Workforce,” is the third in a series developed over the last six years by the HECB, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), and the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board.
The joint report is required (under RCW 28B.76.230) to assess “the number of forecasted net job openings at each level of higher education and training and the number of credentials needed to match the forecast of net job openings.”
The report underscores the continuing need for increased degree production in the areas of computer science, the health professions, and engineering and for higher levels of associate, bachelor’s, and advanced degree production in general. It also highlights a successful seven-year statewide effort to increase nursing degree production.
Also on the agenda is an annual report on the status of student financial aid programs. Titled “Access, Affordability, and Achievement,” the report examines overall trends in student financial aid, provides information on specific program areas, and focuses on important issues at the campuses.
Co-presenters for this report will be Rachelle Sharpe, HECB director of student financial assistance, and Carla Idohl-Corwin, Dean of Student Financial Services at South Puget Sound Community College.
In the afternoon portion of the meeting, Jan Ignash, HECB deputy director for policy, planning and research, will give a progress report on work to develop a Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) being funded by a 2009 federal grant. A key component of that project is a complete database of approved programs of study and authorized degree programs. Staff also will present a summary of degree program approval activities in the past year.Briefing materials for the meeting are available at www.hecb.wa.gov/AboutTheHECB/MeetingMaterials.